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Today we face an issue that I love: the Design phase .
As you may have read in the page where I present myself , I am a Designer .
For this I decided to take this path.
Beyond the passion I have for the Wood, I needed to know more about projecting.
I believe is crucial, for a woodworker or a hobbyist , doing at least a sketch before starting to work with hammers, saws and planers.
As I explained in previous articles (especially in that related to the wood cut) that of Woodworker is a job that requires the utmost attention to measures.
I’m talking about millimeters precision.
Sometimes even tenths of a millimeter!
For this reason I believe that it’s necessary to make at least a rough skecth with measures and forms of our object.
I’m not saying that anyone who works with wood have to be a designer, but often those who approach this type of work has got a lot of creativity and constructive skills .
Certainly the dexterity and the ability to build object in mind, even before you realize it, is frequent in Woodworkers , but, except in rare cases, are acquired through years of experience.
In fact these three steps are never completely detached and isolated from each other, but intersect continuously.
Let me explain how.
When I talk about the initial idea I mean that whole phase of the first input to create (your idea, the request of a client or friend, the sight of an object that gave you inspiration etc …).
Some people may think that when the basic idea is outlined, next steps is to make a work drawing and then to realize the object.
Thus, in a schematic and linear way.
Not really like this…
When designing a new building there are a thousand variables and details that we can’t predict.
This is also one of the most beautiful aspect of manual work:
What is certain is that if we want to get clean, accurate result, we must try to avoid gross mistakes and therefore it is important to evaluate the possible risks .
In this the design phase helps us a lot.
In the design phase we can use the freehand sketches to throw the idea on paper.
So we are already able to understand approximately the finished object.
But it is only thanks to the technical drawing that we understand the proportions and defects.
I don’t want to scare you when I talk about technical drawing .
It’s much easier and more fun than it sounds (as well as being useful).
Also having notions of geometry is vital to a woodworker!
The first thing to do is to draw in projection , I’m exploiting the famous orthogonal projections that probably you studied at school.
I’m talking about “flat” views of the object in which the draw is projected orthogonally onto a plane (hence the name ” Orthogonal “).
We will need at least 3 or 4 views, but it depends on the project.
In this case I drew a very simple table and then the first three would be enough.
The three-dimensional view (axonometric or perspective) may be useful for us, but also for the eventual customer.
What we need is:
- Plan view
- Front view
- Side view (at least one)
- Axonometric or perspective view (if you think you need it)
Most drawing softwares (the design you see above is made with Rhinoceros) has a screen which is based on this principle of Orthogonal Projections.
Drawing in this way will force you to tackle issues that probably you will not notice without drawing, especially if you aren’t an expert.
Important things as: the type of junction of the various parts , the material thickness, the proportions between all elements etc …
It must be said that when you do a very simple object you’re not going to do a job like that, but if the work is complicate a little more I suggest you get yourself a little drawing with measures and everything else to avoid unpleasant surprises in the construction phase.
But don’t believe that by now on you’ll not edit your project anymore!
In fact, during the process, you realize that maybe some things don’t work as you thought or it’s better to make them in a different way.
And here that the Project phase and Construction phase intersect and overlap as I said before.
But first things first.
Usually at this stage we are realized more weighted and precise drawings, also details such as handles, joints and hinges.
You should make also a kind of exploded drawing to know what are the actual components that build the object.
- Choice of material ( wood species, thickness of the pieces, size of the available pieces etc)
- Selection of work tools (make sure you have at least the basic tools )
- Cut (if you have not done so, see the guide to Cut the wood )
- Planing (I also have a courtesy for Planing Guide )
- Possible edging, veneer or other finishes
- Choice of accessories (handles, hinges, drawer slides, etc …)
- Assembly of the various parts (nails, screws, glue, joints etc …)
However, when you make a final design , always remember to insert dimensions, the most important measures of the object and of the various components.
In the case of pieces of furniture or ornaments, measurements are indicated in millimeters .