FIELD: Reflection on the project

This project has been really different to my subject of Graphic Communication & Design but this hasn’t stop me learning and enjoying the experience of wood working and building a product. I have learnt many new skills such as using machinery such as a band saw and sander. These will give me the opportunity to work in the wood shop in future projects. Another useful thing I have learnt is the processes of getting the idea to production. Similar to Graphic design but also slightly different. When we finally had a a design we had to build small models to see how they could be put together. Then from that we did more developing and then created a half size/ full size prototype from Orthographic drawings. Learning about Rhino Orthographic and 3d program was very interesting and it was nice to evolve my knowledge of different programs that are used in the design industry.


Orthographic drawing on Rhino showing the different sides of the product and also the pegs.

Making the prototype / High fidelity model was exciting because it let me build my design quickly to see how things worked out and in a way it’s the way to find out if your designing has been accurate which is a sense of achievement when everything comes together. It was also a good opportunity for myself to learn the machinery and to get experience before building the real thing.


With the final outcome I am really pleased in how far it has come from all the developing and drawings and now it looks modern and what I pictured in my mind. The addition of the branch pegs has given it the natural feel back into the wood along with the waxing which has made the grains to stand out. I enjoyed the build of the product but unfortunately with my sports injury I couldn’t be doing a lot of the work on the machinery but with carefully watching and helping I still felt involved and still learnt numerous things. All in all this project has been an eye opening experience and I’m coming away with new skills, a lot more knowledge and new contacts from the people I’ve come to know through doing this project. There were somethings i could relate to my subject such as the designing part where it shows that both Graphics and Product making have a strict design and develop process and making models and ruff examples can give you the guidance to making a successful outcome. I consider doing more of wood work in the future and try to tie it into Graphic design or do some in my spare time.



FIELD: The Build

To start off the build I came into an instant problem. I choose White Oak to use as a material for my product and I needed the wood to be 500mm with 300mm but the Oak came as 150mm. So to make the wood to the accurate size we needed to join the wood by making a biscuit joints and glue together.


Step one was to cut the amount of wood needed for the build.


Step 2 was to plane the wood down to make the wood equal and get the rough off the wood. You can see the difference from this picture and the wood in the first picture. The grains are showing beautifully on the wood after the plane.

IMG_0904.JPG Step 3 was to measure and mark where to place the biscuits to join the wood. Using a router cutter specialised for the job of cutting the grooves needed for the biscuit joints. The cuts were done on all four pieces of wood then in pairs of two they would slide into together.


Step 4 was to clamp them together and glue with Gorilla wood glue. This would make the joints strong and make the wood strong when cutting the slot.


Step 4. After leaving both to dry over night by the next morning they were stuck together strongly and ready to be planed once again and cut to accurate size. Before they go to the planer I had to remove all the excess glue that was dried up in the seem of the wood where the joining took place.


Step 5. It was time to start measuring out the slot joint in each pieces of wood. For this joining it was important to make sure the measurement were accurate and equal to each other because if one measurement was off to the other it could lead to the product not being balanced. To make sure I was getting accurate measurements I was using various rulers and guides to double and re double check my measurements were accurate and using 90 degree angle guides to see if everything was lining up square. Also by placing the other wood on to the other I could deter the correct thickness to cut my slot.


Step 6, was to start cleaning the waste inside the slot which is seen visibly in the photo where the band saw couldn’t of cut away any of the left wood. To get rid of this I used a smaller band saw and cut small and thin lines into the waste wood which made them weak then with sand paper I rubbed them away.


Step 7, After the sanding it was time to join the both together through the slots but one slot was tighter than the other so I spent a few hours sanding it down. By sanding it down I wouldn’t loose the tightness of the slot, if I used the band saw to trim I could accidently cut to much off which would lead to a loose slot joint. While putting it in the vice I used waste wood in-between the clamps and the product. This was to make sure that I wouldn’t damage the Oak when tightening the vice.


Step 8. After sanding for a good few hours it finally came together and it looked good. The grains in the wood made the product look pretty and also expensive.


Step 9. Last job was to measure and cut holes for my pegs because i wanted this product to be a coat hanger and a place to store hats or shoes. I decided I wanted three pegs only on one side of the product and also I wanted the holes to be cut 10mm depth which isn’t all the way through.

Using a pillar drill, the holes were cut into the wood. 10mm diameter holes.



