Where do you get your plans?


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I'm looking for a reliable source of plans. I'm willing to pay for them.

Specifically, I'm looking for a floating panel blanket chest that I'm going to build as a wedding present. Either a raised panel or flat.

I often get my plans from Rockler, though I'm not in love with their chest plans. I also sometimes get them from wood magazine.

But outside of these obvious sources I'm kind of at a loss. Web searches are a crap shoot.

I can probably design this one myself but I like to at least be able to reference a plan, more for the proportion of sizes of pieces than anything else.

So I'm just looking for recommendations for sources of free, or paid, plans.


Thanks in advance

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Having plans, and a cut list of parts would be a great convenience.  Unfortunately, I've never found any for anything that I could use, and spent way more time looking for plans than I have making some. 

That was in 1973, when I was looking for plans.  I had decided to build a house to see if I could sell one, and make any money.  The trouble with waterfront houses is that they have two fronts-a road front, and a waterfront.  I spent days, and maybe even weeks looking over plan books, and never found the first one that had a back that looked like a front.

Since then, I've built many cabinets, and some pieces of furniture, and always just drew some rough plans, and figured out parts as the job went along.   These days, if I draw something that I'm going to build, it's drawn to some large scale, often just on brown builders paper with rulers, pencil, and dividers on the outfeed table to the tablesaw.  

Proportions are important, and the first ratios I try are 1:6, and 1:5, and often some multiple of that-things like rail, and stile width relative to overall, and tapers on raised panels, and such.

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I have used Fine Woodworkings plans and they are decent, But sometimes I was puzzled with what they were thinking.:blink:  I have used Rockler's once and didn't care for then at all.  

I think Marc's in the guild are excellent and come with the added benefit of the videos.  But most of the time I just sketch something out on paper with dimensions and create a cut list from that kind of as I go with the drawing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like books which over time drew me to my favorite periods and cabinet makers.  You get so much from books.  Go to Amazon.com and search 'period furniture measured drawings' or something to that effect.  Buy used and get deep discounts. 

I know there's a Pennsylvania Dutch Chest in Bill Hylton's, 'Chest of Drawers'.  There's also a few in Lang's, 'Furniture in the Southern Style'.


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I too do my own but, Woodsmith has some of the best and most reliable detail in the plans I see in their mags.  finewoodworking is probably second with Wood Mag having corrections in the following issue on a regular basis.  Not much help when the mag only comes out 6 times a year.

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