Make a Model Before You Start?

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Project by dan mosheim posted 08-09-2008 05:07 PM 1773 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Occasionally when I am branching off into a new design style, or when designing something like a chair that needs to be checked for comfort, I have found it a good idea to make a scale, or even full size model before I begin actual construction. It can be simple or detailed, take five minutes or 3 hours. I have found that neither I nor my customers ever regret the extra time taken for the model making. I have just posted a current design project to my blog and, if you scroll to the bottom of it, links to other related mockup and model making posts.

If you’re about to start a project and are unsure of how it will look in the space, pick a workable scale, say 1/6th or 1/4 depending on the projects actual size and whip up a mini piece. ... Your wife, your firends and your grandkids willl love it, and, you’ll have more confidence regarding your design when you actually build it … Hot glue guns and 23 guage micro pinners are your best friends for this work .... Enjoy…

-- dan,vermont,

9 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4274 days

#1 posted 08-09-2008 05:09 PM

Great concept! Thanks for sharing Dan.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 08-09-2008 05:30 PM

Very good idea.
Thanks for posting.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 08-09-2008 05:48 PM

have sees it one works of professional very beautiful concept

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4210 days

#4 posted 08-09-2008 07:39 PM

Great idea!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4229 days

#5 posted 08-10-2008 02:32 AM

I like the idea! Thanks for sharing.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View James Early's profile

James Early

48 posts in 4154 days

#6 posted 08-12-2008 02:54 AM

Very nice, Dan. Google Sketchup has a “Match New Photo” option that will place your model “in the picture”, much like what you did in your last two interior images. Check it out!

-- -- Jim E., Oswego, NY. Create, have fun, and work safely!

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4305 days

#7 posted 08-12-2008 03:10 AM

thanks.. I agree. models make a great deal of sense…especially since it is cheaper to goof on cheap stock before using the good stuff. Not to mention working out an angle or scale for comfort when it is easy and cheap to do.

-- making sawdust....

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4667 days

#8 posted 08-12-2008 01:46 PM

very cool… and what a doll house or better yet a doll museum collection this would make.
“The Dan M. Museum”.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View dmann's profile


82 posts in 4313 days

#9 posted 08-12-2008 05:39 PM

Those are awesome. It is also a way save a little of your project so you can refer to it after the customer received your item.

When my wife and I were house shopping we found a house plan that we liked but the builder did not have any of the particlar plan constructed. I asked the builder for plans and they sent me small set of scale plans and elevations. I printed them out on card stock paper and after 2 hours of cutting, folding and gluing we were staring at a 6”x6”x6” model of the house with removable roof and 2nd floor. After we saw it in 3d we were sure that this was the home for us and signed the paperwork.

-- David / Durham, NC

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