A Design Sensibility RSS



Information and sign-in box

Gaining ground is a non-profit organic farm in Concord Massachusetts which grows vegetables and fruit with the help of hundreds of community volunteers. A close friend asked if I could help build an outdoor sign-in box for the volunteers that turn-up at the farm. [caption id="attachment_301" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Concept for the sign-in board.[/caption] Sign in boxes are not unusual and my design is loosely based on photographs from the Waltham Fields Community Farm box.  Below is my first 3D design in SketchUp to provide a guide for materials and get feedback as to the size. Once we had agreed with the basic design, it provided an idea of the layout, size and approximate materials quantities for the giant bird house. [caption...

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Chicken Coup

Our friends on the Cape bought chickens!  All they needed was somewhere to put them.  I was asked to design a coup for them. The first issue was how big, not to small not too large. [caption id="attachment_291" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Young chickens[/caption] [caption id="attachment_287" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Footprint for a chicken coup.[/caption] Eventually, we decided on a smaller size with room for the chickens to run around underneath the coup. [caption id="attachment_288" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Chicken coup design[/caption] The whole project needed to be completed in two days over the w/end. It was a stretch as buying all the wood from Home Depot and getting it down to the site was a challenge. The room came from Lowes - corrugated transparent sheets....

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Gallery table

Susan Nalband - our dear friend who owns 555gallery - recently asked if I could make a large table for an upcoming sculpture exhibition by Hannah Burr.  The table had to be big enough to fill the gallery with a clean atheistic.  We discussed the tray table stand and the multi-layer plywood which comes in 8' x 4' sheets. [caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Table design in Sketch-up.[/caption] While the multilayered plywood I used for the tray bases would provide a clean edge, we decided that a decent 3/4" baltic plywood sheet 8' x 4' with a hardwood edge would do the trick. Interesting the clean lines of the table were echoed in the legs.  I think the overall design is...

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Tray stand V

Here's version V that was smaller than the previous versions and could fit inside the tray. [caption id="attachment_266" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Tray stand version V[/caption] Well, because it could fit inside the tray then it could also lay horizontally at the second height. Bingo! We have arrived at reasonable prototype!  Aesthetic with form &function.  Now we were getting somewhere as it could be place horizontally as well. [caption id="attachment_267" align="aligncenter" width="625"] tray stand version V[/caption] Here's the final version upright. Each surface is glued and connected using hidden dowel-pins and biscuit joints. [caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Tray stand version 5[/caption] So there you have it, a finished prototype ready for production! All we need to do is figure out the finish...

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Tray stand version IV

[caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Tray stand version IV[/caption] This was a design improvement we liked so it was time to make another prototype. Now we were getting somewhere! Next was the material usage which was a bit high, i.e., the width of the ply could be skinned down to save in weight height and material usage. Only when version II (see design) was finish was it clear that there were mechanical and structural weaknesses on one side.  This was solved by adding an additional cross brace in version IV. [caption id="attachment_259" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Tray stand version IV[/caption] Version IV was tall approximately 33".  Thinking a little about how portable the tray stand might be, could it fit inside the tray?...

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