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While it can be necessary to learn from our own mistakes sometimes, I find it much less costly to learn from other's. To introduce this topic, I will tell you one of mine and invite you to share yours -- if you dare.

Many years ago I was using a router to flatten a large table top using that time-honored method of supporting the workpiece on a frame with walls on either side that support the router, mounted on a long board. The top was clamped in place with some narrow strips of wood between the bar clamps, both to protect the top and my expensive flat bottom router bit if I got too close to a clamp face.

I was happily scrubbing away when that router bit made contact with one of those strips, and the entire strip, 1/4 x 3/4 x 48 inches of it disappeared. I had forgotten to tighten the clamps! I looked around for it and couldn't find it, but it had clearly struck something. Well, I got another strip out of the scrap bin and you can bet I tightened the clamps this time. Later that day, with the sun a little lower on the horizon, I noticed a 1/4 x 3/4 inch patch of light on the back wall. Where did that come from? The hole in my garage door, that's where! I went out to the driveway to see how far that piece of wood had gone. Not far, actually. It went through the grill and radiator of my car, but stopped before ruining the fan! My inexpensive table top had become a very expensive car repair bill and a new garage door.

I look forward to some of your confessions :)

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There's a nice dent in the door to the shop from the corner of a small drawer that got launched by the table saw.   I was cutting a bevel on one side of the drawer to fit the curved side of the case it goes in and had to put the fence on the left side of the blade so it was under the tilt of the blade.  I must have started to pick it up before it completely cleared the blade because it went bu-bye.  In my shop there are two workbenches behind the table saw.  I found the drawer on the ground in between the two benches.  The one right behind the saw has a plywood panel on the front to keep the dust from the saw out and it didn't go through there.  So I was scratching my head for a while trying to figure out how it got where it ended up.  Couldn't find any mark on the wall where it could have ricocheted.  It was a couple days later before I noticed the dent in the door and in the door frame at about shoulder height where it hit and bounced off 180 degrees to end up where it did.

On the bright side I had the foresight to make 21 of each size drawer when I only needed 20.  A little bit more dramatic reason than I expected to need an extra...

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