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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I'm about to complete my second year at college (England) in bench joinery and I'm finding setting out and marking out to take me hours to do. I'm making a glazed door at the moment and it took me 3 hours to make a rod for it and another 6 hours just to mark out all the different joints and grooves on the wood. My question would be is this normal to most beginners? and is it a case of 'practice makes perfect' which I hate :L because it doesn't really help.
 

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Involved pieces take time. It gets faster as you gain experience but detailed pieces still take time. Most people looking at a finished product have no idea what went into the process. Welcome to the forum.
 

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In History is the Future
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Welcome.

Layout does take a while for detailed pieces. I find though that I do virtually no prior layout for things I build often. Tables for instance, I might pick up a tape two-three times during the entire build. otherwise it's it is what it is.

What I'm getting at is layout & marking becomes second nature with time to the point where pieces you build plenty of don't even require a sketch, layout or a lot of forethought. Your mind just does that automatically as you go. That said, in the learning stage these skills are CRITICAL because your future performance will be built upon the experience of having done it correctly. You can run but you have to crawl then walk first.
 

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where's my table saw?
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to save time I make...

extra pieces of the stock cut to the rough dimensions. I then make samples of the joinery I intend to use...half laps, stile and rail, mortise and tenon, rabbetts, etc. These samples are trial and error to insure a proper fit. Measuring is one thing, but fitting well is another in my experience. :yes:
Knowing the amount the material is reduced in dimension by the joinery, I can now size and dimension all the pieces to fit in the actual application. JMO ;) bill
 

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Welcome!
It depends, as you become more familiar with the joints you're making and the numbers become common in your mind some of the layout you're doing will become unnecessary. The first few times you do something as complex as you are the little doubts that cause you to remeasure and recheck everything to be sure it's right eat up a lot of time. You will also develop your own unique methods that work with the way you think, no two woodworkers think exactly the same. You are learning someone else's method and you have to understand the process completely before you can adapt it and make it your own. So until then it's the old "measure twice cut once" routine so of course it's taking you longer.


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wow

THANKS EVERYONE for welcoming me to the forum this seems like a good place to hang out and talk about woodwork in general. I do find myself 'measuring twice and cutting once' (more like measuring 5 times and cutting once to realise its still marked out wrong :L) but I understand that as a beginner you kind of have to work out how that bit of wood go's into the other. I think when making something detailed you have to imagine the piece in your head and try and see it in 3D, something I find quite hard to do. What do you think? :)
 

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Just a thought.......

If you need help visualizing something in 3D you might give learning Google Sketchup a try. After years of having it on my computer and not doing anything with it, I finally started to work a little with it. I am impressed with what it can do and how drawing out some of the joinery helps me understand the steps needed in the shop to complete a project.

If you are interested, there are lots of free tutorials/videos available and a forum here dedicated to talking about Sketchup. BTW, Sketchup is free also.
 

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THANKS EVERYONE for welcoming me to the forum this seems like a good place to hang out and talk about woodwork in general. I do find myself 'measuring twice and cutting once' (more like measuring 5 times and cutting once to realise its still marked out wrong :L) but I understand that as a beginner you kind of have to work out how that bit of wood go's into the other. I think when making something detailed you have to imagine the piece in your head and try and see it in 3D, something I find quite hard to do. What do you think? :)
I am a timber framer by trade and being able to imagine the project in my mind is a huge asset. I call it the castle in the sky. Being able to imagine how everything works as one big whole helps with each process of the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ye I thought imagining was a good asset to have in this. I downloaded google sketchup yesterday but haven't got round to having a good go at it yet I'll be sure to learn it though, thanks again
 

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Absent Minded Alicorn
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Welcome.

Layout does take a while for detailed pieces. I find though that I do virtually no prior layout for things I build often. Tables for instance, I might pick up a tape two-three times during the entire build. otherwise it's it is what it is.


That's the thing I try to teach my peers in high school

You build measurements to base off of, but when you have a carcass, you fit the wood to the wood, not the measurements.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Hi and welcome to the site,don't take this wrong but when I first read your post i thought a second year Apprentice approaching his third year should be able to mark a rod and a door in a lot less time than nine hours.

Reading this thread and the other one you`v started it is clear that you are not an Apprentice but a pre Apprentice.So forgive me.

As you yourself and others have pointed out practice makes perfect,A old saying "no master ever fell from the Heavens" in other words practice,practice,practice.

Its up to you to use your time at collage to start to understand the technical side of the trade.It seems to me you are having problems with the rod(and I could be wrong again).


The rod is your template and all information should be on that rod, in theory any carpenter should be able to pick up your rod and after reading it be able to start to lay the job out.

The guy that taught me to mark templates out did it like this ,you are going to make the template but the man who will lay it out is on the other side of the world ,and there is no way he can ask you questions on it, so all information should be on the template.

If you feel that a point requires additional information then add a note on the rod pointing this out.Don`t be a butter fly Jumping from one point to an other, understand each point be fore you move on to the next,if your don't understand ask the Lecturer that is what he is there for.


Never forget there is no such thing as a stupid question but what is stupid is the question you never asked.If you do take up the trade there will be times when you will be asked to mark out some very complicated jobs. Never be overawed by a job a couple of saying come to mind.

How do you eat a elephant one bite at a time.
Never let standing wood hold you,you can do anything you like with that wood it can only do one thing with you,and that's make you look stupid if you let it.

Good luck with the collage and enjoy your journey.

Billy
 

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Old School
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Layouts in joinery may seem complex. You might benefit from just doing a pencil and paper sketch of what you want to achieve. One step further, would be to draw it out to scale...that is 1:1 (the actual size). From that you can cut parts and fit them to the drawing.

If the rod you're referring to is the same in theory as a story stick, or story pole, the nomenclature may differ depending on who is involved and what terminology is used, or taught, in your location. For as simple as it may seem, understanding and explaining the details becomes confusing when the language is diverse.




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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It seems to me you are having problems with the rod(and I could be wrong again). Billy
your right mate I have done many rods before but just find it hard to get my head around it all. Ye I understand your point about someone else being able to work from your own drawings as I have to copy someone else's rod out of a workbook. thanks for your input :smile:
 
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