Thursday, 2 February 2012

Prototypes, Saving Time and Material

  I am building a large dining table for my friend Brent. He gave me a size for the surface and specified no leaves in the table. The rest he is leaving to me.(no pun intended). We agreed on something hefty looking made with oak. Finish color to be worked out later. Maybe a little bit of hammered steel could be incorporated into the build too. That got me thinking medieval style but the design is changing as I go.

  I looked around the internet and found something made by a wonderfully skilled group in Vermont led by Dan Mosheim. I made a very similar model to theirs so Brent could have a look.

 The table we will end up with will look quite different but the overall look of heaviness will still be there. I don't like the idea of copying another man's designs but inspiration must start somewhere. When looking for inspiration always look at the best work you can find. It will go a long way in elevating your own work.

  I am using spruce building lumber to make a full size prototype to help with incorporating ideas to make this table our own. I have noticed a lot of wood workers using mockups so they must gain some benefit versus the time to build them. Also we get a funky table for the yard once it's done.

  To lighten the table I decided to leave some open areas on the table trestle ends. This may lessen the amount of wood movement across the area that a solid piece would have. They looked a little plain so I added in these curved pieces between the centre and the angled parts on the outside. The pieces lay upon each other and will be set into grooves on the leg parts. They will be loose on the one side to allow for movement across the width of all the members.

Here's what they look like standing together.

  I put in this beam to tie the ends together but the oak table will have a much different look. I decided the curved parts in the end assemblies looked a bit Gothic.

   I kicked around the net for a while and found this picture of a Gothic style rafters in Westminster Hall.

  A full hammer beam arch under the table would be cool but not practical. The part of the rafter that caught my eye is the lower portion attached at the angelic statue and runs down to the wall with the two curves merging together. One end could attach to the underside of the table and the shorter end could go against the trestle ends. Adding in the ogee 3 leaf design in the void would look good. Maybe that part could be hammered steel.

  In the end we could say the table is Neo - Gothic I suppose. Anyway some more thinking time while I am machining the parts for the trestle ends. I am also starting a buffet cabinet soon. More to come.

Thanks for reading

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