Completion

I am a little impressed that in the span of 48 hours we went from only having a to scale mock up to having a full size ready to sit in chair. We put a lot of work into those 48 hours. We spent 8 on the CNC router late Tuesday night just trying to get it all cut and partially sanded. We had a few complications with the cut out pieces jumping around, and it threw our bit out of alignment and we had to recut a few pieces; we also burned out one of our bits, luckily I acquired two so that wasn’t as much of a heartache. Other than that, and being very tired, it cut rather smoothly. And amazingly it has the ability to be cut out of one 4’x8′ sheet of plywood. Woot!

I spent most of Wednesday painting the piece. We ended up picking the Chartreuse, Tropical Sea, and Classic Oak for our colors. Had some unevenness with the stain, but I am sure another coat or two will help make it look better.

Putting the chair together on Thursday was a bit of a trick though. We forgot to account for the added thickness painting and staining the wood would add. We ended up having to  use a mallet and a little elbow grease to get the pieces into place, but we got it to work.

I purposefully designed the chair so that the actual piece is a little low to the ground. I am going to create a base for it so that it will turn into a glider. That will add about 5 inches to the total height of the seat and will make it a more comfortable sitting level. I am glad that I designed that sides chair to fit into a 4’x4′ sheet. Had I not done so we would have had to go and get more material to complete the chair, which we wouldn’t have had time for.

I do wish I could have taken the chair to Madison to get a good photo of our client, my mother, in the chair while the chair is in the space it is designed for. Due to time and cost of travel that hasn’t been able to happen yet. She will be going to Art and Tech Night on the 13th of May and so I will be able to get at least one picture of her in the chair then. After that I will be able to create and install the glider attachment and place the chair in it’s space and get a final completed picture.

One of the things I think I would change is that I would increase the tolerances in the cuts to account for the added thickness that the paint added. I would have also paid more attention to the due date so that we didn’t have to rush the assembly and we could have done a full test, paint included, to make sure the joints fit well and the staining turned out better. Overall though I am pleased with the chair, and the color choices we settled on for it. It may still be a little “easter” but I think the colors compliment each other. I would also change the space underneath a bit. In trying to keep it lower so it could be made into a glider the space was rendered a little useless for letting a dog sit, which was in our original design concept. I am working on another version that has the added five inches and the sling for the dog to rest in underneath. Just getting the design to still look similar, and fit on the 4’x8′ sheet of plywood, has created new challenges that I am have to work with.

I learned that when working with the CNC router to always give yourself twice as much time as you think you will need to do something. It gives you the leeway to work around any mistakes or complications that may arise. Also to have extra materials, because if something does happen your have the ability to switch things out and move on. Always plan for a worse case situation because planning on things going 100% correctly on the first go will land you in hot water.

As far as partner dynamics go we had a few challenges to overcome. We have very different personalities and sometimes we butted heads. We did compliment each other in some aspects though. I kept him from being too simplistic and doing the bare minimum to get by, and he kept me from making things overly complicated and making more work for us than we needed to do to get the look and aesthetic we were going for. I am proud of what we have created, and my mother ohh’d and ahh’d when I showed her photos of the piece in the space on the third floor of the Kenilworth building. I am glad we did more than just a small dog bed. If I had it to do all over again I may have worked in a hard wood rather than a plywood and found a way to make it a little more modern and curvy and a little less boxy.

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CNC router cut the inside bits first.
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Chartreuse paint added to slats
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Tropical Sea added to the edges of the slats
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Staining in progress
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Jake in the assembled chair.
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The completed assembled chair.
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For a small bit of added humor here is the 1/3 scale mockup next to my 5 year-old chihuahua Itsy. He didn’t know what to do with it.

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