Made at 173: Fixing Mistakes


Those of you old enough to remember (like me) can think back to the days when Bob Ross created miraculous paintings right before your eyes every week on PBS in the 1980s and '90s.  Every once in awhile, Bob wold make a miscue with his brush (although I could never see it), and his famous saying, in dulcet tones, was "We don't make mistakes, we have happy little accidents."  The spirit of this quote is that in making a mistake happy little accident, we learn and often create something even better!  Well, yesterday I messed up (in a number of ways) in making the end panels for the radiator cover...


In the spirit of such a quote, @rickmclellan replied to the 173 Tweet (yes, 173 has a Twitter feed!) with encouraging words, reminding me that learning from our mistakes happy little accidents is a process.  And how true it is!  Today I re-started the end panels from scratch.  What looked like this yesterday...


...today looks this way...


This design turned out much better for a number of reasons.  First, as you can see below, there is no rail toward the bottom of the panel now, which will make it so much easier to remove the cover if necessary:


It was also much easier to build than the contraption I created yesterday...


Today I just used butt-joints and the GRK screws I'm so fond of...


Also, I wasn't fond of how close the panel was to the radiator air vent...


I worried that one little shift could easily snap the vent right off the radiator!  So, after building the end panels today, I used a Forstner bit...


 to cut a recess in the top rail and a little into the panel itself to give the vent some more space:


I also adjusted the width of the panels.  Now, this doesn't seem like a big deal, but the excitement is that this was my first opportunity to use the edge guide on my Rockwell Versa Cut...


Talk about easy peasy!  Straight as an arrow!  This was also an opportunity to use my saber saw.  Again, not really exciting in and of itself, but I always appreciate this tool because my parents gave me this saw the first Christmas I moved back to New York after leaving the Army almost 30 years ago.  The miles on this good ol' Craftsman!


I'm so glad Craftsman is making a comeback!  I'm a bit of a sentimentalist, and these were the tools of choice for my dad when I was a kid.  So there we are...back on track after a happy little accident yesterday!

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