I wanted to use more wood and to bring a bit of the outside into the product I used branches from a tree. But because this is a sustainable practice I made sure I got the branches from a fallen tree or branch. I decided that the pegs should be 10cm in size but only 9cm of the branch would be on show the other 1cm is sanded down to fit into the 1cm hole that was drilled.


Step 10. Finishing!. To prepare for the finishing I started to clean the wood by sanding it using p120 sandpaper and then a quick rub with a p240 which was a thinner grained with got rid of all the excess sanding dust that was in the grain and grooves.


Step 11, was to brush on some Shellac which is a protecting layer for the wood. This was layered down twice but in-between both brushings I gave the wood a sanding with a very fine sand paper P400.


Step 12 was to rub in some light wax. Like waxing a car, the wax brings up the shine of the wood and makes the grain of the wood look bold and stand out. Also it was the same principles to waxing car. First rub in the wax then let it dry or get cloudy/dull then rub it off with a clean cloth afterwards. This was done three times and it made a visible change to the product. After letting it dry and rub all of the wax I re placed the pegs into their holes and the Shelf was finished.


Here is the Prototype and the final product together. The prototype helped me a lot in the process of building shelf because this time the build has moved more accurate as you can see with the slots and also the pegs were an advancement from the Prototype. But other than that the product has change significantly from the original designs except for the decisions on the slot and also the extra work of putting the wood together to make the size. In the end I am happy with how my project has turned out to look like and I have gained new skills and hopefully will be able to use these unique skills in the future.

















































































FIELD: Prototype

After deciding on the design I wanted to move forward with I went on to further develop and get some accurate measurements done.

I wanted the shelve to be 500mm in height and width and then a depth of 300mm which is the max measurement aloud on this brief. After final adjustments I went to the wood shop to start making a prototype of the shelve to see if my designs and measurements are working with each other. A prototype is an early sample or model of the product to test it’s concept and is used to learn from before doing the real build.

To make this Prototype I would be using a cheap engineered wood called MDF- Medium density Fibre board which is made by using broken down fibres from hard or soft wood and mixed with a binding resin.



Firstly I cut the wood to accurate measurements then after doing that I moved on to measure out the cut for the slot joint. The reason I wanted to make a slot joint was to make it an easy product to build and if it went on to mass production it could be sold as a flat pack. The sheet of MDF was 500mm in height and width of 300mm. To make the slot I needed to find the centre point which was 150mm then make a line from 150mm to the edge of the MDF. Then with the other board I measured the thickness and added that to the board. I did this to the other board as well, this will let the Horizontal and Vertical board slot together nicely and flush with each other.



This step was the tense bit of the build because even though the build is simple, the product is built only using these two slots so they need to be accurately cut and also should be aligned perfectly to make sure that the shelve wasn’t slanting to one side. To cut this slot I used a band saw and cut straight down the lines then moved the saw out from the cut. This only left to cut lines parallel to each other, this is shown on the board (top Right). To get this slot cut clean I had to travel back down the grooves and bend the blade into the waste wood and doing this again on the opposite groove which then overlapped making the waste wood to fall out. (Example of this cut is on the second board on the bottom left). To clear the remaining waste I used the band saw and cut a number of lines which made the wood weak and when sanding it they fell out.



Eventually after the sanding the waste wood from the slot it was time to slot the wood pieces together.

I was pleased with the outcome of the prototype because it gave me the necessarily feedback I needed to start the build with the proper material and it was a good experience to learn how to use the band saw. It wasn’t a complete success because the slots were slightly wider than the thickness of the wood, this caused the slot to be less tight around the wood which made gaps which is visible in the images. To stop this looseness I made some quick fix pegs to make it work better, but from doing this prototype it has gave me an idea of how to avoid this in the real construction of the product.


FIELD: Steam Bending


In the build up to the manufacturing of our wall storage we had the chance to learn new processes. Steam bending was one of the processes, which is the process of bending wood with the aid of steam. To carry out this, you will need to use green wood and need to create a jig  for the wood to make the shape you want. The Jig can be made of waste/ cheap wood such as woodchip, Ply or MDF. After creating the jig it’s time to steam bend. In the need to steam bend one thing you will need is a steam box or something to place wood that would let steam travel through. In our session our lecturer had made a steam box out of recycled metal tube which was long enough to place the wood within and it held the steam in.

IMG_0727 In the back around you can see the steam box and the wood that was inside is pulled out after an hour or two. The time in the box would of aloud the wood fibres to absorb the heat which will let them to stretch and bend.

