Here's an update on our current Building & Projects class:
We began laying out a design for a "bar-top" table/desk system on the front deck of the Academy building just a few weeks ago. The design of the table tops went through several steps before arriving at a useable product. Students brainstormed design and materials, then moved into prototyping systems to 'rig' the table tops to the existing deck. The last two weeks were spent constructing the tables, beginning with securing the support cables to the deck posts.
Originally, the design incorporated a "live-edge" lumber. However, the material ended up being too far outside the budget for the project. Instead, the class opted for a design incorporating 2x4s and 2x6s in a "bread-board" technique. The bread-board method involves drilling pocket holes for hidden screws that will work alongside wood glue to secure three boards together, held in place by a shorter length of board at the end of each side of the table. These were then mounted on hinges and rigged with cable, clips, and the crimped cables. Though there's still a bit of finish work to do (small cuts, sanding, and sealing/staining), the class enjoyed setting up the first working table top Tuesday.
Its a great experience for students to work through the process of design. Brainstorming, prototyping, developing, and budgeting all went into the creation of these practical, outdoor tables. In the end, they will have a functional product that they have been wholly involved in from start to finish!