|Project by Eric M. Saperstein||posted 07-08-2009 04:34 AM||3520 views||8 times favorited||17 comments|
Yes – you read the description correctly.
This is one of those projects that gained momentum in requirements as it developed. The initial requirement was basically a chess board in a coffee table. That’s simple enough – or so one would think. (NOT!)
Well when you put such a project into the minds of a myself, and our client, both having creative tenancy and slightly warped personalities in terms of sense of humor and other factors, then throw a few other influences into play things begin to get complicated.
A glass of wine with a game of chess – sounds good – so lets keep a place for a few bottles handy, some glasses of course those are required. The unit holds four bottles positioned on their sides, and a drawer for the tools of the trade. The glass rack easily holds 4 red wine glasses in a line. Hey what about storing the chess pieces? There’s space left, so drawers sound good.
OH BTW … client requests can you make it at least 4” off the ground the cat likes to hide from the dog and torment back and forth as the dog can not get under the 4” but the cat can. I then get another suggestion “Hey why not make an access hole for the cat to hide inside?” .... someone wasn’t fully familiar with the fact that opening your mouth around us with an idea often ends in such an idea manifesting itself in reality. SO … the cat tunnel was designed in behind the drawers. Access portals were cut into the base of the piece on each end to allow fast entrance and exit.
Meanwhile our client is mentioning the idea of a puzzle box … too time intensive I figured … until he releases the deadline we’d originally agreed on giving us a whole year to build this piece. We then delivered it personally to Atlanta on our way out to Texas. (We’re based in NJ)
Anyway – so the puzzle concept. Yeah – this entire chest is one giant locking sequenced puzzle full of secret compartments. The first photo shows the assembled chest – the second shows all the parts and pieces that slide, pull, push, eject, or otherwise extract from the piece.
Given the time allowances we engaged our evil sense of humor and created what took our client about an hour to unravel when we dropped it off. I sent a few status images – and knowing he was a computer guy I made sure I merged layers and eliminated any chance of him removing the little “censored” blocks i put over key areas of the status photos. I didn’t think it would be any fun if he knew in advance how the puzzle was set!
I forget exactly how many compartments are in the piece, we just kept adding and adding them until we ran out of time. The order of events is quite intricate to open them all. If you ever have some time on your hands and some spare wood – building something like this is a fun project.
Material is mostly solid American black walnut, we did cheat and buy the chess board. A few of the internal components are plywood just as it made sense for the wide spances. Approximate measurements around 48” x 30” x 24”
The compartments for the chess pieces are flocked for a soft storage location.
Is it a table or a chest? I don’t really know … does it really matter?
Finish is natural – hand rubbed Waterlox tung oil.
More on this project: http://www.artisansofthevalley.com/pf_tb_page3.shtml
-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com