Do you build a full mock-up?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by ColonelTravis posted 08-25-2017 01:45 AM 824 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ColonelTravis's profile


1768 posts in 1890 days

08-25-2017 01:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mock-up

This would probably be just for larger items, curious if you build a prototype or mock-up first? Making a desk and I worked out some templates for a couple things but not the whole thing. Wondering if anyone prefers a mock-up always, sometimes, never?

21 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2169 days

#1 posted 08-25-2017 01:48 AM

Once in a while.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TheFridge's profile


9454 posts in 1483 days

#2 posted 08-25-2017 02:00 AM

Maybe certain parts in order to build jigs and dial it in before the real deal. Like for angled mortises and tenons.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10383 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 08-25-2017 02:02 AM

I’ve done it for seating mostly. In addition
to clarifying ergonomic and construction issues,
it can be a way to get “bad” design ideas out
of your system.

If there’s a great deal of labor or material
cost at risk in building something that’s a
bit of a risk design-wise, a mock-up can
save some future face-palming moments.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6706 posts in 2195 days

#4 posted 08-25-2017 02:05 AM

Not usually for wood stuff, but frequently when doing metalworking. For example, I made this prototype out of 1/4” plywood to measure angles/offsets required for a lifting caster bracket I was making:

Once I dialed it in, then the final project was welded up:

Sure is a lot easier to modify and tweak stuff made out of wood first, than it is to do the same with metal :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View jbay's profile (online now)


2281 posts in 896 days

#5 posted 08-25-2017 02:07 AM

Sketchup handles about 90% of anything I need to see.
Sometime I may make a mock up of a certain type of joint or cut to see how it works, but not that often.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29224 posts in 2335 days

#6 posted 08-25-2017 02:13 AM

1+ what Loren said. Seating especially.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1768 posts in 1890 days

#7 posted 08-25-2017 02:25 AM

I enjoy looking at sketch-up things, man I hate to design in it. Chalk it up to me having no patience.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4538 posts in 2405 days

#8 posted 08-25-2017 03:14 AM

Depending on the project I might make a prototype. Usually it is functional but lacks the finish fit and polish the completed project comes out as. Several friends are the proud owners of such projects / tools.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View HTown's profile


104 posts in 1183 days

#9 posted 08-25-2017 04:48 AM

I use partial mock ups to adjust proportions and get input from my wife.

View Rich's profile


2813 posts in 586 days

#10 posted 08-25-2017 05:07 AM

+1 on SketchUp. Most of my jigs involve a prototype followed by the final piece.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2794 days

#11 posted 08-25-2017 05:44 AM

I made this mock-up to give my client a 3D view of my design and to check the strength of the open apron design. I still have this one, pieced up out of Arbutus (Madrone), and will eventually veneer it.

She liked the idea and the finished tables looked like this.

So yes, I do make mock-ups sometimes for a specific purpose.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4984 posts in 2490 days

#12 posted 08-25-2017 10:26 AM

I did it once, for a corner TV cabinet. I was able to get the angles and proportions right before I built the real one. It was the only time I found a good use for Chinese plywood, which eventually became kindling for a hunting trip.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2417 days

#13 posted 08-25-2017 04:30 PM

There are two situations, for me, when I will do a mock-up;

1) When there is an unproven element being explored for the first time. (Like shipwright’s apron—Very nice Paul BTW)
I did a bi-folding bookcase wall once with a new, complicated hinging method (Hidden room beyond) Mocked it up in basic plywood to prove it would actually work before committing to more expensive veneers and lumber.

2) When I am making 10 or more of an item. The first one is always used to work out any problems and make whatever adjustments that may be needed before the rest of the material is committed. This is a generally good idea, but more for larger production runs than a one-off piece.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View ColonelTravis's profile


1768 posts in 1890 days

#14 posted 08-25-2017 05:21 PM

awesome, ok I understand the why’s behind it better.
Thank you.

Paul – beautiful tables, I’d missed that when you first showed them.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3365 days

#15 posted 08-25-2017 06:29 PM

I have never built a mock up of anything. I only build one off projects. I do make a pattern piece if I need several parts to match exactly.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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