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Creating a Family of Objects

In this project, I create a set of 4 stools out of poplar. I wanted to create a set of objects that maintained a consistent design language yet accommodated several different types of contexts and human heights.

In this project, I took charge of initial wide ideation, designing a final refined form, and all levels of execution and fabrication. My complete process is below.

As with my other furniture design projects, I particularly enjoy how I finished this project with real objects as oppose to prototypes or stand-ins for the real thing. Another reason I enjoyed this project was working on multiple objects at the same time. Since multiple stools significantly extended production time, I constantly attempted to minimize steps and work efficiently to keep tasks from getting repetitively arduous.

 
Thumbnail sketches

Thumbnail sketches

Loose ideation

Loose ideation

Coming up with 3 distinct ideas. I find this step helpful to narrow down and pick a final ideal (in this case it was #2)

Coming up with 3 distinct ideas. I find this step helpful to narrow down and pick a final ideal (in this case it was #2)

Further developing this concept

Further developing this concept

Thinking about feasibility, design, and joinery

Thinking about feasibility, design, and joinery

Thinking about feasibility, design, and joinery

Thinking about feasibility, design, and joinery

Testing out different chair/stool/seating heights. Trying to figure out what range of heights I can work with

Testing out different chair/stool/seating heights. Trying to figure out what range of heights I can work with

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Low height

Low height

Mid height

Mid height

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Mid/high height

Mid/high height

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High height

High height

Mockups

Mockups

Cad modeling

Cad modeling

Drawn render

Drawn render

Planning out board purchase and initial fabrication steps

Planning out board purchase and initial fabrication steps

My 2 boards of poplar

My 2 boards of poplar

Planing and joining my boards

Planing and joining my boards

My planed and joined boards. Admiring the grain

My planed and joined boards. Admiring the grain

Building a jig to make the triangular seat cut. This step took a few days just to set up

Building a jig to make the triangular seat cut. This step took a few days just to set up

Making the slanted cut on the band saw on the jig that I made

Making the slanted cut on the band saw on the jig that I made

Another angle of setup

Another angle of setup

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Cleaning the rough triangular cut in the planer. Made another jig for this step

Cleaning the rough triangular cut in the planer. Made another jig for this step

Further clean up on the belt sander using the same jig. This jig makes the newly cut slant parallel to the sanding belt and the table.

Further clean up on the belt sander using the same jig. This jig makes the newly cut slant parallel to the sanding belt and the table.

The cut seats with more tidying up required

The cut seats with more tidying up required

Tapering the legs. Repeated this step for 4 different sets of leg lengths and angles.

Tapering the legs. Repeated this step for 4 different sets of leg lengths and angles.

Using the miter gage to cut slanted legs to match floor

Using the miter gage to cut slanted legs to match floor

Fabrication planing

Fabrication planing

Using the tenon jig to cut leg stretchers

Using the tenon jig to cut leg stretchers

Tenon cuts on all legs and leg stretchers

Tenon cuts on all legs and leg stretchers

Using miter gage to finish mortise and tenon joinery

Using miter gage to finish mortise and tenon joinery

First leg glue up

First leg glue up

Legs glued

Legs glued

Ensuring a clean surface

Ensuring a clean surface

Changing to dato blade

Changing to dato blade

Setting up the 2nd mortise jig to cut lower on the legs

Setting up the 2nd mortise jig to cut lower on the legs

The setup for this mortise cut was complicated. I needed to ensure the cut was parallel to the first leg stretcher but could only do this in 2 separate cuts.

The setup for this mortise cut was complicated. I needed to ensure the cut was parallel to the first leg stretcher but could only do this in 2 separate cuts.

After a first pass, I shift the piece over like in the photo above to finish the cut at my final width. The orange clamps keep a backing to the cut, minimizing tear-out on my pieces as the blade exits.

After a first pass, I shift the piece over like in the photo above to finish the cut at my final width. The orange clamps keep a backing to the cut, minimizing tear-out on my pieces as the blade exits.

Testing the width from those 2 cuts

Testing the width from those 2 cuts

Post glue up, sanding to same thickness

Post glue up, sanding to same thickness

Planning the final jig. This final cut would add the slot in the triangular seating pieces to fit the legs that I had just finished.

Planning the final jig. This final cut would add the slot in the triangular seating pieces to fit the legs that I had just finished.

This final jig was complicated in that I needed to make a cut into the seats that aligned 2 pieces, remained level, but also angled the seating pieces upwards so that the seat cups the person sitting in it rather than being a flat surface to sit on.

This final jig was complicated in that I needed to make a cut into the seats that aligned 2 pieces, remained level, but also angled the seating pieces upwards so that the seat cups the person sitting in it rather than being a flat surface to sit on.

Making the jig from cutoffs

Making the jig from cutoffs

Testing the dato blade thickness to fit the leg supports

Testing the dato blade thickness to fit the leg supports

Building the jig

Building the jig

The assembled jig. A several day long assembly for a 10 sec cut.

The assembled jig. A several day long assembly for a 10 sec cut.

Adding glue and using self sinking screws to pull the piece into place

Adding glue and using self sinking screws to pull the piece into place

4 screws on each stool

4 screws on each stool

Glueing the kickers and setting the screws

Glueing the kickers and setting the screws

I used this modified driver that allowed me to fit it under this leg stretcher

I used this modified driver that allowed me to fit it under this leg stretcher

 
 
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