Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. I think that’s a quote from Henry Ford. Or something along the same lines anyway. And it’s a reminder that things don’t always work out as planned. This week has been a shining example of that in more ways than one. As you may have noticed by now I don’t have a usual project video for today. This post is a reminder that everyone makes mistakes and I’m no exception to that.
My boss asked me to build a speaker box for her father. She dropped off the speakers and gave me his rough sketch. The first step in any planned project for me is to draw it out in SketchUp. This will not only let me lay the pieces out to optimize the cutting process but it also gives me a first look at how it will be assembled. Here’s the final SketchUp model for his design.
With all of the SketchUp work completed I took to the shop to knock it out real quick. One positive note is that my infeed support arms really help!
At this point all is going well. The box is coming together quickly and easily. Woohoo! Time to cut the holes for the speakers. Then the moment of curse words and self implied insults. I designed the box for the wrong size speakers and didn’t realize it until everything was cut and ready for the last piece to go on. When I received the speakers from my boss I verified that they were 15” speakers. For whatever reason I built the SketchUp model to accommodate 12” speakers. I knew it was for 15″ speakers….why did I use 12″ speakers in SketchUp?? Have you ever had one of those complete project failures that you didn’t catch until you were nearing the end of the project? So now I have a glued up $37 MDF paper weight. Oh well. I’ll complete this one and put it on Craigslist to get my money out of it. I suppose I can look at this as good practice for the “real” speaker box build this week.
So that was failure #1. The “replacement” project I chose was to make a cheap chess/checkers board. I’ve had a neat set of carved stone chess pieces for about a year now and haven’t gotten around to making a chess board. Most of the time when you think of a chess board you think of a nice walnut and maple board. I do anyway. Because I can’t find any walnut locally and I’m way too cheap to buy nice hardwoods online I figured it would be a good time to try to make a faux walnut and maple chess board out of either plywood or a glued up panel of the same species of wood.
I ended up making several different test boards and none of them turned out great. The grid pattern itself is easy to make with the table saw. Coloring the resulting pieces are where I can’t quite get it. I tried using tape and spray paint but was consistently getting paint bleeding into the taped edges. I tried staining in several different methods and they all bled into the edges. And I tried wood burning. This was the best method so far but it was ridiculously time consuming and I wasn’t completely sold on the way it looked. I might try to revisit the wood burning process and see if I can improve upon it. Here’s a few pics of the best outcome for the stained version. It looks a lot worse in person.
I’d really like to make a chess board out of this plywood panel method. Any suggestions? Is there something obviously simple that I’m missing? Anyone have good luck making a chess board without the traditional method of cutting and gluing contrasting wood? I’d love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you may have. Anyway, thanks for reading folks. Have a great day.