Parabolic arch table

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Central Maryland
#1
I’ve been working on this concept for over a year. It is based directly on bridge designs. The supports in this one are comprised of two different parabolic curves somewhat like the Sydney harbor bridge. I’ve never seen any stand designed similarly.

B59FED13-2BA5-4320-B890-0311D8007207.jpeg 166904F7-EBEA-4EAF-86B1-8426D4D70553.jpeg D2EF0A9C-3184-404D-9D36-A7B0B024B251.jpeg B70239E9-D233-4759-A297-02A3BDA9D39F.jpeg

It’s still being finished and I’ll get final pics up when it’s done. It has a fairly delicate appearance and I think a lighter, taller tree or group of trees, especially ones with a strongly triangular profile would look great with it. It’s design lacks the inherent strength of an actual bridge because the ends of the arches don’t buttress against anything, which in a bridge the forces would be transferred to through the parabolas, but it is still quite strong due to the triangulation with the top. I have a concept for a tall cascade stand using this concept with parabolas on all four sides I want to see made eventually.

Please feel free to comment.
 
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326
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482
Location
Milwaukee WI
USDA Zone
5b
#3
Genius.
It combines an impression of a traditional Japanese bridge as one would see over a water feature in a formal garden, with a minimalist look of a shoji screen.
I think it’s flipping brilliant. It is one of the very few stands I’ve seen that screams for a painted pot. Very nice work and a very original concept.
 
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854
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1,605
Location
Central Maryland
#6
Dude that’s really cool. Walnut again?
Yes, walnut. I attempted to get to Exotic Lumber in Frederick last weekend but they closed too early on Saturday. I may try some small tables in some more exotic wood for fun.

Thanks for the compliments and likes, especially yours Sorce - the highest praise!!
 
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87
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81
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
USDA Zone
7
#7
Yes, walnut. I attempted to get to Exotic Lumber in Frederick last weekend but they closed too early on Saturday. I may try some small tables in some more exotic wood for fun.

Thanks for the compliments and likes, especially yours Sorce - the highest praise!!
I thought of our previous conversation about finding a darker wood species the other day. I used some ipe at work and I think if your local mill has it available it might be worth checking out. It’s considerably darker than walnut. It’s also extremely hard and resistant to moisture.
 
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12,738
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13,641
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
#8
Genius.
It combines an impression of a traditional Japanese bridge as one would see over a water feature in a formal garden, with a minimalist look of a shoji screen.
I think it’s flipping brilliant. It is one of the very few stands I’ve seen that screams for a painted pot. Very nice work and a very original concept.
I agree this stand is off the charts. I have been agonizing over the concept of stands for years have found only a couple that I really like. This one is really good, and the fact that it is visually simple adds tons to the character.
 
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#9
@Bonsaicarpenter I checked out ipe on google and got lots of pics of decks so it is weather resistant but they say it’s hard to work. I’ll see what they’re calling rosewood these days, or something else.

@Vance Wood and @shinmai those are very nice comments and I’m glad you appreciate the work. I could go on about how I’ve always been intrigued by the mathematics of parabolas and their constantly changing radii. If I bow my 18” steel ruler up by pushing in the ends it forms curves that precisely match those on the stand.

Vance what concept are you looking for in a stand? I debated adding very small bevels to the edges but the household consensus was to keep it simple as it is.
 
Messages
87
Likes
81
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
USDA Zone
7
#10
@Bonsaicarpenter I checked out ipe on google and got lots of pics of decks so it is weather resistant but they say it’s hard to work. I’ll see what they’re calling rosewood these days, or something else.

@Vance Wood and @shinmai those are very nice comments and I’m glad you appreciate the work. I could go on about how I’ve always been intrigued by the mathematics of parabolas and their constantly changing radii. If I bow my 18” steel ruler up by pushing in the ends it forms curves that precisely match those on the stand.

Vance what concept are you looking for in a stand? I debated adding very small bevels to the edges but the household consensus was to keep it simple as it is.
Ipe is definitely hard to work. It’s one of the hardest woods out there. It would be challenging to work with chisels.
 
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13,641
Location
Michigan
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5-6
#11
@Bonsaicarpenter I checked out ipe on google and got lots of pics of decks so it is weather resistant but they say it’s hard to work. I’ll see what they’re calling rosewood these days, or something else.

@Vance Wood and @shinmai those are very nice comments and I’m glad you appreciate the work. I could go on about how I’ve always been intrigued by the mathematics of parabolas and their constantly changing radii. If I bow my 18” steel ruler up by pushing in the ends it forms curves that precisely match those on the stand.

Vance what concept are you looking for in a stand? I debated adding very small bevels to the edges but the household consensus was to keep it simple as it is.
Something that is original, subtle and elegant without being pretentious, if that makes sense to you. Something that looks like it just happened.
 
Messages
963
Likes
689
Location
Western West Virginia AHS heat zone 6
USDA Zone
6ab
#13
Looks really nice. I'm waiting for a warm spell to finish my walnut table to keep the dust down in the finish.
Did you dowel the cross members into the arches and trace your ruler for the curve?
Tubing works well to trace arcs too, but takes an extra set of hands to hold in place.
Nice job @Velodog2
What are the dimensions?
 
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#14
Thanks @Japonicus. The stringers are mortised into the arches. The parabolas were made with an Excel spreadsheet I created and were printed on an inkjet plotter. I can vary parameters to make any arch I want. I just like that the parabola is a shape in nature as well as mathematics. The dimensions are 15.5x10.5x3.5. Look forward to seeing your table.

