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General #1: What it takes to be a woodworker

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Blog entry by mcgriffith posted 870 days ago 3177 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of General series Part 2: Who am I? »

In my case, I think it takes a person who can think deep about a subject to build a project. I have read some things from others giving reference to “basically slapping stuff together”, and that may be find for them, but for me, I try (emphasis on TRY) to think every angle thru before I start a project. Usually, I think I have thought it thru, but then as I build part of the project, I find that some things change or I get a better idea and it becomes a project that I conceptualize as I build.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.



15 comments so far

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2482 posts in 1364 days


#1 posted 870 days ago

I make drawings of almost everything. One of the exceptions was a spice rack that I made out of scrap cherry. Even then, I had the various bottles there and measured carefully.

About the only time I don’t have at least an “idea” drawing, it is a widget to help me through something that my drawing missed, like a jig – and I make my drawings as 3d models in CADD, so I don’t miss much.

The more detailed the drawings, the less waste and headache – just saying.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1584 days


#2 posted 870 days ago

I make drawings as well, escpecially cabinets. You can re-adjust a thought on PAPER a lot easier (and cheaper) then in real life. As you work more you will easily be able to do some of the tasks that you are now taking extra time to think through. Second nature ! In some cases projects do have to be started before you actually see a problem or a change that can be done ! (Especially when re-modelling a home)
“Winging it” is fine for some !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

420 posts in 1007 days


#3 posted 870 days ago

See I’m quite the opposite. For some things, I have a better idea in my head than I can draw (I’m not a great artist) and the general measurements and I find that some things I can adjust better as I go along. I start with a general idea in my mind of the approx sizes and things (unless I need something to fit in an exact space) and then I start working on it. Some of the things I build are strictly based off the sizes of stock I have. In otherwords, if I’m making a box for example, if I only have a 5” wide piece and I wanted a 6” wide box, guess what, it’s going to be a 5” wide box (unless it HAS to be 6” wide to fit something in it.) I’m not gluing up pieces to conform to a drawing. I’m sure the more complicated the projects I do , the more pictures will help, but I haven’t found anything yet that I had to draw and it hasn’t affected the outcome yet. Fingers crossed

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

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dbray45

2482 posts in 1364 days


#4 posted 870 days ago

That works until you get a commission. For $5 boxes – cool. If a customer is going to pay you $1,500.00 for a piece, you will be giving him or her pretty detailed drawing. Any changes have to be documented and accepted as well or your not getting paid.

If you are doing a kitchen for someone, the plans are required for permits or your backside will be handed to you. It is much easier to get used to the drawing aspects at the box stage than later.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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SuperCubber

243 posts in 871 days


#5 posted 870 days ago

Strive for perfection every time. That’s the only way. Good enough is never good enough!

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Craftsman on the lake

2353 posts in 2025 days


#6 posted 870 days ago

I think about it a long time. Sometimes when I’m building something I’m thinking about the next and the next thing. Eventually when it comes time to start it I sketch it out and apply a few measurements. As I’m building it I may make some alterations as deems necessary but it’s pretty much as I envisioned. By the time I begin building it I’ve made it several times in detail in my head already. I’ve always worked this way, be it roofing a house, welding a pier or making a table. I’ve done it before even if I never have. Oh… Places like LJ’s and YouTube help too.

As for deep thinking… I dunno…

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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dbray45

2482 posts in 1364 days


#7 posted 869 days ago

COL – I cannot do that anymore, I have to make drawings

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1280 days


#8 posted 869 days ago

As for deep thinking… I dunno…
Lol, I’m with COTL:) Lysdexic coined the phrase “paralysis by analysis” and I’m totally guilty of it. My favorite projects are without plans but I generally resort to at least a sketch. Good topic:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mcgriffith's profile

mcgriffith

87 posts in 984 days


#9 posted 867 days ago

Absolutely, there is no doubt that everyone has an idea of what works for them. For me, that is what it takes for me. Ideas change and have to be adapted depending on what the situation is. As for my projects, most will be for my family and friends. I doubt I will ever get a big project worth lots of money, but you never know. I am sure that when that time comes, if it does, I will rethink my idea and make up drawings for the situation.

I did do that on my mothers deck I built in 2002. I designed and built it – with her help, now that was a big project for 3 months. I will post a pic or 2 later.

I just think it is fun to build and create something. It is also hopefully a stress relief for me.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

View mcgriffith's profile

mcgriffith

87 posts in 984 days


#10 posted 835 days ago

My uncle Red and my cousin are the ones with drawing ability. My wife has seen some stuff I have drawn and she thinks I am pretty good, and I have to admit they arent bad, but my cousin and uncle are the ones in the family who really can draw well.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1001 posts in 2073 days


#11 posted 835 days ago

draw? you mean with a pencil and paper. they still make those things, hee hee. it’s all about the MODELING, baby, Sketchup modeling. like I know what I’m talking about. some of the LJers round here design furniture on Sketchup that looks full blown professional, down to the 42 tenons and 93 dovetails, then show it in X-Ray. just amazing.

-- God is Great, Wood is Good. nuff said.

View mcgriffith's profile

mcgriffith

87 posts in 984 days


#12 posted 822 days ago

I think I heard someone mention Sketchup some time ago, but I have not taken time to look into it. I, of course, being a computer geek of sorts, will most likely sketchup a project instead of draw it. I wonder if my puzzles will look better if I do them.

My wife is gone for a week, and it is suppose to rain this weekend, so I may play with some of those things, besides work on the 300 projects or so that I have around the house. You know, fix the gutter, scan old documents and shred them, work on my WW project, clean the garage, etc, etc, etc….

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)

helluvawreck

15299 posts in 1454 days


#13 posted 822 days ago

You don’t have to draw everything. If a piece is complicated with say lots of drawers, especially different size drawers you have to draw it out to get the necessary dimensions. However, you can build a lot of things with a simple story stick.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2482 posts in 1364 days


#14 posted 822 days ago

Helluvawreck – I like your blog

-- David in Damascus, MD

View mcgriffith's profile

mcgriffith

87 posts in 984 days


#15 posted 812 days ago

My intent on being a woodworker is more for fun that for profit. I like the idea that if I can build something, large or small, I can relax and do it – allowing me to still be creative but not under pressure.

This past weekend, I told my wife that when I get the nightstand done, I want to just now build anything more for anyone until I get my workshop into shape the way I want it – that is – my workbench built, some shelviing, cabinet for tools etc… I explained that if I can do those things, and then make projects after that, I will actually be able to make projects easier and better, I hope.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

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