I was trying to do things differently and as a result, have had two handle failure in the past week. Needless to say, both were in top grade ironwood and were promising to be high quality handles. Time and money lost.
I used to get really discouraged by failure, but now I am taking a more pragmatic look. The bottom line is I need to get over it quickly and go back to work, though I need some time out to think it through and to think how to avoid it in the future.
I am kind of preparing myself for a string of failures ahead, as I am embarking on a more complex work.
So, I wonder how often you guys have failures and how you deal with it.
Sorry to hear about failures. Just wondering whether they are 'real' failures of just fail to meet your very high standards of quality?
As a teacher, I love when students make mistakes - learning from mistakes usually will be retained better and stick with you more, and you can built upon and improve your own skills. So, it's more an opportunity than anything else. Of course, if your mistakes start costing you real money, there should be a limit...
I'll look forward to seeing the 'more complex work' you are about to do. I have a few ideas myself but just don't find enough time to do much besides the usual and several deadlines at work, so I have to live vicariously through you and others on this board who attack new challenges.
The current two failures had to do with me trying to do things differently to get higher tolerance in handles symmetry, but as I go into more complex work like grinding knives, handles, bolsters, heat treat, I have to be realistic that there is plenty of failure ahead and that there will be cost in time and materials associated with it.
Boy does this hit home this week. I have a lot more luck than I do failures but I'm doing new stuff a lot lately and it's throwing me off my game. I too can get down on myself but I try not to by reminding myself of how much crap I've screwed up in the past and how much better I am as a result. Still though, it's no fun taking steps backwards, especially when there's bills to be paid.
You've touched on something that few people realize is of central importance to a career in science. Perhaps more than any other ability, a scientist is marked by the ability to deal with failure by either:
1. treating a failure as merely another data point just like any other
2. turning the failure into a success in some way or another
My students always seem to be shocked by the fact that 99% of the time, a lab experiment is met with failure. I often bring the point home by asking them to compare how many people are trying to come up with the cure for (fill in high profile incurable disease) and how many people have succeeded. That's a lot of failure and some devote their entire lives to a cause and essentially never meet anything but failure.
On another note, it's hard not to think of a student's lack of success as a failure on my (the teacher's) part.
Its only failure if you don't learn from it. Sometimes i intentionally push the envelope until failure just to see what i can get away with.
When I have a project go south I just study what happened and start again. Many years of making custom jewelry with very expensive components has made me pretty deliberate in my approach to most things, but it also has given me callouses of a sort. If I have to try a new technique to set an expensive stone and I chip it, the only thing I can do is study the situation and come up with a way out.
Good luck with your new process, and as they say, "don't panic"!
Hi Marko. Do you happen to have the ability to get the handles off and salvage some of the ironwood? I use little pieces of scrap for the endcaps on my knives :-)
(I kinda feel like the tow-truck operator who sings, "I only gets the good cash after a great crash.")
I here ya brother,I have ruined my last three.I finally got a handle mounted on the gyuto I made.
Originally Posted by Michael Rader
I usually make pins of those, but I will send them your way, if you like.
it happens to me when I try new ways of doing things. Now that I have learned it hard way, I should have a period of relatively few failures. Painful nonetheless.