Rather than doing a lot of woodwork, I’ve actually spent most of the day sitting in front of my computer working on an old version of Sketch-up and planning my design. There were quite a few scribbles and calculations on bits of paper too but using computer assisted design gives a neater end result and also allows checking the calculated lengths actually work. Part of the slowness was that I’m rusty on using the program and was never much of an expert in any case. As the day wore on, it became apparent that there were other issues too.
A design that takes hours to figure out the cut list, and where every piece looks like it will need multiple precise runs on the router, sounds like one that is destined to end up with some frustrating mistakes and wasted materials along the way. Could it be, I thought, that I am being a little over-complicated? It has been known!
Version two still involves some careful cutting and routing but much less so. I can start with a simple trial on some scrap wood and, if I can successfully join two boards side by side with a tongue and groove joint, I can repeat that on a small number of longer pieces. Most of the rest of the joinery consists of a small variety of rabbets and dados.
That will still test my skills and the utility of the router table I made yesterday but I think I have a decent chance of creating a couple of decent looking and sturdy herb planters rather than just a pile of more scrap wood and sawdust!