Isn't relying of someone else's plans kinda like painting by paint by numbers?

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Everyone keeps asking for plans, plans, plans. Doesn't anybody have a clue of what THEY want to make, rather than copying someone else's ideas? I'm constantly amazed at the things people ask for plans for. They even PAY for plans! The fun in building something for me is coming up with a design, and then implementing it. If I said I was as painter, I sure as heck wouldn't get a paint by numbers kit and just paint within the lines. That's NOT a hobby. OR is it?? Am I all wet?? Do I have the wrong idea about what woodworking is about?
This little rant is designed NOT to hurt anyone's feelings: I JUST WANT TO START A DIALOG ON THE SUBJECT, AS I JUST DON'T GET IT!
Perhaps the reason that people need plans is they can't think in three dimensions?? Is that it?
Dave
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wrote:

Yes. Think "gray." Not everything is Black and White. See below.

No, but, (to use your analogy), you do have a tendency to assume that Rembrandt and Picasso were born masters of their art. They weren't. They had to be taught, they studied and copied others' work in order to learn their craft before they developed their own artistic style.
Buying and making from plans is a valid way of "learning the craft." The "art of creation" comes after.
Very, _very_ few people are born with the talent to do anything at a level of mastery. So as romantic as the notion sounds-- that wood workers here should just build what they want to-- it isn't very practical. The worst you get by winging it is a horrible mess of both materials and wasted time, and the very best you can hope for by just "seeing what happens if I try THIS(!!!)" is something that _might_ pass as....
...."studio furniture." ;>
M2c, ymmv, etc... Michael Baglio Chapel Hill
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wrote:

Like Ed, I think plans can be training wheels. Or a good starting point for your own creation.
The most satisfying thing I've built is one completely dreamt up by me, two pairs of sliding shoji screens for use as a window treatment.
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Laz,
What's a shoji screen, if I may ask?
dave
Lazarus Long wrote:

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wrote:

It's not "rice" paper though (pet peeve) Japan has a huge paper making tradition, and very little of it is made from rice straw fibre. Much of it is mulberry.

Toshio Odate's is better.
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On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 19:22:56 +0100, Andy Dingley

Rice paper is simply the traditional name for it. Some shoji are made to have the paper changed annually. I did not want that in mine, so I used artificial.
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wrote:

Only by gaijin
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Thanks to Ed, Micheal and Jester99
So what you have all said is that looking at plans will spark an idea, like looking up reference material in a book or magazine article. That's something I can relate to as I have a few books on woodworking, finishing, etc.
You don't just pin a plan to the wall and go from step A to Z, and after completing that project, secure another plan and follow it to the letter also. You adapt and decide what elements would work for your project. You borrow ideas. That's useful and instructional. Conceptualizing a project is sometimes a lengthy process for me. The "doing" is usually the easier part of the process (for ME).
It IS more fun though, for me to do an entire project "by myself". One of my neighbors tinkers with lots of different projects in his garage. Recently he showed off a corner cabinet he built for a bedroom tv. His obvious pride when he showed me the finished project struck me as odd, as he began telling me how he had to buy the drawer fronts and doors. He built the carcass, but what shows are the components that he bought. I didn't want to burst his bubble but when I left, I spoke with my wife about how he feels like he built the whole thing. I vowed that if I showed someone a cabinet I'd built, that I wouldn't say that I built it myself, if the visible parts were purchased, rather than crafted.
Again, thanks guys, for the insights.
dave
Bay Area Dave wrote:

