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Question Of The Week... (2022 week 19)

ripjack13

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Where do you find your plans for new woodworking projects and What do you think are good woodworking projects for beginners? (lathe, flatwork, ect...)





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woodtickgreg

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When I do use plans I seem to get them from the wood working magazines. Most of the time I just have thoughts in my head, and maybe just make a rough sketch on paper to keep me on track. I quit making fully complete drawings many years ago and I just kind of build as I go.
Imo the one of the best projects for beginning wood workers are boxes. It teaches all the fundamentals of wood working and theres so many variations of them to further build your skills and learn about joinery. When you think about it most forms of wood working are based on the simple box.
 

Mike1950

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Myself or Kathie draws concept. I make case and fit drawers-doors or whatever to it.
In the beginning I used woodsmith-other magazine plans. First was a spice box(5 of them) then barrister bookcases-oak and cherry set then 10 shallow jewelry boxes. They taught me joinery. have not used plans. since.
Ps. Pictures below are the plan examples. I think spice box proportions are off cosmetically. Plans fault. Box is great. Barrister is half set. Hard to believe, this is cherry. She wanted it this dark. Grrrr it was beautiful cherry. I fell in love with building furniture after these.

20220508_065304.jpg

20220508_065224.jpg

20220508_065243.jpg
 
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2feathers Creative Making

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Would have to second the box comment for beginning practice. Screw up a box and you lose 25 dollars worth or lumber if it is expensive. Screw up a bedroom set and you may have ruined a thousand dollars worth of stuff.
A second option is to be a carpentry/trim helper. Won't be long before the lead man has taught you quite a bit so he doesn't have to do all the work himself... I personally started with my Daddy at the ripe age of 11. By 13 I could lay out the house, cut and install the stairs, and hang trim. Not that I was perfect by then, but I could do it.
Most of my plans seem to revolve around me kind of "seeing" it in the piece. Then sketching til satisfied with the results. I think over all width for bed frames or height for seats and table tops are the things I reference most.
In lathe work, the lowly slimline has probably sucked in more turners than any other one item. Once again, small enough to not hurt financially if you Screw it up, and you can practice cutting angles and the effects of soft spots before you go ripping a chunk out of a 95 dollar burl that was thinking about being a vase but ultimately decided 'projectile' was more it's line
 

DLJeffs

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Isn't that two questions? It's like inflation has hit the QotW thread.

Same as most of the comments above, the stuff I end up building is usually my own design - but those designs are certainly founded on things I've seen or read about before. Typically my end product is a mash-up of several other basic concepts, tweaked a little to make it my own or to incorporate some material I want to use, like those lamps with the agate slices. My Dad made a set of lamps with frosted panels that had Japanese kanji symbols. I had some agate slices and liked how the light shown through and some beautiful maple thins from Mike. Mash those things together and I came up with this...

For beginner projects I don't turn so can only speak to flat work. I'd focus on learning techniques, so projects like a cribbage board, cutting board, simple clock, bench scale projects that employ various shop tools and finishing techniques. From there I'd advance to projects that require joinery - stuff like simple boxes, children toys, picture frames

finished lamp daylight.jpg
 

trc65

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Don't buy "commercial" plans , see things that appeal to me, take a picture for reference and make some drawings. Drawing or sketching my own helps me think about dimensions, proportions and joinery methods. The exception to this is the set of plans I have for a Maloof rocker that I bought about 10 years ago. Unfortunately, those plans remain unused.

For a beginner, no matter what the project. I'd recommend they draw up, or sketch a set of steps to follow, even if they are working from commercial plans. This allows them to visualize the process and better understand the sometimes confusing instructions.

Boxes are good as mentioned above. For the lathe, I'd recommend a beginner get a bunch of spindle blanks and make dozens of finials or "icicles". Coves, beads, etcetera over and over in different combinations, diameters and lengths. Will give very good practice in tool manipulation and body movement that will be a good foundation for any future projects.
 

Nature Man

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Devise/customize plans from all sources, I.e., magazines, videos, pictures, etc. I tend to be pretty good at emulating, but my real desire is to optimize for the specific project purpose. I am not content to just copy others, unless their design is perfect. My starting position is nearly always, “What is in the realm of the possible.” Of course, I tend to be limited by my knowledge of tools, hardware, techniques, etc. Chuck
 

Gdurfey

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From some of the comments above, I use a lot of turning plans from pens, to calls to (in the future) mills. Otherwise I am taking info from all sources and then determining if I use the set of plans with the project from a magazine or web or doing my own. I still draw out anything I am doing as I don't have the experience to see it and go for it. Especially the rough cabinets I have made so far.......

My first thought on "beginners project" was like the first answer: a box.....which I still have not made and need to when I finally get set up!!!
 
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