Alex and I drank a pot of coffee and began cleaning his house. As we shop-vacced (yes, we got that serious) underneath the glass on his coffee table, the power of the vaccum began to rip up the crappy wicker sheet beneath the glass. We took it as an opportunity to create a new inlay for the coffee table.
Because the store that sold thin veneers was closed on Sunday, we decided to peruse Urban Ore in Berkeley and see if we could make a design out of repurposed materials. We settled on using some wooden blinds as the material basis for the new inlay, and sketched out a simple design for how they should fit together, which we thought would be a bit more interesting than just laying them all down in rows. We measured the table and decided to make a symetrical design to make the work-flow a bit easier.
Each half of the table is an enantiomer of the other side, which is a pretty basic concept when you look at the final product, but it still required us to measure out 1/4th of the side slats precisely, and then create 3 copies of each piece. The center diamond is the same principle. This approach meant that we used only 90° and 45° cuts.
Next, we headed over to the hardware store and picked out 3 wood stains that we thought looked nice together. We also picked up some small copper nails to make sure we didn't split the slats, and to give a nice craftsman look.
Back at Alex's house, we cut all the pieces with an exacto knife. Then we divided the cut pieces into 3 fairly random groups, making sure that we had marked which side needed to be painted for each slat. We liked the idea of a bit of randomness in the otherwise very orderly design process.
The final step, which was actually a big pain in the ass, was nailing them down. 10 hours later, finished!
Published on February 24, 2013