In Woodworking Mistakes

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Shavings Shower

Last spring I reorganized my shop and moved my planer near the garage door so it could spew its shavings harmlessly onto the driveway. Now that it’s colder, I work with the garage door closed. One night recently I planed a bunch of boards for a new project. Chips and shavings piled high on the closed door’s horizontal ribs. But it was late, so I decided to clean up the mess later.

The next morning my partner started a new job. Wearing a favorite fuzzy sweater, she pushed the garage door opener and headed out through the garage to her car, which was parked outside. Unfortunately, she walked under the opening door just as its shavings-loaded section rounded the curve above her head.

Hearing a hideous shriek, I raced to the garage. There stood a shocked and disoriented creature that had just received an unexpected—and prickly—shower. Her perfectly coiffed hair was loaded with wood chips—but that was nothing compared to her sweater. Its soft fuzz had trapped the shavings like a magnet. –Jayne Thorson

Angle Tangle

My wife asked me to build a wall-mounted coat rack for the entryway in our new house. I bought a suitable board and four nice-looking spindles for the project. Then I carefully designed and built a jig that would allow drilling holes in the board at exactly 15° so the spindles would angle slightly.

I clamped the jig onto the drill press table and started drilling. The first two holes were perfect. But when I moved the board to drill the third hole, it bumped into the tool cabinet that stood next to the drill press. No big deal. I turned the board around and drilled from the opposite end. It wasn’t until I installed the spindles that I realized that the last two holes were drilled at opposite angles to the first two holes.

My dual-angle rack now hangs by the back door, where it remains a somewhat useful addition as well as a source of conversation and laughter. –Gerry Saunders

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