follow dimension sizes or just fake it!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by AKSteve posted 10-30-2015 08:54 PM 747 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2326 days

10-30-2015 08:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question tip resource

Okay, I have been doing some wood working for a while now, I like to do most of my work without using machines, the Galoot way! I like to quess-timate my specs, meaning I start with an overall estimation of what the dimensions of a project is and just start from there and I usually end up resizing most of my pieces but it comes together quite well, how I do that I have no friggin clue. I know there are people out there who can cut it down to a 32nd, and be right on target with the correct sizes, I have come close and I think I might have actually finished a project or two that has the correct dimension, but 99 percent of the time, I have to shave it here or plane it there in order to get things to fit just so. for example I am building an armoire (hope that is spelled right) I completed the back portion; which is two paneled pieces, okay I put them together to get the dimension of the bottom width and I cut and put those pieces together then I go to line them up and well dangit It’s 2 inches too big, Luckily the paneled pieces can be mortised together with a separate piece in the middle, which is actually kind of good now I have a section that can allow for shrinkage and growth. but I tell ya, I just am not perfect and I am kinda glad of that, I have shown projects to the layman and no one is the wiser. Am I the only one?

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

6 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2030 days

#1 posted 10-30-2015 09:02 PM

Plans?? Dimensions?? Measurements??

PFFFT! Never !!! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1703 days

#2 posted 10-30-2015 09:26 PM

You are not the only one. Both ways can work and a person should do which ever makes them happy. For me I think working from a rough plan and fitting to size all my pieces works well for one off custom pieces where pre cutting everything to exact dimensions works better with production type work. I very much build my furniture off a rough sketch and fitting everything to the project where things like the plywood cabinets I recently built for my shop everything was precut to exact dimensions before going together as I created several of them at once.

I also think that hand tool woodworking naturally lends itself to size to fit methods a lot better anyways.

View AandCstyle's profile


3069 posts in 2280 days

#3 posted 10-30-2015 10:40 PM

I haven’t perfectly made a piece yet, so, like you, I improvise. I will quit working wood when I do perfectly make a piece because then I will have no where to go. Sort of like the Eagles after Hotel California. haha

-- Art

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1359 days

#4 posted 10-31-2015 01:59 AM

I stopped measuring to anal retentive proportions after meeting Jim Tolpin and reading his book. I now use a story stick. I don’t care if legs of a table are 30” or 30.125” as long as all the legs are the same length. :) woodworking ain’t engineering in terms of tolerances. I use machines to get to rough dimensions and then use hand tools to get to final dimensions. And I always fudge a bit.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View BurlyBob's profile


5549 posts in 2288 days

#5 posted 10-31-2015 02:32 PM

Guess I’m sort of on the side of lots of preplanning, rough dimensions, general idea and jump into. My Dad on the other hand was an electronic tech and his world view was a 2 dimensional schematic. I had a block of myrtle wood about 20” 4×4. I wanted to turn it into a table lamp base. I was back home and at breakfast Iasked if I could use his shopsmith lathe to turn it. He told me he didn’t have any calipers. I said I didn’t need them. It won’t work with out them and won’t look any good. I says let me give a shot. We set it up, I start turning dad goes to work and I pretty well get it done by lunch. We finish eating and I say , remember that block of wood, I’m done. I get and set it on the table beside him. In his stern surely nature he looks at it and says well it don’t look to bad. He just couldn’t visualize in 3 dimension. I never did make that turning into a lamp. It’s somewhere around here though, sure wish Dad was too.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1067 posts in 2872 days

#6 posted 10-31-2015 02:49 PM

I now start most all of my projects in SU so that I can make my mistakes there and then have a better work plan before I make any sawdust. It helps me with sizing pieces and pulling stock from the rough pieces etc, but by the time the piece is finished most nothing is the size it was drawn

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics