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By Jacob
I see your point but in fact you'd get something fairly equivalent, possibly more creatively, by the process of pencil sketching, rubbing out, sketching again, but much more quickly, freely and without switching a computer on!
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By MikeG.
I do that too, Jacob. The point is you don't get the side-by-side thing. The only sketch you're left with is the last one. That's fine for something small and simple. Also, client's like to have a choice......even if that client is your wife/ partner.
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By Jacob
MikeG. wrote:I do that too, Jacob. The point is you don't get the side-by-side thing. The only sketch you're left with is the last one. .......

Well no. The way I do it (often) is to pin a big sheet of cheap flip chart paper on my board and work all over it. Sketches, alternative versions, rubbed out bits, measured bits, notes, all sorts of stuff all visible in one place. You just can't spread out on a computer!
I do similar with written stuff - notes, boxes around interesting bits, arrows, Venn type diagrams, calculations and so on. Looks a mess but it is so accessible. Then pin other stuff on the wall sometimes.
There's so much you just can't do with a computer - it's like having to work looking through a little telescope or something.
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By MikeG.
Jacob wrote:........You just can't spread out on a computer!.........

Jacob wrote:.......There's so much you just can't do with a computer - it's like having to work looking through a little telescope or something.

A few years ago I was drawing a block of flats which was a quarter of a mile long and 12 stories high. I could zoom out and see the whole building, and then zoom in to see the "H" on the top of a hot tap. Whatever you think of computers as a design tool, don't accuse them of not having enough space!! :) Don't forget you're talking to someone whose early years as an architect were all spent on the drawing board, and who sketches all the time. I sketch live for clients, often upside down so that they can see properly. Here, for instance, is the first sketch I did of my front door:


I was sitting on an aeroplane at the time. And here, for comparison, is the door:


So yeah, I'm a big fan of sketching as part of the design process. It is the critical part. However, it has its limitations, and the computer has strengths which sketching can never match.
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By Jacob
Well yes of course a design prog does some amazing things. But when it comes to little woodwork projects a computer can make life difficult, especially for people who haven't got the hang of a pencil. You have to revert to the pencil at some point, you might as well start with one.
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By nabs
the other bonus of having a physical drawing is it encourages other people to engage with it in a way that it is not nearly as natural or convenient when on a PC.

Not strictly design related, but when modern technology companies started to reject computer based planning and drawing tools in favour of post-it notes, whiteboards etc the major impact was that people on the teams actually started to look at them, sometimes for the first time.
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By matt
My choice of pencil/paper, Sketchup, or not plan at all tend to be driven by the physical size of the components and my workshop setup. Let me explain...

My "workshop" is a garage (from the day of Austin A35s (i.e. small!)). I often expand out on to the patio too. In a nutshell, I am not blessed with a workshop where I can cut sheet, use the routere etc as required. It tends to get set up for each stage of a project. So... when making a 14ft run of fitted wardrobes, I want to cut all the sheet first, then the door parts, then move on to assembly. A Sketchup design which produces a cut list works well for me. It gives me the confidence I've got the dims correct for each stage so I can somewhat blindly cut all the timber to size.

By contrast, if I had a large workshop with spaces for cutting sheet, routing, assembly etc, then I'd be more likely to prepare things ad-hoc. Cutting the parts that define the overall size, then cutting shelves, back panels, etc to fit later.

I much prefer the latter way of working as, for me, it's doing the design and construction in the workshop; allowing to devise solutions on the fly. The former does, at least, ensure solutions to challenges are not constrained by work already completed.
By Bodgers
Jacob wrote:
Cordy wrote:Inkscape is good enough for me, it's free and plenty YouTube tutorials
Detail of a proposed Walnut Trestle table


Yebbut what does that drawing do for you which a pencil sketch wouldn't?
The ability to change things quickly and view it in 3D. If it was SketchUp or Fusion...

I use Fusion 360 now instead the of SketchUp as it allows you to parameterise the dimensions and then just change and scale things instantly whereas SketchUp doesn't.

SketchUp also has a great CAM mode for ever you want to generate any part of your drawing to be sent to a CNC.

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
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By Cordy
Used Inkscape to print these stick-ons to scale
B are a flipped copy of A to give the mirror image

Line up the Domino machine to cross-hair and drill away
Placed legs in vice supported by spars on both sides and they drilled easy enough too; no photos :(
I've no doubt there are easier ways but that method is OK for me
By PiratePete
Another vote for DraftSight here.
Sketchbook and pencil when chatting to the customer, but DS to email them the the drawing. Admittedly this is mostly for kitchens.
It took me years to try any cad program and hung on to my drawing board far longer than my less luddite mates. Eventually I went for AutoCAD 2005 and I'd still be using it now if I hadn't had to move from xp to 7.
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By 8squared
I've tried the free online version but despite watching several tutorials i can get it to work for me so i just forgot about it and plodded along with the "scribble measurements, check measurements, cut once then realise i've cut wrong or in the wrong place" method.
By Just4Fun
I go to a weekly woodwork evening class. I always produce Sketchup drawings for anything I am going to make there. It is surprising to me that I am the only one who does that. I have never seen anyone else with any drawing of any kind, not even a scribble on the back of an envelope. They just seem to make it up as they go along. That approach may work for the small projects typically made at a woodwork class but personally I couldn't work like that.