Exploring different materials

This week for Fabrication, we learned about different materials, and we were assigned to make something using two different materials that aren’t plywood or acrylic. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to make, so I scoured through Home Depot looking for inspiration.

As I walked through their aisles, I found these square marble tiles that weren’t too expensive, so I decided to buy enough to build a chessboard. I’ve had a Lanier Graham chess set at home for a while now that I haven’t had a board for, so I thought that it’d be nice to build a chess set out of marble and wood that I can place on my living room table to play with my roommate. The chess set is super minimal, so I think the marble will provide a strange juxtaposition between the minimal and the decadent.

Here are my materials:

I first sketched out the design to make sure that I had the right measurements. I then cut out a piece of plywood to serve as the base.

I used the thistothat website to find out how to adhere tile to wood. They suggested that I use 5 min epoxy, so I epoxied each stone onto the plywood base to create a checkerboard pattern.

I then cut and sanded the cherry wood to create a frame that fit the base. I was going to glue them to the base using wood glue, but I did not think the color of the frame contrasted enough with the stone. I am going to finish the cherry wood before I glue it onto the board using wood glue.

This assignment was an interesting one in that it began to dawn on me the limitations and constraints of materials. There were a lot of things I’d probably do differently depending on what material I chose. I was fortunate to have found already cut marble, but I wonder how I would have gone about things if I had to cut this myself. At Home Depot, I had the choice of choosing walnut or cherry, and I only chose cherry because it was a little more affordable and the woods had fewer knots. If I chose walnut, I may have not needed to finish the wood, although trimming and cutting walnut might’ve taken more time than cherry. This assignment really showed me the different tradeoffs that one must think about when choosing materials.

I also didn’t really get to explore fasteners that much, as there wasn’t too many options in fastening stone to plywood. I hope to explore more fasteners besides glue in my next assignment.