Wood work takes talent and persistence. It also requires attention to detail. Measurements have to be got right and things have to fit. Parts must be symmetrical. Angles must be just right. On top of all this, an object has to be rugged and beautiful. That is a very tall order and so the furniture maker, cabinet maker or carpenter needs all the help he or she can get. One of the best forms of help is to follow a set of wood working plans.
A good set of wood working plans ought to show an exploded diagram of the object in question, say, a garden bench for the patio. The plans for such a bench might include recommendations for the wood to be used, for example, hardwood because it will be exposed to the elements, a range of appropriate sizes, say minimum one metre and maximum three metres and how long the project should take to finish, for example, 24 man hours. The plans might also give a complexity rating: novice, intermediary or skilled.
Wood working plans are not there for ‘dumbing down’ the making of an item, although their function is to make creating it easier. The plans will give you sizes so that you do not have to work them out for yourself, although you might decide to make the object 10% larger,for instance.
You could say that the plans are there so that you do not have to keep reinventing the wheel. They take some of the slog out of creating something and permit the carpenter more time to get on with the actual construction process.
Despite the fact that people use wood working plans, it does not mean that everyone who uses the same plans will make identical objects, say, furniture. Two people might use the same plans for a garden bench, but come to a decision to finish their bench with different edge patterns, a different back or distinctive legs.
The plans will give dimensions and suggestions, but for the craftsman, they can be just indications, dimensions, the real creativity goes on in the mind. A little twist here, an extra flourish there – the true craftsman will use his wood working plans only as a reference for the mundane, but critically necessary measurements, the detail will come from his head.
There are a few places that you can obtain wood working plans. Traditionally, craftsmen or hobbyists would go to craft shops, home improvement stores or even the library, but these days, it is easier to find exactly what you want on the Internet. Not only that, but the plans you find in books are of necessity small and the centre crease in a book can mean that a photocopy will become distorted, whereas a download from the Internet can be printed out neatly and enlarged very easily.
If you decide to use the Internet for your wood working plans, try to find a site that specializes in this sort of plans, because there are a lot of plans about that are just a little too vague to be of any use to anyone but the expert, whereas a good set of wood working plans will enable even a complete novice to make a very decent item of furniture.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, bench woodworking plans. If you are interested in Desk Woodworking Plans, please click through to our site, where we have 14,000 wood working plans.