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Humpty Dumpty sat on a bench. It looks pretty ragtag, but the cardboard mockup helped me dial in dimensions and proportions.
I have a lot of things to build for my home this year. They’re more honey-do’s than wanna-do’s. Any time I get to build something is fun, but the honey-do projects don’t present a whole lot of creative challenges–other than better time management. This year, however, I’m taking on a project I’ve always wanted to tackle: a cabinet on-stand. I’m currently in the design stage, but I was having some trouble.
You see, I don’t see things in my mind in 3D, and I’m not a great illustrator; my drawings don’t give the full effect of proportion and part dimensions. Many times I’ve built a piece only to realize that a shelf, a side, or a leg (you get the picture) is too big or fat. After the finish is on is not the point I want to see such design flaws.
This time I’m making an effort to dial in the design as much as possible before I start cutting up the stock. Many of the staff members, and many pros I’ve visited over the years, develop full-size mockups to gauge proportion and dimensions. I’ve joined the fray.
Although my sketches looked okay, I went ahead and made a cardboard mockup of the case and a couple legs. It took some cutting and taping, but I’m happy with he proportion of the case. The cardboard didn’t allow for a 3D view of the legs, so I made a wooden mockup of those, too. I’m happy I did, because the 2 in. dimension I had sketched ended up looking like a square Louisville Slugger. I trimmed it down to 1 1/2 in. and was satisfied. I also used blue masking tape to gauge the taper on the bottom of the legs.
Now that I’m happy with the overall proportions, I can revise the my original sketches and work up a detailed plan, including joinery. I’ll give updates as I progress. Be patient, though, I have other things to make at home, like two bookcases, a bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet, some basement storage shelves, window seats for my porch…
Finding my wooden legs. To get a 3D look at the legs, I made a couple mockups out of poplar. The 2 in. version (left) was overpowering and hefty. I like the 1 1/2 in. version better.
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But then I wouldn't be able to watch the game or eat my nachos without making a large mess.
Hey, with a laptop, you can learn SketchUp _while_ you're in a warm pub!
Multitasking, you know.
I wish I had more time to learn about SketchUp. Honestly, I'd rather spend the little free time I have in the shop... or at a nice warm pub.
Tom, I look forward to seeing more of this project. I like the mock up idea. Michael's mock up was good, too.
telkwa has a point although seeing it full size so you can walk around it has a lot of advantages. Of course you know that you can learn SketchUp through the Design. Click. Build. blog right here on FineWoodworking.com.
Just for grins, I did a SketchUp mock up of your cabinet. I think it looks just fine. http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4276384343_d973787df7.jpg
you should try sketchup, its easy to use and to learn. there are also thousands of free tutorials on youtube.
Thanks, Gina. Just ignore some of my harsh language in the FWW shop as I build this thing. By the way, folks should also check out Mike Pekovich's blog on how he used a mockup in building his Arts and Crafts display case:
His project will be published in FWW #211.
Sounds fun. Good luck with the project! -Gina
The court battle continues between Bosch and Sawstop
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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