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post #1 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Prototypes

How many people will build a prototype or a first try? I want to build an entertainment center for my living room out of cherry and walnut with a wenge top but most likely am going to build one first out of something really cheap first.

Measure twice, cut once, cut again, swear, throw useless piece into wall, drive to lumber yard, yell because its now closed, take up knitting as new hobby.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 03:59 PM
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To me it seems a waste of time and materials to build a project twice. With careful planning and perhaps a sketch you should be able to build it once. Often I will layout the spacing for the openings full scale both width and height of a cabinet on a 1x4 to double check dimensions.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 04:16 PM
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In one of my WOOD magazines from this year they had an article on just this subject. They basically said its a good idea to make some kind of prototype for all projects. This ranged from paper to cardboard to actual wood pieces, as far as materials.


Personally most of my projects are either in my head or on paper from a pencil.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 04:21 PM
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I've never built prototypes. Seems like a waste of time and materials. I'd rather spend the time building the actual one perfectly.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 05:17 PM
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I've never made a prototype either. I start every project with a sketch elevation containing all the pertinent measurements (overall dim, opening sizes, etc). I tend to spend the day or days leading up to beginning a build totally preoccupied with thinking about how to execute the build, so by the time I start I have a work flow in my head & I know what type of joinery to use where and what I want as far as style goes.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 08:03 PM
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I could see doing tests for parts of the job... or maybe all of a small job... especially for new techniques. When I made my first rail/stile door, I tested with some MDF. But to build a whole entertainment center out of pine or something? Far too expensive and time consuming IMO.

If theres any doubt about the plan, you need to plan more. I lay it out in sketchup to the finest detail, call that a prototype if you will.

Beyond that, most of my mistakes are when I mess up on executing the plan... I want to start this dado 2" from the edge and I brain fart and go the whole length. Doing it twice wont help with that, I could do it right the first time and still do it wrong the 2nd time. Infact I did exactly that with the doors I made...
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-24-2014, 09:06 PM
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depends on your abilities...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamfer View Post
In one of my WOOD magazines from this year they had an article on just this subject. They basically said its a good idea to make some kind of prototype for all projects. This ranged from paper to cardboard to actual wood pieces, as far as materials.


Personally most of my projects are either in my head or on paper from a pencil.

That's what I do also, however if you are not certain about some joinery or maybe proportions a "mock up" or "prototype" would be fine. Back in design school, we always made a mockup, and we had sketches and dimensioned drawings. As you develop your skills in visualizing and joinery there will be less need for the mockups. However, a joint like a mortise and tenon will benefit from a few trails to get it just right and to tune your jigs.... always make one more part than you'll need if that's practical.

Heck no bodies watchin', go for it. A mockup can also be made from appliance cardboards, foam core, Luan, or just a frame work of 1 x 2's for sizing. A flat layout on the floor will give you the basic sizes and then you can tip it up to see how it looks. You will get once chance on the proportions and if they are what you like, it's too late.


Norm Abrams always made a prototype if I recall. Not that that makes a big difference. LOL

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-25-2014, 08:39 PM
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I made a mock up of a dining chair once but I was making 6 so there were details to work out. Seat height back angle joint construction and final size over all. It was my own design.

An entertainment center fits a spot on the wall and floor. The components need to fit. But that doesn't warrant a prototype. Give or take a few inches they all fit a chosen size. Draw it full size on a piece of cardboard at most. Save the time, wood and money. If the cable box fits and you can get it through the door, what's the big deal, plan it and build it.

Al


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post #9 of 10 Old 12-25-2014, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamfer View Post
In one of my WOOD magazines from this year they had an article on just this subject. They basically said its a good idea to make some kind of prototype for all projects. This ranged from paper to cardboard to actual wood pieces, as far as materials.


Personally most of my projects are either in my head or on paper from a pencil.
Same here...
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-26-2014, 06:02 AM
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Prototypes are good if you do multiples. When working in store fixtures, it's usually the prototype that gets approved for the run, and is included in the cost of the contract.

If you're doing a one-off, it's kind of a waste. You can mock up without actually building a full size sample.
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