Upcycle Progress – Wood Veneer Scraps

For my upcycle project I’ll be using scraps of wood veneer from a custom ski shop I used to work at in my home town of Telluride, CO. Wagner skis creates custom designed skis, and customers have the option to have a wood veneer as the top sheet for their ski. About 12 – 16 inches has to be cut off the veneers in order for the skis to fit in the press, so I take these scraps and use them for a variety of projects.

I wanted to use some sort of parametric modeling to create interlocking cross sections with the wood. Through some google image searching I found that a great use for this would be to make a hanging pendant light shade. I found a few images that inspired me, and drew some concept sketches.

From these concept sketches I started modeling in rhino, experimenting with many different techniques of making the natural looking, twisty kind of structure I was after. Once I had a shop I was happy with, I brought my model into Autodesk Slicer to generate the laser-cuttable cross sections.

I then laser cut these pieces out of paper as a prototype to make sure I would actually be able to fit them together. Which it turns out I can’t because I didn’t label any of the pieces, making it next to impossible to figure out which piece goes in which slot. Next time I’ll make sure to export the last cutter files in a way that labels them so that I can easily see how to put them together. Also I still need to find a light to put inside, and figure out how to attach the shade to the light. I’m really excited for this project and I think it will turn out as a really cool and functional piece of art.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • I really like that you’re trying to create a large form out of veneer. We typically think of veneer as a thin, unstable wood that is used superficially for its looks. However, since your form is so large and you would probably want to do several prototypes, scaling down your form for laser cutting might be a good idea. This would reduce the amount of wood you have to use and make it easier to put together for testing. When I did my laser cuts, I just quickly numbered the pieces by hand which made putting it together much faster.

  • Alexis Nibbelink
    February 1, 2019 11:43 am

    Hi Jack, this looks like it’s going to be a very cool project. I’ve always liked the aesthetics of wood and I thinks it’s amazing how versatile wood can be. These lamps are a great example. I look forward to seeing the final product.


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