Last summer I sent a few end tables to a customer in Minnesota. She liked the design of the Modern Milkman stool but wanted a square top, which of course meant 4 legs instead of 3. I finished the tables and shipped them to the customer. Shipping is a big issue as many of my orders go to the USA, and shipping charges are a combination of weight and volume. I’ve generally stuck to smaller furniture commissions as the shipping price for larger items can be astronomical.
My customer from last summer contacted me shortly after Christmas asking if I could design a console table as well as a bench from walnut. I told them I could, but due to the volume of the pieces, the shipping charges might be outrageous. They replied “couldn’t you ship it with the legs detached?”. This is in fact something I’ve been wanting to do for several years. I had a few prototypes that I had made but had run out of time and never perfected. I decided I’d take on the challenge, as this would also allow me to use an idea I’ve had for a while to reduce the amount of wood being used in my pieces. Wood is quite expensive, and while it does “grow on trees” there isn’t an infinite supply and I’m always keen to reduce how much I’m consuming.
So above we see my solution. The tops are made from two pieces of walnut laminated together, but before I do this, the legs are cut from the bottom piece. The tops are still very strong, yet quite a bit of wood is saved. The legs attach with allen key bolts and since they are going into a deep mortise, they are very strong. This method not only saves material, but also reduces the weight, and the volume of the shipment. It may not seem like a big deal, but shipping this bench assembled vs. flat pack is $250 vs. $85!
I’m looking forward to exploring this design further in the future, if you’re interested in a custom order send me a message via my contact page.