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Forum topic by Maveric777 posted 10-27-2010 06:58 PM 1680 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2693 posts in 3314 days

10-27-2010 06:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick

Here on Lumber Jock I see and learn all sort of neat tricks, ideas, instructions, etc… nearly every day. I can honestly say this site has made me a better and more knowledgeable woodworker. So, I just wanted to drop a line and share something I seen somewhere that I utilize and have grown very fond of here lately.

I dropped by office depot and picked up a journal. I picked up a hard back one so it could hold up long term for around 7 or 8 bucks. The idea is keep it handy and jot down drawings, ideas, dimensions, etc.. to keep. This is in no way a final draft of work sort of thing. More of an “Idea” book…..

Before I started this I made myself a pact…. “Nothing will be removed… No matter what”... What may seem stupid, bad, or irrelevant now may be a spark of ideas down the line. I am by no means an artist, but I am not bad at translating “My” ideas….lol

I know it may seem silly, but I have already found it to be a very valuable tool. I bring it with me to work every day and set it down on my desk. I have come up with some neat ideas (IMO) out of the blue, and find it convenient to have my journal close at hand to quickly sketch or jot it down.

Just remember… This is not suppose to be perfect… You don’t have to be an artist… It is simply your reference tool for you.

Hope someone else can find this little tool useful as well….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

26 replies so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10369 posts in 4290 days

#1 posted 10-27-2010 07:09 PM

I’ve tried to do something like that… I just can’t help myself… I grab a scrap piece of paper and start drawing…

Discipline.. is what is needed…

Good Luck… hope you can stick to it… better than I could… :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3274 days

#2 posted 10-27-2010 07:18 PM

Dan, I do the same thing! It is a great way to spark ideas (and remember them).

I have kept a journal on each one of my 3 kids since the day they were born. When they have kids, I’ll let them read about their parents. TE HE!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11147 posts in 3666 days

#3 posted 10-27-2010 07:19 PM

At my age, I need a journal to remember where the bathroom is. :-)

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Triumph1's profile


921 posts in 3317 days

#4 posted 10-27-2010 07:40 PM

I have one also Dan…they are great to have. I always thought it was the perfect step to the “design first, figure out how to build it later” approach. I keep a large one and then I have a pocket sized one for on the go. Of course the drafter in me loves grid paper:-)

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 3764 days

#5 posted 10-27-2010 07:44 PM

That is a really good idea! I have been trying to keep all of my ideas in one place, I like the idea of a nice journal.
Some spiral notebooks have covers that can be removed sort of easily, I have wanted to make a new cover out of wood for one of those.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10369 posts in 4290 days

#6 posted 10-27-2010 07:55 PM


I kept forgetting where the Journal was! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4120 days

#7 posted 10-27-2010 07:57 PM

Good Idea.

Engineers use journals where the pages are numbered and you can’t tear them out. These can be used for patent and idea defense if needed. Something like that could also be used here. So remember to date your pages. They are fun to look back at.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3353 days

#8 posted 10-27-2010 09:36 PM

I have used very small spiral noteblocks for years seems to work better for me that way
but I know Mafe has done it for years and still have them all
I think if they are small enoff to have with you in a innerpocket on a jacket
A5 format is too big for me
and you learn to both use it and remember to bring it with you all the time
in a yung age then its not a bad system to have

good luck with it keep on drawing in it and make notes


View chrisstef's profile


17799 posts in 3244 days

#9 posted 10-27-2010 09:53 PM

Good idea .. istarted keeping a 3 ring binder when i started woodworking a couple years ago. I use one for manuals and the other for project plans and random notes on bevel angles, and whatnot. Now if i could ever get the sawdust off it i might be able to read it one day,

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3118 days

#10 posted 10-27-2010 10:36 PM

I set up a large 3 ring binder and have file tabs and separators that are labeled in different ways. I don’t hand write or draw as much but what I find is that I often find good articles and directions online or even projects and pictures that I want to save to reference later. Saving the page on my computer didn’t help me any because I had to many. So I now print the article, plan or picture, punch holes in it and file it under a tab in my binder. The same applies to magazine plans and articles. I have tons of magazines and see a lot of things I want to try from them but then I often forget what book it is in and then I find myself flipping through each one. To solve that I just make a copy of the page and put it in the binder. What makes the binder work for me is I have it split with tabs. One tab says Table Saw and under that tab I have any article or instructions that relate to the table saw. This would include how to tune it up, different jigs and any other useful info. I pretty much have a tab for each main tool so if I ever run into a question on a cut or operation I just go to the binder. I also have tabs set up for hand planes and other hand tools, sharpening, shop projects, dust collection, finishing, home improvement tips, painting, and anything else that I find needs its own tab…

I am always adding new pages and hand written notes to the binder.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3353 days

#11 posted 10-27-2010 10:49 PM

hey Dan that was a good idea to bee used beside the notebook
I will start to use that system allso ( have a full drawer of ideas cut out from different magazins/advetisingfolders)


View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3073 days

#12 posted 10-27-2010 11:21 PM

I take notes once in a while. Takes some discipline to be consistent. One inspiring note, however, Leornard da Vinci kept a journal. Little did he know that his scribbles and notes, disorganized as they are, would turn out to be among the most enduring documents of all time. At that time there were no pencils, ball pens or notebooks. They did not say what kind of writing surface he had … paper, parchment or fabric?

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3353 days

#13 posted 10-27-2010 11:54 PM

as I remember reading then he had paper to write and draw on
and he did it with federpen and thin brusches
and if you find any of them then donĀ“t throw them away, its big money….LOL


View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3968 days

#14 posted 10-28-2010 12:03 AM

I ordered this on the weekend and got it in the mail today.
I’m looking forward to using it.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9238 posts in 3158 days

#15 posted 10-28-2010 01:35 AM

I keep an “idea book” around all the time. When I see something that I like or an idea for making something or designing something, I write it down. I sometimes sketch out the ideas for later on too. Then when I am looking for something new to designs and don’t feel particularly creative, I go through it and many times it sparks things up again. It is great to write things down because you can do so and move on to other things and not forget your good ideas. It is also great for when you are actually making things to record sizes of drill bits used, blades, etc and other particulars about the projects. That way later on you can always recreate them with little effort if you wish.

Journals are great, and no matter how you decide to organize things, you will find them to be very beneficial.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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