Errors and Corrections


Errors and Corrections


An experimental solution that worked!

Work in the analog world has its own challenges. There is no backspace key. Undo buttons are hard to find. Delete is easy but very expensive – chop up the work and start over. And yet, there are many opportunities for error, and some opportunities for creative solutions. In this case I placed the engine room door latch receiver in the wrong spot – by 1/32″. But that small error meant the latch tongue wouldn’t catch correctly. Doors must close and latch securely on a small sail boat. So, how do I move a screw hole in wood 1/32″ without making a mess? Solution: the ubiquitous teriyaki stick and super glue. The sharpened point filled the screw hole. Super glue is FAST. Let it set and then trim flush. The bamboo teriyaki stick is slightly harder than the hardwood face frame, so drilling a new hole very nearby works well. No waiting overnight for epoxy to set up. Yeah, a workable solution with materials on hand!

The finished door

The finished door.

The Accursed Screw

Lockers with horizontal doors in the forepeak. Deep cubbies below hold soft stuff securely; hats, gloves, socks, blankets, etc.

Lockers with horizontal doors in the forepeak. Deep cubbies below hold soft stuff securely; hats, gloves, socks, blankets, etc.

By now I have built and installed 16 cabinet doors, we call them lockers on boats. I prefer not to have open shelving on the boat. Almost everything is stowed in its proper place behind doors that can be positively latch. No open bookshelves, for example, even though we are voracious readers and take too many books.



The dark spot upper right by the blue tape marks the accursed screw

While screwing in the last wood screw of locker door #17 – the very last locker door, and in a tight corner of the galley – the head of the wood screw snapped off. This left the body of the small screw in the cabinet face frame. Now what? What did I do wrong? Clutch set too tight on the drill / screw driver? Nope, same setting as all other 67 hinge wood screws. Insufficient depth for the pilot hole? Nope, in fact I almost went through the face frame. Chalk it up to random variation in product quality. Just bad luck that one screw was weak and snapped off.  With the body of the screw imbedded in the face frame the teriyaki stick technique won’t work. I had to get that accursed screw out! And I needed to contain the damage or risk refinishing the whole cabinet face. I could have left the door off altogether – but that doesn’t accord with the goal of secure lockers. I really don’t have time for this. There are a bazillion other tasks waiting that are much more important. Finally, after days of procrastination and distracting myself with other projects while turning over various ideas in my mind, I came to this one: The screw is removed with a hollow tip tool, the repair made with epoxy putty, and the door hung. Very few projects are simple and straight forward. Work in the analog world requires persistence and continues to humble the worker.


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