@Vance Wood I’ve never seen a stand built like this before so it may be my most original design. Unpretentious is hard too. The stand like the pot is playing a supporting role (pun intended) and shouldn’t draw more attention than necessary, but potters and carpenters have pride and want to make something that is beautiful. The more complex the tree the more complex a stand it can compete with. Anyway, I agree with your ideal.
 
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963
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689
Location
Western West Virginia AHS heat zone 6
USDA Zone
6ab
#16
Yes mortised is what I meant, using the stringers own material as a dowel.
I'm not versed in all those terms, I don't use directions or a plan either,
think it, scribble it, do it :) Everything is custom.
I designed a mahogany table on the floor at Lowes with my wife laying tiles about the floor
inlaying the tiles later and had to buy the chairs 1st so I could get the height custom to seated clearance.
I noticed how precise your stringers appear to be ~1/16" from the top of the arcs surface, so had to ask.
 
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854
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1,605
Location
Central Maryland
#17
@Bonsaicarpenter I got to Exotic Lumber Inc in Frederick today. It was very nice and very impressive. It is a large, clean warehouse with a lot of rough cut lumber, plus a smaller showroom with smaller planed pieces, chunks of burl, turning blanks, etc. they truly had a lot a species, much of it quite expensive but I assume market priced.

I didn’t go nuts - I got a few board feet of sapele, African mahogany, and heat-treated poplar which turns it dark brown and water resistant. I also got a small piece of Paduak for trim or small tables. Nothing very pricey but a sort of starter pack. I got some thicker blocks of walnut for legs for a larger table I have planned which I thought I would have to glue up smaller pieces to make.

Anyway thought I’d share. Hope to see you again at Meehan’s this season.
 
Messages
87
Likes
81
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
USDA Zone
7
#18
@Bonsaicarpenter I got to Exotic Lumber Inc in Frederick today. It was very nice and very impressive. It is a large, clean warehouse with a lot of rough cut lumber, plus a smaller showroom with smaller planed pieces, chunks of burl, turning blanks, etc. they truly had a lot a species, much of it quite expensive but I assume market priced.

I didn’t go nuts - I got a few board feet of sapele, African mahogany, and heat-treated poplar which turns it dark brown and water resistant. I also got a small piece of Paduak for trim or small tables. Nothing very pricey but a sort of starter pack. I got some thicker blocks of walnut for legs for a larger table I have planned which I thought I would have to glue up smaller pieces to make.

Anyway thought I’d share. Hope to see you again at Meehan’s this season.
That’s awesome! I absolutely love sapele. It’s beautiful. Right now at work we’re renovating 67 suites at ravens stadium. All the cabinets have sapele veneer. That shaker table I made for my foyer that I showed you had a figured sapele top on it.

At work a few months ago we milled up some thermally modified ash (I would assume that’s the same process as the heat treated poplar). It was cool stuff. Gave it a nice brown color and the same moisture resistant properties you described. That stuff will have an interesting smell when you cut into it. The ash smelled like burnt popcorn. You might want to wear a dust mask or respirator if you cut it with power tools. It doesn’t make chips or shavings, it turns to fine dust.

I’m hoping to make it back to Meehan’s For another workshop this year. I was considering doing the repotting workshop at the end of this month but life has been hectic lately and I may not make it. Any particular workshops you were looking at attending this year?
 
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854
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Location
Central Maryland
#19
That’s awesome! I absolutely love sapele. It’s beautiful. Right now at work we’re renovating 67 suites at ravens stadium. All the cabinets have sapele veneer. That shaker table I made for my foyer that I showed you had a figured sapele top on it.

At work a few months ago we milled up some thermally modified ash (I would assume that’s the same process as the heat treated poplar). It was cool stuff. Gave it a nice brown color and the same moisture resistant properties you described. That stuff will have an interesting smell when you cut into it. The ash smelled like burnt popcorn. You might want to wear a dust mask or respirator if you cut it with power tools. It doesn’t make chips or shavings, it turns to fine dust.

I’m hoping to make it back to Meehan’s For another workshop this year. I was considering doing the repotting workshop at the end of this month but life has been hectic lately and I may not make it. Any particular workshops you were looking at attending this year?
Ah right I couldn’t remember where I’d seen or heard of sapele but it was you. I don’t know if any if the wood I have has figuring. It sounds nice to work around this stuff all the time. The poplar was kind of a curiosity purchase as I’d never heard of such a thing, and I was told about the smell. I plan to go back to making more traditional but larger tables than I have been, now that I have this one mostly out of the way. I need to keep refining my skills. I like what I’ve made and you all are very nice and complimentary which is appreciated but then I see the work of someone such as austinheitzmanfurniture (Instagram) and I get perspective back.

I’d planned to do as many of Warren’s workshops as I could but I don’t see him on the schedule. I’ll have to talk to Martha. Otherwise the maple, pine, shohin, and literati classes catch my eye. Maples especially I need technical help with.
 
Messages
87
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81
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
USDA Zone
7
#20
I will most likely only make it to one or 2 workshops this year. I was also keeping an eye out for a workshop with Owen. Martha told me last year he would be traveling less starting this year. I will have to take another look at the classes and figure out when I can make it. It can be tough for me to get out there since it’s a 3 hour round trip.
 
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