Reply by Tennessee

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Posted on How do you work ? From detailed drawn out plans and sketches,or by rote ?

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2873 posts in 2510 days

#1 posted 06-18-2013 06:02 PM

Many, many moons ago, (1971, to be exact), I started doing commissions. I would hand draw the piece for the customer usually in front of the customer. Measurements were taken, and I went from there. Wood was fairly cheap, and I wasted a lot of it.

A few years later, I got into refinishing, which often caused me to have to make a leg, a handle, maybe a new door. I learned to take exact measurements off of other pieces and learned not only how to build a duplicate, but finish it exactly the same. Big learning curve and it still pays off today.

Then I got into storyboards, mostly due to Norm Abrahm’s show. I didn’t care much for storyboards, although they do have their place. My shop started to fill up with storyboards, and one day I just chucked them all and stopped using storyboards save for duplication on a lathe.

After that came making furniture from other people’s plans. Not a bad idea, since you have to translate what they were thinking into a workable piece. But plans from others are somewhat boring, like following a simple puzzle, and often you find mistakes in the plans.

Now, I am to the point where I often sit in my recliner at night and sketch out something that should not be buildable in wood, then sketch out how I am going to build it complete with measurements. I don’t use the computer, too time consuming and too rigid for me. I prefer pencils and big erasers. And I often take some liberty in the shop with these sketches, since I thought it up, and I want to maximize my wood use and minimize waste. I also will change the plan if I find that I can optimize a wonderful wood grain I find. More artistic than functional, at times.

So kind of an evolution…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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