Knowing Right from Left

  • Creator
  • #3964
    Richard Kurshan

    This is a basic question, but I have not found any authority or discussion on it. Is there a standard in woodworking for determining Right or Left? Is it from the worker’s perspective, or from the perspective of the product, or, in this case, the clock?

    I am enjoying the project and have learned much.


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  • Author
  • #3967
    Charles Cleland


    I’ve always used my perspective, from the front.  Critical thing would seem to be doing it the same every time, whichever you choose.

    Washington State, USA
    My own humble blog:


    Plan and working perspective is typically “as viewed”.  Plans tend to revolve about a series of views/elevations.

    Front view = front elevation

    Side view = left or right elevation

    Rear view – rear elevation

    Top view = plan view

    This tends to translate into all views taken from an audience perspective relative to the work piece or project.




    I agree with Gary, typically plans describe the right side as “right as viewed from the front”. Interestingly, it becomes confusing to those of us in the field of medicine, where the human body is described from the subject (patient’s) perspective, not the observer’s perspective.


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