Tables, Benches, and Utah

I never know how to start these things.  Especially posts like this one that are just updates about stuff that largely doesn’t matter.  As is, there’s no real point to what I’m about to type other than to just talk about things that have happened in the last couple of weeks and post some fun pictures of a few different projects that have wrapped up recently.

I did this drawing that I really like:

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Nothing else really to say about that.

      I just got back from Utah and a meeting with a professor at the University of Utah who was helping me with image reconstruction.  Aside from getting to do some really fun math about the CT image reconstruction process, he helped make salient some of the stuff that I was really struggling with.  I’m like *this* close (you can’t tell, but it’s really close), to having some really good image reconstructions.  I’ll hopefully do a dedicated past on it sometime because it’s pretty much the entirety of my work at UCLA right now and pretty darn cool.  I’ve been kind of stuck in a rut with the rebinning algorithm recently and I feel pretty confident that this trip jarred me loose from that.  It’s just a matter of turning all of the theory that we discussed into actual code and then images.  It did make me feel pretty good though that Dr. Noo liked my GPU implementation (he was impressed with the speed, even if it wasn’t 100% accurate).  

    Yesterday, Jack and I powered through the final steps of a bench that we started a week ago but ran out of time since we were also building a table that same day.  Let’s start with the table:

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    The table is very similar to the table I built to go behind my bed.  It’s a nice design to use: it’s easy to adapt to different sizes, it’s made mostly of 2x4s so it’s cheap, but the tapered legs help it not look so chunky, and finally, it’s solid and can be banged together in a few hours if you have the right tools.  This one in particular we made to go to the right of the front door as you walk in Jack’s apartment (soon also to be my apartment as well).  We stained it to get as least kind of close to a bookcase that it abuts and give it a little bit of protection.  It stands about three feet high.  If you look closely, we actually tapered both sides of the legs at slightly different angles.  This was actually done to correct the fact that I had originally cut the tapers to shallow leaving the legs looking chunky, but I think this look works well for table and thinned out the legs nicely.  I can’t find the website I got the original plans from, but if I do, I’ll post it.

I’ve done variations on it for my kitchen-table-to-workbench conversion, this table, and my “headboard.”  They can all be seen on the “current projects” page.  I definitely see myself using it again in the future for whenever I need a simple table.9/

Yesterday we wrapped on this bench that we did most of the cutting for when we did the table, but because it’s meant to go on a rooftop patio we spent appreciably more time finishing and staining it.  It sucks doing things the “right” way sometimes… it ended up taking the both of us about six hours to go from cut lumber to an assembled bench what with all of the sanding, staining and finishing cuts we had to do.  What we ended up with kind of surprised both of us: it looked great and ended up being about the perfect height and size.  There’s a gentle curve to the seat and we were worried it might be too “aggressive,” but it was wonderful.

Sorry about the poor photo quality...

Sorry about the poor photo quality...

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Jack found the design for the bench at http://www.woodgears.ca/napping_bench/index.html however we modified it away from all of the “two-by” construction for weight and general appearance: the bench slats are 1x4s and the cross pieces that the bench slats sit on was reduced to 1x6s.  We made it five feet long down from the six feet in the plans.  The bench slats are pine which is probably a little softer than would be ideal (i.e. there’s a tiny little bit of give if you sit precisely in the middle) but we selected them for availability and affordability with the plan that if this bench came out nicely we would buy nicer wood for a second bench.  We’re thinking cedar for the next one.

 Before we build the next bench though, we’ve gotta make a table so that we can play board games!  We haven’t had one for a while now and not being about to play at a table has severely limited what we can play!

 I also want to throw out that Jack and I are hopefully going to be making and posting more stuff as time goes on and are both interested doing and learning more.  We’re also woking on the idea of a dedicated website where we showcase our individual projects as well as the stuff that we collaborate on and maybe even selling some of the work; the wood working projects won’t be for sale until we get a little bit better, but we would be willing to discuss.  If you like what you see, let us know by leaving comments or signing the “guestbook” (aka the “contact me” page).  “Likes” are nice, but comments are better!

This post will hopefully be followed shortly by an update on a mobile I made for my parents and some other aluminum stuff I've been working on.  Enjoy!

<3,

John