The Convivial Wood Studio has spent the last two weeks focusing on learning several forms of specialized fabrication techniques. Three different categories of fabrication were identified as being useful to manipulate or further process the salvaged wood products collected during our facilities visits, and teams were established to learn how these different approaches to making could be utilized in our coming design project.
Fine Wood Joinery Team: Abigail, AJ, Delia, and Sydnor
Each person in this group chose a favorite type of wood joint to study and fabricate. Using a combination of mechanical (band saw, radial arm saw, power sanders) and hand tools (chisels, hand sanders, files) the group started by making basic joints to become familiar with the necessary skills. They then moved on to more complex forms of joinery. They found that fabricating simple jigs often helped in recreating specific angles and measurements that needed to be cut accurately multiple times. Precision (both the tools available in the shop but also the skill of the maker) affected the types of joints that could be fabricated as well as how successful the pieces turned out.
CNC Fabrication Team: Kara and Sophia
This team researched the types of joinery that tend to be most successful utilizing CNC fabrication methods and chose several examples to recreate using our Onsurd router. The website flexiblestream.org became a value resource for ideas. They focused on studying methods of joining smaller pieces of wood together as this tends to be the character and scale of much of the wood we collected. In designing the joints for fabrication, Kara and Sophia encountered the issue of accounting for the cylindrical shape of the end mill cutting the materials and the resulting rounded corners (which could be considered either a design challenge or a great design opportunity).
Casting Team: Kelly, Lauren, Michael, and Ryan
Concrete casting was identified as a valuable method for not only creating a form of joinery using a secondary material but also potentially as a way of capturing the characteristics of wood in a material less susceptible to decay. Several areas of focus were decided upon including creating surface topographies, spatial investigations, experimental form making, and what Kelly affectionately calls “playing”, all using scrap wood found the wood shop as well as a variety of materials collected from wood facility visits. The group got great advice from several concrete casting experts here in the a-school and was able to quickly learn the basics of mixing sakrete as well as portland cement and sand mixes.
Many thanks so Melissa for all the great advice she was able to provide to all the groups throughout this process. Now here’s a quick sneak peak of what’s coming after Spring Break…. The Convivial Wood studio exhibition…