Sawtooth Ideas, SketchUp, Woodworking Plans in Progress
Comments 2

A New Woodworking Plan in the Works

There was a time when I was really into creating woodworking plans. A couple of years ago, I remember telling the owner of Sawtooth Ideas that I had an ambitious goal of creating ten woodworking plans within the span of a year. Then I went to work; burn-out quickly set in and creating woodworking plans became no fun at all.

Apartment Dining Table1

For me, woodworking plans are a lot of work. Maybe that’s because I am a perfectionist who hates to be told that a plan has an error, or that the plan is hard to understand. Since publishing my queen size bed woodworking plan a couple of years ago, an extensive revision has replaced the original plan. Why? Because I thought the first go around was not clear enough – an example of perfectionism (is that a word?) at work.

The never completed and very complex Arts and Crafts bookcase plan (click to enlarge).

The never completed and very complex Arts and Crafts bookcase plan (click to enlarge).

Which brings me to a point: some projects are so difficult that transforming the build process into a plan is even more difficult. Example: the Arts and Crafts bookcase plan which I never completed because explaining the process lead to frequent mental exhaustion. This bookcase, which includes various types of joinery in numerous shapes was so challenging, I had even set up web pages with multiple illustrations to help explain the build process more fully. For my next plan, I selected a project which will be easy to explain. 🙂

The Apartment Dining Table
The upcoming woodworking plan is closely based on a dining table I built many years ago. Since this was an early woodworking project of mine, the joinery is very simple (which will make the creation of a ww plan simple).

The great thing about woodworking is you can build something to fit your space. The few times my wife and I have shopped for furniture, we always have a hard time finding furniture to fit the available space in our home. This table is small and sized right for a modest apartment or kitchen dining area.

The joinery is accomplished mostly using dowels and biscuits. The only exception to this is the table top which features pegged bread board ends.

Apartment Dining Table4

Apartment Dining Table3

Apartment Dining Table2

The legs get a chamfer at each corner – easy to do with a router, and this design treatment transforms a simple square leg into something more visually appealing.

As you can see from the images, I have a highly detailed SketchUp model already completed. The SketchUp model is the starting point for all of my woodworking plans since the cut list is derived from it as well as all the illustrations.

Making Use of SketchUp Pro
This is the first plan I am creating using SketchUp Pro. This is a real luxury for the weekend woodworker. I made contact with a nice guy at SketchUp who gave me a trial version. I can use it free of charge until some time in the Spring of 2015. So, I’ll be reviewing SketchUp Pro at the same time and will give some thoughts on the benefits of this program for the typical hobbyist woodworker.

I am excited about getting started with this project and will have an update soon.


  1. Anthony Vitucci says

    Wow – great news, I am about to start a dining room table made from walnut in 3-4 weeks….do you think your plan will be ready by then?

    Thanks Anthony

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