My older brother drives me crazy when we do a project together.... His
background is in airframe, and he plans EVERYTHING...
I have to say that his finished work is much better than mine, but he'll take
hours and sometimes days designing in CAD and revising material and cut lists,
dimensions, etc. until I've either built it myself or gone home and done another
I'm pretty sure that my work would be better if I was more like him, but my
hobby is making saw dust and his is 50/50 planning and building..
I too like planning- up until I make a mistake or I don't like the way a
plan does something. From then on, its on to improvisational work.
Mac, Mexico soon? I'm turning a bowl from walnut with a big knot in it.
Its a test of my patients.
I like to do some planning. Most times, it is a sketch made while sitting
in front of the TV. I make a rough cut list so I don't have to go back to
get more wood, but it is subject to change, as are the plans once things get
I've built a couple of projects from bought or free plans though. If I see
something I like, I'd just as well spend a few $$ and have the work done for
me and it can be a good learning experience to find out how others would do
a joint. I also have limited artistic skills so for designs like the Tudor
bench I built from American Furniture Design was money well spent.
I've tried working with plans and hit 2 problems:
Not having a planer, the thickness on plans usually isn't possible...
if it calls for 5/8" 11/16" thickness I have to use 3/4" stock and change all
the other measurements or it throws everything off...
I just don't have the patience required... Once the bug hits me I want to
picture it in my head, draw enough of a sketch to get sizes and stuff and just
go with it...
Also, I have a really bad habit of my projects evolving as I progress, with
improvements and changes that I usually like in the end..
I never use plans. I look at my lumber supply and then at whatever tools
or machinery catch my fancy. I then start cutting or milling or planing
or carving or turning and then sanding or scraping and shellacing or
oiling or varnishing or polyurathaning or painting. I never know what it
is going to be. Even when it's completed I'm not sure what it is, but
it's been cut, milled, planed, carved, sanded or scraped (or sanded and
scraped) shellaced, oiled, varnished, painted, polyurathaned or left
natural. Never know what it is, but I love the workmanship.
"Don't need no steenken plans" (JOAT 2006).
sining or varnishing or
On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 09:16:27 -0700, mac davis wrote:
Summa both. Some times I'll start with plans then, as the project
progresses, depart from them.
I just completed the DP table from ShopNotes #57. Very good plans.
However, I made no drawer and increased the top dims to 39" x 17" x 1 1/4".
And changed the table material to a 3 part mdf / cdx / mdf sandwich.
Then I shellacked it.
And added a corrugated plastic baffle to the dust box to get rid of the
corners and smooth the flow.
And used 3/4 inch square tubing (which I had laying around) in place of
their flimsy-looking angle brackets (which I would have had to buy).
And a shop-built collar for the vacuum hose entry that is exactly right.
The hose just slides in but once the shop vac starts, it's downright tough
to pull it out.
And I made the slots in the back stop by a different method.
Come to think of it ... I could patent this!
Yeah ... I use plans.
Like a fighter jet uses a catapault.
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