designing on paper

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"What I'd hope to happen is a big error message "you can't do that dummy" and then crash my computer or something."
Just let windows take care of those things for you. <g>
I agree, Edwin, you should give a couple of them a try. Most CAD software will have some sort of free trial period if you download off the net. SketchUp has an 8 hour trial period. That's 8 hours of program open time.
Take a look at the training videos on their site. They'll let you see what SketchUp can do.
By the way, one thing that is nice about SketchUp is that you can ignore dimensions altogether and basically just doodle to get an idea of what something might look like. Then you can clean up and adjust as needed to get to a working drawing that you take to the shop.
Think of that as starting out with a big fat crayon, drawing shapes freehand until you get what you want. Then switching to a sharpened pencil and a ruler to do a final drawing.
SketchUp has a several functions that make it a wonderful tool for woodworkers. First, the Push/Pull tool which allows surfaces to be moved perpendicular to the face. Another is the Rescale tool which will allow you to adjust the size of things without redrawing. The third cool tool is called Follow Me. It allows you to draw a profile and then extrude it along a path. This is useful for drawing moldings as you can draw the cross section of the molding and then extrude it to follow the shape of the cabinet or whatever. You could use this function to draw a picture frame or whatever as well.
Dave
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Is this the SketchUp that goes for $475, or have I found the wrong site?
If it's $475, it's a pretty spendy crayon.
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L.D., yes, it is expensive for a crayon but think of it as Crayola's biggest set with the sharpener in the back of the box, a drawing board, T-square, drafting triangles and scales, compass, pencils, eraser...
Like I said earlier, I think of SketchUp as another shop tool. For me and some other woodworkers who have it, it ends up saving a lot of time in the shop.
In addition, if you're building something for someone else, SketchUp makes it easy to make sure both of you know what you're building.
Dave
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I can see using it for that. I'd sure like to have that big box of crayolas, but the desire for more physical tools pretty much busts my budget. :o)
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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

That happened to me the first time I _used_ Windows (and many times since)! <G>
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wrote:

Difference with windows was that the message wasn't "You can't do that, dummy!", it was "I don't *feel* like doing that now sucker!"
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

And A1000 is a hole lot more fun to buy too!....in the pocket that is!!!! <G>

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While not a drawing 'how to', you might want to take a look at some of the 'Shop Drawings ...' books on the market. There could be enough information there for both learning and inspiration. Also check out some of the woodworking design books.
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On 21 Jan 2005 10:23:41 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Go to a used book store that handles technical books and pick up a book on drafting from the 60s or earlier.
I have my father's copy of French's "Mechanical Drawing" from the 1930s and it is invaluable.
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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Do you know anyone that does have the skill? It takes time to become a really good draftsman, but you'd be amazed at how much you can learn in 30 minutes with a hands on instructor. Then a book to teach you more detail as needed.
I was fortunate about 40 years ago when I worked in inventory control I needed to find a part and all I had was a drawing. I floundered for a while and asked a designer to explain what I was looking at. He took the time to explain a drawing, the different views, sections, etc. While I don't have the skill needed to do the drawings for a house or an engine block, I can draw out a table, bench, etc. with some scale. That gives me a good sense of proportion, allows me to dimension, plan material, cuts, etc.
Ask your friends if they know how to draw or if they can recommend someone that would be willing to sit down with you for a short time. In no time you'll be doing some simple designs with a ruler, triangle sharp pencil and grid paper. Oh, don't forget an eraser also.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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On 21 Jan 2005 10:23:41 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

I doubt that it is still in print, but "Engineering Design Graphics" by Earle was what I had in college. In addition to various drafting instruction, it had information regarding design process and a number of very handy reference information (screw size, drill size, etc).
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Ooooh ! Beware the CAD plague, it will stifle any instant , accidental design 'eureka moment'. I use a few sketches and then into making a maquette. 3D mockups where you can see proportions and see a lot of problems before you cut the wood and clients can see and touch something tangible. Read 'Courage to Create' by Rollo May for the real programme.
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On 21 Jan 2005 10:23:41 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
When you say "designing" do you want accurate drawings of the things, or somethong that lets you see what it will look like, rendered with pretty colours etc? Purists actually argue that nobody really works off a 3d drawing except CNC stuff! <G>
For most drawing I use DeltaCad. 2D only. But it's so easy and basic to use (and cheap at $49(?)) that it's as simple as paper, and more accurate. Try the demo. You can of course draw plans, pieces and views, but it does not do these for you. I have used it for Isometric and Perspective "3d" views, but these required basic drafting skills, and are not rotatable in 3-space or whatever. They are simply "artist's impressions".
The beauty of the programme is that you can leave it for a week or two and simply sit down and draw again. To give you an idea, support sux, but I don't care! <G>
I have just ordered DesignCad 3d for other uses, after using up the (too short) 15 day trial time. You can get this for around US$60, but it will be US$85 if you are overseas (rrrgh!) In that 15 days, of which I used maybe 8, or say 16 hours, I managed to get far enough that I did not hate the programme, which is the best I have done with 3d packages in most cases.It's 3d drafting. It is as simple (as in intuitive) and powerful a combination as any I have tried, and I have not used any package except DeltaCad 2d enough to become "hide bound". But immediately you get into 3d you get complexity. You have to. You can work in 2d mode, or in any of the "views". But once you jump to 3d it's a bit of a change of pace. It's magic to watch, but you need to be on your toes a bit.
We shall see how I "sit down and draw" after I get the full programme. <G>
The support forums by users and volunteer staff are excellent.

