Ouch! …and graceful recovery

No, I haven’t injured myself, thankfully! But one careless second of inattention while moving the router put a gouge across the bottom of one of my main rails. I just let the router tilt a little bit off of horizontal, and bang! the bottom of the bit tore a nice gash in the wood. I’m pretty sure that filling it, sanding it, and most importantly, staining it will disguise the error, but that’s going to be a little experiment all in itself.

I heard somewhere that half of the art of woodcraft is knowing how to gracefully recover from mistakes. It’s true! And not just in woodworking, either? Just today I was talking with a co-worker about one of our projects, where we’d made some errors in last year’s report. What we need to do is just come clean about it and do it right this year, but there are more and less graceful ways to accomplish that goal. Or think of relationships – how many dings, nicks, and scratches to we unintentionally inflict on one another through the years? We can leave them oozing and bleeding, with visible scars as eternal reminders of wrong-doing, or work together to salve and heal the wounds. Graceful recovery – theme for the day!

Having said that, it’s still hard. This wood filler may not blend well with the stain, in which case I’ll need to dig it out and re-fill it with glue and sawdust from the actual wood itself. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One of the “lessons learned” I put in my very first blog entry was “pay attention!”

I’ll have to cut similar profiles into 12 little rail pieces (1 on each end), but those are thinner stock – I won’t have to do the two-pass router trick, and can just use my router table for added stability.

Then I need to shape some brackets, cut the mortises for those, and after that, I think I’m ready for a final sanding, staining, and assembly of the pedastle! I’ll need to assemble all but the rails, and then mark out a joint on the rails based on how the other pieces end up fitting together, and cut that last.

Wish me luck on the recovery!


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