Bending Wood.Posted: November 27, 2014
I have been experimenting with solid wood to create a bendable and directional light. These two pieces are cut from lime wood and oak, it is important that I use hard woods for this concept as the soft woods such as pine do not have the strength to withstand the bending. This is because the rings are further apart in soft woods due to the speed at which they grow, a hardwood tree will grow slower meaning that the rings are closer together.
This is a piece in pine, which broke as the bend reached its limit and illustrates why it is important to use a hard wood.
Now I have successful experimentation I need to work out how I will wire up the light, I can either attempt to conceal the wire within the wood, which will mean creating the piece in sections as a hole will need to be drilled through the wood. The alternative is to use fabric flex, in a similar way to my flatpack lights. This will make a feature of the wiring as well as the bend of the wood.
Because I want the lighting to be adjustable I am going to need to be able to fix the light in place at varying angles. I plan to do this using wedges of perspex that will slot into the cuts. I have created a prototype below using Rhino and then cut in model board using a CNC milling machine, it gives an idea of the size of what can be inserted into the wood. Because the size of the cut is 3mm I can only insert something that goes up to a maximum of 5mm. This is a very tight fit, so perhaps losing half a millimetre from the end would make it easier to insert and remove. A number of these will be needed to create a larger wedge, so I want to use a material that is clear. I will be meeting with Dipec, a company that specialises in fabricating 3D plastics, in the next few days to find out what they can do to help me create accurate perspex versions of my designs.
I now need to focus on designing a suitable base that will also have storage space for the wedges.