Episode No. 14 Design Part 2

May 1, 2006

Thanks once again for coming back for another episode. We start to get more in depth about the design process by moving on to dimensioning pieces for construction. I cover a little bit more about the golden mean and try to give an example of it in use, talking about determining the dimensions of Aiden’s dresser.

Remember the golden mean is a proportional ratio that results in dimensions that are very pleasing to the eye. The original dimension is either multiplied or divided by 1.6 and the answer is a proportion that will work great with the original, not to mention that repeated multiplication or division by 1.6 will yield more numbers that work also. In episode 13 we talked about get ideas out of your head and onto something where you could look at them.

The next step is to actually determine first the rough dimensions of the piece and then the actual construction of it. The rough dimensions are pretty easy, these are the height, width and depth. Next we need to break each part down so we know how many of each we need, their lengths, widths and thickness.

With Aiden’s dresser it at first looks a little complicated but the fact is it’s essentially several boxes within a box. It’s at this point we need to think about the materials we’ll use and any of the joinery we’ll use for the construction. Especially important is making sure that if you’re using specialized joinery for details make sure you don’t come up short on the dimensions.

Vocabulary words to remember:

Rail – horizontal members used in construction

Stiles – vertical members used in construction

Board Feet – a unit of measure used by mills to determine the volume of wood in rough sawn lumber width (in inches)x length (in feet) x thickness (in inches) divided by 12 = board feet

4/4 – mills refer to lumber thickness in quarters, 4/4 = 1 inch 5/4 = 1-1/4 inches ,etc.

Check out Popular Woodworking’s website for a new feature all about beginning woodworking called “I Can Do That Too” by Christopher Schwarz. And for a great reference on the types of joints out there to use in woodworking check out the book ‘Classic Joints with Power Tools’ by Yeung Chan.

Straight grains and sharp blades, Matt

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