Learning by Failure

Here’s some projects I screwed up recently. While making Jorie’s pencil stand thinger, I failed. A lot. Three times to be exact. I drilled through the wood on two accounts, and overall I was never comfortable with my build quality on all of them. Mis-aligned holes here and there, sloppy craftsmanship, definitly not up to snuff for gift giving.




The second is a hammock stand I mocked up. Doing a quick search online I really hated how every free-standing hammock stand I saw was unsightly and offensively large. I tried to think of a more elegant solution where one side is held with a tripod-like structure with 8” carriage bolts anchoring it into the ground, while the other was tied to a tree.

It didn’t work. At all. And even broke. A lesson in over-designing and over-thinking a solution was definitely learned, as my roomate suggested that I simply extend the hammock with a rope between two trees. At least I got to play with my neighbor’s chopsawthough, which is always fun.


Wrapping up, writing this reminds me of a wonderful lecture from one of my DIY and design heroes, Adam Savage, on the lessons of failure and how it has made him who he is. Worth a watch if you’ve got ehh… 58 minutes to spare.

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