Winter is here and the snows knee deep, so getting out on my little porch to do any woodworking is out of the question, so what to do, what to do. Well to my wife's displeasure it's that time of the year I drag down my many, many issues, of woodworking magazines to look at, I started collecting them in the 70's if that gives you some idea on how many I have.
This year instead of just daydreaming though each issue, I have been trying pick out similar designed projects, homemade tools, and shop ideas, that I like. I then scan them into my computer into their own files, and print them. I can then organize them into my notebook for a quick reference. I am mainly doing this as a design tool, while I have never really build any project out of a magazine, I do admit that I have borrowed some ideas to use on project I have built. One of these day I hope to just pull out the element like legs, aprons, doors, and turnings, that appeal to me and group them together on pages for a reference.
Why do this you ask, well for me when I am designing I get this sort of tunnel vision going and I block everything out except my original idea. This might be good or it might be stopping me from coming up with a better designed project. If I have a reference of ideas that I like, that fall into my skill set and tools, I think I can improve on the my design, experiment with some other ideas and open up my creativity a little, and these days my creativity needs a little kick in the pants.