What I Screwed Up this Week – October 7, 2010


This is the first article in the “What I Screwed Up This Week” series, and my in-progess sauce packet bin provides a couple of good first example.  For full details of construction, please refer to the related posts blog posts on the bin itself.

What constitutes a “good” screw-up?  For the purposes of this series, a good screwup:

  1. Is not safety related.
  2. Is not terribly difficult to fix, just enough so to make it memorable and,
  3. Provides a good lesson for our readers.

The Problem:

This week’s  problem actually began during the design phase.  I designed the bin as a rectangular box sandwiched between two pivot blocks.  The front panel was designed wider so that would overlap and hide the pivot mechanism.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take one thing into consideration – getting the assembly into place.
WISU 10/7/2010
The cabinet side had an oversized face-frame that prevented sliding the bin assembly straight in – it had to be angled.  Unfortunately, the total assembly was too wide to slide in at an angle with the pivot blocks in place, and they HAD to be in place.  Hmm…  The only way to do it was if the right pivot block was rotated 180 degrees outwards to angle into place, then rotated back into position.  The only way to rotate this way was to (yep, you guessed it) cut the “ears” off the front.  So, out came the router and off came the ears. Now, I’ve got to work out a different trim scheme.

I realize pictures of this would make everything clearer, but there was no way to get the photographs I needed in the space where I was working.

Lesson Learned:

It’s not enough to make sure a component will fit a space – you have to plan for how you’ll get the item INTO that space.

The classic example of this is the entertainment center that, when completed, won’t fit out the shop door.  In my case, I neglected an obvious restriction in the form of a face frame that should have indicated a different approach to the problem.  Perhaps something like attaching the front after the rest of the frame was in place.

Working in cramped quarters is never easy.  Narrow-focus consciousness tends to cause us to “not see the forest for the trees”, and important details are easily overlooked.  Whenever possible, make a mockup of your design to allow you to test for various problems that might occur during installation.  In my case, taking a measure of the width of the area overlooked the face frame, and caused a major revision.  If I had simply held the measurement and come straight out with the measuring sticks, I would have run into the face frame and been alerted to the problem.

This revision and installation revealed another problem, one that required the bin assemly to be pulled back out.  However, we’ll save that one for next time

Do you have thoughts on the subject?  If so, please leave a comment below.  They say that two heads is better than one, and I hope we’ve got more than that out there.

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2 responses to “What I Screwed Up this Week – October 7, 2010

  1. I like the idea of this catagory. I can honestly relate. Look forward upcoming up posts.

    You might enjoy my blog, Artisan’s Call. We seem to have a lot in common.

    Keep up the good work.

    Be well,

    yaakov….

    • Thanks for the comment. I think that all woodworkers can relate to this category. All HONEST ones, that is! As for me, I’d much rather learn from someone else’s mistake rather than my own. Good looking blog, by the way!

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