Prototyping In Woodworking

Prototyping In Woodworking

Years ago the kids and I small spice rack that we had very much outgrown.  One day over the weekend I decided to organize our baking goods (which of course turned into a multi-day project of organizing the kitchen!)
 
With all of the kitchen counters and table covered in various containers of spices and baking goods, and it being already 9:00 PM, I took one of the kids over to the shop to put our skills to use.
 
Much to my dismay I found that we had a high-voltage condition on our utility power (133V), and my Phase Perfect 3-Phase converter would not start. This ruled out using the table saw, jointer, planer, and CNC router.
 
I thought for a couple of minutes and decided that one way or another, a spice rack was coming out of that shop without further delay. So we went into “prototype mode”. I grabbed a box of screws, a drill, an impact driver, and a bunch of OSB scraps off the rack. We used the Makita compound miter saw (fortunately not 3-phase) and a good old tape measure to whip together an (awful looking) but quite functional spice rack. We installed it, along with the iPad for recipes, and loaded it up all by 11:00 pm or so.
 
I am so glad it worked out this way. The concept of “prototyping” is something that is often overlooked in woodworking. But most of what we woodworkers do ends up being functional as well as gorgeous. Prototyping allows us to verify and refine the functionality prior to putting all of the effort into the real thing.
 
I also know from personal experience this applies to writing, software, cooking, building, inventing, sewing, and many other disciplines.
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A new part for an old Bentley restoration

At Sinking Valley Woodworks, we take on odd jobs from time to time.  One of these odd jobs was some car parts for an old Bentley restoration.  Wood was a much more common material in cars in that era.

This particular piece is what goes at the top of the windshield and connects to the roof.  It has curves on all faces, and compound curves on most.  The new part was made out of Ash, carved on a CNC router, and finished by hand.

Below is some before and after pictures.20151002_141251 bentley part

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Wood working + 3D printing = Chess

Here is a closeup of a 3D printed chess piece.  We designed them in solidworks and printed them using a MakerBox Replicator 2 with PLA plastic.  It’s on the chess board dining room table.

Chess Piece 3D Printed

Here is the chess “board”

chess board table

Here are the ceramic tiles going into the chess table before the bar top was applied:

dining-room-table-2

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Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board

Here are a couple of pictures of a recent Sinking Valley Woodworks project: a Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board.

It’s solid end-grain, glued up with Titebond Ultimate, and sanded down to 2000 grit.  It simply has mineral oil – the gloss is from the wood itself.

What do you think?

Here is the finished product.

Closeup of Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board

Notice how glossy the top is?  That’s what happens when you take Brazilian Cherry end grain to 2000 sanding.

Side View of Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board

The swirls in the grain pattern were intentional.  As the pieces were glued up, the grain was alternated creating a very neat final pattern.

Top View of Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board

Here is a closeup of the grain.

Closeup of Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board Grain

This is prior to any mineral oil being applied.  Notice the reflection of the light that is 9′ above the surface.

Pre Finished Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board

I-Beam clamps.  They are great.

Glue up of Brazilian Cherry Butcher Block Cutting Board