Featured Image Page 9a

Another Update on my Woodworking Plan

I have made some really good progress on the window seat bookcase, but I am not yet to a point where I have a blog post ready. I have the slats for the bottom shelves cut to final thickness and width. This meant re-sawing and feeding the subsequent slats through my planer. The planer is a terribly loud machine which makes a ton of dust if it is not connected to a dust collector (mine isn’t). But it is a handy tool to have. Also, I bought a nifty measuring tool which I played around with yesterday causing a little delay in my work. I’ll have more on all of this soon.

At the same time, I am also making progress on my next woodworking plan titled You Can Make an Apartment Dining Table.

Since my last update on the new woodworking plan, I have a few more pages completed and at least minor changes to every page; some significant changes (click to enlarge)…

Page 6 used to look like this.
Page 6 used to look like this.
Page 6 now looks like this.
Page 6 now looks like this.

I did not like all the empty space on page six, so I took part of the image on page seven and moved it to page six. Also, note the change in border at the top and bottom of the page; I did not like the dashed line.

Page 7 used to look like this.
Page 7 used to look like this.
Page 7 now looks like this.
Page 7 now looks like this.

My daughter who is pretty experienced with Photoshop helped me with the gradient which was applied to the top and right edges of the image (see some of her delicious photography here). This fade to white look is nice, but now page seven has a lot of white space. More changes for this page are likely.

Then, new pages look like this…

Page 8 - the image in the upper left is a first for me.
Page 8 – the image in the upper left is a first for me.
Page 9 - big color on this page. Using a workbench model as a prop.
Page 9 – big color on this page. Using a workbench model as a prop.
Page 10 - using saw horses as props.
Page 10 – using saw horses as props.

To get the image on page ten, I went through a variety of different looks before settling on what you see above. Here is the sequence of images I developed on the way to the final one…

I used Photoshop to blur the workbench in hopes of adding depth.
I used Photoshop to blur the workbench in hopes of adding depth. I was pretty pleased with how this looked.
With the base clamped up and again using a blur technique on the workbench.
With the base clamped up and again using a blur technique on the workbench. Also, two of the clamps should not be there.

These two images were originally planned to be on the same page in a step one, step two process. In the end, I felt this was too complex and one image would be better. I did use Photoshop to blur the workbench which I thought was a novel idea, but ultimately the blurred image wasn’t used. This lead to the images below…

A nice image; no blur, but the workbench serves no purpose in this image. Also, there are too many clamps.
A nice image; no blur, but the workbench serves no purpose in this image. Still too many clamps.
The correct number of clamps and no workbench.
The correct number of clamps and no workbench.
The image I used: here key components are highlighted in blue.
The image I used: here key components are highlighted in blue.

It took me five different images before I got one that worked best. I bring this up only to say that making a woodworking plan is a lot of work; at least it is for me, and this is just what I went through to develop page 10. Yikes!

Next up: documenting the construction of the table top which has pegged breadboard ends. I suspect another three pages will be all it will take to complete the plan. Stay tuned.

Pre-Work Woodworking

So after spending a lot of time with my two SketchUp projects, I am now getting burned out with SketchUp. Back to the workshop; here are a couple of photos to get re-oriented with my current woodworking project, because it has been a while…

Two cherry planks waiting to be cut up.
Two cherry planks waiting to be cut up.
Cherry slats for the bottom shelf.
Cherry slats for the bottom shelf.

Most weekdays I get up at 5:30. When my schedule allows it, I’ll try to get 30 minutes of shop time before work. I call this pre-work woodworking – such a great way to start the day. :)

My sister has the new iPhone and says the camera quality is great. I’m not happy with the photos from my iPhone 5S. Maybe time for an upgrade?

My last blog post on the project is here. My goal is to have the bottom shelf finished by this weekend and I’ll have a more detailed update then.

5a

Progress on the Apartment Dining Table Plan

I’m taking a little break from woodworking. But I am deep into the process of making my next woodworking plan. My goal with this plan is to expand the use of color and typography, but at the same time scrutinize the use of color in illustrations so I can better communicate the construction process.

There have been some minor changes to previously completed pages; namely I switched the body text to a san serif font. More and more I am favoring Georgia as a headline font and Franklin Gothic for text. Click the images to enlarge…

Page 1 - the back story about the project.
Page 1 – the back story about the project.
Page 2 - main dimensions.
Page 2 – main dimensions.
Page 3 - cut list and exploded view.
Page 3 – cut list and exploded view.
Page 4 - Creating the legs.
Page 4 – Creating the legs.
Page 5 - completing the legs by drilling holes.
Page 5 – completing the legs by drilling holes.
Page 6 - creating the table aprons.
Page 6 – creating the table aprons.
Page 7 - creating the front and back aprons.
Page 7 – creating the front and back aprons.

Seven pages is all I have so far. In addition to changing fonts, I keep making other subtle changes all in hopes of making a visually interesting woodworking plan which is easy to follow. An example is page three – this is the original image of the exploded view…

The original image on page 3.
The original image on page 3.
The updated image.
The updated image.

The wood color can actually make it harder to see all the components and their shapes especially since I love using shadows in my illustrations. To give you an idea of how much is involved in creating a single page, I have changed several pages as many as four times as I look for better ways to use SketchUp images and the available page space. Right now, as I look at page 6, I am not liking all the white space. Hummmm…

I envision this plan being as long as 10-12 pages. I’ll have more soon.

Apartment Dining Table1

Opacity Setting Helps Communicate Construction Method

I like Fine Woodworking magazine. When other woodworking magazines are struggling to survive, FWW seems to just keep getting better. The most recent issue is full of illustrations; very well executed illustrations. I often pay attention to how their various graphic illustrators use color to communicate construction methods. Or, better said; how they use the lack of color.

By adjusting color opacity, I can better explain joinery.
By adjusting color opacity, I can better explain joinery.

Being able to see through a component can better explain a construction step. I am not exactly sure how they do it at Fine Woodworking, but here at JBWW, I only have SketchUp to accomplish this. I do have software products like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, but I am not schooled on the use of these programs.

One feature I have been exploring is the paint bucket opacity setting. Making a part more transparent actually removes or tones down the color. You might think that using the x-ray view of a model would be easier, but x-ray removes most of the color from all the components in a model. I want better control and I get that by adjusting the color opacity of a part.

By adjusting color opacity, I can better explain joinery.
By adjusting color opacity, I can better explain joinery.

In the image above, I have selected a light gray color and adjusted the opacity to 50%. I then go inside the component and paint the dowel holes a solid bright red. If I used x-ray, every component would be transparent including the bright red. This extra step helps highlight the joinery needed to create while progressing through the woodworking plan. This look is also more like what you see in Fine Woodworking plans.

Here is how I am using the image in the woodworking plan.
Here is how I am using the image in the woodworking plan.

Click the image above to enlarge. It is page four of my upcoming woodworking plan. I continue to fine tune this page making minor adjustments; I am still trying to get it to a higher level of graphic design. Page five is also finished, but this will likely be at least a nine or ten page plan so I still have some work ahead of me.

While I have used SketchUp Pro and LayOut to build the woodworking plan, I am thinking that using Microsoft Publisher is the tool I’ll stick with. Publisher is better with text, has more text options and I can do more graphic intensive work with it. At least that is my view currently. I have not given up on LayOut, but I have not been able to make it do the things that Publisher can.

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