Hello - Just something I have been wondering about.
When you are making a custom piece, from your own plans or from your head. How tight do you stick to the design? Do you let the wood dictate the design as you go? Do you let mistakes, er ah, unintentional changes, drive the design?
My current project, a sofa table, started as a set of plans drawn by me. Some of the design elements were taken from some store bought furniture. I have several examples of how either the wood has changed the design or how some other factor (My 'mistake') has slightly changed the intended design.
first - the drawer side thickness (see my other post). My intention was for 1/2" sides to my drawers. Well, due to less than optimal usage of the wood I am left up with just enough to make 3/8" sides versus the intended 1/2" sides. Will probably be just fine, and maybe preferable.
Second - The original project was to be all cherry. SWMBO went with me to the supplier, me, plans in hand, to pick out the wood. She saw this stuff called lacewood. She wanted the top to have a center field of lacewood and, while I'm at it, lets do the drawer fronts in lacewood as well. This is a case where the wood has driven the design.
third - When making the top I did a bit of bad math. Not sure where I goofed exactly. The top was to be made up of qty5 boards (3 lacewood in middle and 2 cherry, one or each side) The cherry 'frame' was to be 2 1/2" and the field was to be wide enough to make the total width 16". Cherry breadboard ends. This configuration was driven partly due to the available width of the lacewood. Well to make a long story short, the top was supposed to be 16" and ended up being 15" something. No big deal. I'll just have to adjust the aprons a bit and also the drawer sizes a bit, etc.
4th - well, I was going to write about using certain pieces in certain places because of grain, figure, etc. but that's kind of obvious I suppose. Again, the wood dictating the design (Which caused me to run short, see my 'first' comment)
So, this project sort of evolves based upon my skills (or lack of) and is also guided by the wood itself.
Is this typical or do you stick had and fast to plans?