welcome to my blog

designing and building with wood channels my creativity and challenges my mind.
This blog is a record of my life in my studio.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fluval Nano aquarium stand in cherry and purple heart

Recently, I got a commission from Skipton Unique Aquaria and Reptiles in Boston, MA, to build a nice stand for a Fluval Nano reef aquarium display next to the store's checkout counter.  I took some photos of the stand in my shop while I waited for the last coat of oil to dry.

The project began as a very basic frame and panel stand.  As I try to do at least one new thing with every project, this was the first time I used my router table to cut raised profiles on hardwood panels.  Previously, all my frame and panel cases used plywood panels. 

I wanted to give a subtle "lift" to the stand, and so I went with top and bottom horizontal panels with a sharp bevel running along their edges.

About halfway through the build, I started thinking I should push the envelope just a little bit.  And around that same time, I ran out of cherry lumber, with the adjustable shelves still left to make.  So I dug out a nice piece of purple heart, and cut the shelves from that - making a nice little surprise for anybody who opens the front door of the stand.  I wanted to give a hint of what was inside, so I hand-carved a door handle out of purple heart as well, and also added two vertical purple stripes to the back panel.

The handle was made by first cutting profiles on either side of a stick of purple heart with a 3/4" core box router bit.  Then, I cut the end profiles on the band saw.  After cleaning up the curves on my 6"x48" linishing sander,  I cut out the sides of the handle on the band saw, giving it an hourglass shape.  I finished it off with 220 grit sandpaper in the palm of my hand.  The result is cool and curved and smooth. 

The photos show the stand before rubbing out the oil finish, which will impart a smooth sheen.


No comments:

Post a Comment