• Robert Buehler

Digital Fabrication: "Join Up" (Display for Mold Project)


  1. To display my slip-cast bird figurines, I wanted to create a simple/classic, kitsch sort of wall shelf. In ideating, I was considering shelves like those adorning the living room walls of my grandparents' homes - not at all functional, and purely decorative. I began by creating a simple circle with an eight inch diameter, and cut this in half. The boards I chose to cut my components from is only 5 inches wide, so all of the pieces had to fit within that width.

  2. Second, I made a brace for the small hemisphere. rather than a simple L-type bracket, I wanted something that maybe looked slightly phallic, from the right angle.

  3. I chose a simple locking joint. Figuring out the dimensions of these little tab guys was tricky. Initially I made them half inch, by half inch, by half inch... not realizing the board was not half an inch wide. With some help, I realized the width of this joint had to match the width of the board (.76 in.). The length of the tab could remain at half an inch, and the depth could also remain at half an inch, as to not fully penetrate the hemisphere. Since the CNC cannot router perfect right angles, we also had to drill .25" holes at each interior corner of the joints.

  4. To give a bit more visual interest to the shelf, and speak more to the rural kitsch I am referencing, I did a quick decorative edge routering on each half circle.

  5. After routering (and giving the parts a quick sanding), I did a few passes over the oak with a "provincial" wood stain.

  6. Once the parts were cut, routered, and stained... it was as simple as popping the two components together. I placed some wood glue in the joint cavities and pressed the brackets into place. Because the fit was snug, I did not need to clamp them in any way.

  7. Using my Dremel, I drilled out pockets for keyholes in the back of each of the vertical bracket components. This would allow the shelves to hang flush against the wall.



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