Apr 012019
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Rhythm. Momentum. There’s a lot in favor of getting started and keeping going.

Clearly, that applies to writing. Lots of writers suffer from writer’s block. My cure is to just start writing. I can begin typing total nonsense and, pretty soon, it will turn into something usable, just from getting started.

However, it’s different when you have a storyline going and, all of a sudden, “Uh-oh! What the heck comes next?”

That can happen in a woodworking project, too, and I’m betting many of you have experienced it.

I was making a “bench” for grandson Owen when it hit me. It was a plywood project because of the intersections and because Owen lives in a part of the country where temperature and humidity swings are horrendous. Wood movement ruled out making solid-wood panels that would shrink in winter and swell in summer.

Iron-on wood veneer covered the exposed edges of ply on the sides and top. Even though the shelves sat in dados, I wanted them secured with screws, which meant the screw heads either had to be celebrated or covered. I elected to countersink them and cover the holes with rope molding.

That’s where I ran into trouble.

It was obvious that a simple miter wasn’t going to make the sides and the front meet and close the gap. I first tried cutting some quarter-round with a hand saw, rather than waste the rope molding as I experimented. That wasn’t working, so I began to experiment with compound angles.

Could this compound setting make the angle I was looking for?

It took a while, but I finally made it work.

Before that, though, when a bit of experimentation didn’t pay off, I got frustrated, threw up my hands and quit.

For a while. I felt defeated. Frustration made me feel stupid. How hard could these angles be? Surely someone who made As in geometry and trigonometry could figure this out.

And, I did, but not before taking an extended break to heal from the feeling of being beaten down.

All’s well that ends well. Owen is so happy it made him applaud. That’s all the approval a grandfather needs.
Did we have more frustration after solving the molding problem? You bet! The dimensions Owen’s mom gave me wouldn’t quite fit in my Pathfinder.
That meant it was off to the U-Haul Store for delivery. Here we are in Timbuktu, getting gas. At least the trailer didn’t have to make the return trip.

What about you? After you log your vote, use the Comment section to tell us how you overcome frustration, defeat and setbacks.

  2 Responses to “April Poll: What do you do when you run into a hiccup, or repeated hiccups, in a project?”

  1. Wish I could have used more than just one answer. I have done all of the above except call a friend to find the answer to the bump in the road. But a pencil and paper are the things I use most frequently, a drawing can solve many a question or problem.

  2. None of the above.
    1. My grandfather, a professional trim carpenter taught me: “It’s not that a good carpenter does not make mistakes, he knows what to do about them when he does”. I rely on what i was taught and my own experience to guide me to a solution.
    2. Personal philosophy. If parts require a certain machine setup, such as dado blade setting, ever tear down a machine setup until you finish the job or… make extra parts while you have the setup.
    3. The woods are full of trees. throw the mistake into the scrap pile and start again.

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