As a fan of woodworking in general and live edge in particular, I always wanted to try it in one of my projects. While I was wondering through Pinterest I stumbled on Greg Klassen work... have to say, the man knows what's he is doing... I was very inspired and decided to take a challenge, as I'm new live edge and haven't handle metal or glass in my previous projects.
My deliberation for the design was whether to go on a small table or some kind of art piece, and the decision was made - Art it is! (my wife's decision ;) ).
The process of live edge projects is a little bit different, as the slice of wood I will choose will eventually determine the final result, unlike regular projects where you determine the way it will look at the end.
All in all, this project took me about a week to finish, where I worked few hours each day.
I really enjoyed it's making and overcoming the challenges in it,
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Slice of the desired wood
- ~4m length of metal 3cmX4mm
- Metal paint
- Transparent varnish paint.
- Welding iron
- Vice (optional)
- Trim Router
- Wood Planer
- Table Saw
- Angle Grinder
Step 2: Choosing the Wood
I was looking for the live edge wood on a local wood warehouse, there were a lot of kinds to choose from...
After long time decision, I went for Dalbergia sissoo because of his colours and his durability.
From its pile, I had to choose one, the thing to keep in mind here is that it's going to be cut in the middle and try to imagine the river shape from the slice you choose.
In the next step, I will further elaborate on the way to cut it...
Step 3: Wood
I started with planning the wood several times until I ended with a nice smooth slice.
To create the river shape, the wood slice needs to be cut in the middle and then switch the two pieces in a way the live edges will face each other, this will also give the wood slice a rectangle shape:
- straighten one side of the slice (see pic)
- mark the middle line 90 degrees to the side you just cut and cut the middle.
- straighten the other side (each of the two parts)
Next, I had to split it into three equal parts.
For curving the glass place, I used a trim router. for each of the six pieces, I fixed it with clamps and to my working table and went with the router on the edge of the wood in depth of the glass (8mm in my case).
Step 4: Metal Frame & Welding
CAUTION: Both metal cutting and welding can cause body damage if not operated carefully. Use all precautions and safety gear!!!
This step was my main challenge in this project, as this was one of my first welding projects.
The result is pretty simple - three metal frames, using materials I bought on a local resource store.
Starting with cutting six segments in 29.5cm and another six segments in 35cm. Since I didn't have professional cutting saw through metal, I used Angle Grinder with an iron disc, both to cut and to remove welding leftovers.
I had to find a 90 degrees object to replicate frame final stage. I used the inner frame of a metal table of mine.
Before I started welding I had to attach every two parts with clamps, align and levelled the metal pieces carefully.
When I was certain it was levelled, I welded the inner frame every angle until all the frame was completed, then fixed the frame to the table and welded the outer side of the frame.
* Caution: try not to hold the welding point too long on the same spot as the heat will punch a hole (which can be later filled).
After all three frames are welded, I had to clean the welding iron leftovers, using my Angle Grinder.
Next phase was placing the wood pieces inside the frame and marked and drilled the places where to drill holes for joining the frame with the wood.
Step 5: Paint
Before I started painting, I polished both wood and frame with 120 sandpaper, to the point where I was satisfied with the surface.
For the frame, I used black metal paint and two layers were enough.
For the wood, I used transparent varnish paint with three layers
Step 6: Putting It All Together
The plan was to leave some space between the metal frame and the wood. to do so, I started with measuring the length when one side of the wood was attached to the metal frame. the measurement was 13 mm, that means I needed spacers of 65 mm.
I found an old plywood which was perfectly fit and cut something like 10 spacers.
before I started drilling a leading hole for the screws, I used the floor as a "levelled" surface to adjust the frame and the wood, I placed the spacers between the wood and the metal and pressed it all together with a clamp.
Once the clamp held it tightly, it was time to put some screws between the frame and the wood. when testing the first screw, i realized that I didn't leave enough space for the screw head, so I use 9mm drill to enlarge the screw-head space... repeated this for all the pre-drilled screw heads.
Then drilled all the screws and released the clamps and the spacers for the next frame, this damaged the frame paint while releasing the spacers and the clamp due to the pressure it was under. So, this and the screws-head enlargement meant that later I will need to polish and paint the frame again...
I repeated the above process for each frame... once I was done with all three frames, it was time for the Glass!
Step 7: Glass
The glass in this project had two functions, the main one, of course, was the river, the secondary was to hold the two pieces of wood inside the frame.
I went with the assembled frames to a local glazier, he created a template of the glass from cardboard and cut a precise glass for the river.
I choose turquoise glass, and all I was left to do is to glue the glass to the wood, I used transparent silicon to do the job.
Step 8: Done!
The three frames can either hanged vertically or horizontally as shown in the pics, I preferred it horizontally...
Hope you enjoyed the read!
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