Why Good, Clear, Drawings Matter

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A Custom Sapele and Sycamore Table

A Custom Sapele and Sycamore Table

This graphic shows a design progression for a custom table (more here) that I designed a couple of years ago. The excerpts of the drawing package shown is only part of the set of build drawings. When I am building a piece myself, I really like to work from a fully developed set of drawings. When I am handing it off to somebody else to build this is even more important. If the drawings are not clear, it is hard to be to upset if the builders interpratation does not match mine or the customers. Often, what seem like minor deviations my have a major impact  in the end. If they have all of the relevant information in front of them, this is much less likely to happen. If they see what appears to be a problem they are much more likely to call and discuss it. If it is an issue, then a remedy can be worked out, if it is not an issue then after a brief discussion they can be back on task.

Modernist table table top inlay detail

Table top details for a modernist table

The level of joiner that I would want to have build this is likely to be a “creative” and will always look for ways to improve what they are building, myself included. These  may be minor aesthetic tweaks  or changes in the joinery to make assembly quicker, easier, or to suit the methods and equipment of the shop. With most of the skilled joiners that I work with, this would be a minor issue usually, but not all joiners are that experienced. If the person that is building the piece does not have a high level of experience and skill, or worse, they view joinery as a job, not a career, things can go sideways quickly. This is where it is critical to have good, clear, locked down plans. With the skilled joiner this will save time and make their job easier. But with the less skilled, it gives us a better chance of the piece meeting the parameters that have been set.



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