collinb

What feature do you find most distracting?

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That is, what part of a project, to you, shows the difference between a beginner and a seasoned woodworker?

(I didn't say "pro" because "pro" means only that one gets paid. There are mediocre pros out there, in every field.)

For me it is alignment: Are the joints flush? Is everything properly aligned, even, and consistent?

This is where I struggle. A lot. The extra effort is worth it, but the time expended increases significantly.

What is it for you?

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The chosen boards and their wood grain is pretty tell-tale to me. An experienced woodworker chooses grain, say for a panel glue up, that hides the glue line between the boards, and makes it look as though its one wide board. A novice woodworker may just glue two or three boards together without thinking about it, and its pretty obvious its two or three boards. 

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1 hour ago, C Shaffer said:

Too much focus on flashy grain and defying th movement odds. 

Yes, Yes and Yes.

I don't know the beginnings of this but is seems that a lot of woodworkers are using wild grain to put the "fine" in fine woodworking when just a clean well thought out and executed project will get skills headed in the right direction.  Also you don't need 8 different spiecies in a single project, well maybe in a cutting board.

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I am tired of all the justifying that construction lumber can be fine furniture, live edge, river tables, crotch figure, putting all sorts of highly figured woods in 1 piece.  Not thinking/planing and having poor grain matching.  Combining the aforementioned is even worse.  All these fads that are all over YouTube are just that fads.  There is a reason some furniture is timeless and passed from generation to generation.  A lot of these new things will be filling landfills within a decade.  Nobody wants to have restraint.  

Rant done.

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15 minutes ago, Woodenskye said:

I am tired of all the justifying that construction lumber can be fine furniture, live edge, river tables, crotch figure, putting all sorts of highly figured woods in 1 piece.  Not thinking/planing and having poor grain matching.  Combining the aforementioned is even worse.  All these fads that are all over YouTube are just that fads.  There is a reason some furniture is timeless and passed from generation to generation.  A lot of these new things will be filling landfills within a decade.  Nobody wants to have restraint.  

Rant done.

Ok, so what’s really bothering you:D

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6 minutes ago, K Cooper said:

Ok, so what’s really bothering you:D

I would probably get banned if I typed it.  :blink:

4 minutes ago, Mick S said:

If you paint your project gray would it still be a good design? Grain, figure, color contrast, etc. can all be good things - when it adds to, or is a critical component of the design. Relying on it in lieu of good design is not. I'm as guilty as anyone, but it's a journey. 

Painting a project doesn't totally affect the design IMO. If you built a demilune table and painted it, the choice of finish kinda ruins a still very good design.  Finish and design are 2 separate things.  

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I don't find any distraction by anything mentioned in this thread yet.  All the points mentioned just don't even get noticed, as I pass right over it, and give it no more thought.  So for me, not so much a distraction, but a turn off/away point.

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I think the word should have been detracting Tom, as specified by definition in the OP. Was helpful to read that for the clarification. 

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33 minutes ago, Woodenskye said:

Painting a project doesn't totally affect the design IMO. If you built a demilune table and painted it, the choice of finish kinda ruins a still very good design.  Finish and design are 2 separate things.  

I think you missed my point. I never paint projects. My point was, would the design stand on its own regardless of the materials or finish? I'm paraphrasing Seth Rolland here. 

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I understood the question, but it's not something I ever spend any time thinking about.  If something catches my eye, I'll spend time looking it over.  If not, I don't spend any time thinking about it.  I can't narrow it down to one specific point, because I never think about it again.  I spend a fair amount of time thinking about what looks good, but it's never a process of eliminating what doesn't.

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Yeah, I don’t find that you read and understood at all. A guy on the newer end of the journey is seeking pitfalls to avoid. I post function suffering due to form choices. You post there is no time to make that determination and then post on looks only. That is the biggest thing screaming at me from each of the communities for which I try to contribute. Looking good seems to be ruling bad practice of stable material selection. I don’t think that can be said too often here. Just because you don’t need to hear it does not mean it should not be said. 

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14 minutes ago, Mick S said:

I think you missed my point. I never paint projects. My point was, would the design stand on its own regardless of the materials or finish? I'm paraphrasing Seth Rolland here. 

