Hmmm…  Just learned a valuable woodworking lesson.  Wasted a fair bit of time too but at least I didn’t waste any material.

This was a lesson in the compounding of errors.

I’m working on a queen-sized bed and have gotten to the part where I make the headboard.  It looks pretty traditional with two horizontal rails and a series of vertical slats between them.  I started marking out the locations for these by measuring in three inches from one end and using one of the actual slats as a gauge and another spacer I had made.  I just moved over from one mark to the next.

Experienced woodworkers will probably immediately recognize this as a situation where any errors you make in marking (which are inevitable) build on top of one another and you wind up at the other end with your slats totally out of whack.  This is indeed what happened.  I remember learning this in some science class or another and you’d think that as an engineer, I’d have thought of this but I was just blindly reading a set of instructions and did not think.

So I took a cabinet scraper and scraped off my lines. (Quick side note:  I am not particularly good with a scraper and wondered if I was actually burnishing a hook onto the edge until I actually cut myself with the edge.  So I guess I made a proper hook after all.)

I decided to make myself a story-pole to use as a common reference standard.  I then made a similar mistake when marking the story pole.  This is getting embarrassing.

Well, I went inside to think about it and spend time with Melissa.  I now know how to go about it tonight when I get out there and start again.  Measuring and marking seem trivial but there are subtleties that I guess we only really learn when this sort of thing happens.