This is my first instructable, I'm kind of baffled that I haven't joined this community until now but I'd love to show you all the process of my work and become a part of this community. I'd like to tell you all a little about my background.. I am currently a senior at Ball State University getting a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Communications. Over the past few years I have developed an incredible attraction towards digital fabrication and design. This has driven me to seek out labs that use laser cutters, 3D Printers, CNC Routers, Mills, and many more machines.
Of recent I have found myself attracted to the designing of furniture with use of the laser cutter and wood shop. This is a table I have recently designed and constructed for the main reason of me needing a bedside table.
If anyone is interested in seeing more of my work check out my website at www.ckwvisuals.com
Also, this table is for sale here!
So without further ado, lets get into how I built this table!
-Box Cutter/ Xacto
-Other Scrap Wood
Step 1: Materials | Planning | Designing
The first part of any woodworking project is to find the right material needed for the project. I am quite the scavenger when I comes to wood, very rarely do I ever buy wood. Most of the wood for this project was salvaged from other furniture or construction sites. The wood I choose to use of this project consisted of pine and birch plywood. At this point I began planning on how to execute this idea I have. I had to decide on how big I wanted this to be and how it would all fit together.
I decided the the table top would be 14" x 14".I wanted this table to be a sort of chest table where the lid would fold open for storage below. Thus I then created four walls 14" x 5.5" x 1.125 with a 14" x 14" birch plywood bottom. I then took a post and cut it with the table saw into four legs 1.75" x 1.75" x 32". I also included a 14" x 14" shelf with notches cut out to fit snug around the legs.
After all the pieces were cut out I went ahead and used a table router with a champfer bit to create a elegant look onto the sides of the shelf and the table top. I also routed out space into the walls to help inlay hinges.
After I figure out the measurements and finishing the final cuts, It was time to design the visuals for the table itself. I know I wanted to have a Celtic knot approach, so i spent awhile designing around the concept of Celtic Knots and a little influences from new age concepts.
After I finished the design work and made everything into readable vector graphics in illustrator It was time to laser engrave the pieces.
Step 2: Engraving the Wood
At this point I went ahead and gathered each piece of wood needed to construct the table. I use the Universal Lasers PLS 6150 120W Laser Cutter for my engravings. For these type of project where I have a deep relief into the wood I use the following settings. Black | 100% Power | 100% Speed | 500 - 1000 PPI | Image Density - 6 |
First thing I did was to engrave the legs. I had four legs to be engraved on each side. Each side took a total of ten minutes each; thus, around forty minutes per leg. Then I engraved the table top, the shelf, and the side walls.
I also created small triangle shaped support pieces for the shelf and legs.
The total amount of time of engraving was around 400 minutes.
Once the design was fully engraved on all pieces it was time to get ready to construct and gather the necessary tools.
Step 3: Construction & Assembly
I cleared a space to work in the shop and organized each piece and began the plan of assembly.
First thing I wanted to accomplish was to construct the chest part of the table so I took the walls and use a mitre saw to create 45 degree angle cuts on each side. It went ahead and brought another as aspect of my work into play: dream catchers. I wanted to incorporate this type of work into the table because I though the geometric aspect would play well into the Celtic knot work design. In order to do this I drilled holes into the space that I wanted to cut out and then used a jig saw to slowly cut out the circles. After that I sanded them down made them smooth. In order to weave the dream catchers into the the side of the wood I had to drill small holes in the outer part of the circle cutout.
After each of those cut I put the walls together with wood glue and a brad gun. Then, I flipped over the walls and the 14" x 14" birch plywood cutout and glue and nailed that to the walls.
At this point all I had left to do was hinge the table top to the walls, inlay the legs, and attached the shelf. I went ahead and decided the best route would be to inlay the legs to the walls up through the laser cut bottom. The tabletop was then hinged to the walls. The last part was attaching the shelf to the legs. They were glued, nailed and clamped together. That was all there was to the assembly; therefore, all that was left was to let the clamps work wonders and let it dry.
Step 4: Final Touches
After the assembly & construction I have to do a little bit of finishing touches.
This included the weaving of dream catchers, staining, and laying felt into the chest. I have included an image of how to weave dream catcher's into this step of the instructable. The first touch up I did was to stain any untouched surface that still look like raw wood. These surfaces were the edges of the table top, edges of the shelf, inside of the circle cut outs and the bottoms of each large surface. The last touch up that really made the difference was the felt inside of the chest. I use stick and peel felt from my local art & crafts store. It makes it easy to cut and lay onto the wood. On each of the chest wall is also felt with the diameter of the circle cut out of the felt.
That is all there is to creation of the laser engraved end table.
I hope you all enjoyed looking into how this was made!