Aalto Inspired Tea Cart #2: The Wheels are in motion!

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Blog entry by bfd posted 06-27-2008 04:58 AM 2086 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The design Part 2 of Aalto Inspired Tea Cart series Part 3: Refining the laminations and underwater basket weaving »

The first order of business was to start on something simple for this project…Cutting the wheels. Since the client wanted painted wheels I decided to do them out of MDF since it will be stable and paint out very well. Using my homemade circle jig I set the jig to cut a 14”DIA circle. Taking a light 1st pass I go down to about 1/4”. I then took my jig saw and followed just inside the outer edge of my router cut to remove the bulk of the material. I then followed up with my router again to trim up the rest of the stock to arrive at a perfect circle. Step 1 done!


Now It gets interesting.
I decided to take the CAD drawing that I had of the tea cart and print the frame shape out full scale. Doing this on my home printer meant that I needed to print this on 8.5×11 size paper so I created a 6”x6” grid over the shape and printed 24 pages. I then connected my grid together to create my paper template.


I now turn my sights to building the bending form. This takes almost 2 full 4×8 sheets of MDF. The form requires 5 layers of 3/4 mdf so I have a lot of cutting and routing ahead of me. I used good old graphite on the back of the paper template and traced over my lines to transfer the shape onto my top piece of mdf which would become my permanent template. I cut the mdf out accounting for the thickness of the lamination (I needed 5/8”) and filed and sanded until I was happy with the shape. I then cut the remaining 4 layers one at a time clamping each piece to my new MDF template and then used my router and flush trim bit. Once I had all 5 layers for both male and female forms I glued and nailed them up. That female section of the form is HEAVY.


Since this was my first time doing bent lamination I decide to do a test run to iron out any glitches that I know I will encounter. I am using QTR SAWN ASH WITH A LIGHT FIGURE and I decided due to the complex curve I needed to do this lamination out of veneer. Here are a few shots of the stock that I purchased from TheVeneerStore.COM.



Each lamination consists of 25 layers! I used Better Bond CAT PPR veneer glue for this. The results…Still in the rough stage but you get the idea.




I have a lot of hand work to get these to where I need them to be but that will be for another day.

11 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4101 days

#1 posted 06-27-2008 05:22 AM

SWEET…wow…that is amazing!!! I have sooooo much to learn!!!!! Thanks for sharing the process!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4123 days

#2 posted 06-27-2008 05:29 AM

Oh boy! This is a fun one to follow!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3687 days

#3 posted 06-27-2008 05:34 AM

Cool, bent lamination is very intreaguing to me but I think I still have a bit to learn about the basics before I go off trying something like this. Thanks for sharing.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4021 days

#4 posted 06-27-2008 08:40 AM

The (resultant) form looks very nice! The jig (form) is nice too…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3856 days

#5 posted 06-27-2008 01:17 PM

That’s why I love this site. Always something new to learn.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4015 days

#6 posted 06-27-2008 02:24 PM

Looks great :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4114 days

#7 posted 06-27-2008 05:32 PM

Very cool! Ambitious.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4015 days

#8 posted 06-27-2008 11:09 PM

Very nice work sir!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3839 days

#9 posted 06-27-2008 11:30 PM

Hey BFD,

What are the wedges for? Just curious. I am dreaming up a headboard that might want some bent lams.

-- Scott - Chico California

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3831 days

#10 posted 06-27-2008 11:48 PM

Thanks all for your comments. I am definitely in unchartered waters on this project but I guess that is what makes it interesting.

Hi ChicoWoodnut.

First off are you experiencing the same terrible smokey air that we are in Folsom up in Chico? The wedges were an extra precaution that I used when I noticed during the glue up a gap between the lamination and the form. I placed wedges on both sides of the form to prevent the lamination from possible separation between layers while it was drying and it seemed to do the trick.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3839 days

#11 posted 06-27-2008 11:56 PM

Thanks bfd,

I am guessing the smoke up here is worse since the fires are all around us. One is in Magalia which is only about 20 miles away. Here is a picture I took of the sun yesterday in its evening retreat. The color of the sun is accurate as is the grey sky.

-- Scott - Chico California

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