woodworking blueprints

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today on shop nation i show you my process for making detailed full-color woodworking plans that i sell i’ll let you in on some secrets and show you how much money you can actually make doing that [Music] what’s up you guys and welcome i’m travis this is shop nation i get a lot of questions about my woodworking plans specifically how i make them what programs i use to make them so in this video i want to share how exactly i do it and how to sell them if you want to go do it yourself i know when i’ve been searching around the internet looking for how to make woodworking plans or tips and tricks there’s really not much out there so i hope this video kind of fills that need and if you have any questions hopefully i answer them here now if it’s your first time viewing one of my videos and you’re new to my channel we basically focus on a concept called shock greatness which means that i tend to build and highlight projects that make your shop or workshop better and more efficient and part of that is making woodworking plans so that you can do it yourself now making woodworking plans and selling them is not exactly a novel concept if you watch other making channels like mine almost all of us do it so why would you want to listen to me about making woodworking plans it sounds pretty simple well to establish credibility and not to brag or gloat i promise i have literally made tens of thousands of dollars selling woodworking plans on etsy and i don’t have hundreds of plans available i have i think 11 or 12. i think there’s some value i can share with others on how to make woodworking plans or maybe how to improve your current woodworking plans so that you can sell them now even if you’re not going to go sell woodworking plans i think there’s value in how i’ve figured out how to do this so hopefully there’s something in this video that you can take away now in this video to keep it simple i’m going to make a single drawer box from beginning all the way through to the build plans so obviously this is a short example but the concepts are all the same alright so let’s get down to business how do i make woodworking plans well as i’m planning any project i always start with a pencil and a sheet of paper so for me there’s just something about sketching with a pencil that kind of lets me wrap my head around exactly what i want to do i kind of work outside in so i look at the major dimensions maybe this thing has to fit within a space or in the case of a drawer has to fit within an opening in a cabinet and then i work backwards from there okay so i think about the joinery i think about the materials and from there i usually have a pretty clear idea of how exactly i want to do this so once i have that sketch i then sit down at the computer and actually start 3d modeling now this is the step that scares a lot of people whoa 3d modeling i mean i get it it’s intimidating two of the most common platforms for woodworking are sketchup and fusion 360. sketchup is okay but if you had to start from scratch i would urge you to go towards fusion 360. and there’s a couple reasons why number one it’s a heck of a lot more powerful so you can get away with doing very simple things on sketchup and for most people that might be okay but if you ever want to progress past simple woodworking projects or you want to divert into other technologies fusion is that direct insertion point sketchup kind of hits a brick wall and number two is fusion 360 is backed by autodesk a major cad software company and they’re constantly putting out updates and improving the software sketchup i really don’t know to be honest their background but it’s not autodesk so the natural first question i get is okay i’d love to use fusion360 how do i get started i always point people towards the fusion 360 course by kevin kennedy now this is a paid course it’s not free but i’m telling you that you are getting your money’s worth i’ve done 3d modeling for the past 10 years or so because of my career so learning fusion 360 was a much smaller learning curve for me but learning from scratch there are a lot of mistakes and bad habits that you can get into which is going to cause a lot of heartache down the road by taking a course like kevin’s you’re going to start off on the right foot you’re going to be efficient you’re going to be quick and you’re going to be much happier in the long run so if you’re curious just go check it out there’s a link in the video description below kevin’s a great teacher and you won’t be disappointed now there’s a fundamental benefit to modeling in 3d for a woodworking project and that is that you get to make all of your mistakes digitally so i know i’m no different than any of you but we’ve tried to wing projects before and mistakes happen and your project just ends up being kind of so-so if you start instead with a 3d model and you get to build the whole project through and understand what you need to think about and think ahead for always seems to turn out a lot better and then if you are going to make build plans at least in my case it is an absolute requirement because i use the 3d model to create the illustrations that go into the build plants so for the drawer example it consists of two sides a front a back and a bottom but we’re going to start by drawing the sides now in this case i’m making them out of 1 by 8 pine and then i’m actually going to cut a rabbet at each end for the joinery now my sketch actually comes in handy here in understanding how these things need to fit together to get my final drawer dimension but again because you’re doing it digitally you could fit it up one way and realize that you got your dimensions wrong go back and tweak something and then get it right so once i’ve verified that my box is the right size i can now add the bottom panel so here you see a complete drawer so this is where your three model comes in very handy and specifically fusion 360. i can actually orient my parts in a certain way that i want to show the customer and then export that image with a transparent background and then place them directly into my powerpoint plans so now that we’ve got our drawer modeled we can now move into making the plans themselves because remember we’ve made all our mistakes digitally now we can move on to the real world quick break to talk about the sponsor of today’s video and that is skillshare skillshare is an online community for creative people with thousands of classes ranging from advertising to illustrations to photography or there’s videography classes on how not to shoot with shadows on your face oh shoot but just about anything you could think of for example you may be watching this video with the intention of selling some woodworking plans or maybe even woodworking products on a platform like etsy well skillshare has a ton of classes specifically about etsy there’s some on the basics of etsy how to set up a successful store how to optimize shipping how to run ad campaigns you get the picture now what’s cool about skillshare is although there is a tiny cost associated with a membership there are no ads so you don’t have to sit through one of these in one of those classes and you can have multiple classes going on and you can pause and resume depending on your schedule so it’s really a great way to learn a new skill and improve your overall effectiveness in whatever it is that you do if you’re interested in checking it out the first 1 000 people to sign up through the link in the video description down below we’ll get a free trial of skillshare premium membership so that should let you feel it out and understand kind of what you’re getting into and if you