Building without a plan

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Blog entry by bbasiaga posted 01-30-2017 01:26 AM 1692 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently built a plane till for my hand planes. This was one of the first things I’ve done where I didn’t draw up a plan before I started.

I see a lot of posts from beginning woodworkers asking for plans for things. They see something they like, but then don’t know where to start or have a vision of something they want to build but have a hard time understanding how it would go together. Well, I crossed a major bridge on that in this recent project. Instead of spending time with my graph paper or going in the Sketchup, I just started laying things out and cutting as I went. It can be done!

The trick for me on this one was to get the layout I wanted, and then think through the joints. What purpose were they serving? What forces would they see? That allowed me to select the right one for the job.

I talk through my reasoning in the following video. Please consider checking it out if you are new to wood working. I hope some of my descriptions will help you through planning your next project.

I’ve also got a build video here.

You can also find the finished till posted in my projects section.

Thanks! Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

4 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1418 days

#1 posted 01-30-2017 11:34 AM

Great thread … it’s a shame I already started … Plans or No Plans ...

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 1839 days

#2 posted 01-30-2017 12:05 PM

I am the worst draftsman you can imagine and therefore I always work without plans, the design and everything else is done in my head and when it is a project a little more complicated, what I have is a very basic sketch with the rough most important measures. It almost always works, but there are times when I’ve wanted to have better drawing capabilities

-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View Patternguy's profile


66 posts in 1462 days

#3 posted 02-05-2017 03:56 AM

You may not need a drawing, but it’s wise make a layout. A layout gives reference points, locations, relationships, distances, and dimensions for what you are making.

We always had blueprints of what we were making, but a layout was always the first step.
A layout helps you understand the design of what you are making.

View dbeck's profile


69 posts in 1129 days

#4 posted 06-04-2017 10:51 AM

Wise huh Well i to enjoy having a project in my head and working thru it as i go not to say i dont draw up plans for somethings but i cant say its always needed let alone always the most enjoyable way to make. I am not a commercial woodworker so i do mine in the way i enjoy doing it the most.

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