This week’s lesson on rulers is probably my favorite lesson thus far. I LOVE RULERS. I love drawing beautiful lines and curves with precision. I love knowing the measurements of things. They make me feel confident. My quality of life is enriched because of them. I just love them…so much. These are my favorites, 2″ grid ruler and french curve:
I also love chairs, which is why I decided to make some miniatures with the laser cutter this week. It’s long been a fantasy of mine to wake up, put on my cardigan, make tea, and walk over to my in-house studio to make miniature furniture in my retirement. Getting to experience it this week proved to be as fun as I imagined.
I bought some scraps at Canal Plastics that were around 40″(l) x 1/8″(w) x 3″(h). With these parameters in mind, I started drawing in Illustrator. I’m pretty rusty so I reached out to resident Davíd Lockard for a review and some pointers. This was the first “pancake” prototype I made on Monday in opaque white acrylic. I bent the seat and legs with the acrylic bender, but the legs were pretty uneven so I didn’t bother gluing them on.
Luckily, Ben gave me a tip to make a jig for the legs when I spotted him in the shop today in preparation to make my actual prototype.
This is my Illustrator file. I decided to give myself two options for the legs (rounded vs. square) and cut another seat with etched style lines. Even though I referred to the laser cut instructions to change the stroke color (red – cut, blue – etch), it cut my etch lines. In retrospect, I should have put them in a separate layer and changed the print settings.
Cut like butter. I wish I could stare at lasers without glasses.
After cutting, I used the acrylic bender to add a natural bend to the seat front edge and back rest. This gives more dimension to the chair.
The challenging part is the legs. After Ben told me to make a jig, I went to the wood scraps to find a block with the right approx. height and width. I placed it under my pancake prototype to visualize the proportions (see photo 1) and used a ruler, the bandsaw + sander to make the jig. I set the measurements accordingly to the legs in my Illustrator file, and referred to the legs of my first prototype to account for bend tolerance. It worked pretty well, except I wish the jig was see-through or if I drew guidelines for where to place the legs when bending because one leg came out a little crooked.
The acrylic glue didn’t work very well for some reason. The bottle says it should adhere after 1~2 minutes, but that wasn’t the case. I ended up using clamps and I’m hoping for the best today. On the bright side, it can stand!