The teensiest, tiniest of microscopic mistakes should be easy to fix. They aren’t.
For an odd project I needed to join two larger dowels together. I drilled the ends of each and glued a smaller dowel into one, but when I slipped the other dowel into place there was an extremely tiny gap on one side. Since everything else I cut during this particular working session was spot-on square, I must’ve gotten something behind that one dowel when I cut it, skewing it ever so slightly. And I mean slightly: No one lacking Superman’s X-ray vision would have noticed and I should have left it alone.
Of course, I didn’t.
I figured a single drag of that slightly skewed dowel end over a piece of sandpaper would even things out and fix it. Instead, when I went to join the dowel I found it was now skewed infinitesimally the other direction. Another drag over the sandpaper, and it was skewed back the way it was the first time. For fear that I’d make the dowel too short I didn’t want to re-cut it, so once again to the sandpaper where I succeeded only in making the skew worse. Then again, and again.
I didn’t count how many times I tried to fix it but after fooling around with it for the better part of 10 minutes, I finally ended up dong what I should have done in the first place – get a new dowel, cut it fresh and re-drill.
It took all of 30 seconds beginning to end, and it fit perfectly.