I believe Paul always says “it’s not what you make but how you make it”. So, I am always inclined to fix my mistakes as best I can instead of just covering them up. I can be a perfectionist. Probably too extreme at times. Anyway, I am making the wall clock. I cut four housing dados and three of them are perfect. However, one is simply too loose. No resistance. I must have moved the knife wall when I chiseled in (though I was trying hard not to screw these up, something went wrong somewhere). I could simply glue it, square up, and clamp. I think it would be acceptable. But something tells me to go back and cut a new piece. The other part of me says not to. I have so little time to woodwork with four kids. That is the biggest reason that I am considering just moving forward as is. So, my question is, do I make an acceptable repair or make it truly “right” and redo it. What would you do?
If you’re not selling it, i.e. it’s not for a customer, it’s just for yourself, I’d be pragmatic and go ahead and make the best of it as is… especially as you say you are time limited.
Of course that depends on how bad it will look and whether or not you can live with the finished article!
I don’t think any o the items I’ve made are “perfect”… but I’m proud of all of them.
Good luck with your decision.
You could always glue a thin poece on the bottom of the side inside and plane it to fit if you just want a tight joint.
However you can make a new piece and have two more dados under your belt.
You can cut the bad stuff off and make something else with the damaged piece.
All kinds of choices. Thats the nice part of handwork.
I’ve been surprised how many times an apparently loose joint glued up fine and perfectly fine joints were almost too tight to get together. It sounds like all the other joints will unquestionably provide the needed mechanical strength, so the project will come together and work. From that point of view, there may be a lot of value in just letting it be because there’s a chance you will learn that it wasn’t too loose after all…..or it might be. Either way, you learn something.
It’s not what goes wrong that’s important…. it’s how you put it right.
More to the point, if we never made any mistakes, we would learn nothing and progress nowhere.
You may choose to remake the defective part, move on and forget about it, alternatively you could turn it into a feature of the piece.
Rather than waste all your work, why not turn it to your advantage? Drill and screw all the joints, making the screw location a feature by either recessing the screw head and covering it with a contrasting plug or carve a domed head on the plug. It could be round, square or diamond shaped…..
That way, like a Japanese Daruma, it would remind you always of the progress you have made.
You’ve got 4 kids. So you know the song “Let it go” from Frozen?
I’m a perfectionist, also. None my my pieces are perfect. I had to learn to accept my mistakes and move forward.
I just finished a baby dresser build for my sister who is having her first child. On one of the drawer fronts I’d already dovetailed and grooved, I accidentally mis-measured and drilled a hole for one of the drawer pulls a full inch off! The dread, and how to fix? I was about to go out and buy a new board, when I decided to just try making a dowel and driving it in. It worked! Unless you really scrutinize, it’s just a knot in the wood.
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