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Thread: How Do You Create Your Cut Lists?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    How Do You Create Your Cut Lists?

    I will soon begin designing and building our new kitchen. I am leaning towards face frame construction with inset drawers and doors. My shop includes a MiniMax combo machine equipped with an 8' slider to handle the sheet stock.

    1] What methods do you use to create your cut lists? Do you have a unique way that you approach creating an accurate list from your design plans?

    2] Do you use software? Which one? How much?

    3] What do you do to help maximize your hardwoods and sheet stock when cutting? Any tricks of the trade?

    4] Any books you feel do a good job of explaining some good techniques?

    Thanks in advance!
    Jeff Wright
    Treasure Island FL

  2. #2
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    Jeff,
    I haven't used much sheet stock in quite a while but I used to just use quad rule paper. I am getting ready to use some sheet stock to build a fire place enclosure and will probubly use Sketchup. It free from google and not ony will alllow you to do the layout but will also allow you to do 3-D modeling. You can download a copy at www.sketchup.com
    Last edited by Don Baer; 11-28-2006 at 05:00 PM. Reason: added link
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Jeff,

    I use autocad because I am lucky enough to have free access to it because of my job. When doing kitchens or similiar cabinets I always start with a plan drawing based on accurate measurements. Autocad allows me to lay everything out exactly as it in in real life and I can take measurements off the plan drawing. I then use that to create Elevations of the cabinets showing all the rails and stiles and doors and drawers. Then I use this drawing to create frame and cutout lists for each separate cabinet. frame of course being my hardwood and cutout being my sheet goods.

    Unfortunately Autocad is not cheap....definitely in the thousands unless you can get an education version which may be affordable.

    as far optimizing, i don't think i really do anything too special. sometimes if i have alot of sheet goods to cut I will draw actual 4x8 sheets in autocad and layout each different piece trying to find the optimal order of cutting. I am sure there are other programs that can do this. If you can dimension in sketchup, then you could do it. I don't know sketchup so i can't answer that.


    good luck with the kitchen, please keep us updated.

    chris

  4. #4
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    I find that I am quite fast, efficient, and accurate using just a squared pad, a pencil, and an eraser.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    jeff, i`m on the other end of the spectrum from chris......i do a pencil sketch then build faceframes off it and build the boxes to suit...most of the local shops around here who are into production use cabinetvision software....big bucks! at least for me who doesn`t do kitchens.....it really all depends on what you`re doing, what skills you have at your disposal, and how much time and money you want to invest..... just be giving your project plenty of thought you`ll most likely eliminate the need for books-n-software? you`ve always got the ears of a few of us here who`ve been beating our fingers for a coupla years and can pick our functioning braincells for what they`re worth .....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    A few pencil sketches, 3 or 4 versions... then shop drawings (very crude & not to scale) of individual components with dimensions... then I write down the cut list (biggest pieces to smallest)...
    I used to work with CAD programs years ago in a big shop, but our jobs were very repetitive. It has it's place, but I am hands on all the way, I find drawing meditative, and moving my hand through space helps me configure a piece and visualize it as I design. But for those who feel drawing challenged a simple CAD program could be a good way to go.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Blasco View Post
    A few pencil sketches, 3 or 4 versions... then shop drawings (very crude & not to scale) of individual components with dimensions... then I write down the cut list (biggest pieces to smallest)...
    I used to work with CAD programs years ago in a big shop, but our jobs were very repetitive. It has it's place, but I am hands on all the way, I find drawing meditative, and moving my hand through space helps me configure a piece and visualize it as I design.
    A poster on SMC Forum (Ben Young) offered some graph paper templates in Microsoft Word. They got me thinking about making some templates of my own. I liked the idea of 12 squares per inch (both vertical and horizontally to keep the perspectives accurate). I wanted paper large enough to accomodate at least a 12 foot run of cabinets showing the elevation view and the plan view aligned exactly above it as I create my design across the paper left-to-right. So I created a graph paper layout in Excel IN LEDGER SIZE (11"x17") and have also converted it into a Adobe PDF file for those of you without Microsoft Excel. If you would like a copy of the file so you can print out your own blanks, email me offline. You will either need a printer capable of printing ledger size paper or you could take the electronic file to a Kinkos and have them print a bunch of them for you. In fact, you can email the file to your local store and pick up the printed pages later.

    There is a lot to be said for making your own designs by hand to really get to understand what you are about to build. Hey, maybe in time I can get as artistic and creative as Sam Blasco!!
    Jeff Wright
    Treasure Island FL

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wright View Post
    ...
    I liked the idea of 12 squares per inch (both vertical and horizontally to keep the perspectives accurate). I wanted paper large enough to accomodate at least a 12 foot run of cabinets showing the elevation view and the plan view aligned exactly above it as I create my design across the paper left-to-right. So I created a graph paper layout in Excel IN LEDGER SIZE (11"x17") and have also converted it into a Adobe PDF file for those of you without Microsoft Excel. If you would like a copy of the file so you can print out your own blanks, email me offline.
    ...
    Thanks for doing this Jeff. I am going to take you up on your offer and will emial you.

    I work mostly in metric, so I will think about making a metric version similar to what you have done.
    Cheers, Frank

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