In Woodworking Mistakes

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Inside Job

While building kitchen cabinets, I purposefully chose straight-grained lumber for the doors’ stiles and rails and bought expensive, highly-figured boards to make the panels. In classic style, the doors would be inset, so they’d be flush with the cabinets’ face frames. I measured each opening carefully, using a tape measure, which, of course, required adding 2″ to each inside measurement.

I sure had a sick feeling when I placed my first artfully-crafted door in its opening. Yes, I forgot to add the 2″, so the door was much too small. But my biggest mistake was that I built all of my artfully-crafted doors before checking to make sure any of them would fit. –Bob Molloy

Door Jambed

I remodeled my basement to add a woodshop, which I closed off with a 36″ door. When a family friend asked me to build a 39″-tall pub table, we agreed to make it 35″ square, so it would easily fit through the door. To make the table extra-sturdy, I decided to glue the base to the plywood top.

I eased the completed table through the shop door and headed toward the basement door that led outside. I hadn’t replaced this door when I remodeled, because it was perfectly good. I’d always assumed it was 36″ wide, because it was an exterior door. So, you can imagine my surprise when the table wouldn’t fit through. In fact, I had to remove the door, the jamb and all the trim to get the table out of the basement.

I delivered the table, leaving it in the garage as my customer requested. A couple days later she called to thank me for doing such a good job. She also mentioned that a neighbor was coming over to remove her basement door, jamb and trim, so she could move the table inside! –Dennis Dorries


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