Blog > Rambling Session - Obstacles (02/09/2024)

Rambling Session - Obstacles (02/09/2024)

Rambling Session - Obstacles (02/09/2024)

This morning I smoked the Black Works Studios The Hornet Robusto. You can check out the review on Whiskey & Whitetails. Cliff notes - it was good. Full in flavor, body, and strength. Baking spices, citrus, cream, wood, and herbal earthiness.

I smoked this while I did a little rework on my current guitar neck. I mentioned the other day about building this on spec and how freeing that can be, especially when I come across an obstacle. No one likes obstacles when you’re working, but they happen. In woodworking, especially nonproduction style hand tool woodworking, they happen (at least to me) often enough that you either give up in frustration or learn from the Marcus Aurelius quote, ““The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Or as Ryan Holiday says, The obstacle is the way.

I really like this mindset and I have gotten better at embracing it in the past year. I no longer look at rework or mistakes as a downfall of the project, but instead a chance to right the ship, learn, and grow. This morning’s rework was a perfect example. 

I had to cut off the fretboard I had just glued on at the beginning of the week because it, and the fret slots, were out of square. It turns out that my combination square that I had been using apparently went out of square from wear and resulted in some wonky results. It was a frustrating situation, but I wasn’t frustrated. I can say that with pride because in the past I would have been very frustrated. This would have caused me to act rashly and immaturely, and to question myself and my abilities. Possibly leading to worse issues. 

Instead, I looked at it as a chance to come up with, and practice, a method of remedy. Unfortunately, in this case, the only remedy was cutting off the fretboard and starting over. However, some other ideas inspired some design things I may try in the future. 

I cut the board off the other day and have been working on cleaning off the gluing surface. This morning I found that this issue was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise… That combination square that proved fatal in cutting the frets in the fretboard apparently went out of square (or maybe was never even square, as I got it second hand not long ago) earlier in the project. In cleaning up the neck I discovered some other out-of-square issues that I needed to address. 

Instead of reacting hastily and irrationally at the obstacle I was presented, I embraced it as an opportunity. In doing so, even though I had to take steps back to correct, I find myself today with a better product than if I had not encountered the obstacle at all. Funny how that works.

Take care,


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