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Magazine plan modifications - Printable Version

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Magazine plan modifications - stoppy - 11-04-2019

I’m looking at plans for a mobile tool base in an old WOOD magazine issue. It called for using maple
1 x‘s for the frame.  Is there any reason to keep a person from using any decent wood for the frame? The top of the base is MDF. Is there a special reason they specify maple?


RE: Magazine plan modifications - Willyou - 11-04-2019

No functional reason. Perfectly functional work tables/benches are made of lessor wood, including construction lumber. Use what ever you have or want.


RE: Magazine plan modifications - stoppy - 11-05-2019

This base is for a table saw/router table mobile station. The full project will be a major test for this beginner flat stock worker.


RE: Magazine plan modifications - stav - 11-05-2019

I built a mobile base using ply. It’s been working for 15 years or so.


RE: Magazine plan modifications - fredhargis - 11-05-2019

I sometimes think that the reason magazines are so specific when they publish plans is that they have some readers who expect it. If they had said "use any good solid stock you have on hand" they would (maybe) be besieged with complaints that the article wasn't specific enough. Similarly,  the question of the cut list drawings come up...apparently some folks think they need to go buy the boards with the exact dimensions shown in the cut list to build the piece (!). That's a true story...Wood magazine asked on their forum (now dead) how many folks expected to buy the exact board dimensions shown.


RE: Magazine plan modifications - Admiral - 11-05-2019

I've never built anything from a plan that I've not modified, but the choice of wood is not relevant to the drawings. Lots of guys use soft maple as a secondary wood because its cheap and takes paint well, poplar is another hardwood choice, pine is fine. The author likely used what he had laying around. Any wood would do, just make sure its not balsa wood!! :-)


RE: Magazine plan modifications - EricU - 11-10-2019

I just look at plans for the techniques they use to build with.  I have never built to a plan.  Nowadays, it's maple, ply, oak or walnut for me, because that's what I have in my stash.  A high quality baltic birch plywood is a suitable sub for maple in a shop stand.  But getting high quality ply for most of us is not that easy.

I agree that a lot of readers are looking for exact directions and will get stumped if they have to improvise.  I know someone that built exactly to plans.  Then again, I have all of his tools because he got frustrated and sold them to me. I don't know if my way is better, but I do know that nobody has exactly the same thing as I made. And that is important to me.


RE: Magazine plan modifications - stoppy - 11-10-2019

(11-10-2019, 11:37 AM)I EricU Wrote: I just look at plans for the techniques they use to build with.  I have never built to a plan.  Nowadays, it's maple, ply, oak or walnut for me, because that's what I have in my stash.  A high quality baltic birch plywood is a suitable sub for maple in a shop stand.  But getting high quality ply for most of us is not that easy.

I agree that a lot of readers are looking for exact directions and will get stumped if they have to improvise.  I know someone that built exactly to plans.  Then again, I have all of his tools because he got frustrated and sold them to me. I don't know if my way is better, but I do know that nobody has exactly the same thing as I made. And that is important to me.

I’ve been a woodturner for years, one of the things I like about it is I don’t have to be exact. Severe medical issues took me out of my shop for the last several years. After a large weight loss (on purpose) I feel much better and am back in the shop.  I want to learn flat stock woodworking. I’m going to be one of those people who has to follow a plan (at least for starters.) Knowing I don’t have to follow a plan exactly is a boost because I’ve got plenty of wood to start with. I will still probably get frustrated but I can walk across the shop and spin a piece of wood on the 3520B and work the frustrations out of my system. Someday I hope to be confident enough to freehand projects as you do.