Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Lights and glass

Apart from hand tools, there are loads of other tools that are useful for a cabinet maker.

I suppose a pencil, a pencil sharpener, a straight edge and paper could be classed as a collection of tools, as these are traditionally used to design work.

I sometimes still use the above, but more often than not, I use drawing applications on my computer.  There are a couple I use.

To produce engineering type drawings, I use a package called Visio. I first used this package sometime in the mid 90's while working for NatWest.  I was on a project and we were reverse engineering some code, and needed a tool that allowed us to produce flows that could be used to explain how the reverse engineered code worked - nobody actually knew.  Visio allowed flow diagrams to be made, which were the ideal pictorial representation of what we had found.  Basically Visio is a simple drawing package.  You drag shapes around, set their sizes etc. It is not technical type drawing package. It just uses shapes, but I have used it so much I find it easy and quick to produce plan/elevation type drawings.

This is an example of the type of drawing that I produce with Visio.  It give me all the information that I require for making a piece of furniture.

An engineering style diagram, giving dimensions etc.

Another good software package is Sketch-Up, which you can download for free from Google. Sketch-up is designed for producing 3D type drawings. These types of drawings are great to help people visualise something, as looking at a 3D render is a bit easier than looking at an engineering type drawing. Using Sketch-up is a bit strange at first, but there are plenty of on-line help type videos around, plus there is a useful book from Taunton Press which is aimed solely at woodworkers using Sketch-Up.

Here are a couple of images of the piece of furniture shown about in the Visio drawing.

A 3D image that gives a totally different view compared to the engineering drawing.

The cabinet placed in-situ in an alcove.

This display cabinet is the piece of furniture I am making at the moment.  It is designed to hold a collection of pottery and ceramics. It will be made from oak and sycamore (this wood being inside the cabinet to help keep the inside bright). The doors will be of glass, and there are two glass shelves.  In addition, there will be LED lights inside the cabinet to add even more illumination.

Real pictures will appear when I have finished, then a comparison can be made with my drawings. I hope they match, but I expect the real piece of furniture to be better.

To see more of my furniture, have a look at my website and the pictures in the gallery section.

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