like it stick with it if you don’t so thank you skillshare for sponsoring this video and let’s get back to it so i’ve been a huge fan of lego ever since i was a kid and for me the gold standard for instructions is a lego instruction manual they take something that’s pretty complex if you think about it and reduce it to a series of full color pictures and symbols i love the fact that there’s no words they can convey a very complicated task without having to explicitly tell me how to do it this has been something that i’m trying to achieve i am nowhere near there right now but it’s where i want to get to so to lay out my build plans this is gonna sound weird but i use powerpoint yeah you heard that right now i will probably move away from powerpoint in the near future into something a little bit more professional but for now powerpoint actually works really well so i’ve actually created a template on which i make all of my build plans but the template basically just consists of some branding maybe a version number and finally a page number everything else of course will be specific to the project now the basic components of a successful woodworking plan in my opinion start with an initial disclaimer now every one of my plans has one of these and all it basically is saying is this is what you’re building here’s how big it is if you want to make any changes do that now because the last thing you want is somebody to get through this project and realize oh it’s too big for my space and i know that sounds dumb but i think there’s value in doing that in the case of my ultimate cabinet build there are several configurations so i talk about that in the beginning so if you have a limited space you need to work with and you need a smaller version of that that’s where you get that information so you get what you need so the first real section is a master material list so this includes everything that they will need to complete this project including raw material like wood parts and even fasteners what this does for you as a content creator is the opportunity to add affiliate links and make sure that they have exactly what they need and they don’t have to go digging for it following the master material list is a master cut list now this is very important especially for big projects because you want to help them optimize their materials so they don’t have a bunch of waste at the end of this it also helps them wrap their mind around how much this is going to cost and potentially how long it’s going to take now to build the cut sheets i used to make them by hand but i actually found a really great free resource called cut list optimizer so after the master materialist and the master cut list you can start into the meat of the plans now for this example we’re building one drawer box so that’s the entirety of the plan but if you’re building say a cabinet with many drawers you might first choose to build the cabinet and then move on to building the drawers so the first section would be just the cabinet carcass itself it would have its own sub materialist and sub cut sheet i think there’s a ton of value in creating bite-sized chunks that people can tackle especially on big projects so in the plans themselves i always start with secondary operations on the stock material and on top of just describing what needs to be done i like to include a couple of options on how they might do it because again i don’t want to assume that everyone’s an expert so here i’ll say although i used a palm router you could also use a router table or a dado blade in your table saw and oh by the way for this particular case if they’re setting up that router with that rabbeting bit and getting it dialed in if there are any other rabbits in this project that require those dimensions i like to mention it here if you were building this you would like to know that because you don’t want to go set this back up again i like to include any warnings if possible so in this case there’s actually a couple ways you can assemble the drawer box and end up with the wrong dimension drawer so specifically call that out and make it very obvious i like to err on the side of caution in this case you want them to have a good time building this you don’t want them to get to the end and realize all their drawers are the wrong size so once the main instructions are done i always like to follow it up with an index with some resources now in my case i usually do a build video to go along with the plan so i’ll link those videos directly but this is also a good place to include things like tables or reference diagrams or maybe even some examples of tools that you found very useful during the build so from that powerpoint file we then create a pdf the pdf just makes it universal so anybody can print it out alright so some last minute takeaways to making successful woodworking plans that you can sell visual is key and in my opinion i think color is better make sure you include up front parts list and cut sheets as well as subparts list and sub cut sheets keeps going back to thinking about how you would build it and what you would like to have if you were in their position break the project up into logical steps try and use text sparingly i have not mastered this yet i wish i was better at this but i want to get to the point where mine have very little if any text and that leads directly into the next one and that’s keep it concise although i tend to err on the side of detail there is a sweet spot and nobody wants to download a thousand pages on how to make a bookcase so there you have it you have a build plan that you can distribute out to customers you can charge people for you can give it away for free whatever you choose to do and this is where the topic of your platform comes into play i have sold all of my build plans on etsy and a lot of people ask me why would you do that most content creators and woodworkers sell them directly on their website and there are absolutely pros to doing that i would argue that there’s more pros by using a platform like etsy biggest one is that you have a much bigger audience i can attribute a significant amount of my sales coming from sources other than my youtube channel you just wouldn’t have that traffic on your little website now the downsides of using a platform like etsy is of course they take a fee of every single sale that you make it ends up being a very small percentage but they do charge you to do it and it’s also an opportunity for them to get off of your website or off of your youtube page which is typically not a good thing so you just have to weigh that balance what makes sense for you so i hope that answers some of the questions that i’ve gotten over the years of what i use to make my plans how i do my 3d modeling is there any pros for just an average maker to use that and my answer is of course yes there is and that is going to do it for this video thank you so much for watching i hope at a minimum you could take something and apply it to your world maybe you want to start selling woodworking plans and this is a good way to get started if i didn’t answer a question in this video please leave those in the comments below and i will answer them if you do want to get started modeling in fusion 360 i would highly encourage you to check out kevin kennedy’s course it is fantastic there’s a freaking chipmunk running around on the leaps back there but you know i’m filming and then lastly if you want to check out some of the woodworking plans that i put together head over to my etsy store and you can see them there i will see you guys on the next project and as always continue to pursue shop greatness [Music] …

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