In Woodworking Mistakes

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Shocking Taste

I turned on my shop vac to clean up the pile of sawdust that had accumulated while I ripped some pine boards for a cabinet. I live in Colorado, where the air is always dry, and my shop vac isn’t high tech, so occasionally I get zapped by a static-discharge shock.

This time while I was vacuuming, my wife came out, offering a bite of her famous cheesecake. I cheerfully opened wide, but once the spoon got close to my tongue, POW! I didn’t know what hit me. When I had recovered enough to explain what happened, my wife apologized…and then insisted I try another bite of cheesecake. I agreed. Jeez, after that terrific shock, I thought I deserved a reward. BAM! Who says lightning never strikes the same place twice? –Reg Mills

Feathered Finish

I was building a shadow box for a big charity event, with a picture and a baseball autographed by Stan Musial, the legendary St. Louis Cardinal. It was a nice afternoon, so I had the garage door open, and the windows up to let a breeze come through the screens. I applied a coat of dark cherry stain, and laid everything out to dry.

Suddenly, a flash of red zoomed by, followed by a loud “thunk!” A cardinal had flown in through the open door and tried to exit through a window, only to smack into the screen. It bounced off and landed right on my freshly stained shadow box. I gently picked the cardinal up and carried it outside. Fortunately, it recovered and went about its way.

I want back to survey the damage: The box now carried the unmistakable impression of a cardinal! I grabbed a rag to make repairs, but put it down when I realized that this was probably the most perfect custom finish I could ever achieve. –Lanny Ribes

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