In Woodworking Mistakes

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While visiting the local Habitat for Humanity store I noticed a woodturning lathe. The store manager told me it had come from an estate and was almost new, so I bought it and took it home in the back of my wife’s minivan. I backed up to my garage shop and opened the minivan’s hatch. But when I opened the garage door, I realized the shop was a complete mess. So, I decided to put everything away before unloading the lathe and moving it into its new home. Clearing the clutter revealed mounds of shop dust, so I got out my trusty leaf blower, donned my hearing protectors and started to blow out the dust as I always did, through the open garage door.

Unfortunately, my wife appeared just in time to see clouds of shop dust billowing out of the garage—and into her beloved minivan. As a result, I’ve been told that I may never again use the minivan to haul tools or materials … ever! –Peter J. Santos

Like a Sailor

My daughter and her classmate asked if I could carve a wooden sign in Chinese characters for their school project. “Sounds like a fun challenge,” I thought. The classmate, who happened to be of Chinese descent, jotted some characters on a note and gave it to me, saying, “I think that’s right.”

I’m not a carver, so I decided to create the characters freehand, using my laminate trimmer. Unfortunately, the bit dug into the wood here and there, so my characters didn’t exactly match the sample. To check the results, I decided to visit my daughter’s classmate’s mother. Her eyes widened when she saw my creation and her face got red. “You must not like this person very much,” she said. She wouldn’t tell me exactly what my sign said, but she corrected the mistakes I’d made and sent me along saying, “Those weren’t words you would say to a friend or neighbor.”

     I returned the next day with a new sign. After examining it, my new friend nodded and said, “Much better. Now you don’t sound like a Chinese sailor.” –Roy I. Steele


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