I have often heard the cliché “measure twice, cut once” in reference to cutting lumber. The practice of measuring twice before cutting works most of the time. You measure the length, then double check yourself. Sometimes, you find out that you made a mistake on the first measurement and you get a chance to correct that mistake. The rest of this story reminds us that a second opinion ensures you’re measuring the right surface to cut.

The honey-do list
Over the weekend I started working on my honey-do list. The task at the top of the list was replacing some older doors we have in our house. We bought replacement door blanks a while back that need to be routed around the hinge plates.  As time permits I replace a door as I have time.

Standard operating procedure
In the past, I would put the old door up against the new door & copy the hinge cut from the old door to the new. This always worked like a charm in most cases.  However, in this one case, the door didn’t have the standard reference marks I had been using in the past.  So, I didn’t use the old door for the pattern.

Measured twice, thrice, then cut once
Since, the old door wasn’t used as the pattern, I measured the distance from the top of the door jamb to the hinge and placed a mark on the door. I measured once, the distance didn’t look right. So, I measured twice and sure enough the distance was wrong. I took one more measurement to make sure the distance was correct. It looked good, so I marked where the router would cut out the material for the hinge, attached the router template to the door and proceeded to route out the location for the door hinge.

Something I didn’t think of
I finished the routing, then happily attached the hinges.  I brought the door to the door jamb only to discover a problem.  I had neglected to check the orientation of the cut.  It turns out the orientations of the hinge cuts were reversed from where they were supposed to be.

Recovering perfectionism and lessons learned
This revelation made me sick to my stomach.  I pride myself in being perfect most of the time.  I discovered a while back that sometimes, functionality is the most important thing.  Plus, some things are fixable.  You learn from your mistakes, don’t repeat them and move on.  The good thing is these mistakes are repairable with wood putty, sand paper and a good coat of paint.  Just like with sprinklers in an earlier post, “Sprinklers and procrastination“.  The only person who will remember my mistakes are me.  So, I need to forgive myself for not meeting my own standards and make sure I do not repeat my mistakes in the future.