Don't do what I did

Forum: Woodworking

Hi Gang
I was watching some home fix it on TV and noticed a number of things that they homeowners were doing completely wrong on there home remodel. It’s funny how things go,years gone by I use to watch TV shows to learn home repair and woodworking techniques and now after close to 30 years of woodworking and as a contractor I tend to watch to see what they could improve on,so I thought it might be helpful for those folks that are starting off in the woodworking world if we would share some of the things we learned not to do or not to forget to do when woodworking.

One of the early mistakes I made when I started was… I was just gathering my woodworking tools and saved up just enough to buy a lunch box planner.Oh boy this was going to make everything great ,being able to to plane wood to size.
I bought this delta planner at a garage sale that included some brand new blades ,so iIgot it home cleaned it up and thought new blades will have to cut much better,so out came the used blades and in with the new. Mistake #1 planners cut much better with the blades facing the right direction :) #2 planer blades need to be installed so the blades cut an equal amount of cut on both sizes #3 when replacing planner blades make sure you’re putting in the new blades in after adjusting your blades you put in backwords #4 Unless you want to keep clearing out the chips out of your planner and don’t want a pile of chips the size of one of the Egyptian pyramids,you need a dust collector .#5 if you’re dyslectic take pictures of things as you take them apart. :))

What’s your “don’t do what I didi story” ?

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker


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19 Replies

jim webster ...

jim I got a delta and put new blades in have to have a gage for the knifes most turn the blades around 2 sided

Jeff Vandenberg ...

the biggest thing i can think of is don’t be in such a hurry and forget to put the safety guards back on.

a1jim ...

Good input guys

Jack ...

Good subject Jim. I could come with a list but the most recent one was involving my thickness planer. I have it setting next to my table saw and I had a very bad habit of placing things on whichever one I am not working on. I placed my remote on the in feed while sawing and somehow it got bumped just out of sight. I then turned and ran the piece I was working on through and CRUNCH, requiring a new remote and turning the planer blades. Now I lean over and look before I start it.

CindyG ...

Hahahaha! Great story! I find that jigsaws work much better with the blade facing in the right direction as well! ;-)

a1jim ...

Good stuff folks,been there done that.

Kelly ...

I’ve made a few cuts with the tension arm of my band saw at half mask. Nothing exciting happened, but . . . . Now, I have a rule that helps me remember – If the light is off, the saw isn’t ready.

Wolf (& Rabbit!) ...

my planer won’t work without the guards on. It wasn’t terribly expensive, The guards are plastic, the little tabs are broken, I’ve had to make new tabs from wood screws…I hate that machine. If it wasn’t so awesome, I’d sell it.

a1jim ...

I have the same rule ,if the lights out in the shop my shop isn’t ready LOL
It sounds like a love-hate relationship,you’ve got going on with that planer.

Kelly ...

P.S. – it was mast, not mask.

Todd Clippinger ...

Jim – your story made me laugh. It really took me back to when I just up and left Costco, with no experience, and started home repair and remodeling. I bought some very basic tools and a cheap tool belt from Kmart, as well as a couple of “how to fix everything” books from Home Depot.

The first time I used my circular saw, I couldn’t figure out why it cut so poorly. I am sure you already figured out I had installed the blade backwards!

We all have come a long way;)

a1jim ...

Ha Ha that’s a good one Todd ,I came close to that a couple times.

Kelly ...

About four years ago, I was helping a guy who called himself The Affordable Handyman. The first job we worked was filling one inch gaps in exterior trim.

To my amazement, he filled the huge gaps with latex caulk, without any foam or other backer. Needless to say, if it didn’t all fall out (it was cold enough out the caulk was thicker, so stiffer than usual, it was going to shrink a lot, as it dried.

To add to matters, the genius, in the course of caring for his customers, insisted I paint it, just as soon as he was done filling the gaps. He got miffed when I refused (I could never pull that kind of crap on a customer).

Kelly ...

Back to The Affordable Handyman, we were to paint an interior. He took it upon himself to save the landlord money by using paint on the “handyman” had on hand. This meant mixing several partial gallons.

First off, the color was criminal. When the landlord saw the completed kitchen, he said “hell no.” Continuing in his genius fashion, he grabbed several partial gallons of off white. The color wasn’t bad. However, the gallons were of different sheens (flat, satin, semi-gloss and gloss), and there wasn’t enough. Needless to say, touch ups just weren’t going to happen.

The sad thing is, most of his problem was ego. He knew I was more knowledgeable on paint matters, but would not defer. After all, it was his business and he was the expert. In the end, I painted the kitchen FIVE times. The last was unadulterated, semi-gloss off-white.

Kelly ...

The simple of the foregoing is:

- Never choose a paint color for a customer.

- Never mix sheens (you’ll end up with a flat gloss, which comes nowhere close to satin, eggshell or semi-gloss).

- Follow use directions on products, like caulk. That is, use foam backer or other filler for large gaps and allow caulk to dry, before painting over it.