Doe you need to sketch-up things?

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Greedo

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Hi,

I am terrible at sketching and the idea of using sketch-up on a computer fills me with dread. I like to much about in the workshop with ideas and then make crude models and then scale up the final project.

Do you NEED to use full size rods and sketches? Is this going to put me at a disavantage if I turn my hobby of making into a business?
 

doctor Bob

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As a business, without doubt.
My company uses a 3d design package for a few reasons.
1/ saves repeat drawing as customer changes there mind
2/ allows you as a designer to play around with fit and asthetics
3/ allows customer to visualise the fuirniture and give their input
4/ customer can sign of the final design (for your benefit)

This is of course assuming that you will work on a commission basis, if your making to sell speculatively then probably not ........... if it's the latter, good luck you'll need it and a big warehouse.

With regard to full size rods, I only use these for complicated items. Standard units, tables, etc can just be from cutting lists and know how.
 

sunnybob

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What are you making?
My bandsaw boxes have never been anywhere near sketchup, I barely use pencil and paper.
If its fitted furniture, you definitely need to learn.
 

Andy Kev.

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I think you can answer your own initial question if you ask yourself a couple more:

a. Do you think you would benefit from having an accurate diagram available of the project you are working on?
b. Would a library of such diagrams be of use to you?

If the answer to these questions is "yes", it does of course, not automatically mean that you need Sketchup. For instance, pencil and paper is a perfectly good way of draughting diagrams and of you can archive plans in a book or folder.

I'm just starting with Sketchup but even as someone who is generally averse to and clueless with IT (see the thread I started a couple of days ago ref. calibrating axes), I can see that it offers an excellent way of building up a library as I get things made. There's no doubt that there's a bit of a learning curve at the start and I think that at best you can describe it as semi-intuitive but so far it does seem readily learnable. I'd recommend the following book: Sketchup A Design Guide for Woodworkers by Joe Zeh, which is about as straightforward a guide to a bit of software as you can hope to get.
 

Greedo

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Thanks guys. I'm in a position where I class myself extremely lucky that I will have time to do my own thing and sell my own stuff.

I'm not being up myself here but I built up and sold a business where a huge percentage of my time was dealing with customers and clients and it was my least favourite part of the business as people are difficult.

I don't want to work on commissions as that is leading me back into dealling with the public and as a result pandering to them in ways and ultimately me making something that is their taste and not mine.

I want to establish a business where I make my designs only and one offs. I have a low attention span and the thought of making the same piece of furniture over and over in different woods to suit different clients doesn't really excite me.

I like to make one thing and then move on to another. I love just mucking about in the workshop and coming up with ideas and shapes and can't do that with a sketchbook and pencil. I know what I want to do in my head but find it impossible to put it on paper. My basic outline shapes sketching are childlike at best. I do for arguments sake make a basic fron elevation type drawing for sizes and such for a desk for arguments sake but anything with a bit of a curve, twist, steam bending etc.... I can't draw so just make it up as I play around with scrap bits of wood to work out the basic shape.

I therefore think sketch-up is too complicated for my brain as i struggle with a paper and pencil to get an idea out my head so on a computer screen just seems a daunting task and possible waste of time for me.

Anyone else just make it up as they go along?
 

dzj

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When the computer thing began, I used AutoCad. Unfortunately, some clients (who thought they were clever) used my drawings to get quotes from other shops. I got wind of this soon enough and for quite some time now, all my drawings are done by hand in an A4 size notebook.
If they insist on a detailed set of drawings, I refer them to an architect's studio.
They usually put the fear of god in them. :)
For use around the shop, if it's a piece I haven't made before, I go for full size drawings (if it's not too big).
For things I've done a few times, usually a cross-section of a corner or 2 is enough.
My generation was lucky in this sense, as we were taught some basic technical drawing and descriptive geometry in trade school, so sketching freehand comes very easy.
 

transatlantic

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From a hobby point of view, try it and find out. We're all different. Some people plan extensively and can only follow from a plan. Others prefer to make it up on the spot. It's another tool in your toolbox. A very powerful, timesaving tool!

From a business point of view, then you're probably working in a team and so it makes far more sense to have plans that everyone can work on and work from.
 

doctor Bob

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Greedo":1scw9hod said:
................. the thought of making the same piece of furniture over and over in different woods to suit different clients doesn't really excite me.
why do you think that will happen, the idea of comission work is that each client wants something different, bookcase, table, bed, etc with thier own ideas anmd with your visualisation to help, most clients are easily led if they have confidence in you. Why would they ask to look at the last job you made and say "yes I'll have that but in oak"?
 
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