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Detailed Plans = Successful Woodworking

Jun 12, 2008
Good woodworking plans provide step-by-step instructions to guide even the less-experienced person through a project. These plans should give every detail, from start to finish, and if they do, they will be just as essential to the project as the tools and wood used. Whether the plan is for general cutting of wood or for more detailed scroll saw work, the craftsman can purchase plans, find no-cost plans on the Web or even create his own one-of-a-kind set of instructions for a unique project.

Finding Plans

The World Wide Web (sometimes called by the general term "Internet") has become a great source for finding free merchandise and services. Even woodworking plans are available at no cost from a few sources. Some of the more detailed plans for woodworking come with a reasonable price, so it will be necessary to take a close look at what is offered before deciding which set of plans will work best.

A Web search can be conducted with a goal of finding general woodworking plans and ideas, of if the craftsman has a particular project in mind, the search can be limited to that idea. The number of items available on the Web has grown significantly in the last few years, so those interested in woodworking plans may be able to find something as simple as plans for a wooden box or as elaborate as custom furniture. Other Web sites offer plans for wooden children's toys and for home decoration items. A simple phrase such as "free woodworking plans" entered in a Web search engine will probably uncover more ideas than anyone can use.

Many amateur craftsmen and woodworkers choose to find their patterns and ideas in books. Over the years, a number of experts have written books that can help the amateur or the more experienced craftsman looking for new ideas. These publications are available in bookstores, on the Web and even at the local library. In addition, many people rely on the excellent woodworking magazines that include good plans for a variety of projects. Some people find a particular magazine so helpful they subscribe and have it sent to their home each month.

Keep It Simple

Those who are new to the woodworking world should probably begin with a simple project and follow a simple plan. For the inexperienced, it is just as important to learn how to read and follow plans as it is to actually do the work. As with any task, when skills and experience increase, the individual can move on to more complex projects. Many beginners choose a simple, one-piece toy or similar plan for their first project. Tip: Keep in mind that plans should be detailed and complete, even for the simplest project.

The best plans will have detailed diagrams, for those who work best visually. These diagrams should be accompanied by clear instructions. Photographs taken at various times during the project are very helpful as part of the plan. Some who have established woodworking as a hobby even print copies of the plans and put them in a binder for future reference. The pages will remain undamaged and will be easier to find when they are needed again. More experienced woodworkers may even choose to change a detail or two in a printed plan, to give the project a personal touch.

Creating Plans

More experienced craftsmen sometimes create their own plan for a particular project or a particular style. This plan can begin with a general sketch of how the finished item should look (not too detailed or technically accurate). After this idea is on paper, it is time to settle on details and actual dimensions. The type of wood to be used should be one of the early details of a project plan as well.

Some of the more important parts of a good plan are:

Accurate measurements to determine amount of wood needed Other materials needed, such as hardware, nails, screws, glue etc. Finish coat - paint, stain etc. Estimate of cost and time to complete the project

At this point, the craftsman can created a more detailed drawing. This step may include diagrams (the blueprint for the project). Each diagram or finished sketch should be accompanied by detailed instructions. Remember, a good plan is just as important as good wood.
About the Author
Rob Carlton very often produces short articles on news related to free scroll saw patterns and scrollsaw patterns. You can discover his articles on scroll saw plans and free scroll saw patterns on his site.
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