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Wood Coder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I was wondering, do you use your Desktop / Laptop much for Woodworking ? Or are Pencil & Paper enough for you ?
If you do, what do you use it for ?

- 3D Modeling
- Calculations
- Gathering some project Ideas

Cause I'm a coder guy and would love to make some useful tools for the community so that would help me have a clear vision and make something great of my life too !

Thanks !
 

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Most of the time I just use my old triangles, rulers, and pencils.



Occasionally if I wanted to get fancy I have used Sketchup for 3d. The problem with Sketchup is that if you go a long time between uses, it is too easy to forget how to use.


George
 

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Wood Coder
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most of the time I just use my old triangles, rulers, and pencils.

Occasionally if I wanted to get fancy I have used Sketchup for 3d. The problem with Sketchup is that if you go a long time between uses, it is too easy to forget how to use.

George

That's good :). Love the pencil / ruler way too, upgraded to an iPad recently to keep the writing / drawing feel but for more features.

Yeah the interface can be tricky if you don't use it on a weekly basis.
The good point is it can give you a pretty much nice idea of what your final project will look like + let you know how much material you'll need

Fouad.
 

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I use both.

Given a choice, I prefer crude pencil and paper drawings and write the measurements on them. I have an old Leitz drafting set with two compasses and a dividers that my parents gave me when I was a child. I keep a spiral notebook in my shop for notes as I work. Wherever I go, I carry a zip-up clipboard (binder?) and mechanical pencil in case I feel like working on design ideas. I am slowly accumulating some interesting designs that I want to try.

I also reuse file folders, taking one out for each project to keep the loose papers together until the project is done. At that point, the papers are stapled and stored for future reference, and the folder is ready for the next project.

Sometimes I use a computer for scale drawings. I am working on a baby rattle with hollows drilled using Forstner bits. For that, I had to use a computer to "see" how much clearance I could get from the cavities when I turn the rattle, so I could figure out which Forstner bits to use and how deep to drill them.

I will post the drawing here, but keep in mind that it is a crude personal drawing intended solely to get measurements. The diagonal lines in the "hole" section are my careful scale measurements to see how much clearance I would have for woodturning. I can read the exact length of the lines from a display when I click on each one. My goal was a minimum of 1/8 inch all around. That's close. Eeek!

Notes on the drawing and rattle:
The measurement choices are my own, but credit for the basic design concept must go to others in my local woodworking club who showed me their rattles. I wonder how they figured out their measurements? I never found out. If you look at my drawing with intent to copy it, you should know that I decided to skip the third 3/8 inch drill hole on the actual rattle. Two concentric holes seemed good enough. I drilled both halves of each "ball", not just the one half shown in the drawing. I put 28 stainless steel ball bearings in each side, and they sound good in mahogany, but I am not done with the woodturning yet.

For computer drawings, I use an old program called Canvas X on Mac. I use it because I know how. I have to run it in a virtual machine with an old Mac operating system, then export the PDF for printing. It is far easier for me to spin up a virtual machine than it is to learn Sketchup from scratch, so sorry. Sketchup skills would be useful, but I would rather play with real wood in the shop than sit at my desk learning Sketchup. I spend too much time on computers as it is. :-(

P.S. My current design effort will become the holiday gift for my spouse's large family, which must be replicated many times. For the first time, I find myself making a scale model from cardboard first. Hey, whatever works, right? In addition to the cardboard model, I may have to make a computer drawing, to get accurate angle measurements.

Attachment:
Crude computer drawing of a baby rattle design. No way anyone but my spouse gets to see my hand drawings; I would be embarrassed. :-(
 

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The beauty of this hobby is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you desire, for some half the pleasure is using as much technology as possible to figure out how to get the most efficient cuts out of their material, others just eyeball it and start marking out the cuts.

A contractor friend of mine sent one of his guys to do a deck repair that he had estimated at six hours labor, when he went to check the job at lunch time he found the guy at a bench he had built complete with a roof for shade drawing out plans on how he was going to proceed with the repair.
 

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I use the old tried and true 4 box per inch graph paper. That way I get to scale without needing a ruler or tape. Also comes in handy for making sketch of cut list. I can usually get my drawing to actual work proportions without trashing more than 2 pages - the graph paper 8 1/2 X 11 sheets are still pretty cheap.

There was just posted a large table by Russel Hudson. He has his more or less hand drawn plans in the post. I find them easier to read than the computer or drafting table drawings. I find it easier to accidentally over look some details in a nice neat computer drawn print.
 

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Good Idea.
I just count the boxes and mark them off in grids to the scale I need on the first line I draw. The little cross line marks the grids without drawing over the grid boxes If that makes sense. Only need to draw that little hash mark on the outer boundrys of my sketch.
 

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In my world the computer and laptop mainly for research, purchases and to see what others are doing.
I use the manual method of roughing out a design by hand (drawing) and maybe using Sketchup.
 

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Depends on the project. Some I draw up in AutoCAD, others on a napkin, and others just come from a picture in my head.
 

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I tried the free version of Sketchup, but I am a triangle and T-Square guy from high school. I find it easier to draw what I need and make changes if necessary. Slower, but works for me.
 

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Pencils, 1/4” scale graph paper note book, rulers, triangles, compass, etc. I use my PC only for research, and Excel for cut lists and dimension calculations / cutting plans.
 

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The computer is useful for generating an efficient cut layout, like Cutlist Platinum. I haven’t seen that program around in a while, but I understand there are others that will do the same.
 

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Like most people I use drawings, templates, story sticks, etc. Since you asked specifically about the computer I have used SketchUp but recently have switched to Fusion 360. The parametric modeling makes a lot of sense to me. I have only started one project so far but I changed the width after I had drawn many components and by changing the parameter everything scaled automatically. It saved a great deal of time.

I also use forums like Wood Working Talk, search engines to find pictures of items to feed the design process, online tool catalogs, and occasionally to search of plans. The latter has seldom provided any success.
 

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I'm a coder also.

But ...

I've found that (other than my phone for music) I don't like technology in my shop. I prefer a good pencil, eraser and ruler to put my concepts to graph paper. I've played with Sketchup, but haven't found that it benefits my designing style.

Coder to coder, have you found a niche that other cad/sketch applications don't already provide? If you have, maybe you could join an open-source project and contribute. If you're looking to profit monetarily, your road will be much harder, as you'll be competing with the big closed-source companies who would probably trademark and implement your idea in their software before you could get your software off the ground.
 

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I started off a 25 plus year career in information technology learning computer aided drafting (AutoCad). I soon realized I was more interested in networking, LAN/WAN design, implementation and support. I’m retired now and my primary computer is an iPad which I will use in the shop for research. Most plans are drawn on quarter inch graph paper. Most calculations are hand done in pencil on my work bench. Since retiring I don’t need much technology. I still use a desktop computer as a digital darkroom.
 

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I liked ketchup free version a lot when I was on Windows. I switched to a desktop Mac and could not find anything free or even cheap until recently. In the App Store I found Affinity Designer for about $50. It is more of an artistic drawing program but has a vector section. With a little effort I got it to do the 2d drafting I'm used to. For me the design work on the computer is as much fun as the woodwork itself. I found 3d is too complicated for occasional use. I think as I get more experience with Affinity its extra abilities may come in handy.
 

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I am a new software engineers student... This is my first year... I am still learning Fusion 360 ... AUTOCAD is free for college students .. My education will finish in 4 years... I don't want to pay for AUTOCAD on 4 years later..


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