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9-Hour Mistake

I originally posted a short story from my time in the military on how much time a mistake can cost. I recommend give that a view! The short (less entertaining) version is that with proper planning and consideration to a task, you can avoid having to make round trips and ultimately wasting time. I tied that to my life as a software engineer and now I want to tie that to my woodworking projects.


Ironically, the very day after I posted this article I made a similar mistake. While building a reception desk for a client, I took a trip to home depot to pickup some grommets to drop in the desktop and the bottom of the enclosed desk. This will allow a drop spot for wires and help with cable management. I grabbed a 1 1/2" piece and was proud of myself because I was all set to work the next morning. Hint, there's a pack on Amazon for almost the same price as two pieces from HD.


When the next morning rolled around I opened my drawer with my forstner bits and sighed... I didn't even have a 1 1/2" bit!! Instead of getting started right away, I spent the next hour getting dressed for public (as opposed to workshop clothes), driving to Woodcraft, finding the bit, driving home, then getting back in the shop.


Sure this only took an hour out of my day but this was a lucky break. If there was some other tool or bit I needed that wasn't readily available, then this would have been an even longer delay.


So what's the lesson here? When buying the hardware, do you have the tools to use it or install it? Do you need a special bit or a jig to ensure accurate installation? Do you have the plastic and tape to cover up your garage for painting? Did you get that measurement for the length of the piece before buying the trim? "Walk-the-dog" is a useful thought-tactic here. When grabbing that tool for the cart, think about everything along the way from the shelf to the basket. Visualize the steps to install it and go through a checklist.


Once I straightened myself out, the piece was easy enough to install. For anything like this you'll want to clamp a board in front and behind to ensure a good clean hole on the actual work peice.





Disclaimer, there's an Amazon Affiliate link in the text. I get a small penny if you choose to use them to buy your stuff.


Follow me on Instagram @SzaboWoodworks to see how my projects turn out!


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