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I rarely use plans (and it often shows), but I have nothing against them and don't feel that following as set of plans is in the category of using "training wheels" or "painting by the numbers" at all.
AAMOF, it often takes more discipline and skill to follow a set of plan than to bumble off on some tangent, taking shortcuts that don't do the project.justice.
I often see a furniture project that I want, or am asked to build, where nothing needs to be changed. If good plans are available, it often means I can build the item more efficiently, with less waste, and in less time by using them.
That said, you need not be a slave to a set of plans ... some of the better classic furniture plans were drawn up in an age when there were not as many choices with regard to joinery and tools, so departure from, but remaining in the spirit of the design is often desirable.
Not to mention, that with hardwood prices continually rising, more self-styled 'designers with no plans' will likely begin to view standing on the shoulders of those who came before them as a wise move.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/16/03
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SNIP

for your next cabinet? (you can see those usually, you know). How about that glass furnace for making the glass panels on that curio cabinet for the living room? Somehow I have failed by not mining and smelting the copper for the punched copper panels on that pie safe I made for my MIL. I do assume that you grow, cut and mill all of your lumber, don't you???? Man, what an ego. Why do you feel the need to denigrate your neighbor because he enjoyed something a little differently than you might have? I will never be David Marks (I doubt that you will either), but I can enjoy the hobby any way I please, whether I make masterpieces of cabinetry fit for a museum entirly from my own (over active) imagination or just make some little wooden cars for my grandsons. Either way, I should be able to have satisfaction and, indeed, pride, in my efforts without someone like you trying to piss in my wheaties just for your own ego stroking.
Dave Hall
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David, David, David! You are getting your panties in a bunch for nothing. I didn't denigrate my neighbor. I was TRYING to relay the fact here (not to his face) that he hadn't really BUILT the object he was showing off, other than the carcass. So the visible quality, materials, effort, and form wasn't his. Do you get MY point? If he had said "I assembled this from parts", I'd have no quarrel with that statement. Otherwise he exhibited misplaced pride. Are you following me now, Dave?
dave
David Hall wrote:

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Dave,
I think David was pointing out that your definition of building something is different than your neighbors. IMO this is a given. FWIW I wouldn't claim to have "built" a cabinet if I bought the drawer face and doors without at least a qualification.
Being in the middle of a large cabinet project right now, I can tell you that the doors are the part of the project that shows your woodworking skills, the carcasses are just box building and can hide a multitude of sins that would be unacceptable for the doors and drawers. And you should see the sins I have committed :-)
-Chris
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On 22 Aug 2003 13:09:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@nhsd.k2.pa.us (David Hall) wrote:

I'm casting the bronze bails for some drawer pulls. Does that count ?
I have absolutely no problem with someone buying hardware. If you want to call yourself a "woodworker", then why should this require you to do the metalwork on a completed piece as well ?
Personally I make things like this: http://codesmiths.com/shed/furniture/airchair.htm Now I made almost none of this piece - that's rather the point in "found materials".
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(David Hall)

I think the point was that someone was being denigrated for using some pre-made parts in a cabinet that they made and thus should not have been able to say that they made it. I am not real sure where that line gets drawn (or by whom or why it needs drawn at all). Obviously, you probably make a higher proportion of the parts in your projects than me if you are casting the bails. I often buy dowel rods, wheels, wooden knobs, etc. used in my projects and don't feel any shame in doing so. I guess to a purist I should not be able to say I made my project since even some of the wooden parts were purchased already made. To me it is no different than buying the hinges or the glass. Where does the slippery slope end? Oh well, I guess I have vented far too much on an issue of no meaning whatsoever. Sorry.
Dave Hall
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Exactly!
I just finished building a console to hold a portable TV for our minivan. I built it without plans entirely from my own head, on the fly, changing the design several times midway in the project as I came up with better methods - sort of a learn-as-you-go process. It's just 3 pieces of wood, a base and two clamping pieces that hold the TV to the base and the base to the van seat. I wanted something simple and quick and that's what I got.
However now that I have it built I already have plans to build another one. This time I am going to sketch it out first, but even given more time the first time I don't think I could have come up with this design - I needed to work through the first one and see the results to see where I could improve. Had I viewed someone else's plans first though I might have come up with something better the first time. This is why I like to see plans. My brain seems to work better this way, but your mileage may vary.
-Chris
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People want to get pointed in the right direction, is all.
I love looking at plans. I've not ever built anything by following them (even jigs), but they're fantastics for ideas. Both on how and how not to buiild a thing.
For someone who has a few tools, likes making sawdust, and has a SWMBO who takes him at his word when she's looking at a $2K wall unit and he sez "Doesn't look that hard to build"...
Whatta you 'spect? Hell, if I didn't know how to DOAGS I'd be asking too!
(Even got an ellipsis in there! <ggg>)
djb
--
"I'll do the stupid thing first and then you shy people follow..." - Frank Zappa

