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Asian Inspired Contemporary Stool

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Project by Brian Havens posted 771 days ago 1637 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lately, I have been unable to pull myself away from the lathe. And by “lately” I mean for the last year or so. At the same time, I have been itching to make some furniture. So I though that perhaps I could make some furniture on the lathe.

I set out to survey what kinds of furniture is being either partly or completely made on the lathe. For sure, I found some spectacular craftsmanship in the area of turned furniture, but there was something missing. Most of the lathe furniture was quite classical and traditional in style, with lots of beads, coves, and ogees. Not that there is anything wrong with that style of furniture, it is just not my style and taste. My proclivity is toward the contemporary usually with just a dash of Asian influence. I found few examples to fit that bill.

At this point I was thinking that, with all the wonderful and creative turning techniques available, techniques that I frequently see hobbyist turners and artistic turners use, there has to be some turning techniques with which I can create a contemporary piece of furniture.

This stool is the results of my exploration. All the parts for this stool were turned on the lathe!

The legs were made on multiple axes. The first axis was used simply to make a 2” cylinder. For the second axis, I shifted both the headstock and tailstock centers the same distance, but in opposite directions. Once spinning again, the blank makes a butterfly shaped shadow, with the shadow disappearing at the middle of the blank. I completely cut away the shadow on one half to form the top half of the leg, and turned a bead on the bottom of the other half to form the tippy-toe foot. The results are an inverted tapered leg that has the illusion of being slightly curved.

The stretchers were made similar to the legs, but using four different axes. The first, again, was used to form the initial cylinder. The second and third axes were used to form the tapers on either side, just like the top of the legs. The final axis was on the two offset centers, and is parallel to the first axis. This final axis was used to form the tenons so that the stretchers are moved outward.

The grand finale is the seat. The bottom of the seat was formed with essentially the same technique that is used to make winged bowls. The seat was mounted with the centers at the centers of the seat, top and bottom. The bottom was made with a straight cut, but at an angle. The results in the curved shape on the bottom of the seat. How cool is that? turing a curve with a straight cut? (For you math geeks, think about a plane intersecting a cone).
The top of the seat was formed with a curved cut, so that the thickness of the seat varies. It is essentially a “square” bowl.

This stool has opened up a floodgate of ideas for making furniture either partly or completely on the lathe. There may even be a collaborative effort being born. (shhhh!)

P.S. I was hoping to post this stool last Friday, before the AAW Symposium, but time did not allow. I did, however, have this stool in the Instant Gallery at the Symposium.

Woods: Wenge’, Honduran Mahogany
Finish: pre-cat lacquer (ML Campbells)

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com





13 comments so far

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2681 days


#1 posted 771 days ago

That is Awesome… even the seat. Very impressive. I like that a lot!

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View mafe's profile

mafe

9430 posts in 1685 days


#2 posted 771 days ago

So elegant.
What a fine work!

Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View amagineer's profile

amagineer

1383 posts in 1193 days


#3 posted 771 days ago

The stool is fascinating. The design makes for a great conversation piece.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View eddie's profile

eddie

6967 posts in 1210 days


#4 posted 771 days ago

thats a beautiful stool ,looks like that with lathe time you have mastered ti

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Geoffrey Young's profile

Geoffrey Young

52 posts in 1438 days


#5 posted 770 days ago

simply stunning. all on the lathe

-- http://www.facebook.com/#!/GeoffYoungFurniture?fref=ts

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2122 days


#6 posted 770 days ago

Brain, I was at the AAW Saturday with MickeyD and we noticed and liked very much your stool. (We also wondered how you turned the seat, thanks for the explanation.) It had a great showing place and stood out nicely. Great job!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

194 posts in 1702 days


#7 posted 770 days ago

I just realized that I should clarify that I did not actually mount the seat between centers. I was merely trying to indicate how the seat was oriented on the lathe. Mounting the seat between centers would probably not work well and may even be unsafe. Initially, I tried mounting the seat on a screw chuck, but the Wenge’ was too brittle to behave. I ended up gluing a sacrificial block onto the Wenge’ with epoxy, and using a faceplate. Even then, I used the tailstock for extra support anytime that it would not be in the way.

Just wanted to clarify this for the sake of safety.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1579 days


#8 posted 770 days ago

nice stool,the legs are the interesting part.seems as they bend 1/2 way up.nice seat too.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4739 posts in 2478 days


#9 posted 770 days ago

Very nice Brian. I really like it.
I am impressed.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2941 posts in 1263 days


#10 posted 770 days ago

Very impressive and the shape detail at the bottom of the legs is wonderful .
Excellent !

-- Kiefer 松

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

567 posts in 2862 days


#11 posted 769 days ago

Exciting design, beautiful execution.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8711 posts in 2695 days


#12 posted 758 days ago

It really is such an elegant and stunning design!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4732 posts in 1438 days


#13 posted 721 days ago

Nice piece, Inovative. How was it recieved?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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