There are a lot of pieces on Seth's site that I believe the design would be affected because of the materials or finish used.  Tommy Mac did a slant front desk that was totally overdone by his us of figured woods.  The design was classic, but the materials really made the piece kinda ugly.  My opinion it was a poor choice by a very talented woodworker.

I never said you paint your projects, so you may have missed my point.  You asked if painting your project grey would still be a good design.  So I will ask If you went through the process of building a demilune table, with the stringing and beading, would painting it affect the project?  It won't fundamentally change the design, but the finish could ruin the project to a point.  

Going back to my original post, I am tired of seeing poor choices whether that is design, materials or finish being touted as fine furniture.  Filling a portion of a rotted out slab with epoxy doesn't equate to quality in my opinion.  Yours may differ and that's your right.

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8 minutes ago, Woodenskye said:

The design was classic, but the materials really made the piece kinda ugly.

That is my point.

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19 minutes ago, Mick S said:

That is my point.

Somehow we seem to be going back and forth but at the same time seem to be in agreement.  

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Ill answer this from looking at my own work. I can see "amateur" in the design of most of my early pieces. Strange proportions, unnecessary embelishments, bad choices in grain selection and orientation. Small subtles misses that dont really look that bad individually, but detract from that "purity" i guess, that i wanna see in a piece of fine furniture. Also, any form of tooling marks like blade or router burn, sanding scratches, etc.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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Quote

Filling a portion of a rotted out slab with epoxy doesn't equate to quality in my opinion.

Would you suggest that fine woodworking uses only the clearest timbers? 

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1 hour ago, lewisc said:

Would you suggest that fine woodworking uses only the clearest timbers? 

It's a delicate balance, and the design could dictate that a specific flaw in the wood be incorporated, and certain people like and build in this style.  There is nothing wrong with that.  I'm just not a fan personally.  If your going to consider something fine furniture, then generally yes, the most desirable wood you have should be used.  Your definition of fine furniture may be different than mine.

I need to build some shop furniture and will I be using clear walnut, no, it's shop furniture and construction lumber or knotty pine will be used and I'm ok with that, but that doesn't mean I would make a coffee table out of the same materials and call it fine furniture.  

 

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9 hours ago, C Shaffer said:

I think the word should have been detracting Tom, as specified by definition in the OP. Was helpful to read that for the clarification. 

I see what you mean by detracting. Things that diminish the quality of a piece.

But I did intend to say distracting. That is, features which give an impression.

Though yours works, too. Perhaps I should have used both terms.

**

We've a term in photography -- "pixel peepers" -- that describes those who look at the finest detail and will zoom in to the Nth degree.

That said: Looking how close is close enough?

**

So far we have three best practice principles being spelled out:

Execution -- like accurate cuts & grain matching

Style -- good design

(and for lack of a better word)

Fit -- materials suited to the project, both woods & finishes

**

My goal with the OP: I'm trying to develop my philosophy of woodworking -- a frame of mind on how things should be done. These are the thoughts that go behind best practices.

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1 hour ago, collinb said:

I'm trying to develop my philosophy of woodworking -- a frame of mind on how things should be done. These are the thoughts that go behind best practices.

Best practices are valuable assets that should be followed no matter the trade, especially when safety is involved.

Now a philosophy or woodworking? I think you're overthinking the whole thing. Woodworking is about making things, and that only. If you want a deep knowledge of woodworking, then make sure your projects involve enough challenges for you to learn something from each one when you make the actual pieces.

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51 minutes ago, Immortan D said:

Best practices are valuable assets that should be followed no matter the trade, especially when safety is involved.

Now a philosophy or woodworking? I think you're overthinking the whole thing. Woodworking is about making things, and that only. If you want a deep knowledge of woodworking, then make sure your projects involve enough challenges for you to learn something from each one when you make the actual pieces.

On best practices, agreed. I would not have survived 3 decades in IT or grad school (in very different fields). The best practices differed greatly but still existed and had to be learned.

To the second matter, this is what happens when an academic gets a hand tool.

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