Thursday, June 27, 2013

Using Microsoft Word for Templates

So things are clipping right along in the old workshop. The mini table saw arrived this weekend and man, is that fun! Not only is it the cutest little thing I've ever seen, but it also made cutting the final pieces for the structure much much faster and easier. There was a tiny bit of a learning curve as I learned the best way to hold the wood and the speed to cut it at, but other than that, it worked like a little charm. Look at how cute she is?

I bought the Harbor Freight one, since it was in my price range at the moment. (oh, and because I'd like to add a scroll saw to my collection sooner rather than later). I was able to build the final wall pieces, as well as the platform for the raised portion of the house.

Now that I have the pieces finally taped together, I can start thinking about layout of furniture and appliances inside the house. I have a pretty good idea of the furniture and kitchen things I want to build, but wanted to double check the sizes I had figured out on paper. I started making my own templates using a ruler and cardstock, until I realized I was sitting in front of my laptop, that could probably do the job much easier. Turns out - I was right!

So let's say you are making a small table that is 3" L x 2" W x 3" H. Simply open a blank word document and set the page to Landscape orientation (a fancy way of saying on its side instead of up and down) and Legal size (8"x14"). That will give you enough space to work.

Insert a square into the document. You can then modify it using the handy little size tool.

Then you do a layout exactly like this. You can make any template you want, using this format. You just simply change the size of the box to the dimension of your item.

Cut out each shape on the lines, making sure to leave room for the flaps at the end. (as marked on the diagram as "flap for assembly") Score each line so that it folds easily. I usually lay a ruler right on the line and then fold the paper up around it.

(grrrr - can't get the picture to turn the right way)
Tape the folds and VIOLA! You have yourself a perfectly sized box that matches the dimensions of your intended furniture piece. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily make modifications and print out new pieces until you have the right size.

There you go! I'm hoping to get wiring done for lights this weekend, as well as begin to work on the outside (stucco, siding, etc). And I think I've fully decided to show what I'm doing on the Fling, so I'll be back with pictures very very soon.

Happy Thursday!

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