Craft and Digital Manufacturing - Table

This small table was the instructor's project in the Spring 2014 course Craft and Digital Manufacturing, which explored potential opportunities in the use of a CNC router as a fine woodworking tool. The concept behind this table is to simplify its construction by merging the functions of the table apron and top into a single piece of wood, while attaching the legs directly to the top with a mortise and tenon joint. The walnut top is thicker than typical in order to provide adequate structure for the leg-top connection, but tapers dramatically to 1/4" thick edges and has a pattern of diamond-shaped pockets carved into it to reduce mass. The maple legs attach to a sliding dovetail inserted across the grain in the underside of the top. The table demonstrates shaping, patterning, and texturing, all operations that are simple to accomplish with numeric control but would be difficult to accomplish without digitally assisted machines. The table top required fifteen separate toolpaths to produce, run in four separate sequences. The major operations to shape the components and cut the joinery were all done on CNC routers, while a standard process of planing, scraping, and sanding was uses before applying the shellac finish.