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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Size does matter

So far I’m managing to keep up with my weekly cadence on posting video for the one-day table project.  In this episode 2, I discuss how I used some test cuts with the Festool Domino XL to actually determine the width of my table aprons.  Then, the rest of this episode is really focused on the sizing of the components.  I will say, not having to account for tenons on the ends of the aprons makes sizing much easier.  And my “no math” method for determining the dimensions helped me keep this part of the process fairly short and sweet.  In the next episode, I’ll be going through the process of cutting all the joinery with the Domino XL and giving my final analysis of the tool along with its strengths and weaknesses.

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ChrisHasFlair said...

Rob, oh Rob! Why would you design your project around what the tools can do? I'm talking about the 2-7/8" apron. Tsk, tsk.


Rob Bois said...

Chris, I actually expected I'd hear from more people with a similar comment. I do agree that allowing tools to dictate design is not a good practice but should not be a hard and fast rule. For instance, in this case I really wasn't constrained other than by creating an apron width that is a multiple of the domino width. So I did have several choices of apron. Secondly, this was a "design on the fly" project. There really was no design, and the 2-7/8" apron looked right for this piece visually. It has 30" tall legs, so a wider apron worked. Lastly, this piece was built to be utilitarian, and therefore I didn't apply the same rigor I would with a piece designed to sell.

In general, I would submit that in almost any design you are always making trade-offs. I might decide that a 1" apron would look really cool - but it would be structurally unsound and completely impractical. Or in order to do a production run of a particular item, I might make a trade-off on efficiency if it had little effect on the final product, but a massive effect on productivity. To say that one should never use tools to influence design is a bit too black and white for me.

ChrisHasFlair said...


I think what bothered me was that you described your choice of apron width just as the magic number determined by the Domino, not because it also looked good.

When working for efficiency, it's silly to work outside of your tools' capacities (such as a 13-1/8" wide tabletop when your planer only handles 13" and the 1/8" is unlikely to matter.

Nothing is black and white except for these letters and the background.


Rob Bois said...

Chris, you're exactly right - and that's why I was surprised I didn't get more comments on this. I was watching "Rough Cut" last night and was reminded that the value of Internet-based woodworking is that you can go into much more detail about your thought process. There is no stop watch. Regardless of whether I'm eventually right or wrong with my decisions in the shop, the goal of this blog is to just expose my thought process. And in this case I fell short of that. In fact, that's the main reason I gave such a long response to your comment.