Progress Reports and Mistakes

Like any published media, blogging allows one to control the message. This weekend I found myself asking two questions:

Do I show work in progress?

Most model photographs show finished work which is fine since that is where we all aim to be going.  Many models and model scenes embody tens, hundreds and even thousands of hours of work.  Does one wait until all is finished before sharing anything about the project or phase thereof?  I guess it depends on the size of the project.

Scrum agile software development aims for 1-3 day task size. The idea is to be able to measure progress. If a task is many weeks long, how do you know if you are getting anywhere?

I am going to report on work in progress when I feel that I have gotten something done even if it isn’t finished.  Wanting to have something done is getting me into the basement so I consider that a good thing.

I have finished the baseboard side and end members.  Next is installing some hardwood blocks to provide solid mounting for the inter-section alignment pins. I don’t trust pine to not squish. Here is an action shot where the action is glue drying:action_shot

Do I report mistakes and failures?

Model magazine how-to articles hopefully present a clear and complete set of instructions for completing the project.  Rarely mentioned are the missteps and learning that went into producing the instructions.  At some point, somebody had to figure out the right way by finding all the wrong ways.

I have decided to report on relevant mistakes if only to  provide a periodic reminder that imperfect people can still build model railroads. Imperfect progress is better than a perfect lack of progress.

In the current case, I flubbed the glueing up of one of a baseboard side members by offsetting the end blocks in manner proper for the end members. By the time I realized my mistake, the glue was firmly set. I was forced to choose between writing the materials off and producing three other matching pieces to match.  Locally sourced materials mean that I can get more if I need to so I decided against introducing more confusion since confusion is how I messed up in the first place.

I plan to use the partial side member to test how much of a curve one can put in 1/4″ birch plywood.  I want to try curved baseboard edges at some point and I now have to opportunity for destructive testing.  I also know that my choice of wood glue is not going to fail on me.

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