|Project by Eli||posted 05-26-2010 01:52 AM||2557 views||6 times favorited||26 comments|
Yeah, yeah, I know… Commode.
This was my final piece that I started at school. It was really fun to work on, because it was the first piece that I really got involved in the engineering of. Generally, the instructors know how to build things, and it’s just a matter of choosing between generally similar approaches. It’s more about learning techniques. This time, though, the instructors clearly did not know how to make it.
That’s not to say they didn’t have ideas. They are all very smart. But they had to work through this build and I got to work through it with them. I learned that figuring out how to build a piece is my favorite part. It took three drawings, lots of research, and a bit of staring to finally come up with a solid plan. Overall the build went smoothly without any major problems. I did find lots of things I’d do differently next time, but that’s part of the fun. If you want a pretty detailed play-by-play, go here.
I graduated before I finished building it so it got pushed to the back by paying jobs. At some point, I had the idea to upholster drawers. It’s all explained at the other site, but basically, I realized veneer is just color and pattern, so why not use fabric and add a bit of texture? I had a half finished piece and half of an idea, so I stuck them together.
The fabric is actually tacked around the edges of the drawers and the cock-beading covers the tacks. There is a thin layer of cotton batting underneath to give it a little softness and play up the fabric idea.
The finish is a solvent based grain filler tinted with transtint, then waterlox. Additionally, I padded shellac on the top and then used dark wax on the whole thing. This was my first experience with grain filler and it went quite well. I’ll definitely use it again.
Overall, I’m happy with the result. It was kind of strange making a piece where the quality and function weren’t the point. There were certainly some technical difficulties that I’d need to fix, but nothing major. It was all about the idea and the look. It isn’t ideal, because the commode wasn’t designed for the fabric, but it works well enough not to seem like an afterthought. I’m excited about this direction and plan on pursuing it for a little while at least.
I also made a necktie to match.
What do you think? Critiques are encouraged. I think the legs are either too thin at the bottom or too thick on the case (I lean toward the latter). They are disproportionately heavy next to the thin dividers and lower parts. The knobs are all wrong, but I got them for free and didn’t have time to shop for new ones. I would have liked something slightly smaller in an antiqued brass. The center section of drawers is a little too thin when viewed from the front (you might not be able to tell from these photos). This looks out of place given the breadth of the cabinet. This might have been negligible, but it’s amplified by pushing the knobs, which are already too big, a bit too close together. I really struggled with how to space the legs and it ended up being fairly arbitrary. You get what you pay for, I suppose.