The main thing I learned is how hard it is to provide step-by-step direction on how to build something complicated. I never really though about how hard it is to provide complicated direction. When I was young I build a lot of Lego’s and the directions where always perfect, I now know what I takes to create something like that. I am sure my directions are not perfect but I sure did spend a lot of time re reading them and trying to find spots that were not clear.
One of the other things that I learned during this project is that there is never just one way to get something done. When I where cutting the diamond steel I started with a Dremel but it took almost 15 minutes to cut through 8 inches so I decided to switched to a wet saw. The wet saw was much faster but it was also the loudest noise I think I have ever heard (used ear protection). Another thing I learned was that if you use soft wood like pine and hard woods like birch on the same project that your stain will not be consistent. I was not very happy with my finish and spent a lot of time trying to fix the imperfections. In the end I took another approach and tried to make my shelf look like an antique to makeup for the bad stain job. I think that my fix worked but next time I will use all oak for a consistent staining.
I am happy with the project for a number of reasons. I learn how to safely use a lot of new tools. I also think that writing detailed instructions has expanded my writing skills. The last thing I learned is something I already knew but needed to reminded of, I love building things.