Create a small shelf using mostly mild steel bar stock and wood. Use the materials together to create something with both form and function.
Taking inspiration from suspensions bridges, create a shelf with metal inset into the wood before reaching and attaching to the wall.
HOW I HELPED
Can we merge wood and metal into something beautiful?
Original sketches of the shelf were inspired by suspension bridges. Using this concept, I started experimenting with how I could hold a rectangular piece of wood to the wall while still having a long and elegant look to the entire shelf.
Inserting the metal into the wood gave the entire shelf a unique look. While inspired from suspension bridges, this shelf has a unique design standing on its own. It’s closed path allows your eye to travel up, down, and across the whole piece.
Making the channels in the wood piece was easy as I have previously used a milling machine. Bending the metal piece was a completely new process. I used the metal bending tools while the piece was cold as well as the oxyacetylene torch to heat and bend the metal into shape.
Once the entire piece was made, I slipped the wooden piece into it. This entire process hinged on the piece fitting the first time. If it didn’t, it would be extremely hard to remove the metal from the groves in the wood.
Unfortunately, the piece did not fit correctly. The best thing to do was remove the metal and reshape it. During the is process, there was too much force on the metal, and it sheared.
Using the broken pieces, I made two sections of metal that would hold the shelf with added brackets on the bottom to hold the weight of the shelf. I also decided to cut the bottom curved section shorter to better include the break of the wire in the design.
The metal is still inset into the wooden top. I chamfered the edges of the wood for two reasons: to hide the dents and pieces that came off after originally putting the metal on and to make the process of putting the metal on easier.