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Somedays I should stay in bed

Last weekend I was looking forward to a little more time in the shop working on the two military chests. Well, I spent more time repairing mistakes than moving forward.

Where I had left off last time was this - two carcasses in Jarrah dovetailed together with centre divider. These are 900mm x 525mm each, and will make up a long, low cabinet 1810 in length.



The main task was to turn this pile of boards into supports for the drawers, and then install them in stopped dados ...




But first I decided to plough the rebates for the back of the cabinets before turning to the mortice-and-tenoning. And that is when I really should have gone back to bed.

I usually double- and sometimes treble-check everything. Not because I am a careful, but because I am prone to getting things back-to-front. Call me spatially-challenged.

Well, in spite of this I managed to plane a rebate on the outside of the cabinet! B-----r. How did I do this? I suppose that the inside and the outside look the same ..

It was easily repaired by glueing in a matching piece. It will not be seen ...



Then blow me down, I did it again - this time getting the back and the front mixed up! B-----r again!



OK, so you think it doesn't get worse. But I was on a streak - it comes in threes, not so? Oh yes, I did it a third time!

Here you can see the repair being planed down, and the other side has the correct rebate ...



That was Saturday. Sunday was better. I completed all the supports for the drawers for one of the units - I decided to do them one at a time since they were not exactly the same (one side has two colums of three drawers, and the other has a column of drawers alongside a column of shelves).

Today I made the stopped dados, and glued together the shelves.

At the end of the day this is where the project stood (everything is just a dry fit) ...



The one carcass is done and ready to install the 6 drawers (I am looking forward to that time - I love building drawers).



The other carcass needs drawer supports and shelves, and both sides need stopped dados.



The inside of the area for the shelves has been scraped, and the repair looks decent. With finishing it will be difficult to detect.



What is the root of my problem? Simple – ineffective marking out. I should use chalk, instead I use coloured pencils. The trouble is that they are not durable and the marks fade quickly. I have been wary of using chalk with Jarrah as the grain is quite open and I fear that chalk residue will lodge there and affect the finish. I’ve been advised that I have little to be concerned about. I think that it is time to test some out as it certainly is more visible. Also use pieces of coloured tape.

Here is a picture of the dovetailed cabinets placed edge-to-edge. You can just barely see the writing. You can see the poor markings ..

There was more than one comment on the forums that this posting of my errors made others feel much more relaxed about their own work. This was my intention here – to show that we all make errors, and rarely are they permanent. Most are recoverable. In any event, no one is perfect or should expect perfection. Just enjoy your time in the woodshop.

Onto the next time.


Regards from Perth


July 2011