woodmang

Shop Notebook or Journal

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Do any of you keep a physical shop journal?

I see a few posts here where people talk generally about their current or recent projects. However, do any of you keep a physical log of your projects, things you learned, disappointments, observations, and other such notes?

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I bought a nice notebook for that purpose once. Never used it. I write my notes and measurements on my drll press table and wipe everything clean once I'm done with the project.

 

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I usually have several legal pads of notes going during a project. They get bundled together when the job is done and occasionally referred to if I am building another piece for the client or want to replicate a detail I used. Dates help me search for the photos . After a few years finding the right box is difficult but it's better than nothing.

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Funny you asked. I bought a super cool, wood clad journal from the Wood Whisper. Com and plan to put it to use. It'll probably contain more mistakes than accomplishments though?

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I have what you would call a shop book, kinda sort of, it is a book of all the plans and layouts I have over the years either purchased ones or ones I made up, some have notes, well all have notes of some kind, gets rater bulky at times, most times I just remove what I'm doing and put the plans back, some plans are nothing more than specs, while other are in pretty much detail, I have a grand father clock set of plans some day I will even make it,

 

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I keep a pad of engineering paper in my shop. I don't write notes but i do keep measurements. I have written down all the measurements i need to make raised panel doors. I also keep all the hand sketches of the projects I've done. It's small half a sheet of paper so it's not cumbersome.

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I keep an artist's sketch book for initial concept drawings, jigs and to resolve joinery questions...  I've got them going way into the past... I find I don't look at old volumes...

I keep a small bound book for all finishing schedules I've used by species and piece. This includes color formulas. I've found this notebook handy from time to time.

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i keep my notes/measurements of various projects that i make if i'm going to make more than one, most of my stuff is one off type of thing and i use those notes to start the scrap wood on fire

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I don't usually slow up even enough to take pictures.  I'm always thinking about what I need to do next, and even stopping to send a bill is a bit of an interruption in the thought process.

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I don't keep notes as such but I do keep photos of most all of my projects. Some even have construction pictures with them also.

I keep the pictures in "photo bucket" on my computer and they go back to 2005. I kind of enjoy going back and looking at them every once in awhile. It reminds me of my mistakes and how much that I've learned over the years. :)

A picture of a given project will remind me of what I did and how I did it. Can't keep all the stuff around the house and I would NEVER find time to dig through a bunch of notes.

 

Rog

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I keep a blog to record the projects.  I already had a hosting account, and Wordpress is free.  I am terrible about updates but it does give me an overall review of the projects. 

 

 

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No but I probably should. Like others i have a legal pad while i'm working on a project and file plans and such in a filing cabinet but no journal as such.

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I have an external hard drive attached to the shop computer. I keep a simple folder of every project, no matter how big or small it is. I usually take photos of any notes and assembly shots. Even take them of the router bits if they are special. I put those photos in the folder 

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I never write anything down. I feel like if I can't remember it then it wasn't worth remembering. Though, as I get older I start to question this. 

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13 hours ago, Cliff said:

I never write anything down. I feel like if I can't remember it then it wasn't worth remembering. Though, as I get older I start to question this. 

It gets worse with time, trust me.

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On 2/24/2016 at 6:29 PM, Immortan D said:

I bought a nice notebook for that purpose once. Never used it. I write my notes and measurements on my drll press table and wipe everything clean once I'm done with the project.

 

That always seems to happen to me, I buy something for a specific purpose, then go another route!

On 2/24/2016 at 6:46 PM, wdwerker said:

I usually have several legal pads of notes going during a project. They get bundled together when the job is done and occasionally referred to if I am building another piece for the client or want to replicate a detail I used. Dates help me search for the photos . After a few years finding the right box is difficult but it's better than nothing.

That's a good idea! That's what I am thinking would be the benefit, something to refer back to. Have you thought about possibly scanning in your notes so you can find them easier?

On 2/24/2016 at 7:45 PM, K Cooper said:

Funny you asked. I bought a super cool, wood clad journal from the Wood Whisper. Com and plan to put it to use. It'll probably contain more mistakes than accomplishments though?

That's how we all learn though! I did see Marc's notebook in his store, perhaps that would be a good option for me.

On 2/24/2016 at 8:17 PM, ncfowler said:

I have what you would call a shop book, kinda sort of, it is a book of all the plans and layouts I have over the years either purchased ones or ones I made up, some have notes, well all have notes of some kind, gets rater bulky at times, most times I just remove what I'm doing and put the plans back, some plans are nothing more than specs, while other are in pretty much detail, I have a grand father clock set of plans some day I will even make it,

 

Sounds like a good plan, that way everything you need is in one place. Ha! I have a few of those "some day" projects!

On 2/24/2016 at 6:57 AM, Chestnut said:

I keep a pad of engineering paper in my shop. I don't write notes but i do keep measurements. I have written down all the measurements i need to make raised panel doors. I also keep all the hand sketches of the projects I've done. It's small half a sheet of paper so it's not cumbersome.

