I don’t think it really matters how experienced you are, I think there’s something to be learned from nearly every project you take on. Maybe a little more to learn from newer projects but still… if you aren’t learning something then maybe it’s time to move on. If you’ve read through many of my articles, you’ll know that I generally tack on a few of the best lessons both good and bad that I learned on that project. I went through all of my articles from 2015 and picked out my top 10 favorite lessons learned.
- When mixing larger quantities of epoxy resin, use a larger container. It’s natural for the mixture to generate heat but apparently when it’s in too small of a container, it generates a LOT MORE heat which can cause the container to melt as well as shorten it’s cure time drastically. (Glowing MonoLoco Sign)
- Un-insulated southern facing garages in Chandler Arizona can reach amazing temperatures. When you get home at 5PM and your finishing area is 110°, you better start insulating and installing air conditioning if you every want to apply a finish before 12AM. (Workbench to Sofa Table)
- Just because you’re primarily spraying in one direction and put drop cloths on top of things behind that direction, it doesn’t mean that teal dust won’t settle on EVERYTHING else in the area. Behind you, above you, you.. Seriously, everything in my garage had a layer of teal dust. (Workbench to Sofa Table)
- And the best lesson ever is one that I actually learned as a little boy. Fire is AWESOME! (Finishing Your Projects with FIRE!)
- Maybe this lesson isn’t learned because I always do it and maybe I’ll never learn.. Fire is hot! After the sign was sitting there (not on fire) for a minute or so I went to pick it up and burnt my thumb. (Still marks after 3 days..) Both sides of this sign were hot even when wearing gloves! (Star Wars Pallet Sign)
- Get a metal detector! I picked up a Zircon MetalliScanner for just over $20. This really saved my butt since without it I would have at least messed up my jointer blades. (All in one Cat Box)
- Spray paint melts foam.. who knew. I guess I probably would have guessed if I would have used a few brain cells before planning on doing it.. When it started to happen I was like Homer Simpson, “DOH” and was totally unsurprised.. (Halloween Tombstones)
- Hot air guns work great to remove the little fuzzies left over on foam after cutting it.. This is a great lesson for those that don’t want to sand those away. (Halloween Tombstones
- Use a dang planer or drum sander if you have one. I think even a hand plane would have been better than using the belt sander. It ended up fine but took a lot longer than anticipated. If you do use a planer, just make sure you have extra on the edges because it will mess up the end. (You could also add-on a sacrificial board during the glue-up process.) (End Grain Cutting Board)
- Measuring twice and cutting once doesn’t work out when you’re measuring to the wrong angle.. use your brains. (Custom Cabinet & Counter with Inlaid Metal Band)
If you have a moment, comment below and share a couple of your favorite lessons that you learned this year.