In Woodworking Mistakes

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Bow Blues

After preparing the laminations, bending form and heat box for the fiberglass longbow I planned to build, I mixed the epoxy—and promptly began to mess up the entire project.

First, I laid down the laminations in the wrong order, so I had to pry the sticky mess apart and start over. Then, while clamping the laminations to the bending form, I forgot to add the aluminum pressure strips that protect the fiberglass from the C-clamps. I didn’t notice this mistake until I pulled the bow out of the heat box and saw that its belly was covered with deep dimples. It looked like a washboard. 

I persevered, determined to save the bow. I drew  on the lines to shape the limbs, arrow shelf and grip section and cut them out on the bandsaw. Then I noticed that I’d cut the arrow shelf on the wrong side. I now had a left-handed bow.

After calming down, I glued the offcut back on the grip section, cut a new arrow shelf on the correct side and congratulated myself for once again saving the bow.

But after putting on the tillering string, I found that I could barely bend the limbs. I’d created a 120 lb. monster bow with a dimpled belly and a funny-looking grip that I would never be able to use.  –James E. Wadsworth

Extension Cord Rack

I was nearly done installing the trim in a custom kitchen when I heard my generator falter and quit. The jobsite was in the backwoods, 25 miles from the power lines, so the generator was my only power source. I put down my nail gun and headed to my pickup truck (my portable cabinet shop) for a look-see.

I was stunned to find a bull elk attacking my generator. Tangled in its antlers (the most spectac-ular rack of antlers I’d ever seen) was my 100′ heavy-duty extension cord. Thinking quickly, I ran to the kitchen, grabbed my nail gun and fired it into the air to startle the elk. The loud shots did the trick; the elk stopped smashing my generator—but it took off with my extension cord. I figured the cord was a goner.

However, on the way home that evening, about five miles from the jobsite, I spotted the cord draped over the bruised limbs of a fir tree. I guess the elk wasn’t into jewelry.Dale Thompson

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