I am generally a pretty even-tempered, positive guy. I’ve been around the bend several times, and I know that many problems seem terrible in the moment but trivial later on. I have even learned to be easy on myself when I make a silly mistake from time to time. Perhaps age has mellowed me.
But there are a few things in the woodshop that can still take me from mellow to mad in a heartbeat. For example, the one-brush-stroke-too-many mistake: I am laying down a finish with my paintbrush and it is smooth, silky and shiny. I pause, appreciate the work and then some demented demon sparks me to make one last brush stroke which then produces a run and sag … Despite trying to fix it, it just gets worse with each effort. It is a wonder the finish does not combust simply by proximity to the smoke coming from my ears.
I suspect I am not alone with having a specific mistake that is more upsetting than myriad others. So I am asking you, what cranks your stem when you are in the shop?
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
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