Directly after obtaining the go ahead I came straight home to start working on the layout know that I was going have to use the computer to determine all the geometry of the piece. So I turned to Google Sketchup to help with the task. Sketchup takes a bit to get used to, but having some CAD experience helped me to work through the essential details.
I started by importing the photoshop image into Sketchup and then proceeded to start to layout the boards that best fit the serpentine fluid motion of the piece. I was then able to print out close up plans for different sections to get me started.
Basically I turned this
The great thing about using Sketchup, is that it provided me with all the angles and lengths I needed to construct the piece which saved me a ton of time. I was able to draw this up in just a couple of hours. The only problem I found was that Sketchup doesn’t have an angle dimensioning tool. So I had to use the protractor tool to find the angles and then type them in using the text tool. I guess what can you expect from free software anyway?
I then created four enlarged plans for use in the shop such as this one
My neighbors father owns a cabinet shop just a few minutes away so I gave him a call about ordering some wood since he can buy it at a much greater discount than I can. I asked him to order some walnut for me on his next delivery. Luckily for me his delivery was scheduled for the next day so he called them up and they added about 60 bf of walnut to the order.
Once I saw the the walnut I was ex tactic. Most of the boards were 8 inches wide and some were 14” wide. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to use it all so that I could save some for a few other projects that I have in mind.
While I was at his shop picking up the lumber, he let me go through his cut off bin and clean it out. What a gold mine that is. I scored a bunch of hickory and maple that I thought would work great as contrasting wood in this piece so I took all that he offered which was all he had. I guess it’s good to know someone who is in the cabinet business. I know have enough lumber to keep me busy for some time.
Here are some of the walnut boards
Alright that’s all for now, in the next part I will explain on starting out this angular beast, I have learned a lot along the way so far.
-- Joe Truehart - The Craftsmans Woodshop