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Tensegrity Tables


I Know! I had to look it up as well, what is a tensegrity table? Well, that is now a lot easier to answer, since Laurie and Mark brought both of theirs in to show us.

Showing us the small plywood sample that they had bought on eBay, which was capable of supporting a glass jar, had us all turning it around in different directions to better understand what was in tension and what was not.

They put up the pictures showing its construction and how they had made the two examples, and once Laurie had drawn the sketch and they had made a full-sized sample out of MDF, it was easier to explain what happened as a result of putting too much tension on crosscut timber. This quickly led to a simplified design on what was left of version number two.

Given the opportunity to modify their original design, we were shown how just the addition of the small feet, in fact allowed them to hide adjustable turnbuckles, making the fine tensioning of each wire easier to maintain.

Mark and Laurie showing their Tensegrity Tables

Mark said that there is a design for a chair using the same principals and diagonal wires.

Shaker Boxes

At this point we had an extended break for tea and coffee, after which I showed everyone the preliminary Shaker boxes that will be part of our April workshop at Dwellingup.

Originally constructed by Shaker communities living in 18th century America, the Shaker oval wooden box was originally a working box for storage of dry items, holding various small dry items like spices, herbs, thread, buttons, and powdered paint pigments but today used more as a decorative item.

The three boxes that were passed around had been made from Beech with pine finished plywood as a top and bottom, the traditional “swallow tail” jointing clearly details their origins. These were intended to give everyone an idea of the size and style of the three boxes that will be construct over the weekend away.

This is intended as much a social event as a workshop, with nine participants working together with three experienced instructors to learn how to use new equipment and different techniques whist building three bentwood boxes.

Due to a cancellation, there are still spaces available if you would like to join us for a great weekend away.

Kevin then described the “Airbrushing” workshop that had been held in our meeting rooms over the past two days. This had been organised by the “Collaboration” group and they had nine participants learning the basics of airbrushing from a very talented instructor.

Three Airbrush Samples

This is something that we feel would benefit our members and could be held if enough people were interested.

During our show and tell section, Carolyn told us about John Shaw who had just brought out a new collet router and table that was able to be moved easily across both axis. This was very useful but at approximately $7,500.00 it was expensive.

Martin providing more inlay information

Carolyn then told us that whilst she had been at the workshop in NZ, she had found out that when using the hot glue gun to assemble parts temporally, spraying them with isopropyl alcohol will break the glue bond and make it easy to separate the parts. Its available from Bunnings, try it and see!

Need to sand a curved surface? Carolyn laid a sheet of sandpaper around a shape and sanded a piece of insulation board, then taking off the sandpaper she reversed it onto the block of insulation, and now had the “perfect” shaped sanding block the exact profile of the shape she started with!

If you need to hold an unusual, shaped piece of timber, make up a formwork mould, fill the space with “Builders bog” and cover it with “glad wrap”. Push the timber into place and wait 15 minutes for it to set, and it will hold everything in place whilst you work on it.

Martin then took the floor to expand on our Sunday stringing and inlay morning, with things he had not had time to mention.

He showed us some miniature boxes that he had been working on, and how by carefully rebating and cutting from each side you can form a lid that will fit perfectly together.

I think we all had plenty of time to chat and catch up with what was happening and did at least see a few ideas that we could check out in our own workshops!

Melville Wood Turners

Morris Buzzacott Reserve
51 Williamson Rd
Kardinya WA 6163