All posts filed under: E-Books

Creating a Woodworking Plan, Part 4: Bringing a Plan to Life

While the part of a woodworking plan I dread the most is the cut list, the part of the plan which is by far the most work is creating the illustrations. I make extensive use of illustrations in woodworking plans for two main reasons: 1) in general, I don’t like the photos I take, and 2) I think I can communicate more information in a better way with illustrations. By the way, see part 1 of this series here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. Page Layout A typical page of a project plan may have as many as four illustrations. Most have three and with the queen size bed plan I am updating, there is one which has no illustrations at all (the cut list page). I like to create visual interest by changing up the page layout as a project progresses. I do this mainly by changing the number of illustrations per page. I often use a grid structure for text and illustrations (see more on the benefits of using grids here – Google it …

Creating a Woodworking Plan, Part 3: the Cut List

To recap where we have been so far, the first installment in this series discusses the updates to the queen size bed SketchUp model (see it here). In part two, we discussed some of the creative aspects of the plan: the various formats and a little bit about graphic design and the set-up story for the plan (see it here). Once I get the initial introductory story completed, the next thing to work on is the cut list, which to me is the most dreadful part of the plan. Why? It is one of the most important elements of a woodworking plan and it is the part which I always have trouble with. Do you need a cut list? Fine Woodworking magazine regularly receives emails asking why they don’t include cut lists with the projects they feature. There is a very interesting blog post at FWW.com with a lively comment thread on the subject. Matt Kenney was brave enough to write the blog post which boldly proclaims “cut lists are a waste of space.” He …

Creating a Woodworking Plan, Part Two: Getting Started

Go back to Part One Once the SketchUp model has been completed it is time to work on the project plan itself. Typically, I use four different software products to create a plan: SketchUp, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Paint, and Adobe Acrobat Pro. There are several ways you can generate a project plan. I have seen people use Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign. I have both of these programs and hopefully I’ll graduate to InDesign in 2013, but I use Publisher for three reasons: 1) it is very flexible, 2) it was what I had; it came included in the Microsoft Office bundle we bought a while back, and 3) I have become skilled in using Publisher to get what I want. As soon as I can get my hands on an InDesign book, I’ll start the process of learning it since InDesign seems to be what the professionals use. What do you want your woodworking plan to be? I originally called my plans e-books. This seemed to be a somewhat accurate term since my first …