project management

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Forum topic by Gatorjim posted 06-08-2012 09:43 PM 2354 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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217 posts in 2205 days

06-08-2012 09:43 PM

How do you manage your projects? Is there a program for the comuter that you use?

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

10 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 11:25 PM

Much of my 30+ year engineering career involved project management on jobs with as few as 3-4 people to over 100. In that scenario, my job was basically keeping track of task progress, budgets, and resource allocation. Now that I’m retired from engineering and working alone, it’s all about planning my work for maximum effeciency and knowing when to stop for the day before I start making too many mistakes. – lol

More specifically, I try to do as much of one operation as possible before moving to the next. Right now, I’m building a three section bathroom vanity. On Wednesday, I bought the plywood for the carcasses, cut all the carcass pieces, and milled the dados and rabbets. On Thursday, I assembled the carcasses, made the faceframes and got one installed. Today, I finished the faceframes and made two of the five drawer boxes. Unless I get tagged for jury duty on Monday, I’ll finish the last three drawers and start on the doors and drawer fronts.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4125 days

#2 posted 06-11-2012 04:26 PM

I’m interested in what you want to track on projects. I’m just a single person in a hobby shop, but I’m also a software geek and have been thinking about project management a lot recently. I know that one of the things I’d like is some set of needs tracker so that when I go to the hardware store or make an online order, I don’t have that nagging feeling that I’m forgetting things.

To some extent this requires some better planning tools than I’ve got; when I draw up plans I generally do them on paper, and counting and ticking off the various hardware components always leaves me unsure if I’ve double-counted something, or remembered to count something, especially when I’ve got multiple views of the object (ie: 2 or three ortho and a perspective).

I use Astrid on my Android for a “todo list” manager, which helps somewhat because it’s got location based alerts, so I can have my phone remind me that there are things on my hardware store list when I’m in the hardware store, but…

And, yes, I have two building permits, a sailboat, a kitchen cabinet, and other projects all in play right now.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8047 posts in 2329 days

#3 posted 06-11-2012 04:48 PM

How do you manage your projects?

My historic approach has been to keep starting projects untill I’m burried and floundering for space… then abandon all but the one my wife is nagging me about. But you may want to try a different approach ;^)

On a slightly more serious side… I try to plan my work out so that I don’t have to repeat machine setups. If I set up the TS to cut dados… I want to get all the dado cut parts done, b4 switching back to a rip blade. Same with the router table…

On my current project, I’m finding myself planning bench space and where I’m going to stack subassemblies so they’re not in the way.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#4 posted 06-11-2012 09:47 PM

I employ the chaos method. It doesn’t work, but I keep using it anyway. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a quitter.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2971 days

#5 posted 06-11-2012 09:57 PM

Ssnvet and Stefang, you guys are spot on. That’s the way I handle it.

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2772 days

#6 posted 06-11-2012 10:57 PM

In my software world, we use things like Microsoft Project to plan our man hours into a project, which can then be used to calculate time costs etc..

I would imagine this would translate pretty easily to Woodworking since it is also a project based system instead of a service based system.

I’ve never used it, but Open project is a free alternative to microsoft project

I’m not sure if this is the type of information you want to manage though .. if it’s just you .. it may be easier to just write down the times and keep track of it yourself.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2883 days

#7 posted 06-11-2012 11:02 PM

I have a small notebook I write dimensions/plans in. Used to use scraps of wood to write on, but would accidentally burn the scrap and then be sad.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Gatorjim's profile


217 posts in 2205 days

#8 posted 06-11-2012 11:24 PM

ssvet/stefang I seem to be using that method myself.

Jeremy I looked at microsoft project but figured I would spend more time figureing out how to use it then actual woodworking. My wife is checking it out that and excel.

Dan I am not real sure I know what I want. My wife is a real whiz with excel and is trying to make some thing up for me. Shes use to me wanting some thing and not knowing what.

Thanks all for responding for now I am going to go with Manitario idea and get a note book.

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3309 days

#9 posted 06-12-2012 04:03 AM

I don’t realy like to depend or rely on technology to plan what I do. I write things down I need to remember in a notebook and sketch my ideas and plans in the same notebook. I guess I am old fashioned and just have fun doing it the old-fashioned way and using my brain. It was worked for me just fine for the past 64 years.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#10 posted 06-12-2012 07:19 AM

Hi Jim. I couldn’t resist joking a bit. Seriously though I am a great believer in keeping things simple. I do not believe a hobby woodworker needs to spend a lot of time organizing his work, but there are ways to keep control. Firstly I would suggest you look at your projects as a step by step activity.

1. Design, including dimensions. Try to standardize parts where possible so you can produce more parts without changing your machine set-ups
2. Acquire materials based on your design including consumables like sandpaper, saw blades, etc.
3. Determine the order of the work like planing, dimensioning, cutting, joining, gluing
4. Mark your work pieces to identify them and to show orientation.
5. Stack them orderly in logical groups as you move the workpieces from one operation to another.

These steps can be easily documented on paper with a pencil or combined with a computer spreadsheet which will do the math for you and add up quantities and produce work checklists to take out to the shop. Just check off the work as you progress to make sure you cover everything. Personally I prefer just writing it down on paper like Greg. Computers can waste a lot of time.

Sketchup is a great designing program where you can see all the construction details, dimensions and a 3d image of the project. Unless you are good with this program it will be very time consuming to learn it and to use it until you get the hang of it. That said, it can be a great aid when designing complex projects.

I hope you will find this helpful and you can pick out what you like.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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