In the fore-ground on the table is the jig made from MDF this is where the wood will be placed around to take the shape.


The wood taken from the steam box is bent around the jig in this photo, it’s hard work and is more than a one man job. But some times this method doesn’t work and as the wood cools down the fibres break and this what has happened to the wood in the bottom image.


To avoid this there’s another way of doing it which is bending the wood using a sheet metal to guide it and support the fibres as it bends.

IMG_0741IMG_0742Here we see the wood being clamped into the metal guide and then bent around the jig. This method is similar to the first but instead it is bent with the guide then clamped down with G clamps for the wood to keep its place on the jig.

This process was very interesting and quite exciting to see the wood bend so easily but even so I don’t think my designs would benefit from steam bending and it takes time to prepare for this process which is not suitable for the week and a half time for the build.

Field: Ideas and Models


These are examples of my ideas. Before sketching them I decide to make myself a list of what I wanted my wall storage to consist of. On the list I wanted the wall mount storage to be a multipurpose product, it also had to be a modern design but simple build and also can be simple to put up which means that it could be a flat Pac product that could be found in IKEA.

After deciding on four of my favourite designs I went to build 3D models of them.


The first chosen design was this cube shelf which consisted of two cubes one was a picture frame and then a bigger cube as a shelf.


The second design was a multipurpose self that could hold coats and hats/shoes. It is made out of a cross which would be easy made and has many possibilities to make a flat Pac design with further development.


The next design was related to Graphic design. This shelf is designed to hold a tablet or mobile phone securely and also a place to store papers or work. It would be possible to place this product above electrical sockets so you could charge your tablet or mobile while it being held away from the desk, which helps keep the work place clear of mess.


The last design I choose is a cube shape again but instead of a whole cube it is made of only the corners. This makes it look modern and minimalized which brings a contemporary feel to the product.

Out of the four designs I am torn between which are designs 2 and 3. The reasons for this is because both are multipurpose and both are unique and different to anything else. Also both are possible to make a flat Pac design that would be user friendly. Next I will start developing both and then decide which design I prefer to move on to production.



Field: Brief

In this assignment we will have to create and innovative approach to designing and creating a wall mounted storage product. The wall mounted storage will be designed for a domestic setting but the only material would be sustainable sources of timber.

In a product design setting we will have to create this product from drawings and learn how to use CAD – Computer Aided Design to make Orthographic drawings of the product. Then in the development stages we will have to create 3D models to see how the product will be built.

For a Graphic designer this will be good eye opening experience to try and evolve and develop my arsenal of creative skills not only graphic but also in product design. It will also help me to understand how other designers work in other practices in the design industry.

Image result for Wall mounted storage

I need to consider the time limit we have given for this brief because the time will be spent learning new machinery and computer programs. While getting some concepts and ideas I will need to critique them to see which ones would be suited for my skills and would it work within the time scale.

Field: Sustainable Artisan

This year field has been broken into 5 weeks before Christmas and 5 weeks in the New Year. For the first 5 weeks of field I am studying Sustainable Artisan. In this subject we will be focusing on sustainable materials in the manufacturing industry used for furniture, lighting, storage etc.

While learning in this subject about different materials we are also going to learn new skills of contemporary and traditional hand making processes which will increase our skill set and knowledge of materials and processes. These skills will be made relevant to professional contexts and there will be an emphasis on applying knowledge to  practice as a professional furniture designer maker.

On our first day of field we went to Aberbargoed. In this field trip we explored the national park and learnt about controlled foresting where they cut trees down to benefit the land but also not cutting large amount of trees down which is unsustainable. With controlled foresting it is sustainable and also with each tree in Wales that gets cut down they plant a tree.

After learning about the sustainable foresting we moved on to do a task before heading back to watch Rhys a traditional wood worked who showed us some traditional wood work machinery and tools.

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Here we see a traditional way of splitting timber using and Axe to cut through before adding split pegs which control the split making a straight cut all the way through.

In this image, the timber from the splitting is tidied up before getting placed on to the ledd.


This traditional Ledd was simple and very functional. By using bungee strings and hole lot of man power the Ledd would turn by constantly pushing down on the peddle. The wood then is spun around. When the wood is spun around it is possible then to shape it. In this photo the wood looks like a chair leg or a candle holder.

This experience was a good way to start off the field project because for me a graphic designer it was helpful to see the manufacturing process of wood and it has given me a good insight into sustainable woodwork and processes.