My favorite furniture style, a distinctive take-off on Arts-and-Crafts design known as Greene and Greene, is not well-known. Still, I can use past WOOD magazine project plans to build my G&G pieces. And you can do the same to make furniture in your favorite style. Here's how.
They may look dissimilar, but my Gu0026G dresser and the country dresser from issue 111 share a lot of the same basic construction.

Using a WOOD magazine project article as a starting point in designing a customized piece, I save dozens of hours in creating project drawings, a materials list, a cutting diagram, and formulating the correct how-to steps. My simple redesign process goes like this:

1. First, I photocopy and enlarge the drawings from a magazine project I want to emulate. Then, I use white correction fluid to remove elements of the drawing(s) that don't match my style. For instance, when I built the G&G dresser, above left, the carcase construction of the country-style dresser in issue 111, above right, served as a good model--most of the illustrations, shown at right, showed exactly what I needed.


2. Next, I make a copy of the materials list, white-out the parts or dimensions that don't suit my redesign, and input my new parts or dimensions. Besides saving time, I'm assured that the basic design follows standard design criteria for such things as overall height, drawer depth, etc. If changes are substantial, I may start with a blank materials list. You can access it for free by clicking below.

3. Like the materials list, I'll often duplicate and alter the cutting diagram supplied with the WOOD magazine project. For the step-by-step instructions, I return to the photocopier to make a copy of the magazine article. Then, I cut and paste changes in the construction sequence wherever I need to add or delete a step. Typically, I use more than 80 percent of the existing instructions. For your convenience we've created a cutting diagram template.

4. My updated paper copies of the instructions, drawings, materials list, and cutting diagram usually aren't pretty, but they do serve as an excellent blueprint that ensures a snag-free project without the considerable work of starting from scratch. And because of this system, I rarely make a costly cutting or construction error. For my G & G tall dresser, below left, I used the country tall dresser, below right, plan from the December 1998, Issue 110, of WOOD. Using that existing plan saved me valuable time in the redesign process.


Give my redesign process a try on your next one-of-a-kind creation. I think you'll appreciate the timesaving benefits.

Marlen Kemmet, Managing Editor

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