Poor Penmanship Bites me in the Butt

pinningsmall

My penmanship is unutterably atrocious, and today, I paid for it. I’d written down “36-13/16″” for the height of the plywood in the doors for the upper cabinets. And (despite my dyscalculia) my math was correct (I quadruple checked it). What I didn’t confirm was that I was correctly reading my own ugly scrawl. So instead of cutting six 36-13/16″ panels, I cut six 36-3/16″ panels.

My left hand was hella cramped from exerting downward pressure for the grooves. Wah.

My left hand was terribly cramped from exerting downward pressure for the grooves. Wah.

I did not, of course, realize my mistake until I was gluing together the first door. And, perhaps foolishly, I’d prepped, cut and grooved only enough stock for the six doors, with a couple extra lengths of material in case I messed up, say, one stile and one rail…but not four pieces. With wet glue on my tenons, I was kinda screwed. And in addition to prepping and cutting more stock, I didn’t relish the idea of futzing with the setup for the grooves and tenons again.

Sure, I had more plywood…but in a full sheet. To rip it required setting up an outfeed table (what can I say…my armspan is too short) and moving a few items out of the way, then setting up the crosscut sled. No way was I going to safely accomplish that in the 10-15 minutes open time on my glue.

I managed to adjust the too-short panel until I had an end barely inside both the top and bottom grooves, then I pinned it in place along the sides. Good thing I used ply, I guess; hoping that won’t move much. At least not until after I’ve sold the place.

So, I had to recut the remaining five panels. What a waste of time and materials – all because I can’t read my own handwriting.

Despite that frustration, overall, it went well. I have only a few adjustments to make with a jointer plane, then comes the fun of hanging the doors, unhanging the doors, painting the doors and rehanging the doors.

And then there’s the drawers. But the runners are all installed (Blum Tandem w/Blumotion*), and I figure that was the hard part. Building the boxes should be easy…as long as I can read my writing.

doors

*What a silly “word”

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About fitz

Editor & content director for Popular Woodworking, ABD PhD focused on early modern drama, freelance content and copy editor/writer, ailurophile
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12 Responses to Poor Penmanship Bites me in the Butt

  1. John Wolf says:

    It looks nice, so what more needs to be said?

  2. kari logwood says:

    Something I learned in the past few months and so valuable, although I don’t always have the patience to follow: always do a dry fit before gluing up. Your kitchen is looking wonderful and for you to tackle this on your own along with a day job is highly commendable.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Lookin’ good!!

  4. John Vernier says:

    Installing or even just using doors with Blumotion always makes me think of Douglas Adams and the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation: Doors which quietly whisper ‘Thank You’ as they shut with the smug, self-satisfied feeling of a job well done.

    • Jeremy says:

      I’d never thought that, but now always will, thanks Adams was so very out-of-the-box.
      So how is “blumotion” properly articulated? Like Blu-Ray, Blu-motion or like Blum-ocean? Either way seems odd and not on point for one reason or another.

  5. rondennis303 says:

    “I managed to adjust the too-short panel until I had an end barely inside both the top and bottom grooves, then I pinned it in place along the sides. Good thing I used ply, I guess; hoping that won’t move much. At least not until after I’ve sold the place.”

    Crafty, but . . . craftsmanship?

  6. texasbelliott says:

    The fruits of your hard work continue to show! Thank you for bearing all (so to speak) with pointing out your mistake. Those of us in the CSWB (chicken scratch writing club) can empathize.

    I’m eager to see the final product!

  7. Bryan Robinson says:

    I think the cabinets are really nice work. they are looking great.

  8. Bruce Welty says:

    Follow the new trend, use sketchup it prints legibly.

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