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Fri, Aug 22, 2003, 2:42am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (BayAreaDave) doesn't get it: Everyone keeps asking for plans, plans, plans.
I don't. But, a lot of people ask because they are too idle to look for themselves, or believe their time is "too valuable" to spend looking for plans. And, some are probably not aware of how to look for plans.
Doesn't anybody have a clue of what THEY want to make, rather than copying someone else's ideas?
Well, yes, they do, that's why they're asking for plans for something. I wouldn't call it "copying someone else's ideas" tho. Someone just starting out would usually be better off following someone else's plans.
Before your time here, but, as I've said before, some people just prefer using plans. Someone else's plans, that is. Even if they have the experience and knowledge to draft professional quality plans of their own. They just like to work from plans. I would say people like that know what they want to make.
I'm constantly amazed at the things people ask for plans for.
You didn't give any examples.
They even PAY for plans!
And? I occassionally pay for plans too. Does thst make me a bad person?
The fun in building something for me is coming up with a design, and then implementing it.
It is for some people, not all. See above. Most of the time I work from no plans, maybe some measurements, other times a rough sketch or two. Once in a blue moon I make up a more complete set of plans for something. I occassionally work with other people' plans, but seldom don't change somehing, when I do.
If I said I was as painter, I sure as heck wouldn't get a paint by numbers kit and just paint within the lines. That's NOT a hobby. OR is it?? Well, if you call yourself a painter, have a truck, ladders, and a couple of helpers, then no, I would say that's NOT a hobby. But, if you just paint your house every year, I would say it's a hobby.
Am I all wet?? Do I have the wrong idea about what woodworking is about?
Yes. Yes. Sounds like you're trying too hard to make it all black and white. Things are seldom just black and white. Usually some black, some white, separated by a big grey (or gray) patch.
This little rant is designed NOT to hurt anyone's feelings:
You hurt my feelings anyway. LMAO
I JUST WANT TO START A DIALOG ON THE SUBJECT
Yep, realized that right from the start. , AS I JUST DON'T GET IT!
So you say. So what? It boils down to, different strokes for different folks.
Perhaps the reason that people need plans is they can't think in three dimensions?? Is that it?
Nope. I can think in three dimensions, sometimes four. And, I still buy plans once in awhile. Plans good. Especially printed plans, so you can hold them and look at them. Some plans are for just dreamin'. I've got some plans stuck away, I pull 'em out once in awhile, just to look at. They're for things I know I will never make, just for dreaming about. Hell, some of them are so damn complicated I probably couldn't actually make them, even if I started tomorrow. So what? Some things are like that, doesn't detract a bit. Those are the things you don't tell people about them, because you don't need somebody telling you, "You'll never make one of those". I have some other plans, that I hope to build one day, a more realistic form of dreams. Sometimes you can tell people about thos, sometimes not. Then there are a few plans, that once I get a some personal things settled, I intend to start on. This will be dreams realized. These plans you can usually tell people about. But, you'll probably still get some idiot telling you, "You can't make one of those". Those are the people you tell, "Up yours". You gotta have dreams, some you know you will never do, some you at least kow are possible, and some you know you can do, and will do.
Besides, plans are always fun to look at, for me anyway, any kind of plans. The plans for the Spruce Goose for example, I have no interesting in flying anything more complex than a kite, but enjoyed the Spruce Goose plans. Didn't save a copy, because that isn't my thing. And, I'm one of those people who aren't young, and know everything. I'm old enough to know I don't know everything, never will, don't care, and still trying to learn as much as I can. Amazing the new ideas you can get from someone else's plans, sometime's it just copying an idea, other times it's inspiration for something a little different. Plans are good. Besides finding plans on the web, last time I cheked, I have more woodworking books (not including magazines) the county library. And still pretty much wing it as far as plans go It's all about enjoying it.
And, if you still don't get it, the Woodworking Gods have informed me that I am not here to elucidate you, and not to worry about it.
JOAT If we're all God's children, what's so special about Jesus?
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 20 Aug 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKE /
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Why JOAT, have I elicited your longest ever post? :) Thank you very much for taking your time to enlighten me as to the value of collecting, reviewing, and possibly even WORKING from plans.
> I'm constantly amazed at the things people ask for plans for. > > You didn't give any examples.
ok...TS sled is ONE example...but in light of my "enlightenment" I shouldn't be amazed. As I said at the onset, I just "didn't get it". Now I can see their purpose, which can be different for each person, or different to the same person, depending on their current needs. I was using tunnel vision, thinking that plans were like following instructions on putting together a Heathkit. Now I get it!
> They even PAY for plans! > > And? I occassionally pay for plans too. Does thst make me a bad > person?
Absolutely not, nor was I implying such. Refer back to my previous answer.
> > And, if you still don't get it, the Woodworking Gods have informed > me that I am not here to elucidate you, and not to worry about it.
ah, but I DO get it!...Now it's time for me to read the other responses following yours.
Happy plans to you! :)
dave
Jack-of-all-trades - JOAT wrote:

