X Machina

For the second assignment, Ben wanted us to truly understand a saying he presented in class –


“Nobody wants the first pancake”.


Basically, your first output will always be shitty, but it’ll be the one you learn the most from.

So I said cool. Lets make something I’m actually going to use this time, and so I landed on shelves. Now there might be many kinds of shelves, but I needed something that was going to help acquaint myself with the idea of wood and working with it. And voila! X shaped shelves. Cool, yet basic.

The What

You got that right. What is an X shaped shelf? How do I even begin? Well,it all has to start with a nice big plank of wood.

But first, prototypes!

Exhibit A : The unlucky one

In the scrap bin I found these two great identical pieces.

So using the band saw, I decided to cut two grooves to see if this would even work.

Which it did. In a way.

But it seems like I might have overestimated the groove widths. Whoops.

Exhibit B : You’re getting better Shreiya

I happened to find two more pieces. Because the scrap pile is one of great gifted wonders.

Same process again.

I just felt like I had ended up with a Tars-like (Interstellar?) mini wooden replica.

The Structure + The Real Thing

Here’s a nice piece of pine I found at Ace Hardware.

Now because we have to make 5 of them (Yes, Ben really wants us to learn), I’m going to have to cut this piece up into 10 equal pieces.

Nice. Now we’re getting somewhere.

A little too rough, maybe.

I think the shelves would give a more finished look if we rounded the edges off a little perhaps.

Oh Definitely

Things I didn’t look out for

If you’re falling in love with the sanding machine, please keep in mind how much of your is being eaten,
because guess what – you now have sort of un-identical pieces. Thank goodness for the forgiving design.

What would be the best method to cut the grooves nicely?

Working with the power saw

While it was efficient, it didn’t really give me the nice smooth rounded finish I was getting from the machine next to the drill press (will edit this post after asking someone), but the blade was bending because of my angles so I had to think of this alternative.

And as we learned from the uneven smoothening, we’ve lost that perfect balance.

But like I said, thank goodness the design is a forgiving one!

Alright, so let’s now use the bandsaw and make some cuts!

Ta Da!

One thought on “X Machina

  1. Nice work. Glad you worked out a prototype before you went for it with your good material.

    The way you made your slots in the wood is fine, but there are other ways. You could have drilled a hole the diameter of your slot in the center and then cut two lines to the hole on the bandsaw. You could have nibbled out a slot on the bandsaw (it would have taken a long time though).

    I would have used a stop block when first cutting the material down on the miter saw.

    And I agree with you, watch out for the sander, it eats material.

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