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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
 

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Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
Good luck. Hope to see the results of your studies.
 

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Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
Looking forward to hearing more about it.
 

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Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
Jeff,

This is a wonderful opportunity for you. I am looking forward to more posts on your experiences as well.
 

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Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
This sounds like a great school. It's cheaper than heating your own garage.

It's amazing how generous they are with the use of their shop.

You should learn a lot.
 

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Beginning of the Course

In November of 2007 the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild held the annual Fall Seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). It was an excellent two and a half day event hosting Marc Adams of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I highly recommend Marc as a speaker at a guild or club event if your group plays host to speakers.

Part of what made the event such a good time were the facilities available at MCAD. They not only have a commerical class wood shop, metal fabrication, and casting facility, but their staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. Over the course of the weekend, I learned from on of the committee members that they offer 10-week Continuing Studies courses for a VERY nominal fee - $385 for ten weeks of 3 hours classes on Saturday monrings and then all the shop time you can squeeze into your schedule between 8 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm Monday through Friday. The shop is also open 12 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a Minnesotan without a heated shop, this was the best deal I'd heard of in a long time! I signed up for the class the first day of open registration.

The class was led by a guy named Willie Willette. Willie operates a one-of-a-kind studio in Minneapolis. He and his team do some fantastic stuff. His website is WillieWilletteWorks.com. He comes a background of museum work and has been running his studio for about 17 years.

The first day of class was insteresting as we talked about design, function, and what makes furniture "successful" vs. simply a studio piece. This lead us into a discussion about one of the basic tenets of the class. Willie challenged us to stretch our boundaries but to design a piece that was contemporary as well as functional. The class ended with an assignment to research at the library, some suggested studios (in addition to his), and any other inspirational source that we could find. I hit the library.

I had no idea what I was going to do for sure. I didn't know the class was going to have as much of a direction toward the Contemporary aesthetic as Willie was giving us. I decided this was a good thing though. I had a few things in mind but was going to keep my mind open and just let something that really caught my eye dictate my direction. I checked out 8 books and brought them home and started pouring over them.

I won't go into all the subject matter i reviewed or the designers. However, something did jump off the page at me. It was in a book titled Tradition in Contemporary Furniture edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey. The title alone was not that inspiring but it did have a great piece of furniture on the front.
Saw the second entry first; had to come back here so I could get the full story. This is exciting - I'm glad your sharing your experience here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Looks like a great challenge. When are you going to make it?
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
I take it that you didn't have to reach into the "bullpen" for your reliever project. Can't wait to see the finished work.
I think it's highly commendable that you (and John & Kristen Gizmodyne) have taken advantage of educational opportunities in your community. And it's a fair bit of genius to do this over the winter months rather than heat the shop. Bravo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Hey guys!

Karson - I've already built it but i have just a few tiny things to do with regard to the trim on the top of the final piece. And, I have to do some experiments on the approach I want to take with the finish. So, I don't have the 'Project' pics yet but I want to tell the story. There seemed to be a challenge at every corner… It was quite the saga.

Doug - I immediately thought of Jon and Kristen when I found out this opportunity existed. I remember being somewhat envious of them and then was excited I could capitalize on the same type of thing. It's great because I became acquainted with some great people and made some friends too. An all around grand experience.
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Oh - this is so good Jeff - It'll be really interesting to see how you unfold this one. I really like the curve in the top of the first sketch and also the tapered "leg" (the main one that the top attaches to) of the second sketch.

Keep 'em coming!
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Jeff,

This is a unique design and I am certain it was a challenge to build. But that it what makes us grow as woodworkers.

You have a unique opportunity for advancing your woodworking talents by attending this furniture class. I am sure that you will enjoy it and come away with some novel ideas.

Keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
I actually like the first piece over the second as far as it looks lighter and wants to cry out: "I'm defying gravity". Both are Great designs and am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Great design Jeff. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
Thanks for all the feedback guys. It's interesting some of you like the design for the top in the first concept. Says something to me about instincts. However, I thought it was like a fourth element if you will. It was too overt and distracted from the fact it was a cantilever. The curve and the slant at the back kept pulling my eye the opposite direction; against the grain of the cantilever, if that makes sense. I appreciate the feedback about the sweeping curve though. It was actually an element from some other ideas knocking around in my head. It may pop up again…

I should be posting the final SU images of the design I went with today in the next entry. It is a slight modification to the second concept above.
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
I see what you're saying (I think). All the visual interest of the curve and the beveled end, focuses your attention there, and not on the cantilevered length out toward the "far" end, which is your intended focus?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
That's right Dorje. The visual tension needs to be at a different point than the fulcrum. To me, the whole thing should have a counter-clockwise flow. The beam and the leg meet at a 90deg angle but the cantilever adds the rest of the tension to the whole assemblage. It's a bit hard to verbalize the aesthetic but I believe you and I are on the same page. Bacially, the defiance of gravity first and then the second look takes you into the details of the beam being a giant through tenon and then the leg to top joint is another large mortise and tenon situation.

