When building furniture it’s pretty common to have a series of operations that together will make the final component part. As an example, the legs for the table I’m building involved first prepping the rough sawn stock, then making the stepped mortises, adding in the square holes for the ebony plugs, cutting the indents in the bottom of the legs, shaping the tips of the legs and finally doing the inlay and finish sanding.
At any step in the process it is possible to make a mistake, and some of these mistakes are difficult to recover from. Careful work and some specific techniques can help prevent mistakes. Skill and experience help, and techniques like carrying an extra part along in the process can help. In making the legs I had enough stock for two extra legs, so I was able to quickly recover when I put the mortises in the wrong place on one leg by making another replacement leg from the extras.
Sometimes mistakes still happen, even with skill, experience and careful work. When cutting the slots on the inside of the skirts for the top attachment buttons I had a serious problem. The spiral up-cut bit I was using was (apparently) not tight enough in the router. On one of the skirts it pulled loose and climbed through the skirt effectively ruining the skirt. I could try and fix it, or make another skirt. I chose to repair it by drilling a shallow hole with a Forstner bit and putting in a face grain plug.
I don’t know what the moral of the story is, other than stuff happens when I’m in the shop. And I’m probably not the only person that has things go wrong. It’s what happens after that matters, both in repairing the mistake and learning from the mistake.