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Fri, Aug 22, 2003, 2:38pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (BayAreaDave) puts out: Why JOAT, have I elicited your longest ever post? <snip>
Probably not. But I didn't have anything better to do at the time.
ok...TS sled is ONE example...<snip>
I thought you were talking about unsual plans.
Happy plans to you! :)
I've been in the shop, making a chute for my paper shredder. Waiting for the glue to dry, so I can continue. No plans, no sketches, just a few measurements. All out of my head, and using left-over pieces of wood (I don't have scrap wood, just smaller, and smaller pieces, till it either gets used, or is sawdust). Plans? Plans? Don' need no steenkin' plans.
But, should I paint it yellow, when I'm done? Yeah, probably.
JOAT If we're all God's children, what's so special about Jesus?
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 20 Aug 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKE /
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Edwin wrote:
Group: rec.woodworking Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2003, 3:03am (EDT+4) From: snipped-for-privacy@snet.net (EdwinPawlowski)
Everyone keeps asking for plans, plans, plans. Doesn't anybody have a clue of what THEY want to make, rather than copying someone else's ideas? Plans are like training wheels. OK for a spin or two, but you'll never learn how to ride unless you take them off. I bought a couple of sets of plans to learn from, but changed dimensions, changed shapes, etc, to suit my needs and my taste. I've also take a note pad and tape measure to the store. The projects I'm most proud of are the ones that came from my head. Plans though, can give some ideas on what type of joints or materials to use in certain situations. They are a learning took, just like books and reading this NG. Ed ****************************************************** Fortunately I can think in three dimensions and can visualize the finished piece before I make the first saw cut. I bought a set of plans before I made my first grandfather's clock to learn the proportions of the base to the waist to the upper clock face section. I then put them aside and started making it from scratch. It was a good thing that I did for the plans had numerous dimensional errors in their cut list and I would have wasted some expensive oak. However, I do not think that it matters whether a person uses plans or not. The main idea is the pleasure of creating something out of wood and the indescribable joy of looking at the finished product and saying to one's self "I made that !" If you're really a dedicated woodworker it can be better than sex (almost!). Peace to all ~ Sir Edgar
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