In Woodworking Mistakes

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Blowin’ in the Wind

My wife and I ran out of plywood as we were adding shelves to the garage, so we headed to the home center for another sheet.

We hadn’t noticed how windy it was until we came out of the store with the plywood propped sideways on a cart. We more or less sailed to our SUV and with considerable effort maneuvered the sheet onto the roof rack. I reached for the tie-down straps as my wife tried to hold the sheet in place. Bad idea. “I can’t hold it!” she yelled, and I looked up to see the sheet flipping over my head. I made a grab for it, but missed. The sheet cartwheeled across the parking lot and wrapped itself around the bumper of a pickup truck, setting off its alarm.

The truck was unscathed, but not the plywood. A volunteer who had witnessed the gymnastics helped us lash what was left of it to our SUV. From now on, I’ll check the wind before shopping for plywood. –Gus Carlson

Hidden Dovetails

I was proud of myself for figuring out how to cut half-blind dovetails on the drawers of the new dresser I was building for my daughter. The dovetails fit so perfectly, I decided the joints didn’t even need to be clamped. So, after gluing and assembling the drawers, I simply slid them into the dresser frame, without bothering to remove the squeezed-out glue.

Unfortunately, when I returned the next day, the drawers had glued themselves inside the frame. Argh! To free them, I had to whack them from the back with a big mallet. I felt like giving myself a big whack, too. –Paul Duvendack

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