GOING WITH THE GRAIN: design an object using sustainable wood

Competition Details
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Uni Table

by Charlie Davidson
Co-authors:

My initial response to reading the brief was quite simply to design a table. The nature of the plywood and its dimensions, particularly its thickness, would best suit such a design. Though a set of shelves or a number of stools could also be produced, the thickness of the material I felt would lead to an over-structured and possibly clumsy design.
The challenge would be to maximize the table surface area whilst leaving enough material for the legs and supporting structure. The choice of using the Alpha system or a traditional would cut style joint would solely depend on either methods suitability taking into account structural loading, re-assembly and ease of manufacture.

To minimize the usage of the plywood I came up with a solution where a pair of legs could be cut from two smaller pieces of ply and creating a jigsaw-like connection to key the leg components together. The two pairs of legs are then joined together with two side rails held in place by 4 pairs of the Alpha system. The table top locks in the side rails.

The top is cut from the underside using a standard 3 degree tapered cutter normally used in machining wooden moulds requiring a draft angle. This produces the tapered edges around the tabletop’s edge and cuts the angled holes into which the legs locate and friction lock into place. The beauty of the round cut maple is maximized by the large table surface with its curved sides flowing with the grain of the veneer.

The completed design can easily be taken apart and reassembled.

Dimensions; 185cm x 91cm x 74cm (approx. 6ft x 3ft x 2.4ft)