Fabrication drawings, also referred to as construction drawings, working drawings, or contract documents, are given by designers to fabricators for pricing and fabrication. All critical views of the design need to be shown and clearly delineated on paper or in the computer before fabrication can begin. Generally, designers spend between 30 and 40 percent of their time on this phase of work.15
In preparing fabrication drawings, designers explicitly resolve and delineate remaining design decisions before fabrication. During this phase, dimensions are specified within a sixteenth of an inch. Material selection, grain direction of the wood, specifications for quality, finish selection, fabrication details, and technical specifications must be complete. For mass-produced furniture fabricated out of metals and plastics, the tolerances are even finer, requiring dimensional resolution to within a thousandth of Figure 6.58 Design development sketches. Drawing by Gil Born. an inch. Depending upon the fabricator and the nature of
the furniture, this phase of the work marks the point in time when the designer has satisfied his or her responsibility to the client for resolving the design prior to fabrication. Though more work lies ahead for the furniture designer, completing fabrication drawings is a major hurdle in the transformation from ideas into built form (Figure 6.59).
Technical sources are available to help designers determine how to specify and detail contract documents and how to avoid undesirable surprises in fabrication. The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) produces an excellent reference that outlines standards and specifications for designing and fabricating wood furniture.