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Coffee Table - Mackintosh Inspired

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So, my first proper instructable.....

This is one of the very few designs that I have actually built, and the one I am most satisfied with both design wise and construction wise. To say I was surprised that I could build it (and do it well) would be a bit of an understatement. What surprised me most were the very basic tools I could have built this with. I cheated a bit and used a CNC for part of it, but it really isn't necessary. All you really need is a jig saw, drill, router and a few hand tools.
This instructable is split into two main parts, design and construction. The design section is brief and more of an explanation of how the concept came about than an attempt to describe the design process.

For more pictures of the finished coffee table see the slideshow: http://www.instructables.com/id/Coffee-Table-Mackintosh-Inspired/
 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
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I cant remember exactly what the design brief was now, my memory of it is hazy and I cant find it either. What I do remember was that it was entitled "Past to Present" and the object of it was to choose a 20th century furniture designer and sample their style and create a design for a piece of furniture from it. The only constraint was that it had to be prototyped. So in practical terms that meant that it had to be able to be made using the college workshop, which in a furniture college means you gotta use wood unless you can get outside facilities. I actually built most of at home, where I had even less facilities.
I chose Charles Rennie Mackintosh for no particular reason at all. Dont even like the Glasgow style all that much though I have a much greater appreciation of it now after studying it a bit. Lucky for me I happened to find myself in Scotland for a few days mid-semester and got to visit the magnificent Willow Tea Rooms and take in a bit of the atmosphere, have some tea and take a few pictures.
When I got back home I wrote a personal brief to guide me ("Create a piece that evokes the modern atmosphere of a social gathering. Much like the atmosphere of The Willow Tea rooms in CRM's time") and started drawing Mackintosh decorative motifs to see if I could get some inspiration. I didn't want to try and sample directly by creating a piece that looked as if CRM himself had designed it because the style doesn't appeal to me, and the table was after all for me. So I looked at all the elements that appear again and again in his work, sketched them and tried to extrapolate out of them something out of scale with the original.
At that stage my personal brief and those little motifs converged and screamed at me to make a coffee table to bring people together. So to make this long story short this design as born.
Some of the models and the full scale mock up are pictured. Originally I wanted to have the sides/legs perpendicular to the ground but I realised that no one would be able to sit up to it if that was the case. These models were as important as the CAD models for refining the design.
If I was going to make this again I would make it slightly smaller for better usage of materials. I could cut the amount of 6mm MDF needed in half with a simple design change.
I like it, creative design.
Never would've thought of laminating MDF into an arc, good show. However MDF is more susceptible to moisture than just about anything else. My concern is, being a coffee table, it's intended to hold drinks which will sweat if of the cold variety... Maybe not a problem though depending on the lacquer, I'm not that familiar with the properties of lacquer as a moisture barrier.
that would be why he laminated it ;)
Maybe consider bending plywood next time. The bulk of the grain of bending plywood wood even be vertical in this situation, adding to integrity baring any load.

For those unfamiliar, bending plywood is 2 ply plywood with one ply substantially thicker than the other, it is usually described dimensionally as 8'X4' or 4'X8" depending on which way it bends, long way or short way. The grain of the thicker lamination runs perpendicular to the direction it is to be bent, meaning that the grain will go straight the full length of a cylinder, the grain of the thinner lamination goes with the bend, so it would follow the circumference of a cylinder meeting it's own end grain to complete the cylinder.
By the way, it's spelled Macintosh, not Mackintosh
no its not....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Rennie_Mackintosh
rerat4 years ago
If it's Mackintosh inspired...wouldn't it be a Toffee Table?
mweymouth rerat2 years ago
Mackintosh as in the designer who died in the 1920's not the computer company...
Snap! Good one.
mweymouth2 years ago
OK by mackintosh he is talking about the designer who died in the 1920.... please people think and do a little research before you try to correct someone.. :)
qballcat4 years ago
(im sorry but i had to say it)  looks like an I-vagina
WATCH OUT FOR THEM LADIES
-Like-
mae-kitty3 years ago
Those look awesome. And no offence but at first glance, i thought it was some futuristic toilet. I thought that when i saw "mackintosh inspired" But, those are awesome.
luvit4 years ago
 i uh, i drink coffee, but hate coffee tables.
Punkguyta luvit4 years ago
 Agreed, unless it's something useful like a computer lcd mounted in the surface or the other one I seen for a coffee table full of dried moss (looked pretty neat!)
jakenet14 years ago
You should sell the design to ikea!
darkclaw424 years ago
 That is one badass table. To bad I dont have the tools, or experience, to make one.
This is a nice looking table, but to be honest ... to me it looks kind of like a toilet.  Not saying that it is a bad table, just I get a strange connotation with it.
Onkei4 years ago
Hey, isn't it Macintosh?. Looks like a good ible though, I will read more I just had to ask.
Onkei Onkei4 years ago
Oh, now I see it's a person. lol sorry.
Bernyk4 years ago
 nice work indeed, i really liked your instructable and im glad i stopped by =) 

oh and i hope it got you a good grade =P 
ezcheese (author)  Bernyk4 years ago
Yeah I got on pretty well on that assignment. Thanks for your kind words.
omnibot4 years ago
Nice! Looks like something outta Star Trek.
ezcheese (author)  omnibot4 years ago
Thanks. People usually say that about my museum bench though... The central beech bit looks like the crest/symbol they wear on their tops.
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