How to Deal with Fret Saw Grief

How to Deal with Fret Saw Grief

Most people find woodworking to be a relaxing hobby, but I can’t stand to do it for more than a few minutes at a time. All the small details and intricate cuts that my projects require have me wanting to throw all my tools in the trash!


Can you guys help me out? I want to love woodworking a lot more, but I can’t stop worrying that I’m going down the wrong path here. I just want to take my fretsaw and go home.

-Vic Sation

Mark Hawkins: Vic, I hate to say it, but maybe woodworking isn’t right for you. Maybe you should try to write a novel, build model ships or take up running marathons. When I had trouble focusing on my woodworking hobby a few years ago, I took up professional wrestling, and I’ve never felt more in touch with reality.

Ron Jobstone: You just need to chill out and stop worrying so much! A lot of the fun in woodworking is in the mistakes. Why, just the other day I spent twelve hours fitting together a cabinet for my daughter and when I was finished, I realized my calculations were off by a third of an inch.

Did I obsess about it for the rest of the week? Did I try to cut it down on my table saw and only make the measurement worse? Did I try to force the pieces together by hand? Did I go out and buy some new clamps that were more expensive than anything else in my shop to try to fix this mistake?

YES, VIC! YES I DID! And I was so mad I couldn’t believe it. Some projects just make me want to scream! Who told you that woodworking was relaxing?!


Dr. Joe Vial DDS: Maybe you’re just using the wrong tool for the job? If you find your fretsaw frustrating, try a different tool for a change! For fine jobs, I prefer using my coping saw. That little saw and I have been through a lot together and I wouldn’t want to use anything else. Cutting with it just feels so relaxing. It really helps me deal with life’s troubles.

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