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Fri, Jan 21, 2005, 10:23am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com claims: <snip> I'm realizing that I need to learn how to produce detaileddrawings of my concepts to help avoid design mistakes midstream. <snip>
I think you're dreaming there, I've seen a lot of detailed plans with design mistakes.
I usually figure out most of my plans in my head, maybe a rough sketch or two to clarify something in my mine.
But, if you want a picture to show the wife, I would think a sketch would work. The way I would do it, will come up with a pretty detailed drawing.
Use a hard pencil, and very light lines, make a sketch of what you want. Then go over the lines that look "right"with a slightly heavier line. Repeat as needed. You can erase the lines you aren't happy with at any time. Even if you can't draw great, you can come up with some pretty detailed drawing this way. Feel free to use a ruler, and/or compass.
Speaking of compasses, I had one of those el-cheapo metal ones, like I had in school. Never worked worth crap. Found a plastic one at an office supply store for about $1, and it works great.
JOAT Charity ain't giving people what you wants to give, it's giving people what they need to get. - Albert
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 13:58:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Yes, they'd work better than a compass.
BTW, I've used compasses and straight edge for a lot of constructions. You'll get bang-on 90 degrees for example. Still, a decent frafting program like DeltaCad gets rid of the need for that now.
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 13:58:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Yeah. I remember starting out I had my faith on designs warped because spome stup[id WW magazine had made a chair with legs that were _drawn_ OK, but the dimension shown was too short. Being a newbie and "trying to do the right thing" and having no idea, I simply followed the plans.
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That kind of thing is a lot less likely with modern software. When drawing on paper, the dimensions are written in by hand. If the draftsman puts in the wrong dimension, it's wrong. The way I do it (and the way the engineering world is going) is to draw each part in 3D. Assemble everything into the finished product. If it all fits, disassemble and dimension the parts. Since the dimensions are given by measuring the parts rather than entering them manually, these types of mistakes are far less likely. 3D work takes more time learning (and the software certainly isn't cheap) than most hobbyists are willing to put into it but the results are great. To the OP. The idea of learning first on the board is a good one. There is no better way of getting the basic skills than with pencil and paper. It will be a great foundation for any further work. There is a local college here that teaches a drafting course. It is a ten month full time course. The first two months are entirely on the board. They then move on to CAD. So, it is not entirely dead but finding a teacher may be hard.

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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 13:58:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

absolutely... and -in spite of the real benefits and safeguards CAD does offer (especially 'second generation' CAD programs which use 3D parametric objects with associated dimensioning, interference checking, etc )- it is *still* possible for 'impossible to build' objects to be designed/drafted, dimensioning errors/mistakes to be made, bad annoations that mislead, wrong version of data used, etc, etc, etc...
not to mention, there are *many* times where computer-generated drawings are user-edited/overridden in the computer drawing files (whether rightly, wrongly, or expeditiously), and/or the actual physical vellums/plots/blueprints are manually erased/changed (whether rightly, wrongly, or expeditiously)...

agree with most points made by previous posters, but surprised i see no mention of one of the most indispensable tools for designing/detailing/drafting projects of all sorts : a letter size pad of 1/4" GRID paper ! ! !
i use it for design development, making thumbnail sketches of shapes, proportions, outlines, and the 'look'; usually, these are made to rough scale, like, 1/4" grid = 3/4", 1", or up to a foot on larger projects...
after i get the design semi-established, then i use the grid paper for figuring out full-scale drawings of the joint details, design features, etc... (except on the simplest of objects, i almost always have to go back and modify the original design, once i figure out how the structure/joints/details have to interact, influence, and limit one another...)
*sometimes* i fire up autocad for doing such drawings; especially if i need to plot out fullsize templates for pieces/parts; but, otherwise, the grid pad is where my humble project ideas are born, then virtually raised...
(i would not recommend autocad for these purposes; the cheaper CAD alternatives mentioned -and others- would be *better* for 99% of all woodworkers than acad would be...)
grid paper, don't leave home without it...
charleyy
eof
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