Teri

newbie mistakes - fixable or start over?

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Complete beginner, first project mistakes.  Ok so there were a number of things I did wrong when I started my project the other day. Mostly being that I was trying to get it done quickly and.. well as you can imagine it just went downhill from there.  Now I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to undo what I did or if I just start over (I really don't want to start over).  So I'm making a beer caddy for my husband - not the awesome one I was going to the last time I posted as I just didn't have the right tools for that one, I decided to go with this one https://www.ryobitools.com/nation/projects/3304.  You can probably tell by looking at the pictures what my problem is.  Never mind the fact that I obviously am in desperate need of a square to help me get my lines straight.  So the top part (that the handle will eventually go in... is totally off center.. which means that the beer bottles won't sit properly on one side, thus making it impossibly to add the side rails on that side.  And... as you can see in the 2nd picture... after gluing it.... I nailed it in :(  you would think that I would have looked beforehand.. alas.  This is is turning out to be a really good learning experience (don't get me started on making the cuts with a jigsaw without having any clamps). 

 

So.. my question is... can I recover from this? Is there a way to fix that middle piece without destroying everything else or did I put the nails in my own coffin (so to speak).  I thought about adding more wood on the bottom and the side (I know it would look pretty bad)... or maybe sawing off part of the handle... but maybe the fix would take longer than just buying some new wood and starting over.   Thoughts?

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Woodworking can be very frustrating without a good quality basic set of tools.  I can feel your frustration.

Can you let us know what tools you have?

I also know you don't really want to start over, but without  disassembling your entire project, i dont see how it can be fixed.  I would suggest calling it practice and give it another try.  If you have the time, we can help you with each step if you wish to post pictures and ask questions.

Parts from your practice build can become other parts of your new build.

I know its hard, but try not to rush!

One thing you could try, however, is to remove one side piece and use the backside as the inside to see if it would line up better.  The pieces should not be too hard to remove even if glued, as the end grain glue bond will be weak.

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I have a borrowed jigsaw, a stanley handsaw, a drill and a hand sander. That's about it. Although if I start over I will definitely be getting some clamps and a square... The problem I'm running into with removing an end is those darn nails

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I have a borrowed jigsaw, a stanley handsaw, a drill and a hand sander. That's about it. Although if I start over I will definitely be getting some clamps and a square... Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

yes, clamps and an accurate combo square would really help with your project.

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Teri, Instead of trying to remove the nails, use a nail set and drive them thru the side panels.

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Before you start over with new wood, you should try to disassemble the project. No promises, since this is an end-grain butt joint it is not super strong. The sides may pop apart with a few hard hits from a hammer. Just be sure to use some scrap wood to protect your project from the hammer blows.

Worst case scenario is that the wood splinters and is unusable - best case scenario is that you can fix everything and reassemble

 

 

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A project like this does not need high-end tools.

I would consider disassembling it first.  Then lay out the ends to see of they can be made to match.  If so, one can do that with a simple hand circular saw.  Just clamp a board to it as a fence to give a straight cut.  It will take several clampings but you'll get it.

Then reassemble.

I built my first bookcase that way.  Took a good while to do, a lot longer than would today, but eventually a decent product came through.  My favorite planning tool is that square graph paper pad.  Like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMPAD-EFFICIENCY-Quadrille-Pad-50-Sheet-8-50-X-11-4-Squares-per-inch-/201417131818?hash=item2ee565872a

Makes design and measurements clear if not even easy.

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Before you start over with new wood, you should try to disassemble the project. No promises, since this is an end-grain butt joint it is not super strong. The sides may pop apart with a few hard hits from a hammer. Just be sure to use some scrap wood to protect your project from the hammer blows.

Worst case scenario is that the wood splinters and is unusable - best case scenario is that you can fix everything and reassemble

 

 

might be a wonky to swing a hammer at.  Maybe reverse a set of clamps into spreaders...

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I commend you for doing this project. Whether you remake this one or start again, the biggest thing is to learn from your missteps. Think things through and determine what gave you problems the first time and take steps to correct. We all are still learning, it goes with woodworking. Keep it up and good luck! Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

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I have a borrowed jigsaw, a stanley handsaw, a drill and a hand sander. That's about it. Although if I start over I will definitely be getting some clamps and a square... The problem I'm running into with removing an end is those darn nails

Find something around the house that has a square corner, and you can use that as your square.  You can improvise clamps using heavy things as weights and rubber bands, but a few real clamps will definitely help.

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Great job on starting this project.  There has been a lot of good advice given in this thread.  I was going to suggest using a dowel for the handle until I saw the design you are using.  I do agree with Beechwood, there are are a lot of things around the house that will help you layout, mark lines and do the things that can be purchased.  Layout is going to be the first step the second is cutting straight.  A standard steel rule is best for layout lines.  I would use a guide (ie straight piece of wood) clamped to the piece to help cut a straight line with either a jigsaw or hand saw.  You may find it easier to cut straight with a handsaw.

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Thanks everyone. .. it's a surprise for my husband, so I won't be able to work on it until next week, but thank you all so much for your input!!! Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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