Saturday, 24 March 2012

'cant' console table

As regular readers will know i use this blog to show my current designs and new ones and this is the first new design i have made for a while now, so i will run through the design and explain my thinking behind it. The console table is based on the popular 'cant' sidetable principle of having a cantilever surface protrude through and into a wooden frame arrangement. I knew this design would be quite adaptable so i started to play around with varying proportions for a hall/console table. the below photo shows the first mockup which gave me a good starting point in terms of what functional size i was looking for.

The next stage after deciding on the size was to source some appropriate wood. And by chance i had acquired some reclaimed sapele which proved perfect for the job, well seasoned, dead straight and having worked with sapele before i knew it would be a good wood to make this design out of. So the process began of cutting the wood down and preparing it to be made into the frame work. As i had made the sidetable in the same way i was confident i could make a solid frame based on that design. So the gluing and constructing of the frame did not take too long at all. The problem i had was coming up with a new way of fixing the table top into the frame work as i had had mixed results with the sidetable method of fixing and knew i had to find a more workable solution and after much sketching and experimenting i came up with the idea of concealing nuts and bolts within the frame work which would in turn hold the acrylic top in place, the next series of photos show the plugs i used to cover the holes up in the back strut of the table. But since completing this table i think I can improve this fixing system even more by changing a few elements and hence improving the overall look of the piece and eliminating the plugs i had to use to cover the holes.

once the fixing holes had been drilled (16 in total) i could glue the last sections of the frame together and begin the tricky task of routing out the slot to except the acrylic top, its always a nerve wrecking time as one slip can ruin the piece of the wood and as this wood was reclaimed i did not have anymore. panic over i secured the top into the frame and could finally see the finished design which is always an interesting time, wondering of you have done right with proportions and construction, but i was pleased but knew where i could improve for next time. I then oiled the frame with traditional Danish oil which has brought out the grain of the wood quite well and darkened it which has then contrasted well with the black acrylic. I tested the strength of the cantilever construction by placing a 2kg weight on the edge of the table surface which proved that the table was strong enough for daily use. As you can hopefully remember the original idea for the ‘cant’ series was to give the framework a functional element by allowing the user to customise the piece by draping magazines over the frame or clipping lights to it hence freeing the table top for more storage etc. one thing I have learnt is that I will probably spend a bit more time looking into the design of frameworks for future projects and try to understand the forces that will be exerted on that frame and improve the design overall, but also looking at the amount of wood I use and the way I use it. so an interesting experimental project awaits.

This design will now be listed on to be bought and put on various portfolio sites and the process begins again as I have a new idea to take further and expand on which is always an intriguing time in the life of a new design.

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