Desite Your Best Efforts !

Have you ever noticed that often the more you “fuss” over something, , doing everything possible to ensure every thing is perfect, it just goes south, and the thing you quickly threw together comes out flawless, am I the only one who experiences this ?

I could write woodworking horror stories forever I think,  most attributed to stupidity, or that CRS thing ( can’t remember s*** ) ,  or transpose a measurement, or trying to think too far ahead, whatever the reason, it seems to just be part of woodworking, but it sure can test ones patience and religion .

Last week a friend of mine Aaron came down and wanted me to help dye and stain a big crib he had built,  it was hard maple, nicely done , well sanded, and he had blotch control on it , and a finishing schedule, all set, no issue right. Well that was the intent, but things just didn’t go that way.

Aarons finishing scheduled called for a base dye of orange under some brown mahogany, so we spray the dye, it had lots of spindle, so we lay it down flat , so no over spray can bounce under and give us more dye than we want, when we got it all a nice pumpkin orange, so we wipe on a coat of stain, and its immediately much darker than we want,  so we decide to thin the stain and spray it on , light coats, still way to dark, so I thin the stain, , and keep thinning it to get it to go on light enough, I am now spraying brown water, so I add some finish to act as a binder for the stain,  add some amber dye, and tinted it and so forth, it looked like we had it, so Arron starts spraying, I head out to the shop, I come back in, and it keeps getting darker, couldn’t figure it out, by now Aaron has it all shot, but as it sit’s, it just keeps getting darker.

To make a long story short, Aaron head’s home, a 100 mile trip, I kept thinking about this and finally figured that the orange was migrating into the brown and making it go darker, had to be , no other reason, and knowing Aaron was not happy with the color, I decided to “punt”,  so get some lacquer thinner and wash off a rail, which removed the stain and most of the dye, I then wiped the stain, and it was super close, so that did it. I went and got several gallons of thinner and Ed , came in and we were here until 9 pm or so with fans going , respirators on, and washing it all off, what a mess, but we got most of it off, I called Aaron and told him to get another qt of stain, and we had the color, he was relieved, when he came in , the next morning, we did a final wash down, to be sure everything was clean , and he started wiping, much better, we had reduced the orange to a light tangerine, and also the finish that I had used in the stain, provided more of a barrier , so the stain couldn’t bite in so much, and the color came in, but it sure wasn’t fun and  quite frustrating, but we won, that was the important thing, but Aaron did look at me and tell me he would have “lost it” , had he been at home, and I understand that quite well, believe me.

The thing I have learned thru the years, is despite your best efforts mistakes are made and issue’s arise, you just have to hang tight and not give up, mistakes happen to the best of us, it just does, whats that old saying,  ” I have cut this da** board 4 times and it’s still too short”, yep pretty much how it works.

In the case of Aaron, our biggest mistake was when we saw it getting darker we kept going, that’s a huge mistake, as Thomas Jefferson said “When the horse is dead, Dismount”,  he was right!  We failed to  SNEAK UP ON  IT .. not a wise move , what was we thinking,  guess we weren’t . 🙂

I got all the drawers dovetailed for the 4 spice chest I have going, don’t have an actual count but its well over 500 dovetails in all the chest. Jig or not, that’s a lot of dovetails, trust me, but I got them done, whew !

I guess its time to film the line and berry inlay for the door, been working on that and figuring out how to do it with a router, think we are good to go, so time to show you.

Ok , one more coffee and time to film, got a finishing class end of this week, so got alot to do, be safe !

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7 Responses to Desite Your Best Efforts !

  1. Stumpy Nubs says:

    You should have just went to Home Depot and had them mix you up some paint. They can do it in any color! Next time… 🙂

  2. Oh man that little Bombe box I worked on from your show. I mixed my own recipe using General Finishes water-based stains and dyes…well umm…I mixed my stain a little to hot and was drying so fast for wiping. Had to wash all my color off 3 time with lacquer thinner. Then the 4th and final time, I loaded my little spray gun and went on without a glitch. It just happens….I think we all are guilty of getting caught up in the moment!

    Why oh why…didn’t I spray it on the first time…got lazy and didn’t wan’t to pull out a spray gun for a little color!

  3. Thomas Tieffenbacher says:

    That’s what I like about you. You are a human being.( Even if you are a superstar:) )Getting older..either I am more aware how I screw up, or screw up more…not less. Always feel better when its 2 inches too big. LOL Or that I used screws and I can unscrew it. Now 90% of the time I “sneak up on it!” Thats when I remember where I put it!

  4. Monte West says:

    I agree, we all make mistakes at the wrong time. Like Ace I made my share of mistakes on the Bombe Bay Box, thank goodness I was able to hide or fix them.
    The other day you said you were working on some kitchen cabinets. Were they the ones you got the Old growth Pine from North Carolina for? I am still looking for pictures of them.

  5. Aaron Dornhecker says:

    I have to say that if it wasn’t for Charles keeping a cool head I would have gone through a box of sand paper trying to start all over. On the way home I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to tell the client that their crib is so much darker than they had asked for. Charles made my day when he called to say that the problem was solved. Thanks again.

  6. I’m with Tom on this ,that’s what has impressed me about you from day one that when you goof you own up to it,even if its a “don’t ask me how I know that” or a “don’t do as I did do as I say” Moment then you use it as a learning lesson for those watching . The real expert shines through when you have the fix for that OOPs moment.

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