|Project by JayG46||posted 10-28-2013 12:26 PM||1757 views||7 times favorited||21 comments|
I built this chest for the golf course I work at. It will stay outside on the driving range and hold bags of practice balls. The previous piece that the club had bought was hinged in such a way so when you opened the top, any water on top would be poured directly onto the bags of balls. It was also made of that synthetic, green, Trex-style junk and was fairly hideous. Consequently, I offered to design and create something more suited to the job.
Since this is going to be a piece of outdoor furniture and subjected to the elements, I chose teak and cypress as my materials. Cypress is pretty common down here in Florida and fairly inexpensive. It contains and oil called cypressine which makes it highly resistant to insects and rot. Teak is obviously the quintessential outdoor wood.
While I was sketching the piece out, I drew a slight angle on the top so that water would roll off of it instead of puddling on top of it. Instinctively, I drew a curve on the front legs to compliment it. Not sure if this is some sort of a design principle at work, but it instantly felt right and I went with that basic shape.
The top of the piece is built around some old decorative teak trim panels salvaged from a sailboat. The small pieces are separated with teak decking caulk, which is a rubbery black substance.
To accomplish the curve on the front legs, I laminated a piece of 3/8” teak between two pieces of 3/4” cypress. They were first rough cut on the band saw, then glued, then flush trimmed on the router table. The idea is that the lamination will protect the legs from the “short grain” problem that would made them prone to breaking where the grain only travels a few inches across the curve. It also has the side benefits of looking pretty cool and not requiring 8/4 stock to make legs. I suppose you could call it curved lamination instead of bent lamination.
Basic frame and panel technique was used for the sides, front and back. I used the Festool Domino, which made joining the angled rails on the sides a breeze, no different than 90 degree pieces. The bottom is made up of cypress slats to promote air circulation. I also added some small teak pads to the bottoms of the legs and sealed them with epoxy to prevent excess water absorption.
The inside of the piece is also finished with epoxy while the outside has two coats of teak oil. Since the outside is going to be beaten by the sun all day long, I decided I would use a finish that is easy to reapply when that time inevitably comes. On the inside, where there will be no sun but darkness and moisture in abundance, I went with epoxy to protect the wood from mold and mildew and make it easy to clean.
This is the first piece of outdoor furniture I have built and hopefully I prepared it for the punishment it is destined for. Thanks for checking it out.
-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL www.swallowtailwoodcraft.com "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi