wood cycles + convivial tools

fun with wood: material collection, testing & continued prototyping

with one comment

team floor pauses to admire their handiwork

This week groups from both sites continued to create prototypes and experiment with materials and construction methods.

Part 1: Team Abundance

The group working with Abundant Life Ministries received feedback on their proposals and is moving full speed ahead with several different projects: a modular deck, benches composed of different wood pieces, as well as stackable benches that can be grouped to create storage. These elements will come together to extend the front porch/public space of CALM, as well as creating the proposed Magic Schoolport.

Kara and Kelly (Team floor) made several trips to Redbrook Lumber, where  they met with owner Robert Howard to discuss the availability of reclaimed/waste hardwood at his facility. Red Brook is located near Monticello in the idyllic countryside outside of Charlottesville.

a barn full of wood at Red Brook Lumber

Red Brook specializes in hard wood lumber as well as making decking, moldings, and flooring. Team Floor was fortunate to get an assortment of hardwood pieces that went into their first modular prototype, which was based directly on a model Kelly made which experimented with joining two pieces of deck, as well as methods for composing different species of hardwood.

From Red Brook, Team Floor also secured reclaimed heart pine from a building that once stood near the Prospect Street neighborhood and spent the rest of the weekend prepping this material for use in the construction of more deck modules:

don't be deceived by the roughness of this pile of Heart Pine

the pile was sorted into "good" and "burn pile"

sunday was spent removing nails and prepping wood for construction

eye's on the prize through a hard days work: beautiful Heart Pine - smells delicious!

Mike, Lauren, and AJ, Team Bench, are currently prototyping their piece.  After a trip to Gaston and Wyatt in Charlottesville, they are planning to use strips of waste wood to compose the top of their bench.  The pieces will be glued and laminated.  The legs will be either similarly constructed from these strips or might be made from concrete to increase the longevity of the pieces.

Abigail is working on prototypes to try and see where detailing issues are likely to crop up and to test out proportions.  Her next move will be looking more closely at what materials she will use for the final product and to to start playing with miter joints to create a more fluid look at the stool’s base.  So far the interlocking system has proved to be the trickiest part of the design and the place where the most adjustments need to be made.  However, she has gotten the proportions down pretty well.


Part 2: Team Mountainside

Team Screen worked out many details this week concerning materials, form, and hardware. We will probably primarily use dimension lumber end cuts provided by Abrahamse & Company construction sites in addition to dismantled pallet wood. The form has evolved quite drastically from the original pallet. We paid a visit to Quality Welding located in Charlottesville to discuss custom hinges for this project, and developed several new prototypes of detachable hinge connections.

Ryan and Delia (Team Table) have been working on mocking up a joint to attach the table legs to the apron.  They are experimenting with materials: heavy vs light sanding, with or without planing first,
etc, and investigating ways to attach a tabletop to the base.  There are several issues they are considering at the moment: 1) how to use reclaimed materials outside without allowing them to rot, 2) how to construct the table pieces so they can be assembled on site, and 3).  how to make the table sturdy enough that it can resist significant weight and force.  Finally, the pair are still determining the feasibility of using the shake mosaic for the table surface.

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Written by karalynn83

April 18, 2011 at 6:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Dear team,
    I must sound like a talking from over the Styx to you, but it is with delight that I am following your works over there. I will come back soon with more comments, but let me tell you that I really appreciate in the first place the measure in which you took the one of the starting point of this design challenge seriously: the fact of working with wasted wood. Without wanting to launch myself into detailed observations right now, I just wanted to share this with you: probably rather a counterexample then a model to follow: Controprogetto (www.controprogetto.it) is a Milan-based group of designers that conceive and build their furniture themselves from waste-wood mostly. There is much to say about the designs I think; but also to learn, such as: don’t use too much resin; give your wood the opportunity of just being itself; try to exploit the structural qualities of your wood, instead of transferring everything to a steel structure, etc. I saw them at the Milan Design fair (Salone del Mobile) in April. They were representative of a new strand of slow to produce and consequently highly expensive pieces of furniture.
    But when I look at what you are doing, I have the impression that these are lessons already learnt.
    Very best, Lionel.


    May 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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