Planning projects

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Forum topic by zindel posted 02-10-2012 11:43 PM 938 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2848 days

02-10-2012 11:43 PM

I know a good plan is everything when starting a project. Mostly i have been using what others have created for plans, but now i am thinking about working on my skills of creating my own plans. Just wondering what everyone else uses to make their plans. I can’t seem to get a good hang of sketchup though maybe i should work on it more. But i don’t think paper would be all that bad. Anyways what is everyone’s planning process?

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

2 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3441 days

#1 posted 02-11-2012 06:16 PM

I hate using plans from others because when I build a project, I want to be able to say I did it all, from design to final product. That gives me a lot of satisfaction. I haven’t had much luck with sketchup. I was trained in Autocad and that’s what I use. A cut list is very valuable as it lets me plan all my cuts withoug wasting material. If I’m working on using plywood, after laying out the cuts, including kerf widths, I can go back and modify a dimension so it can be cut from the least amount of material. For example, if I have several pieces of plywood that measure 24”, cutting to that dimension, would leave me only 23-7/8” for another piece; so I go back to my design and reduce the 24” dimension down to 23-7/8. That way, I can get all my cuts from one sheet of plywood. This is just one trick that can be of benefit when using a CAD program. Depending on what kind of projects you do, you can work from photographs, but just overall dimensions is enough to start your design. The type of joint you use are entirely up to you. Choose the ones that you are comfortable using. While we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, there are enough variations available you can use and still call your design your own. Actually no copy is ever exact, so if you work from others plans, it will never turn out exactly like the original.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 02-11-2012 06:43 PM

I don’t like using plans. I like to do my own design. However, I am often inspired by a picture and decide to make something that is like what I saw in a picture. I may work some portions out on paper, but I do most of my planning in my head.

At this moment I am working on a couple of night stands that are a little complex. I literally spend hours, when away from the shop, thinking about the various design issues. Most of the material is cut (including mortises and tenons) and I am about to begin assembly. I find that it is very important to think out carefully the sequence for assembly. Some steps much take place before other steps and it can get complicated. Just today I decided to switch to a pocket hole joint at one critical joint so I could make that joint later in the assembly sequence. It is a location where I can totally hide the pocket holes.

Doing your own design work can be both challenging and rewarding. I enjoy it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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