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Discussion Starter #1
I applied it to two dimensions of this box (lid and front measurements) and I don't like it at all. The box looks way too tall. Thoughts?

Fortunately it's just a dry fit of the sides with tape, so I'll come back and decease the height dimension.
 

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Super Moderator
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Pete,
Looks like you could cut it in half and make two nice boxes out of it. I don't think you need the golden rule for something like this. Trust your own eyes and judgement. You could tape it up a bit more and just run it through the table saw.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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Pain in the A$$
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At the risk of sounding stupid, what "golden rule" are you referring to?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great feedback Mike! I'm challenging myself to build a box every week, trying as many new things as possible, through 2014. I usually go by eye or rough scale things from pieces that are similar to what I'm building. I wanted to try applying the Golden Ratio design methodology for this one to see what I think. There is another gentleman's website dedicated to traditional design (I'll have to hunt it down again!) that I wanted to implement on a few projects as well. My eye is usually fairly good, but I'm hoping to stretch myself in design...I'm sure I have a lot more to learn! :)

I swung the ratio around to the ends of the box and I think I'll look much better. I'll drop the final height down to three inches. I'm setting up to rip to 3 3/8 inches to account for a lift lid technique that uses a 3/8 inch straight bit.

Mark, check out those links that Alchymist provided on the Golden Ratio.
 

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Chester's Gorilla
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I built a tall box like that for myself a few months ago. I justified the height because I installed a sliding tray on the top. However, I used three stripes of wood to break up the large area of the box faces. Didn't use the golden ratio, though, but it's about the same size and shape of the one you posted.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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I'm not trying to be flippant but what problem are you trying to solve with the box? Or what goes in the box?

If you look at a box of Kleenex, nothing is a 1.63 ratio.

If you look at some of Stickley's designs, very little adheres strictly to the Fibonacci ratio. There's more functionality than the the ratio in his designs.

Looking at the computer desk that I'm sitting at, the HW ratio is 1.29. The WD ratio is 1.48. The big question, do these ratios mean anything? For me, not really.
 

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I'm not trying to be flippant but what problem are you trying to solve with the box? Or what goes in the box?

If you look at a box of Kleenex, nothing is a 1.63 ratio.

If you look at some of Stickley's designs, very little adheres strictly to the Fibonacci ratio. There's more functionality than the the ratio in his designs.

Looking at the computer desk that I'm sitting at, the HW ratio is 1.29. The WD ratio is 1.48. The big question, do these ratios mean anything? For me, not really.
Agree. If you are only building something for the aesthetics, then maybe the "golden rule" (had never heard of it before this) could apply. However, if you are building something for function then I do not see how such a rule is useful.
George
 

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where's my table saw?
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it's the Golden Ratio, not Rule

Agree. If you are only building something for the aesthetics, then maybe the "golden rule" (had never heard of it before this) could apply. However, if you are building something for function then I do not see how such a rule is useful.
George
It's the numerical "ratio" between two dimensions...height to width, length to width, etc.
The Golden Rule is ..."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio


Images:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...e&fr=ytff1-tyc-inbox&va=golden+ratio+examples
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Good points Rich and George. I've not designed anything before around the golden ratio, but wanted to try incorporating it a couple times to see what I think of it as a design element. I've got four of these boxes, so box #3 here has been pressed into service for testing. :) I ripped the height down to 3 and 3/8 inches...final height will be three inches once the lift lid is routed with a 3/8 inch straight bit. This will make the top and the sides very close to the golden ratio. I think the lesson I've learned in applying this ratio is to not have two planes honor the ratio with the same dimensions in direct contact with each other (make sense?)
 

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The Golden Ratio is not designed for use in 3D. The top of your box has a good aspect ratio and the side of your box has a good aspect ratio, but the two together don't look good at all. This is not the fault of the Golden Ratio.
 

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If you want to dig deeper into this type of theory, check out "By Hand and Eye" by Jim Tolpin and George Walker. http://www.lostartpress.com/product_p/bk-bhae.htm
I had the opportunity to take a class from Jim this past summer and he talked a lot about these principles during the class. It was very interesting to me to learn that in the old days, they didn't "precisely" measure anything (they didn't use tape measures), but rather built based off proportions and relied on natural "measurements" (the width of your hand, the span of your fingers, etc), story sticks and dividers.

The book is a relatively easy read and has a series of exercises to help train you to start seeing things this way.
 

