September 27, 2005

Corrugated Cardboard Bedside Table

Here's the pictures from my first big construction undertaking: building and completion of the beside table I made from some cardboard.

So a couple years ago a guy in my fraternity made a chair our of cardboard. I saw it last year, in the dumpster. Sad. He had graduated less than a year ago, but it got thrown out. Oh well, he made a way cooler chair since then, so I suppose it all worked out.

Anyway, i got the idea to make something out of cardboard from him since it is easy to get a whole bunch of at the beginning of the first semester every year. Ya see, the freshmen architecture students all have to get a drafting board (basically a big tabletop to put on the crappy old drafting tables in the worst studio space on the planet (Flagg Hall, if you're familiar with the UIUC campus). The drafting boards are about 3 by 4 foot, and come in cardboard boxes. So I made a few trips to the studio dumpsters and carried 8 of the boxes back. So that gave me 16, 3' by 4' pieces of cardboard.

I wanted to make a big shelving unit to put my tv and some books on, but I I thought that cardboard wouldnt really be stable enough to support all that weight and I figured that was a pretty big undertaking for my first project. I had been using a plastic storage bin as my bedside table; thus, due to neccesity and simplicity, I decided on a bedside table.

It began with deciding on the design. I wanted to make something cool looking but functional. After a whole lot of sketches, I gave up on cool looking and settled on utilitarian. I thought about cutting a slot halfway through the sides of the shelves and the side supports and slide them together. That would make half the shelf sturdy, but half of it with much less support, so I decided on cutting two slots in the side supports and cutting pegs on the shelves. Cutting the slots about an eighth of an inch smaller than the pegs made for a tight fit, so I didn't have to glue it together and can disassemble it when I move.

I made the sides and shelves 5 layers thick using double layered corrugated cardboard. I was going to alternate the directions of the corrugation but i wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and ended up with a pile of corrugated sheets going all the same direction except two of side panels.

It's pretty much all eyeballed in the measurement department. I made it about 28" high and 22" wide. The two pegs on each side of each shelf are about 5 inches wide.

So, half a bottle of tacky glue, a pile of carboard, two razor knife cuts, and half a month later I have a finished product. NOTE: It didn't actually take a month to finish, rather 3-4 hours (not counting glue drying time) of cutting and assembling... I just never had time to get around to it. I still need to erase some of my pencil reference lines. I was trying to think of someway to decorate it a bit more... Possibly peeling off one of the smooth layer of the cardboard to expose the corrugation and use that as some sort of border or something, but I'll probably just leave it with the minimalist look.

Posted by hollimer at 8:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack