In Woodworking Mistakes

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One Coat Coverage

I had finished building new frame and panel doors for my kitchen cabinets and knew the stain would really make the grain pop. I laid the first door on my workbench, with the newly opened can of stain can next to it. I could see the results were going to be terrific as soon as I started brushing. But when I swiveled the door to reach the far corner, it inadvertently pushed the can of stain right off the bench. Like Wile E. Coyote, the can hung in the air for a half second before heading for the concrete floor. It landed slightly on edge, and the stain shot up like a geyser, drenching me, my tools, the bench, the walls and the floor. I can’t promise the same coverage for someone else, but one quart of #303 cherry stain is enough to cover my shop. –Dave Grubaugh

Out on a Limb

While designing a curved bar for my house, I decided to make the bar rail from one continuous piece of wood. It took some searching, but I found a tree limb with the desired bend on a tree that was about to be removed.

I asked the foreman if he could fell the tree without damaging the limb. “We ain’t lumber jacks,” he scoffed. “We just knock ’em down with a ‘dozer. If you want that limb, you better get it now.” It was dark by the time I cut off the limb and got it home, so I didn’t bother to examine it. I just leaned it up to dry on the side of the garage where my wife parks her car.

I was fixing breakfast the next morning when my wife came back from the garage with her hands on her hips. “So. Who’s Julie?” she asked, pointedly.  “I don’t know,” I replied, mystified. “Well, there’s a tree limb next to my car with a big heart carved in it that says “I love Julie.” Oh-oh. It may be time for some of my patented “smiley face” pancakes! –Roy I. Steele


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