In Woodworking Mistakes

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Backside Out

After dabbling with woodworking for a couple of years, I finally got up the courage to build some kitchen cabinets, starting with an 8′ long upper unit. I composed a detailed drawing, cut all the pieces, and glued the cabinet together. Everything went smoothly, and I was really enjoying myself.

Before stopping for the day, I cut the plywood back panel, glued it to the cabinet, and nailed it all around the perimeter and across the shelves. I left the shop feeling very proud of myself, and triumphantly invited my wife to go out to dinner.

Brimming with confidence, I returned to the shop the next morning, only to realize that I had attached the back panel to the front of the cabinet. I suspect I’ll be eating crow for a while.

Dean O. Travis

Time Trials

I built two Shaker-style wall clocks for a local dentist, to match the décor in her office. We agreed on white pine for the cases, with antique-style glass and authentic-style dials. Using quartz movements with long-drop pendulums—which I purchased online—was one concession to modernity she approved. I delivered the clocks on schedule, and just before leaving her office, I set the hands and tapped the pendulums, to start the movements.

The next morning, I received a call. “I really like the clocks,” the dentist said, “but there’s a problem.” I waited for news that I was sure would ruin my day. “The hands are all moving backwards.” I revisited the website, and discovered my mistake. The order number for the “backwards” movement was the same as the “regular” movement, except for one digit.

Dale Thompson

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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