In Woodworking Mistakes

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The Ol’ 1–2

I volunteered to drill the holes for the halogen light fixtures in the 6′ tall display cabinet that my cohorts and I were building at the architectural millwork company where we worked. I chucked a hole saw in my trusty 1/2″ electric drill and climbed up on a stepladder, so I could drill the holes from above the cabinet. Standing at eye level with the drill, I carefully positioned the hole saw’s pilot bit and started drilling. About halfway through, though, the saw wedged in the cut, causing the drill’s handle to swing around and whack the side of my head. Stunned, but undeterred, I reversed the drill to free the bit and pulled the trigger. Whack! The handle swung around the other way, hit the other side of my head, and knocked me to the floor, where my coworkers were already rolling around laughing. –Joe Sarchioto

Pin Problem

The shoe rack that I was building had four tiers. This rack was going to occupy a prominent spot in our home, so I wanted it to be a nice piece of furniture. I designed each tier as an open frame, comprised of three rails (front, back and middle) with stiles butted at each end. Mortise-and-tenon joints would secure the rails and stiles, and pins would strengthen the joints and add highlights. Dadoes cut in the rack’s two uprights would house the tiers, like shelves.

I cut tenons on the rails and mortises in the stiles and glued each tier together. I carefully marked the pin-hole locations (24 in all), drilled the holes, and installed the pins. The pins signaled expert craftsmanship, I thought, and they made the tiers looked great, so I quit for the night.

Unfortunately, things didn’t look so great in the morning, after I realized that the pins were installed in the rails instead of the stiles—on the wrong side of every joint! –John Wetzel

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