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Agree. If you are only building something for the aesthetics, then maybe the "golden rule" (had never heard of it before this) could apply. However, if you are building something for function then I do not see how such a rule is useful.
Actually... I use this for subwoofer and speaker enclosures I've built. It's very common practice in speaker design practice as it helps reduce cabinet resonances and internal standing waves. Definitely functional; if aesthetic that's only a bonus.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting phinds! As I think about it, any reference I've seen to the golden ratio only shows two dimensions of an image, either a drawing or a photograph of furniture or architecture...I may have over-complicated the process for myself...not the first time!

I'll have to chalk out some thoughts on the remaining dry-fit boxes.

Sawdust, you're not the first to recommend that book to me recently. I've just added it to my "get-it" list. Thanks!
 

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I agree that the golden ratio isn't meant for 3D. Aesthetically it tends to work better vertically rather than horizontally. In theory the golden ratio is supposed to be more pleasing and attractive to the eye. Maybe it's a matter of taste but I personally don't buy it.

It originated with the Fibonacci Sequence said to be discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci back around the year 1200. Granted not many people are into mathematics but the sequence and the golden ratio that is derived from it is one of the most interesting things in mathematics.

The sequence/ratio has been found in many aspects of nature from how leaves grow on trees to sea shells and flowers. Basically it's natures way of optimization.

I know artist and architects sometimes attempt to incorporate the golden ratio into their work. I have only heard it mentioned one time in regards to woodworking and that was by the woodwhisperer in one of his videos.
 

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Chester's Gorilla
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I agree that the golden ratio isn't meant for 3D. Aesthetically it tends to work better vertically rather than horizontally. In theory the golden ratio is supposed to be more pleasing and attractive to the eye. Maybe it's a matter of taste but I personally don't buy it.

It originated with the Fibonacci Sequence said to be discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci back around the year 1200. Granted not many people are into mathematics but the sequence and the golden ratio that is derived from it is one of the most interesting things in mathematics.

The sequence/ratio has been found in many aspects of nature from how leaves grow on trees to sea shells and flowers. Basically it's natures way of optimization.

I know artist and architects sometimes attempt to incorporate the golden ratio into their work. I have only heard it mentioned one time in regards to woodworking and that was by the woodwhisperer in one of his videos.
The golden ratio was also found in the architecture of ancient Greece.

 

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I found that as I iterate my designs during the sketching phase what I'll usually end up with is a pleasing proportion. With no initiial intent other than to strive for the best aesthetics the dimensions very often are within a small fraction from the golden ratio to each other. Several of my designs have the same 2" wide profile parts, and I buy 6/4 lumber intending to make those parts 1.25" thick. Most of those designs still live around my house, and I continue to admire the proportion of those parts. It doesn't surprise me when my calculator reveals 1.25/2 is .625 and after sanding even closer to .618.
 

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Wood Snob
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While I don't do the math when designing a project. I find a mix between how I actually feel about it when I look at it and what I consider in my uneducated engineering side to be sound construction. I have to have strength but that alone doesn't have a lot of visual appeal. So I think it requires for most pieces the golden ratio.

An artist friend told me when you look at a piece of art and you do or don't like it. You can, for the most part trust your instincts to be correct without knowing the first thing about art. I think the same applies when we all look at a small box made of wood.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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where's my table saw?
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An artist friend told me when you look at a piece of art and you do or don't like it. You can, for the most part trust your instincts to be correct without knowing the first thing about art. I think the same applies when we all look at a small box made of wood. Al

Nails only hold themselves.
Proportion is what's it's all about. A lot of the small boxes I see are too thick in the side wall for my tastes. They look heavy and actually are. Small boxes don't need 3/4" thick side walls. The more refined ones have walls from 3/8" to 1/4" thick. I find a 5/16" thickness good to work with depending on the type of hinge on the lids.
The length to width ratio is the most important for a box with no drawers. For a small chest with several drawers is the width to height ratio that makes it look in proportion.

Some boxes I've made:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/members/woodnthings-7194/albums/jewelry-boxes/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/members/woodnthings-7194/albums/arch-top-keepsake-box/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/members/woodnthings-7194/albums/baileigh-contest-fits-18-cube/
 

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Old School
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I believe the Golden Ratio is a good guideline. But, aesthetically, the project may benefit from different ratios. In building furniture and cabinets, there are ergonomic standards that apply in a very general sense. The scale and sizes might have to be modified for certain clients.

The customer is always right, and that gets you the check. But, with some inordinate circumstances cabinet dimensions can be way off the standard, like being very tall. One example, I remember one residence I did with several bathrooms and a kitchen, counter heights were 42" for the kitchen, and 38" for the master his and hers bathrooms. One guest room, and a powder room were standard heights.

Some clients aren't concerned with whatever effect changes like these have on resale value.






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