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Author Topic: Learning from Mistakes  (Read 986 times)
Lord Pentecost
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« on: August 15, 2016, 07:50:48 pm »

Hi all, I'm starting this thread as a learning resource for all SP makers, this is a place to post mistakes both your own and ones you have seen. The emphasis is not criticism but to provide a log both of things that don't work and basic errors to save others from repeating them. e.g. don't use this glue with this plastic etc.

If you have a submission try to post the following:

1. Details of the mistake (e.g. leaving visible posi-drive screws on a piece)
2. Why it's a mistake, if it isn't obvious. (e.g. posi-drive screws are a relatively modern invention)
3. What to do instead. If you know if not ASK! (e.g. use slot head screws, cover them with rivet heads etc.)
4. Photos if you have them (and ONLY if it's your own work screw up!).

« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 07:59:28 pm by Lord Pentecost » Logged

"A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to" - Banksy
Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 09:13:03 pm »

Excellent idea sir.
Now, how long have you got ....
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 09:38:01 pm »

Ah- I have one! Recently whilst trying to cut a surround for a rectangular hole from brass sheet (think small letterbox... about 3" x 1/2") I consistently failed to either get straight edges on the 'letterbox' or if I did, they didn't match the 'hole' sides, which were also 'straight', but in a different way...
I didn't want to start again, as it was so close.

Eventually, I gave up and took a different track, making the edges both inside and out more uneven, rounded, and somehow more 'organic'.
It wasn't how I planned the piece to look, but-

It looks much better now...  Pictures will follow when time allows, but I like to think I have turned a series of mistakes into a bit of an improvement!

HP
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"all die! o, the embarrassment."
H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

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http://hektorplasm.blogspot.co.uk/
Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 10:46:27 pm »



Recent Superglue incidents . 2 within  a few days.   The

1st  incident ,   I glued all my fingers  together  while trying to puncture the tube top.  Running my hand under the tap immediately  averted an embarrassing medical visit.

 2nd  incident, while attempting to clear the nozzle  I glued thumb and forefinger  [ pointer] of my left hand  together.  Spit and speed fixed  that


 Well I did learn to not get soany digits stuck together. 
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montrehomme 50
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France France



« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 12:58:57 pm »

When I first started, I had bought a polystyrene head in order to fabricate an android with a Victorian twist.  I wanted to change the colour from the white to a brassy tone.
I purchased a tin of car spray paint, and didn't check the type, on reflection, an acrylic would have been a better choice, instead of the one I bought which once applied, immediately started to dissolve the head, and became a convincing fire damaged Zombie, before, finally a pool of brassy goop.

I have no photos of this first foray, but the workbench still bears the scars Smiley
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 05:15:11 pm »

Crossheads really don't bother me if they need to do a job and are not just for aesthetics on a piece.

After more than 30 years working in many a house from Georgian to new builds, I used to have a problem with things not perfect but nowadays I accept houses and their contents move, sink, are slightly twisted, have experienced bombing etc and nothing is plumb, square, level or true.

The Victorians botched as much as anyone when needed so anything I make does not have to be perfect, as long as it looks right.

Just do what ya' can and don't be too self critical.

The way I see it we are trying to recreate old stuff so I often actually make something visually slightly wonky on purpose.

Balk and gasp in horror people, I prefer wonky, flaky paint and slightly knackered looking nowadays,the lived in look.

My mistake? striving for absolute perfection, when in reality, it is not that necessary.
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 05:10:02 pm »

I know it's a mistake to let the hot glue from your hot glue gun trail across your hand by mistake!  (But the blisters went quite quickly).
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RJBowman
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 08:04:39 pm »

Transparent enamel should never be used as a substitute for clear-coat spray. I learned this when I finished a custom action figure; the result was joints that couldn't be bent without chipping the surrounding paint.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 05:21:57 am by RJBowman » Logged
walking stick
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 11:59:32 pm »

I've got a lot of these, however one at a time.

I made Papier-mâché wrong.  Following instructions I cut the paper into small pieces and adding them to glue.
Unfortunately I made the pieces smaller than fingernail cuttings and the result was a grey porridge like slush.
It was difficult to use, took ages to dry and made the piece unnaturally heavy.
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Dr. Ironbeard
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Avoid the rush....PANIC NOW!!


« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 04:12:10 am »

Oh that Learning Curve, but isn't it all part of the fun? As long as nobody gets hurt that is. Don't ask me about hacksaws and trying to hand cut slots in a bolt head. That was only about four stitches in my knuckle. Now I'm much better and using a Dremel!  Roll Eyes
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2016, 07:57:55 am »

R.e. Crosshead screws tbh I don't think anyone would notice or care too much. If they are then they're obviously what's known in the model railway world as a 'rivet counter' and are the sort of people who deliberately goes looking for reasons to nitpick.

But, back on topic. My lesson is to ALWAYS check your spelling.

