“Making mistakes” should be added to that list along with “death” and “taxes.” Especially when it comes to woodworking. Mistakes are the only way some of us learn ANYTHING, so I guess we should be thankful ;) Fortunately there are some great resources available for the more common mistakes. And if those don’t help you maybe you’ll find solace in the mistakes I pulled from Woodnet in the thread “Whats the biggest mistake you have made?

HOW TO FIX 10 WOODWORKING MISTAKES (you wish you hadn’t made)
This is a classic article, focused on classic woodworking mistakes. It’s not gospel, and none of the fixes are mind blowing but it’s a great place to start, especially for newbie woodworkers.


Reducing Woodworking Mistakes from Howard Ruttan
If you find that you’re making a lot of mistakes and can’t figure out why, this article is AWESOME. Mr. Ruttan dives into your woodworking habits and helps to correct those that could be costing you time, money and your good humor. As he says, “My purpose here is to enlighten you as to some of the tricks involved in reducing the number, and quite possibly the severity, of the mistakes you make.”

Here are the contents of Reducing Woodworking Mistakes:
* Maintain your tools and machinery.
* Start out with straight, square stock.
* Use a sharp pencil or marking knife.
* Use the same tape measure thoughout the entire project.
* Better yet, don’t measure at all!
* The story pole alternative to plans and measuring.
* Make all measurements from the same face side and edge.
* Measure twice, cut once.
* Triangle marking or marking pieces to keep the same orientation.
* Account for the thickness of the blade.
* Don’t cut all the parts at once.

Check out Reducing Woodworking Mistakes from Howard Ruttan’s In The Woodshop >>

Woodworking Repairs and Fixes From David Marks on the DIY Network
David Marks. He’s your 3rd most influential woodworker. And he’s got some repairs and fixes for common woodworking problems. 6 of his 11 topics are more or less mistakes. This links below are highly useful transcripts from Episode WWK-513 which airs September 27, 2008 10:00 PM Eastern and September 28, 2008 2:00 AM Eastern. Set your tivos ;)

Woodworking Repairs and Fixes, Pt. 1: Natural Flaws
1) Stabilizing a Knot
2) Patching a Knot-Hole Using an Inlay
3) Simple Crack Repair
4) Stabilizing a Crack with Butterfly Patches
5) Decay, Fungus and Insect Damage

Woodworking Repairs and Fixes, Pt. 2: Mechanical Mistakes
6) Repairing a Misplaced Mortise
7) Repairing a Simple Router Error

Woodworking Repairs and Fixes, Pt. 3: Mistakes of the Hand
8) “Stretching Wood”
9) Edge-Gluing and Veneers
10) Fixing Warped or Dented Wood with Steam

Woodworking Repairs and Fixes, Pt. 4: Plywood Tear-Out
11) Plywood Tear-Out

Dealing with Woodworking Mistakes (FWW – subscription required)

Biggest Woodworking Mistakes YOU’VE Ever Made?
Mistakes are as normal – and plentiful – as sawdust. But you knew that already. Here are some woodworking mistake anecdotes, some of which don’t have fixes except to tear down and rebuild… or even replace in some cases. All of these are excerpted from WoodNet in the thread: Whats the biggest mistake you have made?

Chris Billman:
“Made my first project too big to get out of my basement shop.”

I forgot to check the fence on my jointer for square before I jointed a bunch of large pine planks for a dresser top. It took me months to figure out why that top wanted to smile at me.

Made two bookcases that didn’t fit in the available space because I forgot that the sides added an inch to the width over and above the length of the shelves. My wife was pretty disappointed in me: And you a Johns Hopkins graduate engineer! I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down.

“I made a sleigh bed for the guest bedroom a coupla years ago. My in-laws at the time came into town as I was rubbing out the finish on the bed. FIL and BIL are saying how they like it and ask if I want help bringing it into the house. Of course I say. We get it into the bedroom, all set up we go to place the mattress in the frame and I hear a thud. I look back and realize I just built a queen bed and the mattress in the bedroom was a double.”

Thinking (no, not even thinking) that “off” meant “stopped.”

Not accounting for wood movement. Built projects in Houston, and then moved to Tucson. D’oh!

From WoodNet: Whats the biggest mistake you have made?

More Woodworking Mistake Resources:
Mistakes Were Made (Woodworking Mistake Annecdotes)
Correcting Employee Mistakes (in a Cabinet Shop)
9 Woodworking Tools You Wish You had Bought Earlier

Avoiding DANGEROUS Woodworking Mistakes:
10 “Hard to Admit” Woodworking Injuries
ToolCrib.com’s Ultimate Guide to the Top Ten Most Dangerous Woodworking Power Tools
Episode 49 – Safety Week (Woodwhisperer Video)

Famous/Clever Quotes About Making Mistakes
Quotations by Subject: Mistakes
Motivational and Inspirational Quotes about “Mistakes”
Mistakes Quotes