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Facets, the Next Logical Step #2: Planning the Base

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-18-2010 04:19 AM 1960 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How hard can it be to make a Dodecahedron? Part 2 of Facets, the Next Logical Step series Part 3: Veneering and Marquetry, (What was I thinking?) »

This entry is, as much as anything, a look into my somewhat chaotic design process. I never commit a design to paper other than a concept sketch as I prefer to design as I go based on the feel I’m getting from the piece. The idea here was to mount this “box” on a tree similar to “Cabinetree”, so the first challenge became finding the angles of the faces where the mounting points will go and planning a structure that will offer those angles and surfaces to fit this shape.

In boat building you are almost never dealing with straight lines or known angles but rather with curves and constantly changing angles. This background is probably why I don’t plan and diagram my parts ahead but rather take angles from the work and then scribe and fit “piece to piece” if that makes any sense to you. Here I am taking “planning angles” from the dodecahedron to help me design the base parts.

This is a sketch that I will use to determine rough angles and plan grain orientations on order to make up three support members. The base angles are not equal.

I found a 1 1/2” Garry Oak board on my pile beside the shop that looked like a candidate. It’s not easy to see in this photo but some of the pieces are laid out on it in order to maximize yield while still getting all the grain orientations right.

The pieces have been cut and are now ready to glue. These fits should be glue-able right off the band saw. The grain orientations are arranged for maximum strength and stepped scarf joints are used.

Here the pieces are glued up and sanded flat. There is extra wood left on two of the pieces to allow for “character” to be carved in allowing the individual branches to be different. The angle cuts have been made to fit the three pieces together in the center of the trunk.

Preliminary assembly done and the pieces held together with a few hidden dowels and a small cinch, the box is being scribed and fitted slowly down to it’s final position. Care must be taken to assure that the box is perfectly level when the angles are scribed.

”A funny thing happened” when I got the box fitted into the base. It started to look like a gem mounted in a ring setting. The tree idea started to fade and a more “elegant” base began to look like a better option. At this point I have made the three pieces a lot more alike and symmetrical but I’m still not sure what the base will look like. It could still become a tree, but I’m leaning toward something more formal at the moment. I think I’ll sleep on it.

That’s it for this time, I hope this wasn’t too boring. Next time should involve more interesting stuff.

Thanks for dropping in

Comments, critiques, questions and today only base design suggestions are welcome.

That last line just made me think “Why don’t I start a project and build it step by step following your directions rather than mine, you know like the camel, designed by committee?”
I’d be interested to know who’s up for that.

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



13 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1519 posts in 2115 days


#1 posted 12-18-2010 01:21 PM

Paul, I like your evolution in design very much and can appreciate the scarf jointery of the base components. You’re right about boat buiders thinking a little different than flatwork folk. Good luck on the design by committee project. Don’t claim to be anywhere near as clever as you, but if there’s one thing I have is an opinion or an idea. Press on.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4808 posts in 2535 days


#2 posted 12-18-2010 02:38 PM

Design by committee, probably not. Offering suggestions, probably yup.
I believe you should trust yourself, it seems to have served you well. You got skills.

But then again, about the only way that nature could of come up with the camel, was by committee. And it has turned out to be an extraordinary beast, so you might be on to something. I can only imagine.

So….. I like the gem in a setting idea. You already have a box in a tree, and the shape of this guy is very faceted and elegant to start with. But don’t most gem settings grab onto the stone, as opposed to just sitting in there? But who would notice that?

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4369 posts in 1689 days


#3 posted 12-18-2010 04:55 PM

I tend to design thoroughly beforehand on the PC using TurboCAD but I too find things changing subtly when working in the real world. Whatever floats your boat, Paul (pun intentional). The design is coming along well. I visualise a huge upturned section of a ring, taking the mounted jewel concept to its logical (?) conclusion.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2746 days


#4 posted 12-18-2010 07:11 PM

I think I agree with Steve about the prongs. To much distracting negative space under the gem IMHO. But I like the way you are flexing and adapting your concept. Interesting. This is really going to be something special (as are all of your pieces).

I’m with Martyn in that I do preliminary design on the computer. Even color (wood) combinations. Mainly because I am such a novice at woodworking that I need to work out many of the kinks before I cut anything. I hate wasting wood. I guess if I had your experience it would be easier to go with the flow.

Looking forward to seeing where you go with this…

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4966 posts in 1451 days


#5 posted 12-18-2010 07:28 PM

So am I Chip, so am I.

OK, the consensus seems to be the simple setting rather than the tree so since I was leaning that way anyway it’s an easy choice.

We’ll see where it goes. Thanks for the help.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4966 posts in 1451 days


#6 posted 12-20-2010 02:18 AM

This is still base planning so It doesn’t warrant a new entry. According to consensus I’ve refined the setting a bit. I’m thinking ebonized stand with gold leaf fleurs de lis. What do you think?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4808 posts in 2535 days


#7 posted 12-20-2010 02:31 AM

You are amazing. I dont’ believe it. Did you photoshop those in there?
Yes, that seems like a nice way to go.

What happened to the tape on the box itself?
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4966 posts in 1451 days


#8 posted 12-20-2010 03:04 AM

It’s still there if that’s what you mean, but it is supposed to be transparent. And no, I didn’t photoshop them in. I’m not that good with photoshop!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2746 days


#9 posted 12-21-2010 05:57 PM

Hmmmmm. IMHO the stand should follow the gem (which is outstanding). You’re getting all caught up in the frame before finishing the painting… again IMHO. Been there, done that and things tend to get confusing and muddied. Not trying to be critical… just MHO for what it’s worth Paul.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4966 posts in 1451 days


#10 posted 12-21-2010 06:25 PM

Maybe the frame is the painting? I don’t separate the two that much. It’s all one piece and has to work together. Thanks for the comment Chip, your opinions are always welcome. The season is slowing things down a little but this one should finish up fairly soon.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2746 days


#11 posted 12-21-2010 06:34 PM

In hindsight perhaps you are right Paul. I do always consider the look of the feet and handle of a box in it’s overall aesthetic. I just sometimes get too carried away with thinking about those feet and that handle. But I know what you mean about it all being one. Looking forward to seeing it progress… good luck!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View terrilynne's profile

terrilynne

833 posts in 1547 days


#12 posted 12-23-2010 02:10 AM

I love it, it’s coming along nicely!

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13024 posts in 1987 days


#13 posted 01-03-2011 07:16 PM

Personally I liked the base shape best on your last shot in the main blog. However, I do understand that you will make the base appropriate to the project as a whole, and that is what counts in the end. I understand the way you do your projects with a sketch and refining as you build. I do exactly the same, and I love to work that way. Having said that, I’m not in your class when it comes to skill and creativity.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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