The intention for this project was to create a coffee table that was inspired by the flannel shirt patterns.
Dimensions: 13” X 19”
Material: Plywood + Metal
OVERVIEW – inspiration
I am constantly looking for different ways to create work based on my personal inspirations and experiences. I've always been interested in furniture, fashion, and architecture aesthetics, and how they influence each other. I was particularly interested in variety of patterns and textures of flannel shirts. I still own some of my favorite flannel shirts which became an inspiration for this project. One shirt in particular had a simple cross-hatched pattern that I adapted in my own coffee table design. Despite its simple design, it required digital tooling process such as CNC Laser Cutting Machinery as well as manual assembly to achieve the final results.
Please refer to Steps 1-5 on How to Make this Table
Thank you for looking, and hope this project will inspire you to create your own table edition.
Step 1: MATERIAL /// Plywood & Metal
I love working with common materials such as plywood which has various properties of being both strong and aesthetically pleasing. Plywood comes in variety of different types such as surface finish surface, thicknesses and end grain, which should all be consider when choosing materials for a particular project. For this project, I chose furniture grade ¾” oak plywood so that it would give me desired thickness and also be compatible with laser cutter without undesired burning issues.
My last decision was to add 16 gauge METAL layers for both front and the back sides for strength aesthetic qualities.
Refer to Step 7 for the FULL list of Materials and Tools used in this project
Step 2: DESIGN /// Idea Creation
Here's some images of design ideas variation
As with most all of my projects, I try to develop the idea using either sketchbook or software before start making the project.
The idea for a table design started in Adobe Illustrator software and later developed in Autodesk 123D Design. From the start I knew it had to be a simple design having connection to modernism, so my intention was to create a very simple coffee table design. Most flannel designs are based on the grid patterns, so using similar aesthetics I designed the table to be a square shape. Once I had a basic layout, it was than about finding the most interesting variation for the final design.
You can download design files bellow >
Step 3: WORK IN PROGRESS /// Cutting Layers
Based on design layout there are many different ways in which the final product could have been made. I knew I wanted to implement the CNC Machinery, so I decided to use plywood cutouts in order to build up a desired depth of the table. The two variations of design were nested onto two sheets of plywood and cut out using laser cutting machine.
Refer to images and Next Step for the process on how to join the plywood and metal layers
Step 4: WORK IN PROGRESS /// Joining Layers
The table is made up of 17 plywood layers and attached together with wood glue. In addition to the glue, I used nail gun with 1” brad nails to attach each layer on top of another.
The challenging part was to join all the pieces perfectly together, so here's a Step by Step process on how to join each plywood layer.
Make sure all the surfaces are clean and dry
- Apply glue from the bottle nozzle on both sides and quickly spread it with a brush
- Try to perfectly align the top layer with the bottom one
- Use nail gun and 1” brad nails to attach each corner
- Using wet cloth, clean all the excess glue that may drip down
Repeat the process for each layer until you build up a desired depth - be patient, this may take awhile.
After all done, lightly clamp the entire piece and let it completely dry for 24 hours
In addition to plywood, I wanted to incorporate metal but without having any visible elements such as screws or bolts. For that reason, I chose to use epoxy to joint metal with the plywood.
Here's a quick process on how to join metal to plywood
- Be sure to clean metal edges after they've been cut with the laser
- Apply epoxy glue on both metal and plywood sides and quickly spread it with a brush
Note: Remember you have about 5 minutes to apply epoxy glue and start clamping before the glue starts to set
- Clamp each corner with equal pressure
Note: Always keep checking to make sure the metal layer stays in place and not sliding when tightening it down
Lastly, leave the clamps on each corner and let it dry overnight.
Step 5: WORK IN PROGRESS /// Sanding & Burning
At this point the piece should be dry and ready to be sanded. I used Belt Sander with 120 grit sandpaper to even out any edge transition between metal and plywood and also any excess epoxy that may come out from clamping. For tight areas and corners, I used fine files to smooth out the surface.
Now for the final step I slightly burned the plywood end grain to match the initial burning that resulted from the laser cutting and also to give it a unique surface texture and look. This technique known as Shou Sugi Ban. Lastly using a fine grit sandpaper I sanded the metal to give it a polished surface.
Step 6: FINAL STEP – Images of Finished Product
My intention was to create a simple furniture piece with clean aesthetic and functional qualities. Hopefully I have achieved that with this project. :)
Designed and Made by - Yev Rybakov aka TANKRIUM
Step 7: MATERIALS /// TOOLS /// GEAR
Here's a full list of materials and equipment used for this project.
- Autodesk 123D Design
- Adobe Illustrator
- Plywood – 2X Furniture Grade ¾” Oak Plywood (7-ply)
- Metal – 16 gauge Cold Roll Steel
- Laser Cutter – primary tool to cut both plywood and metal layers
- Glue – Wood Glue (Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue) Epoxy (Loctite Epoxy 5)
- Nail Gun with 1” Brad Nails
- Sander with different grit Sandpaper – I use grit 100 for plywood & 320 for metal
CAMERA GEAR ///
- Photography - shot on Canon T6S with 18-135 STM Lens
- Be aware of the placement of your hands and fingers when using nail gun
- Safety Glasses or Goggles
- Ear Protective Headphones
- Dust mask when sanding
- Safety always comes first!
Thank you and hope you enjoy it!
-YEV @ tankrium