In Woodworking Mistakes

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This morning I glued up a 4′ x 6′ tabletop made of maple 2x2s on my assembly table. I positioned 6′ pipe clamps alternately on the top and bottom faces of the glue-up (spaced 8″ apart) and tightened them. Then I removed all the squeezed-out glue.

To free up the assembly table, I decided to move the clamped-up top to another part of the shop. It was extremely heavy, so to stand it upright, I carefully tipped it over the edge of the table and let it slide to the floor.

Immediately, I realized the top was too heavy. As I struggled to control its descent, one of the pipes slid into my jeans pocket, ripped a hole in the bottom and emerged from another hole in the knee, effectively pinning me to the floor. The assembly was too heavy to lift and I couldn’t reach far enough to remove the offending clamp. I didn’t have scissors or a knife to cut myself free, and when I tried removing my jeans, I almost brought the whole assembly down on top of me. My wife has been out of town all day and the dog, as usual, hasn’t offered to help. If you have any ideas, please call. –Steve Rose

As the Bit Turns

One of my first projects required doweling some oak boards. I clamped my doweling jig in position, chucked a bit in my brand-new cordless drill and went to work. Unfortunately, the bit spun uselessly. It was dull, I reasoned, because it was ancient, as were all my bits. What the heck—I decided to have them all sharpened. Unfortunately, the sharpened bit didn’t work any better. Frustrated, I threw out all the old bits and bought a whole new set.

Then I tried again. Incredibly, the result was the same. No matter how hard I pushed, the brand-new bit barely penetrated the oak surface. Darn this new drill! Then I noticed a little black switch near the trigger, flanked by the letters “F” and “R.” Gee, what a difference when the bit rotates in the right direction! –Dan Allmon

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  • Rob Kutner

    Love this clamp story; sounds like something i’d do after being in the shop longer than i should have.

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