In Woodworking Mistakes

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Dust Bomb

My neighbor has had a woodworking shop in his garage since I was a kid. Recently, when he discovered that mice and other furry critters were living in its cinder block foundation, he decided to drop firecrackers down the holes in the blocks to encourage them to leave.

Unfortunately, the results were more spectacular than he expected, because the firecrackers ignited all the sawdust that had collected in the cinder blocks over the years. The huge explosions that resulted cracked his shop floor. -Dawn Nelson

Powerlift Woodworking

Years ago, I was hired to build and install a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in a nook in a customer’s living room—provided that I guaranteed not to mar the freshly-painted walls and varnished floor.

I built a 12′-wide base unit to run the full length of the nook and three 5′-tall units to nest together on top. These tall units featured beadboard backs and fixed shelves graduated Shaker style, with the spaces decreasing from bottom to top. A face frame and crown molding would tie these sections together.

The completed units were really heavy, so I enlisted help to install them. We positioned them in the nook without incident, so with grateful thanks, I let my helper go. But upon returning to install the face frame and molding, I suddenly realized I was in big trouble: All three top units were upside down!

My only option was to carefully remove each tall unit—each incredibly heavy, awkward unit—turn it right-side up and reinstall it without touching the walls, ceiling, base unit and floor. By myself. For several days thereafter, every muscle in my body reminded me to never make that mistake again. –Steve Bunn


Product Recommendations

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