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Slat Table

In this project, I explored how to create a table to facilitate an interaction between two people. The primary concept driving this project is the abstraction of the table surface. How much can you take away before the table loses its table surface? And how does that subtraction influence the interaction between two people if they are limited by how much they can put between them?

For the final product, I made this Cherry Slat Floor Table over the course of a several weeks. In this project, I took full responsibility of the design and fabrication of this table. Some photos from the long fabrication process from start to finish are below.

This table is one of my favorite projects because as soon as I was done, it was a legitimate object in the world that people could perceive, interact with, and have impressions of. Many of the design projects that I do end with a prototype: a representative stand-in for a concept. Although these prototype projects require just as much care, they lack the same kind of satisfying conclusion. With a real object, there is an undeniable realness and understandability. Rather than explain “This part will be made of x material and will be attached this way to part y,” the object speaks for itself.

 
 
Initial ideation

Initial ideation

Thinking about slats

Thinking about slats

Thinking about scale

Thinking about scale

Thinking about scale

Thinking about scale

Mockup at scale

Mockup at scale

Mockup adjustments to add stabilization

Mockup adjustments to add stabilization

Thinking about feasibility

Thinking about feasibility

Cad model v1

Cad model v1

Cad model v2

Cad model v2

Thinking about joinery and wood material.

Thinking about joinery and wood material.

Visiting the wood store

Visiting the wood store

My planed and joined cherry (left). My classmate’s cherry (right) is older and darker. One reason I chose cherry was because it ages nicely and becomes darker over time.

My planed and joined cherry (left). My classmate’s cherry (right) is older and darker. One reason I chose cherry was because it ages nicely and becomes darker over time.

Ripped slats

Ripped slats

Dato cutting slat slots on stretcher

Dato cutting slat slots on stretcher

Repeating the cut

Repeating the cut

The little block is fixed into the bed backing, ensuring that every cut is equally spaced.

The little block is fixed into the bed backing, ensuring that every cut is equally spaced.

A dry fit slat test

A dry fit slat test

Planning the leg joinery

Planning the leg joinery

Setting up a leg taper jig

Setting up a leg taper jig

A tapered leg

A tapered leg

Setting up the leg stretcher miter gage

Setting up the leg stretcher miter gage

Leg stretchers cut

Leg stretchers cut

Drilling holes for dowels

Drilling holes for dowels

Dry fit test

Dry fit test

Glueing legs. Joined with glue and dowels

Glueing legs. Joined with glue and dowels

Ensuring straight coplanar legs are parallel to the floor

Ensuring straight coplanar legs are parallel to the floor

Ensuring straight coplanar legs are parallel to the floor

Ensuring straight coplanar legs are parallel to the floor

Leveled legs

Leveled legs

Testing dowel holes

Testing dowel holes

Drilling dowel holes

Drilling dowel holes

Glueing the stretchers to the leg supports with glue and dowels

Glueing the stretchers to the leg supports with glue and dowels

Both legs glueing up

Both legs glueing up

Clamping slats together to make repeated cuts more easy

Clamping slats together to make repeated cuts more easy

Adding a chamfer to the edges

Adding a chamfer to the edges

Rounding off the chamfer. Ideally I would have just used a rounded bit to add the radius and avoid additional steps of standing. However, I wanted to minimize the chance of tear-out and ruining my pieces.

Rounding off the chamfer. Ideally I would have just used a rounded bit to add the radius and avoid additional steps of standing. However, I wanted to minimize the chance of tear-out and ruining my pieces.

Dowel assembly for the cross support

Dowel assembly for the cross support

Glue up for the cross leg support

Glue up for the cross leg support

I left a few slats in as I glued up the cross support for additional stability

I left a few slats in as I glued up the cross support for additional stability

Breaking all the edges. This step included sanding down every edge down from being so sharp. Oddly, objects feel and look more real with broken edges as oppose to perfectly sharp edges.

Breaking all the edges. This step included sanding down every edge down from being so sharp. Oddly, objects feel and look more real with broken edges as oppose to perfectly sharp edges.

Final slat glue up.

Final slat glue up.

My final sketchbook spread. I added 2 coats of Mastergel for my final finish.

My final sketchbook spread. I added 2 coats of Mastergel for my final finish.

 
 
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