Friday the 13th

Friday morning the 13th of February went rather smoothly. Chris, my assistant, was finishing assembling a set of spindle back chairs while I was working on a Mission bed. With any luck we’d be putting finish on both these pieces later Friday afternoon. But this was Friday the 13th and there turned out there was no luck to be had. When I went home for lunch (a short walk up the road) I discovered a plumbing leak that took me most of the afternoon to repair. When I did finally get it fixed I returned to the shop to try to salvage what was left of the day. As soon as I walked into the shop Chris asked me in frustration “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done making chairs?” It turns out Chris had assembled one of the chairs he was working on with the front legs on one side of the chair and the back legs on the other side. Since the front legs are 1/2″ longer than the back legs (to create a backwards slant to the seat) this is a big problem. Chris was forced to cut the rungs of the chair and carefully drill out the center of the legs where they go through the seat so that he could remove the legs and install a new set without damaging the chair seat. That’s what he’d spent his afternoon doing. Just for the record I have never made that mistake before. I did once miscut the taper on a post for a pencil post bed and realized this about halfway through the cut. I instantly stopped but it was too late and the post was ruined. I set it aside and made a new one. It was standing in the corner of the shop for at least 12 years as a reminder of what not to do until Chris salvaged a portion of it recently for use as a night table leg. I’ve never made that mistake again and I can assure you Chris will never again lose track of which are the front legs and which are the back legs.

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