In Woodworking Mistakes

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Wedged Woodworker

Winter comes early here in Oregon, a fact I’d forgotten as I carried a custom kitchen cabinet to my truck. This cabinet was long and slender, to go above an extra-wide range. As I stepped out the shop door, my foot skidded on an icy patch, and I went down in a heap. One of the cabinet’s doors swung open as I fell and wedged between door jam and the door. Simultaneously, the opposite end of the cabinet wedged itself under the top of the door jam.  As a result, I was wedged, too, on my back, under the cabinet.

I tried to escape, but quickly realized that I couldn’t extricate myself without damaging the cabinet. So, my choices were to save myself, but wreck the cabinet, save the cabinet, but freeze to death underneath it…or call for help.

I managed to twist my arm enough to retrieve my cell phone and dial the house. Did I mention it was past midnight? My wife was sleeping. “Come to the shop,” I pleaded. “I have a problem.”

When the porch light flashed on, billions of diamonds instantly sparkled, as ice clung to everything in its glow. In the radiance, I could see my wife running across the ice-covered grass, her bare feet glinting silvery in the moonlight and her pink robe fluttering behind her like a flag: a one-woman cavalry coming to my rescue. -Dale Thompson

Spirited Finish

I was putting the finishing touches on a butler table that I was proudly making out of curly red oak and mahagony.  I put on a first coat of lacquer and decided to put on a second coat after a few days.  After the second coat I noticed that the finish seemed washed out and very pale.  I tried a third coat and it got even worse.  How can lacquer make wood so dull?

Apparently I wasn’t wearing my glasses before the second and third coat and had mistakenly applied two coats of mineral spirits to my butler’s table.  The two cans, which by the way were sitting next to each other on my bench, had very similar can colors.  I added more labor of love to my table by re-sanding and re-applying and re-gretting not wearing my glasses. –Craig Bingman


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