Essential Details You Should Look For in Millwork Drawings
At a Glance
  • Detailed millwork drawings reduce errors in design interpretations by accurately communicating design intent across stakeholders, from architect to fabricator and manufacturer.
  • A detailing overload in millwork drawings however creates information clutter and difficulty for the shop floor to zone in on relevant information.
  • It is important to understand the optimal level of detailing needed in your millwork shop drawings which includes shop floor operational information, material quantity, bought-out parts, Bill of Materials etc.

Millwork drawings are by far the most effective medium to convert conceptual millwork and joinery design ideas into a physical product. These concept ideas need approvals from architects, designers, and manufacturers before being released for the shop floor.

Thus, any millwork shop drawing would entail tons of information for every stakeholder to understand and interpret design intent and/or raise their concerns. But the process of making detail-rich millwork shop drawings often results in information clutter. One way to avoid information chaos is sharing data that is just sufficient to make informed decisions for every stakeholder.

What are the challenges for achieving optimal millwork detailing?

  • Too many components within a drawing that need to be defined and demarcated.
  • The choice of omitting or including self-explanatory details by relying on the intelligence of the fabricator.
  • Achieving accuracy in design interpretation while avoiding errors in design understanding.
  • Managing fluctuating workload and need of specific skilled resources.

These factors impact timely deliveries and raw material utilization across the project. In some cases, incorrectly communicated details could lead to defective manufacturing and unsafe installations.

The key to avoiding this chaos is making the right amount of information available at the right time. It can be achieved using millwork drawings. But to serve every stakeholder, drawings often get over loaded with details. You can avoid this by including only essential details in the drawings. So what does one mean by “essential details in millwork shop drawings?”

The answer lies in addressing the needs of the reviewers and stakeholders by detailing all relevant information in one file.

Detailing millwork shop drawings for every stakeholder

Since the project architects, designers, and manufacturer or contractor refer to the same files for information exchange, they need purposeful detailing while avoiding information overload.

Let’s quickly delve into the nuances of millwork detailing to efficiently execute any millwork assignment.

Detailing from a designer’s or an architect’s perspective

An architect is more concerned about the layout and arrangement of joinery as far as interiors are concerned. Thus their primary focus is on the design intent and orientation of every element.

Joinery drawings are prepared for approvals first by the chief architect to give a go ahead for shop manufacturing. CAD engineers and drafters prepare these drawings by studying the architectural floor plans and conceptual sketches of joinery.

For a joinery designer and manufacturer in the UK, the HitechDigital engineering team developed approval drawings from detailed 3D architectural drawings.

Here are some of the optimal details that the approval drawings warehoused:

  • Effective communication about positioning of furniture and decoration
  • Drafting details from raised floor plans
  • Outer dimensions and space representation with details like material thickness, laminates etc.
  • Elevations for aesthetics, blend with interior designs, architectural theme etc.
  • Changes to accommodate the revised dimensions after variations during civil constructions
  • Markup changes in drawings suggested by end clients as per their preferences
MillWork Drafting Detailing

Once prepared, the detailed CAD submittals and IFC drawings were sent to architect for approvals. Once the architect approved it, shop drawings were developed. This sort of millwork detailing approach eased the drafting work and reduced the time spent.

Get the optimal detailing density in your millwork drawings

Transform design intent into precision-rich production drawings

Detailing from a manufacturer’s perspective

Joinery production, fabrication of sheet metal, and woodworking for any joinery or millwork require a lot of precision. The manufacturer needs sectional views of products on shop floor to get information on preferred machine cuts, edge banding etc.

This ensures a sound understanding of the product’s appearance and the relationship between different levels of parts in an item. Usually, shop floor manufacturers outsource this task to engineering companies with proficiency and experience in executing such projects.

For the same joinery manufacturer referenced earlier, once the approval drawings were approved, our CAD drafting teams developed detailed shop drawings. Alongside, detailed millwork drawings, we also delivered BoMs and laminate schedules for the shop floor engineers that had information regarding:

  • Tooling configuration for particular shapes and curves.
  • Sheet metal nesting and patterns with cuts, etc.
  • Individual part drawings with exploded isometric views.
  • Stone drawings as well as DXF files for manufacturing.
  • Tooling profile for woodworking, sawing, edge banding.
  • Precise manufacturing/machine tolerances and dimensioning for zero errors.
  • Markups in detailed shop drawings corresponding to changes in approval drawings.

The standard design dimensions such as screw type, length, and size can be omitted as they may overlap with curtail manufacturing detailing. Also detailing of standard elements must be avoided for clear clutter-free design communication.

Manufacturing Shop Drawings

These millwork shop drawings use standard nomenclature, abbreviations, and symbolic annotations in detailing to ensure no discrepancies in design communication and strict quality control is achieved.

Detailing from a contractor’s perspective

A contractor defines the scope of work and presides over the project right from inception to the project execution stage.

A contractor ensures that the customer ultimately gets what he is paying for – well within the timelines. He plays an important role in validating the conceptual sketches, submittal drawings, Verified-In-Field (VIF) dimensions, and creation of as-built shop drawings for site installation needs.

Details that an onsite contractor needs in millwork drawings:

  • Assembly and installation guides for onsite assistance.
  • Detailed views with exploded isometric drawings to ensure every part aligns.
  • Assembly parts, trims, fixtures and other fit-out details.
  • Tolerances, clearance, quantities, etc. in BoMs.
  • Revisions in drawings based on onsite surveys conducted by contractors to update overall dimensions.

Final thoughts

For quality millwork manufacturing, design communication between designers and manufacturers matters which mainly happens through millwork drawings. It can be accurate only when both stakeholders work in close coordination with action-oriented detailing. Further, millwork drawings if done right can help you save up to 30% design cost and accelerate design cycles by up to 70%. HitechDigital’s CAD engineers help you not only avoid clutter but also provide you with the exact amount of detailing at every stage of the project.

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