January 2005 Archives

The Coffee Table

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I built our old coffee table one apartment and one house ago. As a first effort it wasn't bad; wood legs on castors with a glass top and metal lower shelf. It was very early 90's. But like many projects I never quite finished it, the glass was never firmly attached to the legs and could slide if bumped by a leg, a dog, or more recently (and dangerously) by an energetic and highly mobile toddler. Joanne decreed the old table dangerous and it was dismantled.

So I designed a new one. I've been toying with the concept of lighted furniture for a while now. I like the idea of creating small discreet sources of low light scattered around a room and using point sources where more illumination is needed (i.e. for reading). One method of doing that is embedding lights within furniture. In the case of this table the light is provided by two 1W LED's. It shines both up and down. The light up is very pretty, but not particularly useful (you can't read by it). The light down illuminates the bottom shelf, in our case the home of our stack of current magazines.

I'm fairly pleased with how it has turned out and for a prototype it's pretty good. Right now it's sitting in Eurolite's showroom, so if you're in Toronto you can go and check it out.

Right now I'm building new slabs for the table top, the current ones are cedar (not a great material for table tops - too soft), the new ones will be butternut. They will have an improved method of holding the light in place. I'm also ordering some flat low voltage wiring to use for the lights, which will allow me to run the wireing to the table, up the leg, and to the lights and have it almost invisible.

More pictures.

Update: Not to sound all, "You like me, you really like me!" but Land+Living (a design blog I enjoy) has some very kind words to say about the coffee table.

I'm Back!

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Life, I'm afraid, has interupted the blog. Hopefully I'll be getting back onto a regular posting schedule, but here's a quick list of what been going on:

1. Mojo Productions Inc., (i.e. my company) has been pretty busy lately with several clients on the go. Mostly web page development but also some thin-client user interface design (which I really enjoy).

2. I've designed and built a bench and coffee table, plus new versions of the rod lights and some new lighting prototypes.

3. Gil is now 16 months old and he's walking and (sorta) talking. Since I work from home I take care of morning and early evening daycare.

4. It has been a very cold winter here so far and I've had my trusty caulking gun out extensively sealing cracks - when it's -35C it's pretty easy to find the tiny gaps where the cold air is getting in! We've decided that a small wood stove is imperative for our house, but due to both financial and timing constraints that won't be happening until the spring/summer.

5. While we have stopped giving tours of the house (for now) we have appeared in Private Power magazine and have been interviewed a couple of times for other publications.

6. Dad and I have been logging cedar out of the bush to use for decking as well as a some ash, maple and black cherry for future use. A bunch of the maple and ash is spalted and/or quilted which is both rare and quite lovely. Some the ash slab is destined for benches as is a fantastic 10" square maple beam that we cut.

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