In any given day 50 ideas cross my mind quick as a flash and I make myself a note with each one. The mental ones usually get lost in the milieu of an overactive mind. Where they go from there depends on memory recall. Not all design concepts come to pass beyond the note, sketch or whatever other means I use to create memory lists. I have shavings saved in my box from 10 years ago scribbles on shavings, blocks of wood and scraps of paper like newspaper. I have the sketches of designs I did for people like Phil and Wendy Gramm, both of whom are US economists and Phil Gramm was of course a US Senator. I have scribbles for other famous people too, a President or two even. Often my notes start out on pieces of wood, a shaving on my bench may have no value except to me yet a reverse ogee cross my mind a pencil behind my ear recorded it for consideration later. This week it happened again. I have a new design that lends itself to teaching a few new and unseen concepts and this one will most likely teach you several of my secret methods you will never have considered. I think you’ll like them and the piece. I just put the last coat of finish on today.
Working through this design I realised how much I do habitually to create my designs. The original concept might well be sparked by some influence and although I don’t copy designs per se I do see proportions I like and I will take down measurements for reference later. My new project is adaptable to a variety of different uses. Though my first thought was for one alone, it quickly became evident that I could find six options I liked the idea of. Anyway I made it and any doubts or questions I had were resolved by the conclusion of it.
Then of course there is the serendipitous design. This one comes about because you found something handy and you then struck up a conversation with your mind to make something more permanent. You may not have noticed yet but I have permanently installed the plywood workbench in my workshop. It’s actually the prototype one that is fully fitted out with under-the-well-board storage, a tool trough, end of bench shelves for sharpening equipment and then the main under-bench shelf. I had a piece of 1/4″ plywood elevated in the well to my right and I found my planes were more poised and ready for action that when they were in the well. I liked it and the efficiency of presentation.
A few minutes later I had my customised version in full use. the soft padding is a remnant from a table protector. This cushioning eases my landing of the planes and avoids mis-sets.