Making the O Bench/table




Introduction: Making the O Bench/table

The O Bench/table is a limited edition furniture, it can be used either as a bench or a table. It is available in white or black laquer, and silver, champange or copper metallic colors. In this instructable I show a little bit of my design process, as well as the fabrication stages involved with this piece, the whole process required a lot of experimentation and constant trial and error, all its development was done using basic tooling and it was entirely hand-made.

Step 1: The Concept

It all started with the concept. For this design, I wanted to create a seamless and continuous looking structure. I started playing with pieces of paper, rolling and unrolling until I came up with a partial form that I liked. I decided to invert this shape on the opposite side and came up with an asymmetrical but balanced form.

Step 2: 3d Model

The concept was then 3d modeled and further defined in 3d Max.

Step 3: Fabrication, From Concept to Reality

Now is about turning this concept into a reality. The first challenge for developing the initial prototype, was to develop a structure that could ultimately be covered with fiberglass and shaped into the desired form. For the initial structure of the prototype, I decided to develop a metallic structure, the main reasons being the low cost, ease to manipulate the material and its structural qualities.

Step 4: Metal Structure and Fiberglassing

First a rough layout of the shape was drawn on the metal sheet with chalk, it then was cut with pliers. To achieve the desired proportions the top and bottom of the metal "skin" where cut separately.

A thin metal profile was added to the edges and to the middle of the skin, to give support. At this stage the structure is self supportive, but not strong enough to support the weight of a person. This will be achieved with the fiberglass and resin on the next stage.

The metallic structure was then covered with 4 layers of fiberglass on top, and 14 layers on on the bottom, in total around 16 pounds of fiberglass where used together with 6 gallons of resin. On the first prototype, pieces of plywood, where also strategically placed trough the piece to achieve a varying thickness and reduce the use of the fiberglass material. The pieces has a thickness of 1.5 cm on its widest and 0.5 cm on its thinnest. to better understand the shape, it looks like an airplane wing if cut transversely.

Step 5:

Step 6: Sculpting the Details

With the fiberglass and resin cover concluded it was time for the final detailing of the design. This was also done manually with car putty, special attention was placed on the edges where slight curves initiate and get softly lost on the rest of the design. It was a very dedicated but highly enjoyable process.

Step 7: Painting and Finishing.

with the sculpting and carving stage phase done, the table/bench was now ready for the finishing part. A first layer of premiere was applied, plastic supports where included in the bottom to avoid the painting from scratching.

Fiberglass molds where later taken from the outer side of the piece, the inner side was remodeled further polishing the gentle curves and reducing some sharp edges left by metallic structure in the initial prototype. The pieces are now reproduce using these molds, fiberglass is the main material used.

The design won the ICFF Studio competition in 2012, and has since received a lot of press. it is available as a limited edition on silver, copper, champagne metallic finishes or in white or black lacquer.

Step 8: End Result



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    40 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Amazing result ! Very nice job. Thank you for sharing!

    Beautiful and useful. Well done. What would you have done differently if you were to make another?

    Wow, that looks like a great piece of functional art!

    I'd love to see one done with CF instead of fibreglass, It'd look like the offspring of a stealth fighter and a park bench.

    Beautiful. Did you use fiberglass mat or cloth? Using mat will result in a better gloss paint job.

    Either one will cover you with microscopic glass chards when sanding or sawing. Blowing it off of yourself with compressed air will only make it worse. I buy old clothes at thrift store and then throw them away after working with fiberglass. Using a breathing mask is a must. You don't want that stuff in your lungs or eyes.

    What was the total cost, and if you sold it, for how much?

    Nice job Ernesto. Now make a 3 piece mold to lay up into and reduce the manufacturing labour of your future production models by at least 80%.

    I thought the O meant something else. I thought this was a device for setting your girlfriends hind end on while having some fun. Still a nice coffee table.

    1 reply


    i love it!

    how much it cost to realized it with all the material?

    I am a fan of clean lines, less is more mentality of modernistic design. Your Bench/table is outstanding.

    That is absolutely beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing! Your pictures and descriptions are quite detailed.

    Wow! Beautiful and inspiring. As a weekend hobbyist with an interest in design I'd love to know more about the process of transitioning this from a custom one-off to a commercial product. Good luck on the business side of things!

    I think while colors would look nice, these metallic ones don't cheapen it.

    It also gives the illusion of being made OF metal. Diggin it.

    Having worked on aircraft in the Navy and built hotrods and motorcycles off and on my whole life, I FINALLY got myself into college at age Pursuing a couple of CAD degrees, etc.

    So, with that, I want to say I just saw the picture in an email from Instructables and clicked on it cuz it reminded me of the TriMagnum Kit Car I built with my Dad back in the 80's. I'm diggin' it, very neo-mod.

    Here is a pic from the site that still sells the plans of that car...


    Nice design and fabrication as well! (Beetle looks also great!) What is the weight of the table? Steel construction looks a bit heavy.

    I like that even though this is a commercial product you've kept with the Instructable spirit and fully shared your process. Looks great and seems like you've already drummed up some business. €: