Does anyone know of a web site or books that deal specifically with
design considerations? I'm starting to make more advanced furniture
and I design it all myself but I have the hardest time with the
proportions. Right now I'm doing my first raised panel doors and I
haven't been able to find anything (my current books or web sites)
that give me an idea of how to size them. By that I mean is there a
standard width for the rail and stiles? Is there a standard width for
the face frames? When placing drawers in cabintes or dressers, is
there a standard depth of the drawer? Or proportions for drawers and
No, I'm not looking for answers to these questions right now, just a
good source to read up on.
"The Woodworker's Guide to Furniture Design: The complete Reference For
Building Furniture The Right Size, The Right Proportion and The Right
Style" by Garth Graves.
Excellent section on human factors and all round excellent intro to all
of the other facets of furniture design. Whole section on standards. See
reviews at Amazon.
I've not found a definitive and thoroughly satisfactory solution, but
Blackburn's "Furniture by Design" or "Practical Design Solutions and
Strategies" are not bad places to start. There have also been some excellent
articles in magazines the last couple of years dealing with design
parameters like the "golden rectangle" and "fibronucci series" (sp?), but
not anything that will take you all the way to where you want to go ... at
least as far as I've been able to tell. Might want to google the wrec
because this has been discussed heavily in recent times.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) (Amazon.com product link shortened)=*
Proportion is the hardest of all because it changes drastically with your
view of the piece ... that, to me, is the "sticky wicket" of furniture
design and something that is probably best learned through prototyping. I do
mostly my own designs and make a conscious effort to critique each piece
after I have had some time to live with it in the hopes that some of the
'art of design' will somehow appear, but it apparently is just not in my
bones as it remains a struggle for me.
Good luck ... Basically I am still searching myself.
Thanks, Larry ... I just saw your message. It didn't show up on my server
until way I after I posted mine, despite the fact that it is dated earlier.
I am definitely going to check out the Graves book.
Everyone wants a method in a couple of chapters in a book. But I think
it's clear that it's not quite that simple. Or maybe it is.
Folks go off to art/design schools, and spend years getting exposure to
theory and ancient and modern practice. Some of them still come out and
make some of the worst looking garbage on the planet. (See JT's recent
coffee table INSPIRATION thread...)
I have the excellent fortune to be part of a good woodworking club. The
bright fellow who lines up speakers has, for the past year or so, brought
in folks, about every other month, who have made their names and
professions in design, as well as in execution of furniture and woodworking
projects. The most recent speaker, Seth Janofsky, is formally educated in
design, photography and woodworking. When asked what 'system' of design &
proportion he used, he balked, then answered "whatever looks right".
If you want to make something different, or even derivitive, it's going to
take a lot of sketching, modeling and prototyping to arrive at a feeling
with which you're comfortable. Put it together with cardboard, or sticks,
or scrap. Work out the joinery after the size, shapes and lines are
established. Place the prototype in the space where the final project
should live, and see if it will work.
Nobody wants to spend hundreds of hours in building something awkward, or
not quite right. And if the project is for someone else, the model gives
you a point from which to converse, early enough on.
who senses that this answer is but a microscopic portion of 'the answer'.
It pretty well coincides with my experience. Like anything else creative,
you can do hundreds of iterations with nothing worth keeping, then do one in
a moment of inspiration that transcends all the others ... just as in music,
the latter is what keeps most of us trying.
On 28 Oct 2004 14:26:30 -0700, email@example.com (Ron) calmly
Do a Google search for "fibonacci" or "golden rectangle".
Taunton published a book called "Practical Design Solutions and
Strategies: Key Advice for Sound Construction from Fine Woodworking"
Pick up a used copy for $8 from www.Amazon.com and it'll show
some of your answers and spark new directions for your quest.
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
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