Are Woodworker Plans Really Necessary?
A few days ago, I got an email asking me if I really thought plans for a woodworking project were absolutely necessary. I thought about it for a moment and reflected on my own woodworking experience. The simple answer from my prospective is yes.
Of course, my yes is dependent on a major factor. The major factor is experience. How much experience in woodworking is enough to do a project without some kind of plan? I have met and worked around several dozen woodworker enthusiasts in my time. They all had varying degrees of experience, and out of all those individuals, there were probably a handful of what I would consider to be woodworking veterans.
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Out of the handful of woodworking veterans, I noticed two types of individuals. Those that had some kind of plan, and those that seemed to be flying their woodworking project by the seat of their pants. When I first got started in woodworking, I took a beginners class.
I remember the instructor handing out worksheets for each project, and before we could start on that project, the instructor would demonstrate how to proceed and accomplish the project.
The worksheet of course was a basic plan and the skills necessary to accomplish it were fundamental. As time progressed, the projects became more complicated and started incorporating more and more of our developing skills. We were experiencing the learning cycle.
Today, I don’t need a plan to accomplish some of those basic woodworking projects. Take for example a small birdhouse, I could build one probably in an hour, and that’s just because I’ve done it a few times in the past. At this point in my experience, a basic box like birdhouse is not much of a challenge, but you say you want me to build you a Gazebo — better include a plan with your request.
The more complicated your project and the less experience you have, the more necessary a plan. Most of us would need a plan to follow for something like a Gazebo unless you’re a Gazebo building expert with 900 built Gazebos under your belt. A good woodworking project plan is essential when taking on something you’ve never built before. That’s why I strongly recommend the WoodworkingPlans Package; with 14000 plus detailed woodworker plans available you can’t go wrong.
Oh yea, as far as those woodworking veterans that seemed to be flying their woodworking project by the seat of their pants, I remember asking one on occasion about his plan; he just pointed to his head, gave me the look, and said, it’s all up here son, it’s all up here. I found out some time later that he’s built a gazillion of them. Go figure.