Furniture Sketches and Mock-ups
Furniture Sketches and Mock-ups
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Once the proper concept is arrived at, there are a number of steps that often are used before the actual build. They include concept sketch, working drawings, and mock-up. Depending on the complexity of the project and the experience of the woodworker, various paths can be taken. It is often advisable for less experience woodworkers to follow as many of the steps as logically possible to have the best chance of reaching there goal.Working Drawings
Once you've created one or more suitable concept sketches, the next step is to make working drawings. These are drawings that are proportionally accurate but at a reduced scale, often 1/4 of full size. They are used to refine design details and to determine specific dimensions of the various components. Perhaps the most common type of working drawing is an orthographic projection that provides separate straight-on views of the front, side (usually right) and top of the object. All three views or elevations go on the same piece of paper with the top view directly above the front view and the right side view directly to the right of the front view.
This method of construction blends European style cabinets, with what's known as traditional style. The major distinction between the two is traditional style cabinets have a face frame. While this adds to the design, (the beauty of wood and all that), it is also more costly to produce. It adds considerable labor and materials to the mix. There is also the disadvantage of making the cabinet openings smaller. A 24" European base cabinet will have 22 1/2" of clear access, while a traditional cabinet will have only 20" clear access. If you add a center stile, (vertical divider between two doors), in the center of the face frame, it reduces the opening even more.
Concept sketching is a free-wheeling type of informal drawing that helps you flesh out the basic design of an object before advancing to the more exacting scaled drawings. The essence of sketching is simple: draw whatever pops into your mind, revising as you go until you find a design you like best. With a little practice, you might even find sketching to be fun. The tools of the trade are simple: a medium soft lead pencil (#2 or so), an eraser, (you'll be doing lots of erasing), and white paper. Some folks like to use a bound spiral notebook because the pages remain intact and are easy to browse through for later reference. Plain old printer paper works fine for me. Beginners may prefer lined paper.
Woodworkers have a mixed blessing: Ideas can come from anywhere and at anytime, but sometimes there seems no end to the inspiration that fills your mind. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. So, how do you capture these bursts of woodworking illumination? The best way to flesh out your ideas is to simply sketch them. A lot of woodworkers are intimidated at the idea of keeping a sketchbook. What we’re talking about here are simple quick sketches to just get the basic idea down on paper, not a masterpiece of illustration. The good news is you don’t have to be an artist or have gone through years of technical drawing and drafting courses to have a sketchbook full of your brilliant masterpieces. Here’s a few quick and easy tips for improving your skills and gain the confidence to fill volumes of sketchbooks.
Having had the pleasure of knowing, and working with Mr. Jefferson Clark, a well known Philadelphia, Pa., designer, and teacher of design, at Drexel University, I learned a number of valuable lessons. While Jeff is now retired, his teachings are part of my business in a very integral way. There was a time when I would have rather chewed off my arm, than to admit to that. One of the most difficult lessons for me, as a General Contractor, who was trying to complete a project on time, and on budget, was the importance of doing a mock up. Hearing Jeff mutter those despicable words, "Let's Do A Mock Up", would send me very close to the edge.