Post 10: Iris Mechanism Table Progress Report

Since my last post, I have purchased materials and began working on fabrication. So far, I’ve cut out all of the pieces from the plywood sheet I’m using, which can be seen below.

To cut the trapezoidal pieces seen on the left side of the image above, I first cut a plank out of the sheet of plywood to the correct width using a table saw, then used a miter saw to cut the angles. The pieces in the middle will make up the base of the table, and were cut on the table saw by angling the blade. The circular pieces were by far the hardest piece to manufacture. I drew the circle on the piece of wood then cut it out using a jigsaw, and then sanding in down to size. The second circle was cut by screwing the circle to another piece of wood then using a router to cut it to size of the first circle.

My next steps are going to be cutting out the middles of the circle to create an opening to see the iris mechanism and then putting grooves in the bottom circular piece as tracks for the trapezoidal pieces to slide in. For a more detailed description of this mechanism, see my last post. Once these grooves are cut, I’ll be putting dowels into each trapezoidal piece to act as sliders, then a cable around the perimeter of the pieces to get them to move in unison. The open and closed configurations of the mechanism can be seen in the two pictures below.


I plan on using a combination of paint and wood stain to create and nice finish on the top of the table as well as to create contrast in the blades of the iris mechanism. The blades will be painted a darker color to follow the aesthetic of a camera aperture. The mechanism to open and close the blades will use a knob that can be turned to easily operate it.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Looks good Jonah, I’m excited to see the final product. Do you have plans for painting or polishing the table? I think either would look great, depending on your aesthetic. Great work, love the ambition.

  • Riley Dressel
    April 23, 2023 1:24 pm

    You certainly have an ambitious project! I have to say the progress you’ve made is impressive, and I think it will be incredibly interesting to see how it all comes together, best of luck finalizing the piece!


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