Perhaps the front view without perspective helps this make more sense. What do you think?
 

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Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…

Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.


This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:

Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.

It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the 'table' can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.

Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:


I've always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…

I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn't quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.

The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it's elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn't get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.



All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It's all about the challenges.
I get what you're saying - though now - looking at the front view, my eyes head towards the right, and then back over to the left, with my head questioning, "Where's the other leg," and then, "How is that possible?" - the defying gravity perspective…

I think the angle created between the top and the beam/strecther lead the eyes towards the vertex or center point of where the angle would originate in space. I think that's what draws my eyes over to the leg/joinery side fairly naturally. But, again - I then go right over to the end of the cantilevered end and try to wrap my brain around that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Design Presentation and Final Modifications

The next week of class was consumed by each student presenting and speaking to their design what their main tenets would be for the project. Part of the previous week's assignment had been to pick your tenet or tenets and be prepared to stick with them. My main tenet was to see the design through and devise a way to pull off the cantilever. I knew it was going to be tough just by all the drawing work I had put into SketchUp. Seriously, there are only 6 90-deg corners (aside from all the joints in the torsion box) in the whole design. I was truly worried I would be told this was too aggressive.

When my turn came to present my concept I prefaced my comments with the fact that I intended to attempt a design with a cantilever in it. I discussed my inspiration piece. Our instructor liked the beam table (see the previous blog entry). This was a good sign… I unveiled my second design concept and Willie (the instructor) instantly commented it was a strong design but in the same breath noted the complexity. I jumped right in and spoke to the ideas I had about how I could strengthen the joint by bolting the top to the main support.


The gap in the torsion was intended as a slot for a flush-front drawer. He ultimately could see that I had put a lot of effort into accessing the problems I would face and supported my decision to build it as long as I 86'ed the drawer. I was ecstatic and surprised at the same time.

After everyone had talked about their proposed projects we each got to spend a little time in one on one !discussions with Willie. He reemphasized the challenge ahead of me but also told me he would like to see me succeed. We set about addressing the top and it's weight. Rather than execute the design as it was, why not just make the whole top a torsion box? It would further cut down on the weight and since it was a torsion box, there would be plenty of strength even with a 5/16 skin of plywood on the top of the box. I agreed I would take the next week to modify the drawings. The only problem was, at the end of design presentations, our new assignment was to bring a model to class the following week…

Here are some views of the final design where the whole top would be a torsion box.

Plan View


Front Elevation


Right Elevation


Left Elevation


Isometric views




Now, all I had to do was build a model. Here is a sneak peak of the 1/6th scale model. In the next entry, I'll discuss what the model helped reveal about the design.

 

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Design Presentation and Final Modifications

The next week of class was consumed by each student presenting and speaking to their design what their main tenets would be for the project. Part of the previous week's assignment had been to pick your tenet or tenets and be prepared to stick with them. My main tenet was to see the design through and devise a way to pull off the cantilever. I knew it was going to be tough just by all the drawing work I had put into SketchUp. Seriously, there are only 6 90-deg corners (aside from all the joints in the torsion box) in the whole design. I was truly worried I would be told this was too aggressive.

When my turn came to present my concept I prefaced my comments with the fact that I intended to attempt a design with a cantilever in it. I discussed my inspiration piece. Our instructor liked the beam table (see the previous blog entry). This was a good sign… I unveiled my second design concept and Willie (the instructor) instantly commented it was a strong design but in the same breath noted the complexity. I jumped right in and spoke to the ideas I had about how I could strengthen the joint by bolting the top to the main support.


The gap in the torsion was intended as a slot for a flush-front drawer. He ultimately could see that I had put a lot of effort into accessing the problems I would face and supported my decision to build it as long as I 86'ed the drawer. I was ecstatic and surprised at the same time.

After everyone had talked about their proposed projects we each got to spend a little time in one on one !discussions with Willie. He reemphasized the challenge ahead of me but also told me he would like to see me succeed. We set about addressing the top and it's weight. Rather than execute the design as it was, why not just make the whole top a torsion box? It would further cut down on the weight and since it was a torsion box, there would be plenty of strength even with a 5/16 skin of plywood on the top of the box. I agreed I would take the next week to modify the drawings. The only problem was, at the end of design presentations, our new assignment was to bring a model to class the following week…

Here are some views of the final design where the whole top would be a torsion box.

Plan View


Front Elevation


Right Elevation


Left Elevation


Isometric views




Now, all I had to do was build a model. Here is a sneak peak of the 1/6th scale model. In the next entry, I'll discuss what the model helped reveal about the design.

Intriguing!
 
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