For my main project I would like to construct a piece of furniture that stores wine bottles. I will be trying to achieve the vineyard aesthetic by using oak wood, or wood that is stained to a similar color, wine boxes possibly, rod iron, the steel hoops that hold wine barrels together and other material such as cork. Ideally I would it to store wine bottles and also be translucent so you can see the contents from the top or sides possibly. The dynamic aspect of the project will be sliding drawers and other doors for storage including a secret magnetic lock compartment. My design is really dependent on the size and shape of the wine bottle and how many bottles I would like to store. Here a few pictures I will be using as inspiration but I would like to create something unique. I also really like the idea of using recycled wood such as old shipping pallets so I may incorporate that into my design.
A few constraints that I will be subject to are the following.
- Must fulfill the “vineyard” aesthetic.
I want this coffee table to not only be able to store a few bottles of wine but I also want it to look and feel like it was created for a vineyard home. I would like to achieve this aesthetic by using similar wine racks that are found in cellars and coolers, possibly incorporating pieces from a wine barrel or wooden wine boxes, adding cork coaster inlays in the top of the table, and by staining the table to a an oak finish or darker earthy tone like the outside of an oak tree. I would also like to include a grape vine piece made out of metal if possible as a centerpiece or trim around the edges of the table. If I decide to use the wine boxes as drawers with a glass top above them, I would like to fill the boxes with shredded paper to give it that gift box display look.
- Woodworking skill
While I have made many projects out of wood, from doghouses to small cabinets, I have never taken on a project where overall finish is extremely important. I would like to create this piece as if it was purchased in a furniture store. That means no visible screws, nice sanded corners, even cuts etc… This will require me to look for a lot of inspiration on basic building design and I will have to expand my woodworking ability to deliver a quality end product.
Often times whenever I build something for the first time, half way through the project I wish that I had designed something differently or when it’s fully complete it just turns out to be not as functional and easy to use as I would like. I feel that this is very important to consider in this project because a coffee table should still be very simple and as functional as possible. I need to keep simplicity in mind while also jazzing up the design a bit and really strive to think about how I will be using it.
As many senior engineering students may find themselves during this time of year, I have very limited time to spend starting another project, especially one that will at a minimum take me 24 hours such as this one. I hope to save time by starting with a rather simple structure and targeting one main design that must be included. That way I can slowly add more and more features to the project as I find spare time. It also will allow me to have room for improvement if I cannot completely finish the project to my expectations.
Oak wood is not the cheapest material to build out of especially when you are not a master wood worker and will most likely make a few slight mistakes. The glass piece I may inlay on the top of the table may also prove to be costly as well as some of the drawer hardware I will need to make my project dynamic. I have ideas for how to slim the budget on a few of these high cost items but I will for sure be pushing the budget pretty close.
The prototype I created for the wine coffee table was a simple balsa wood model that helped me not only scale but visualize what I want the final product to look like. It also helped my figure out all the various fastening methods I will need to use. The picture on the top left is a general overview of the shape and style I would like to pursue. The model is scaled down to a tenth of the size for reference. I want to keep the design very open and free feeling versus the coffee tables that are very bulky and have very little place to put your feet. Height was a big concern of mine so I measured a few different coffee table to figure out an appropriate height. The main feature of the table shown in the top middle figure is a rectangular cut out that will be overlayed with glass so you can the wine bottles in the drawer below. The drawer will be on hinges and will slide out from under the table top. Keeping with the vineyard aesthetic I plan on buying two wine “trays” that are slimmed down versions of wine crates for the main drawer. I love the look and logos on the sides of the drawer and I plan on connecting two six bottle trays together to create one large drawer. The lower left picture is a model I made of the drawer. Below is a picture of the trays I will be using.
The table top will have a secret compartment, marked in pencil, and four built in coasters that will be made out of cork to add to the vineyard aesthetic. The secret compartment will be sized to store four wine glasses and a few other various items. A quarter of that compartment will be walled off and sealed. A small hinged section will be added to the outside with a magnet latch that will only be able to be opened with a magnet. The side opposite to the storage shown in the bottom right photo will have six holes which will house extra wine bottles.
Overall I still need to create a fully dimensioned CAD model and make a few more important design considerations including choice of wood, stain and seal that I will need to use to protect the table from wear and tear.
Presentation Video : https://youtu.be/FTNkd5bCKU4