Do-overs

No photo for this one, but if you look at my last entry you’ll see the “splotches” I talked about on the table parts. To recap: I sanded them to 150, gave a coat of stain, and saw both scratch marks and swirlies from the sander. I re-sanded and (here my memory isn’t clear) only sanded the portions where the scratches were egregious (and sanded those down to 220), and re-coated. The freshly re-coated portions were lighter, even through I tried to avoid getting stain on the previously stained areas. I think going to 220 helped (a finer grit holds less stain).

I tried staining over the lighter areas with a 2nd coat, and it sort of worked… then today I just decided to “do over” those faces. Took me all of 15 minutes to strip the faces back down, work back up through the sanding grits, and put a nice, even coat of stain on. Took me a lot less time, in fact, than trying to “patch up” the old stain the other day.

Lesson learned: sometimes a “do over” is more efficient and ultimately better than a series of patches. I find that’s often true in writing, software development, etc. The key word is “sometimes” – we don’t always throw out our work over minor mistakes. But there’s a feeling that sets in when I try to fix something, and it isn’t quite right and in the process I’ve also created a new problem… At any rate, this was clearly a time when “do over” was called for.

I’m also going to “do over” the 4 brackets I cut and trimmed. You’ll have to see pictures to appreciate why, but there’s an optical illusion created by placing curved brackets of the same exact thickness as the short rails rails in the photos on either side of the uprights (they’ll help “support” the cross rails that’ll go in). Future photos will explain it all. But my brackets are about 1/4″ narrower, which I didn’t realize at the time TOTALLY destroyes the optical effect of a continous beam of wood flowing through from one end to the other. It’s little hints like that that are missing from a short magazine article, and that I have to learn through trial and error. I’m also not going to do router trimming this time – it’s too freakin nerve wracking with pieces that small and that thick. I can band-saw them pretty close, and then caress them with a stationary belt sander (if “caress” and “belt sander” can ever be used together in a sentence?)

A picture will be worth 1,000 words when I post them. 🙂

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