How to Create Your
Own Cutting Diagrams

*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
View this e-mail in a browser window
*|END:IF|*
Email Settings
Video Tips Plans Tips from Woodsmith Kreg Community
How to Create Your Own Cutting Diagrams

A good set of plans can be very helpful when building projects. Plans help guide us through the steps in the project, and, in many cases, they come with two very useful things: a materials list and a cutting diagram. This Bookcase Plan (which you can download free from the Kreg web site) is a good example. It has a materials list and cutting diagram that show how much material youíll need, and where to cut each part from the boards and sheet goods.

What do you do, though, if the plans didnít come with a materials list or cutting diagram? Or what if youíre designing your own project? In those cases, youíll need to create your own. Itís easier than you might think. All it really involves is a few simple sorting and shuffling steps. Not only will it make your project easier, it will help you reduce waste, as well.

Make a Parts List Header
Select the Best Boards The first step in the process is to go through the plan or your sketches and make a list of all the project parts. Be sure to write down the thickness, width, and length of each part, and how many of each youíll need. With that done, assign a letter to each part. Now you have your basic materials list.

Sort by Thickness Header
Sort by Thickness Next, look through your materials list and separate the parts according to thickness. Make one chart for solid-wood parts and another for any sheet stock like plywood or MDF. You can use a format like the one shown here, listing the part letter and the quantity of each needed under the appropriate thickness.

Sort by Width & Length
Sort by Width & Length Now sort the list you just generated by width and length. Start with the thickest pieces and list these from the widest to narrowest. If you have a number of parts the same width, list them from longest to shortest. This step will make it easier when you lay out the cutting diagram.

Create the Cutting Diagram Header
The next thing to do is draw the parts on some imaginary boards and sheet goods. These donít need to be perfectly proportioned, but be sure you draw them with the sizes of real boards in mind. Start with your thickest parts and draw on the widest and longest ones first. This way, you can fit smaller parts into leftover spaces in order to minimize waste. Be sure to draw in the correct quantity for each part on your list and label each one with the appropriate letter. Keep repeating this process until youíve accounted for all of your project parts.

Create the Cutting Diagram


Purchase Materials Header
At this point, youíll know how much material you need, and you can go shopping. Remember that your drawings donít account for defects that youíre likely to find in real boards. Because of them, itís a good idea to buy some extraómaybe 20-25% more than your cutting diagram calls for. You may end up with a bit of leftover material, but that beats not having enough lumber to complete your project. With sheet goods, by the way, this usually isnít necessary.

Plot the Parts Header
With your materials and your cutting diagram in hand (whether you made it or it came with your plans), you might be tempted to start cutting. On projects with a lot of parts, though, itís a good idea to recreate your cutting diagram on the actual boards. Just draw out each part using a piece of chalk and a ruler or square, and then mark the part letter. Donít worry about sizing each piece exactly. Youíre just marking them roughly to make sure that the pieces look good and that you have each accounted for. If you need to change something, itís easy to wipe the chalk off with a damp rag and start again. You canít say the same once the parts have been cut!

As you can see, creating a cutting diagram isnít incredibly difficult. It does take some time, but it can save a lot of frustration and wasted material.


2013 Holiday Gift Guide Promo

*|FACEBOOK:COMMENTS|*   *|FACEBOOK:LIKE|*

You Might Also Like ...

Kreg-Inspired Sofa Table Quick Look: Kreg Jig K5 Clubhouse Fort Bed
Weathered-Finish Farmhouse Bench Free Videos: Kreg YouTube Channel Space-Saving Kitchen Pantry

From Kreg and Woodsmith Magazine
...............................................
2013 August Home Publishing

Kreg Tool Company
201 Campus Drive | Huxley, Iowa 50124
www.kregtool.com

pinterestfacebookYou TubeKreg Jig Owners

 
Unsubscribe Email Settings Archive