Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Coffee table

I have some serious doubts about the coffee table design, and for the most part their are not aesthetic in nature. Although, I am still vacillating about a few things, they're minor. The most troublesome aspect is the tipping problem - despite my efforts at quantifying the exact magnitude of the the tip and weight required.

And, I've found out - rightly so. Fortuitously, Tammi & I have just run into a sculpturer through cub scouts who makes furniture. I popped him an email to see if he would give me some advice. Here's what he said - and this is great, "I am very learned on the subject of tippy tables, having built them almost entirely to the exclusion of stable ones." Tim is the perfect guy! He goes on to say:

"I do like the three legged idea, and the basically rectangular top that is responsible for those two overhanging corners that invite disaster. You might say I enjoy cantilever. I, too, have used ballast to achieve (or attempt to achieve) stability, including pouring molten lead into cavities in the wood, but in your case it seems to me that you could add additional, invisible or at least inconspicuous legs beneath the shelf, or a recessed base of a solid nature which would give you weight and an additional impediment to tipping. I hope you don't feel these solutions compromise the aesthetics of your design. It wouldn't take someone sitting on the corner of your table to upset it, indeed, leaning on one hand placed strategically would suffice. Believe me, I've gasped many a time as our kids have nearly upset the coffee table in our living room."

How perfect is that! His work, in part, is shown on his web site. Interestingly, Tim studied under several of the artists that have influenced Tammi - namely, Wayne Thiebaud & Roy DeForest. I look forward to getting to know Tim and seeing what happens with this little project.

So, I'm going to work on this a bit with Tim and hopefully we can come up with something unique and functional. At the very least, I haven't worked heavy sheet metal, or plate steel and wood together before so he will be a great asset on the connections that have worked for him. The joining of two , dissimilar items requires different kinds of connections.

Multa intersunt calicem et labrum summum.

Many things happen between the cup and the upper lip.

-Aulus Gellius
(from a Greek proverb)

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