Artist or Engineer

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litteratuer wrote:

You wouldn't by chance be a Red Green fan, would you? :-)
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
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Steve Turner wrote:

He didn't mention duct tape...
- Doug
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Too high tech for me ; )
(Had to look it up ...... I'm on the other side of the globe)
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Bill: I was a trained draftsman in a previous life so I tend to plan most projects to a certain extent. When I say "draftsman" I was trained at a drafting table using drafting instruments of the day. I did get some CAD training in later years but moved into some writing and management jobs before I got a chance to use the CAD tools much.
Planning includes some sort of graphic representation of the project and a list of materials. I currently keep some of my old drafting tools near a small drafting table in the basement; and some of the tools are in my workshop. Smaller projects are planned on a clipboard in the shop. As projects become more complex, I resort to the drafting equipment. Instead of vellum or mylar drawings I usually do a scaled and fairly detailed layout or "shop sketch" on a sheet of 24" or 30" poster board which is cheap and durable when I hang it on the wall of the shop. I am artistic by nature but art and drafting are two different disciplines. I sometimes say I do a half-a**'ed job at both. When a board drawn shop sketch gets to the shop I refer to it often, and modify it as needed. Sometimes the modifications reflect my artistic side; sometimes I'm fixing screw-ups.
Had I come along a few years later, I would probably be using Sketch Up or a CAD tool of some kind. While I consider CAD pretty interesting, I would rather be using my time building, not learning software. Contrary to some people's belief, a trained board draftsman can put lines on paper (and move them) pretty fast. In my earlier life we made a lot of design changes on a change order pad while working with an aircraft technician in the hangar. Also, I would say that about 50-70% of my projects get planned on the clipboard.
To summarize: planning to some level is essential to successful projects. But don't let the planning methods override your woodworking creativity. Visualize, think, sketch, make sawdust
RonB
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If you use a pink hammer you're probably an artist. :)
LdB
Bill wrote:

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wrote:

For some the planning and drawing portion of the project is an enjoyable endeavor itself or at least part of the process as a whole, for others it's a means to an end.
I'm definitely more on the artist side of things, even though I studied to be an engineer and was terrible in art classes. I'll do a drawing in sketchup to help me visualize, because I can think in 2D easily enough but I have a harder time keeping everything straight in 3D. But I don't model everything, just enough so that I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done, and where I can start and how much I can do that has to be done regardless of what comes next, and then the saw dust starts to fly. Then I have something tangible to work with along with my partial drawing. I like going into the shop without knowing all the answers, so that I'm free to make changes as I go along.
-Kevin
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I can't speak for 'most' woodworkers, but I seldom do anything without making a drawing first. Where that drawing goes, or to what extent I develop it (3D) depends on the project. I draw 1 or 2 full size kitchens per week, some of those get the whole 3D photographic-grade rendering if the job and/or client warrants that kind of hand-holding. Often they're just plan views to be sent to a cabinet manufacturer for pricing. Sometimes my drawings are my models to be machined directly from the data they contain. Those plan-type of drawings is all I need for countertop pricing as my program gives lineal inches of edges, square feet of material and they become a white-board for further instructions as I do the templating on the actual job-site. Drawings are tools.
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Robatoy wrote:

Past few years I've gotten the same way. "Time" is such a big factor that any of my time spent on drawing/planning generally pays for itself two or three times over down the road - in cutting back on mistakes, with scheduling where getting a thing done on "time", means the next guy up can get his job done, and with waste and as in "... why the hell do we have all those tubafours/tile/whatever left over?"

Probably the most important tool in the construction process ... in the final analysis, lack of a detailed drawing/plan will _always_ end up being the single most expensive item in the project.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
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Robatoy wrote:

I have been accused of not being able to find the bathroom without a blueprint.
Lew
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On Wed, 7 Oct 2009 16:35:10 -0700, the infamous "Lew Hodgett"

A bit obsessive about it, are we, Lew?
--
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight
very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.
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wrote:

I have degrees in Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and paint with watercolor on paper. I guess I'm both and hopelessly addicted to woodworking and mountain hiking. I found myself flustered with most software programs and use an obsolete drafting table with T-square, French curves, and triangles. Certainly not against computers, but It works well for me.
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Phisherman wrote:

I'm glad I'm not the only one. If you want someone to build you a computer I'm your guy. But if you want someone to use a computer to draw pictures look elsewhere.
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wrote:

I'm a retired engineer. I can't design a round hole without creating a Pro-E model of it first :-)
One time when our daughter was about 9 or 10 she needed a birdhouse made for a school project. I asked what kind of birds are suppose to live in it? How big will it need to be? Will it have a roof with a peak or will it just have a single slope? She responded with "I don't know but let's go to the shop start cuttin'." At that point I began to wonder if she was mine :-)
Gordon Shumway
One positive thing about 'Cash for Clunkers' is that it took thousands of Obama bumper stickers off the road.
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I made, virtually with SketchUp, the first workbench I was thinking about building. I posted 3 pdf files (front, side, bottom) in the thread Second SketchUp at the usenet group a.b.p.w.
The dimensions are 30" by 30" by 7'. Please let me know what comments you may have about the design, from what you can see.
My first thought is that I need to make the top a little longer than the base so I can get in one of those "reinforcing pieces" on each end (to better support the top). By the way, doing this exercise generated a number of questions in my mind (which is a good thing!).
Any thoughts welcome! Thanks, Bill
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I think that an engineer's mindset is essential but a touch of artistry is desirable.
Jeff
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
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wrote

Escher and/or Escher in reverse?
--
Best regards
Han
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The vision of an artist plus the discipline and learned foundation of an engineer, makes for a Bauhaus full of stuff.
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I think that you can be neither and still be a woodworker -- if the only things you make are from premade plans, then you aren't doing any design, and thus it's not engineering, and you aren't doing anything overly creative, so it's not really art. If, on the other hand you do your own designs, and the design is both functional and asthetically pleasing, then you are an artist and an engineer.
Seeing as most woodworkers make custom stuff, I would say most are both.
John
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I agree. The Come Up With Stuff and Make Stuff Work are, at some level, what makes a woodworker.
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I think this is an instance of a false dichotomy.
Any activity practiced at the highest level becomes an art and the artisan and artist share more in common than their linguistic roots.
The woodworker needs to incorporate both and, in the words of a famous woodworker:
"Theory without practice is sterile practice without theory is blind."
                Karl Marx
Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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