Oh I like the sound of that paper, I shall have to look it up. I have been looking for something that wouldn't be such a waste for small sketches as a notepad.

On 2/24/2016 at 7:07 AM, hhh said:

I keep an artist's sketch book for initial concept drawings, jigs and to resolve joinery questions...  I've got them going way into the past... I find I don't look at old volumes...

I keep a small bound book for all finishing schedules I've used by species and piece. This includes color formulas. I've found this notebook handy from time to time.

Do you think perhaps you don't look at the old ones because it would be too much of a pain? Or do you just not need the information contained in them?

I didn't even think of finishing! That's a great idea! Granted I have never branched much past stain and spray lacquer :(

On 2/24/2016 at 7:28 AM, treeslayer said:

i keep my notes/measurements of various projects that i make if i'm going to make more than one, most of my stuff is one off type of thing and i use those notes to start the scrap wood on fire

haha good idea for re-purposing!

On 2/24/2016 at 7:38 AM, Tom King said:

I don't usually slow up even enough to take pictures.  I'm always thinking about what I need to do next, and even stopping to send a bill is a bit of an interruption in the thought process.

I know that feeling...the wife is good for interrupting my thoughts!

On 2/24/2016 at 9:01 AM, Rapid Roger said:

I don't keep notes as such but I do keep photos of most all of my projects. Some even have construction pictures with them also.

I keep the pictures in "photo bucket" on my computer and they go back to 2005. I kind of enjoy going back and looking at them every once in awhile. It reminds me of my mistakes and how much that I've learned over the years. :)

A picture of a given project will remind me of what I did and how I did it. Can't keep all the stuff around the house and I would NEVER find time to dig through a bunch of notes.

 

Rog

That's my line of thinking, being able to refer back / remind myself of my progress, critique my old projects.

On 2/24/2016 at 9:13 AM, Llama said:

I keep a couple of those field notes books and a space pen around. Fits in my pocket :) 

I will have to look those up, are those the little spiral bound ones?

20 hours ago, Orbb said:

I keep a blog to record the projects.  I already had a hosting account, and Wordpress is free.  I am terrible about updates but it does give me an overall review of the projects. 

 

 

That's a good idea, then others can learn as well!

18 hours ago, pkinneb said:

No but I probably should. Like others i have a legal pad while i'm working on a project and file plans and such in a filing cabinet but no journal as such.

As long as they are accessible, I suppose the medium by which you record / save them doesn't matter!

18 hours ago, Southwood said:

I have an external hard drive attached to the shop computer. I keep a simple folder of every project, no matter how big or small it is. I usually take photos of any notes and assembly shots. Even take them of the router bits if they are special. I put those photos in the folder 

Sounds very detailed and organized! Good idea with the router bits! I didn't even think of that!

18 hours ago, Mike. said:

I document my builds on the woodtalk project journal forum.   I try to note idiosyncratic details that would be difficult to remember or identify by looking at a finished piece.   For example, what router bits I used for a complex profile, finish schedules and anything curved or angled.  

I took a look at that portion of the site briefly, perhaps it warrants another look!

15 hours ago, Cliff said:

I never write anything down. I feel like if I can't remember it then it wasn't worth remembering. Though, as I get older I start to question this. 

That's my problem, I just can't remember everything anymore!

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6 hours ago, woodmang said:

That always seems to happen to me, I buy something for a specific purpose, then go another route!

That's a good idea! That's what I am thinking would be the benefit, something to refer back to. Have you thought about possibly scanning in your notes so you can find them easier?

That's how we all learn though! I did see Marc's notebook in his store, perhaps that would be a good option for me.

Sounds like a good plan, that way everything you need is in one place. Ha! I have a few of those "some day" projects!

Oh I like the sound of that paper, I shall have to look it up. I have been looking for something that wouldn't be such a waste for small sketches as a notepad.

Do you think perhaps you don't look at the old ones because it would be too much of a pain? Or do you just not need the information contained in them?

I didn't even think of finishing! That's a great idea! Granted I have never branched much past stain and spray lacquer :(

haha good idea for re-purposing!

I know that feeling...the wife is good for interrupting my thoughts!

That's my line of thinking, being able to refer back / remind myself of my progress, critique my old projects.

I will have to look those up, are those the little spiral bound ones?

That's a good idea, then others can learn as well!

As long as they are accessible, I suppose the medium by which you record / save them doesn't matter!

Sounds very detailed and organized! Good idea with the router bits! I didn't even think of that!

I took a look at that portion of the site briefly, perhaps it warrants another look!

That's my problem, I just can't remember everything anymore!

I have the same problem, I have the same problem, what was I going to say?

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Before I start on a project I gather all sorts of photos of details, inspirations and such and put them in a folder in Evernote. As I progress on the build, I jot notes, sketches, etc. in a small notebook. When I get a few minutes I snap pictures of the pages and upload them, along with pictures of the piece in progress. Keeps it all in one searchable location I always have with me on my phone.

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