I like this piece a lot, especially the upper portion. The gentle curve
formed by the door rails that continues into the face frame arch is my
Which leaves me with a quandary, because I don't have the time, the
space, the tools or the skill to build something quite as nice as that.
Should I just chuck it and take up knitting instead?
Nah. For one thing there'd still be people who kick my ass at that
skill, and some of them would be ninety year-old ladies. But more
importantly, I'm not (quite) dead yet; I can still learn a thing or two.
I plan instead to steal as many ideas as I possibly can from guys like
you, perhaps including an arch of my own. Now if I only had a band saw. :)
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 8:26:47 AM UTC-6, Greg Guarino wrote:
, the tools or the skill to build something quite as nice as that. Should I
just chuck it and take up knitting instead? Nah.
Doesn't have to be as nice as that. Don't compete with Leon, except for ma
ybe finishing a project within a time limit.
Despite your limited resources, what home application/project would you pos
sibly want/need, that this design feature is applicable for? Build it with
the resources you have. Doesn't matter that it wouldn't be absolutely per
fect. You think Leon's, or anyone's, first project was perfect? He's alre
ady mentioned possibly tweaking this project's design, so you learn by doin
g and improving on your previous work.
Maybe do a scale model, by hand, without major tools, etc. See what there
is (nuances?) to learn about making projects with curved features. Leon no
tes he had to pay close attention to making the curve feature. Most of my
custom chairs have curved features. I don't always get them exactly right,
the first attempt (dry fit). Sometimes, parts have to be remade to better/
Make a project that incorporates a curved feature(s), any project, with the
resources you have, and don't forget to show us some pics.
My post, despite a lack of emoticons, was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I'm
old enough to realize that no matter how good I might get at something,
there will always be someone ahead of me. I'm a beginner at woodworking,
but the same holds even for things that I'm allegedly pretty good at;
piano, for instance.
What's more, skill comes with a greater ability to recognize the skills
of others; I thus have an even better grasp of the gap (chasm) between
me and Keith Jarrett for instance. But I've already copped a particular
chord change from his rendition of "O Danny Boy", and I've gotten a lot
of good ideas here as well.
I learn something new with every step, and wish I had known it before.
Then I discover a further improvement, and again wish I had learned it
earlier. And then ...
I'm currently working on a set of bookcases, composed entirely of
straight lines. Suddenly increased family obligations have slowed the
work to a crawl, but I've finished two units out of four. I've found the
work to be good therapy, by the way, exactly because of the
problem-solving aspect of it. It occupies my mind for a while.
I in fact did build a small mock-up first, to practice making dadoes and
face frames and to test out some finishing methods. Here's a photo:
Pictures? Those I've got. :) (another hobby). Here are the first two units:
And the "design":
Not bored yet? Here's a set chronicling how a novice like me works his
way through a project like this:
Thanks for the encouragement. As I mentioned, I intend to get better at
this, whenever I can find the time.
The color rendition on this photo is a little off by the way. The inner
faces are not nearly as orange as they look here. More of a reddish brown.
Now learn Sketchup, it will let you look at your drawings from every
point of view! Deeing 3D really helps you see if the joint is going to
work or if the design feature will still look good from a side view.
Although am (vicariously) familiar with the concept, I can assure you
that it was accidental in this instance. Plus they won't actually be
seen the way I have shown the units in the photo; These two units will
be on either end of the completed project, separated by two wider shelf
units and a television.
Thanks for the encouragement. As I have mentioned before, I fully intend
to make better mistakes as I go along.
Unintentional or not, you are aware of it now. About 10 months ago I
built 3 piece wall unit/book case that covers a 10' wall. My customer
was going to fill it completely with books and the look of the back
panels would not show. But I was able to make the backs look uniform
and she was all the more impressed. Little things like this add up.
the tools or the skill to build something quite as nice as that. Should I just
chuck it and take up knitting instead? Nah.
possibly want/need, that this design feature is applicable for? Build it with
the resources you have. Doesn't matter that it wouldn't be absolutely perfect.
You think Leon's, or anyone's, first project was perfect?
Exactly!!!!! Don't even think that this one is perfect. As you get
better you still make mistakes but you learn how to hide them better. ;~)
He's already mentioned possibly tweaking this project's design, so you
learn by doing and improving on your previous work.
Leon notes he had to pay close attention to making the curve feature.
Most of my custom chairs have curved features. I don't always get them
exactly right, the first attempt (dry fit). Sometimes, parts have to be
remade to better/best fit.
Actually the curve part was the easiest, the hard part was keeping the
parts in order. LOL. Seriously, the arced rails were easy, they were
cut to the top rails after the door parts were cut out and fitted.
Sketchup provided me with a 1:1 scale drawing template that I "glue
sticked" to the rectangle top rail.
Those curves could just as easily have been cut with a jig saw. I
smoothed the curve out with an oscillating spindle sander and that could
easily have been done with finish sander too.
Yes! But no registration marks, you really don't need them. You can
just as easily use actual lines in the printed drawings as registration
There is a series of steps to printing accurate to scale drawings with
the free version of Sketchup. Not something that I would have
discovered with out have seen a tutorial video. I would be happy to
explain the process. Once done a couple of times the steps make sense
and are easy to remember.
If you had one, you only want a bigger one. DAMHIKT
AAMOF, I wish I had two, and a couple of more table saws, and a shop big
enough to put them in, but ...
ITMT, I took a look at your photos and you're doing great with what you
have. Keep dancing with who brung you, you're well on your way to be an
accomplished woodworker ... all the signs are there.
Paganini didn't learn to play his Les Paul in a day. ;)
FWIW and IMHO and other stuff like that, I have learned that the blades
on my Laguna switch out quickly including resetting the guides going
from a 1/2" to 1-1/4" blade.
Basically I have found that with this saw that a 1/2" blade will do a
pretty good job of resawing too. With my resaw blade however, the
Laguna Resaw King there is less waste. With that blade resawing 4/4 S4S
oak I was able to get 2 pieces that could be sanded down to 1/4" and the
waste was approximately 1/16" thick, veneer stock. ;~)
So I guess with money being no object a couple of these saws would be
Thank you for noticing! That arch was what inspired me to do the top
they way I did.
You know, we all started off knowing nothing. I have been doing this
seriously as a hobby since 1979. I have been being paid for this type
work since 1997ish. Not until, wait for it, I started using Sketchup
did I really start to build this big stuff with more attention to
details and design.
You can talk yourself blue in the face, but the average bear will never
quite comprehend just how much the ability to use that one free program
can elevate almost everything you do as craftsman to a new level.
And as a contractor ...
I have been on the phone all week talking to tradesman and rounding up
bids on a two bath remodel 400 miles away.
Thanks to Sketchup, and my modicum of proficiency with the program, the
ability to bring those two bathrooms with me wherever I go, desktop,
laptop, tablet, or cellphone, and to transmit clear, precise drawings,
in great detail, for bids/discussion, on demand and at the touch of a
button/screen, will have played a big part in doing the project, from
demo to paint, less expensively, more professionally, and in a timely
manner ... all from a great distance.
If you're listening in and haven't already done so, do yourself a favor
and learn it ... it will do as much for you as the most expensive tool
in your shop, and at no cost but the time to learn it.
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