I don't want to give away too many details at this stage since it relates to a project for the Asylum next weekend, but suffice to say, I was putting some wording across the item in question and had penciled in a rough guide to help me get everything straight, but it was only after I'd put the first coat of paint on, and then sat back to admire my handiwork, that I realised I'd missed an 'e' out of the middle of one word.
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I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
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England England



« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 02:43:44 pm »

but it was only after I'd put the first coat of paint on, and then sat back to admire my handiwork, that I realised I'd missed an 'e' out of the middle of one word.

May I refer you to 'Jingo' by Terry Pratchett - very early on there is a reference to a similar mistake on the boat 'Pride of Ankh-Morpork' ....

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Harvey Midnight
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2016, 06:25:41 pm »

Well, for me the idea of 'learning from mistakes' can suggest something usual...

It could mean:  finding out about a technique, by making a mistake and then LIKING the results of the mistake.

Previously I started a thread about using a sort of 'dry rub' technique, using a tiny amount nearly dried rub & buff, over a darker, similar colored paint--- this is something I did accidentally,  on the bottom of a piece I was holding to paint the top..  my screwup on the bottom looked amazing.


I've done this with music, too.. I was trying to pitch-shift a sample of a guitar playing arpeggios... I ended up overlapping the sample at two different pitches and actually pulling one sample off by a couple beats.. it made this harmonized counter-point "echo" that sounded really melancholy and pretty-- like a mix of a guitar and a music box. I built a whole song around the effect.

Sometimes you can screw something up, but end up LIKING it better than what you were actually GOING for. In that way, you learn a new & unique technique.

 
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Banfili
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Australia Australia



« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 10:49:22 am »

Take care with Dremel or like - having a slip with a rotary saw blade on my GMC didn't look like much, not much blood overall, but I now have a 2cm scar on the front of my left-hand middle finger between first & second joint that I will carry with me forever.
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steiconi
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2016, 06:14:45 pm »

I've been crafting for decades, and have the scars to prove it.  Since I learn from my mistakes, I now:
--keep nail polish remover on my workbench for superglue incidents.
--change the blade in my craft knife frequently to save on emergency room visits.  And to make neater cuts.
--wait for the glue (or paint) to dry.  And don't use silicone glue on brass or copper unless I WANT it to verdigris.
--let the hot glue gun heat up completely on it's own.  And if I do mess with it, don't try to catch the scalding hot blob that comes shooting out.
--refrain from using nail polish on oven-fired clays like Fimo.  (It may never dry.  I have a piece that's still sticky after 20 years.)


In the words of Scott Adams:  "Craft is making mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep."
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 01:48:26 am »

spent an hour trying to open up the bore on a sprocket to .875 inch to put in some bearings. on the final pass I only needed to remove .006 to press fit. it took out  over .020!  plus the fact it was on one of  those bad Chinese shopsmith all in one clones. what a steaming pile of dung that is. top it off with people who have no idea how to machine stuff, using it anyways. until it breaks, then they just leave it there half apart and scatter the loose pieces for added insult. spent longer putting back together than actually using it.

thank god for soda cans, three wraps of can aluminum around the bearings made for a nice press fit. of course I tried to make sure they wouldn't walk out by staking the edges of the bore and the punch promptly jumped over and annihilated the bearing seal. ruined the crappy punch tip too, you would think a punch would have some hardness to it, say of cold butter or even better.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 03:43:47 pm »

I recently had to teach myself the hard way *again* not to rush scumbling. 

Scumbling is a very useful painting technique that can be used to suggest something is made of wood.  The basic method is to put down a few coats of a light brown paint, let it dry (I cannot stress that enough), then dry-brush a darker brown over it.  If you dry-brush it produces a streaky effect suggestive of woodgrain; alternatively you can put the dark brown on as a very thin wash and then run a towel over it to remove most of it and again get a streaky wood-grain finish. 

However, if you rush it, you run the risk that when removing the dark brown you will also strip away the light brown undercoat, at which point the only real option for recovery is to remove all of the paint and start over again. 

So guess who neglected to remember that the fleshy-orange-light-brown undercoat ideally requires two or three days to fully dry out before putting the dark brown over it? 
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Banfili
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2016, 01:24:24 am »

Um, James Harrison??
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rovingjack
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2016, 04:19:43 am »

power/rotary tools and plastics/acrylics can quickly get you a lot of plastic buggers from melting plastic gumming up the cut/holes/slots; and as often as not your bits or blades firmly welded into the plastic.

additionally heating certain tool bits to soften the plastic to extract them and then trying to grip them with pliers can result in said bit exploding in hot shrapnel.

on a related note: the goggles, they are NOT for nothing.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2016, 09:04:49 am »

Um, James Harrison??

Got it in one...
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Hektor Plasm
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All-Round Oddfellow.


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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2016, 09:53:19 pm »

Never make the mistake of taking a carefully prepared rechargeable battery pack to an event without mains supply, and only taking one crappy charger along... It can ruin your presentation when it fails to provide charge...

A 6P mistake*   Angry

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