Adding to My Errors

Recently, I had a hand in building a coffee table based on a George Nelson design. The top was created with solid walnut slats with about 14 cross-lap joints per piece. That turned out to be a stinking lot of joints to make. And each had to be placed properly. It occurred to me that, if I was off the mark on each joint by as small an amount as 1/64-in., by the time I was done making 14 cuts, the cumulative error would add up to almost a quarter inch!

The project turned out fine, as I made accommodation for possible error. But it got me to thinking of the times that I had not been as careful. A set of octagon picture frames comes to mind as a foggy memory of additive failure.

So what about you? Have you experienced the heartbreak of addition? If so, please share! Misery loves company.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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