How often do you really screw up?

devrock

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Mentally bad week in the shop last week. So much so, I nearly raged in my shop and started smashing things. I left it at slamming a bad neck onto the ground. First, I mis-cut a 5A birdseye neck I was using for a new build and rendered it useless. THEN, I foolishly used my long 14" radius black to clamp a 12" radius board onto another neck and had awful gaps all the way around. I had to heat it up and peel the board off. This was after constantly radius sanding the board and getting one high corner every time. I don't think the board is salvageable, which pisses away my time, wood stash and a set of abalone markers. :/ (I also screwed up a cutting board glue-up and didn't notice what I did until the next morning.) Three strikes for me.

I hate making stupid mistakes at this stage, more so when it results in wasted wood. I'm getting better at fixing things, but having to go back and spend x-amount of time on a re-do really burns my ass and makes this process so very frustrating.

/rant
 

Mojotron

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The tough thing about mistakes is that it reminds us that guitar building is a practice, an art - one we will never get 100% right. The cool thing that has always happened is that with every mistake comes the opportunity to learn to do that even better and the conviction that propels us to doing greater things than we ever thought were possible. But when it happens it's humbling and often the frustration is quite acute. Over time, I have loved the way that I have fixed some mistakes - better than the original idea or making the next time better. Most of the time I go back and try to find the mistakes and simply can't find them or remember them in the guitars that I still have. And, fortunately, I've forgotten my poor reactions to my own frustration - I'm proud of the grace I have given myself as that is what has allowed me to keep building bigger and better guitars, pickups, bridges, nuts.... I never imagined I would go so far with this hobby. :)
 

brookdalebill

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Regularly, but luckily, there’s no one “calling” me on it.
I forgive myself, and keep on truckin’.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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This is a stressful time of year. Try not to let your hobby make it worse. I feel your pain, believe me, I do, and I'm not trying to be a know-it-all. Take some deep breaths and walk away. Do something else for a while.

Heck, just reading about your mistakes, it is clear that you have way more talent that I have. It gets better, just give it some time.
 

Timbresmith1

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Mentally bad week in the shop last week. So much so, I nearly raged in my shop and started smashing things. I left it at slamming a bad neck onto the ground. First, I mis-cut a 5A birdseye neck I was using for a new build and rendered it useless. THEN, I foolishly used my long 14" radius black to clamp a 12" radius board onto another neck and had awful gaps all the way around. I had to heat it up and peel the board off. This was after constantly radius sanding the board and getting one high corner every time. I don't think the board is salvageable, which pisses away my time, wood stash and a set of abalone markers. :/ (I also screwed up a cutting board glue-up and didn't notice what I did until the next morning.) Three strikes for me.

I hate making stupid mistakes at this stage, more so when it results in wasted wood. I'm getting better at fixing things, but having to go back and spend x-amount of time on a re-do really burns my ass and makes this process so very frustrating.

/rant
Have to know when to step away. If you’re tired, cranky, hungry, overworked, underslept… it’s a tough thing to learn.
 

ArtieFufkin

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I screw up everything in some way.
I sanded through the back of a neck the other week exposing the truss rod. It went in the bin, I downed tools and drank a few beers.

With so many opportunities to make a mistake in the guitar building process I'm surprised I've ended up with any playable instruments.

I've come to terms with the fact I'll always be a ham fisted guitar builder, mistakes with expensive wood are going to happen. Like the stock market, I only invest what I can afford to lose.
 

Freeman Keller

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I try not to make mistakes and I can honestly say I don't make many. I'm not a professional guitar builder but I try to approach my hobby as if I was. If I do make a mistake I learn from it and it doesn't happen again.

Edit to add - screwing up in a wood shop with power tools should simply not be tolerated any more than screwing up while you are driving a car or a thousand other things.
 
Last edited:

kbold

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Direct correlation between mistakes and anger/frustration. (IMO)

If you make a mistake, you need to reset.
 

devrock

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I honestly hope you don't treat your family that way
will-ferrel-say-what.gif

Wow, dude....
 

Fluddman

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Yes screwing up is part of the process and probably should be factored in to the cost. I definitely screw up more when I am tired - so try to take regular breaks.

Cheers
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Everything I touch has some flaw or other as a result. Even when nobody can see it or notice it I know it's there. Working on forgiveness of mistakes of my own making. Other people? All good (most of the time anyway). But it's amazing how many of my glasses are half empty.

I try to tell myself it's part of the learning experience, or what makes something "hand made", but it doesn't always make me feel better.

As for wasting wood, I hear you. But save the offcuts for someone who might find a use. I know of a carver who turns small pieces of wood into pendants, spoons, etc. Most of the time it's found wood on the ground. Someone might have use for those offcuts/rejects/mistakes.
 

trapdoor2

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Mistakes are just part of my learning process. My mentor always said, "Life is: test first, lesson after. Get used to it."

I just spent nearly a week consistently screwing up loading 1700+ files into a new database. Load, discover a mistake, erase everything, lather-rinse-repeat. I had to just put it away for a day or two. I think I got it done today...maybe.
 

ChicknPickn

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As Timbresmith1 said, one learns not to approach the workbench when angry, impatient, hurried, etc. My mistakes always seem to happen when I'm not fully in the present, or am wanting to "make progress" instead of taking the time it takes. Rushing into the shop for a quick cut or two seems to welcome errors.

Working with power tools needs to be an exercise in mindfulness. Otherwise, you can make some very high-end kindling, or lose some skin and bone. Good to meditate on the idea that two seconds of hurry equals two hours of repair.
 

pipthepilot

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Please don't take this wrong way, as I'm genuinely trying to give you constructive criticism, but it sounds like you trying to rush and not thinking things through enough before you start.

Everyone makes mistakes now and then, I know I do but the frequency is often related to impatience.

There are so many reasons why you should never rush when building a guitar. You need to allow the wood to rest after cutting/planing and before the next cut or glue up so use this time to plan the next steps. Be mindful with your tools as most of them can do you a lot of damage.

I know it's a cliche but you should enjoy the journey, not the destination. If you're building guitars for a hobby you should never feel a mistake has wasted you time, you've just learnt something new.
 




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