I recently hired a "Second in Command" over here because I was doing a million different things at once, and to be honest, not all of them super well and it was time to bring in some new blood!
Live Edge is "In"
It was really exciting because my new hire, Haley, wanted a live edge coffee table; and because that's one of the things that we can do here, I thought it'd be a perfect project to put her to work on and to teach her some new skills. We were able to design it together, and now when she moves to a new apartment, she'll have an awesome coffee table that will be really unique.
We introduced this project earlier last week in a YouTube video (shown below), but this article will walk us through all of the steps and details of the design process.
The wood that we chose is a Boxelder slab that has some really cool natural grain patterns. You can see at the bottom that it was almost growing at an angle, so that when the slab was cut, it had that large amount of the trunk revealed on one side, and not so much on the other. We really liked this angle, so we wanted to incorporate it into the leg design and at first, we went through a bunch of different iterations.
Conceptualizing with CAD
In order to conceptualize it and build a CAD model, we wanted to get a really close representation of the slab in CAD.
To begin, we marked out lines on a piece of paper taped to the wood.
And then, measured to the edge across the line by making coordinates in 2" increments.
Custom Designed Legs
When we first started designing the legs, we had everything from "normal" square-looking legs, to legs that almost mimicked an ironing board (not Haley's favorite!) Ultimately, we came up with a triple leg tripod design that was off-set with one leg being longer, as it mirrors the same angle of the part with the exposed bark. All three legs are then "tied together" with a triangle in the middle to keep them in place.
Once we had the model, we 3D printed a little concept of the table to see how it would look, and it turned out pretty darn cool if we must say so ourselves! We actually printed the table upside down with the legs out into the air, so no glue/tape/etc. was involved in piecing it together -- technology at it's finest!
Legs Brought To Life
Once we had the CAD model design of the legs, we were able to export each leg face, have them plasma cut out and just like that, brought to reality!
Stay tuned for the next article where we'll show you the construction of the legs and begin finishing the surface of the table. Once complete, this coffee table will definitely be a conversation starter!