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

Monday, March 12, 2012

AirCab: The style and price of Ikea... with heirloom quality

I am always trying to come up with production piece ideas, while learning more about the craft and doing custom work. Production pieces present unique challenges: whereas with one-off furniture the goal is to
bring the design to life - no matter what it takes - with production pieces the building process informs the design, and vice-versa.

I've been thinking over a low-cost (very low - in the $100's) cabinet product for months. Something for people like me and my friends, looking for higher quality furniture than from Ikea, but not something that breaks the bank. Something that takes advantage of unused space, so city dwellers can keep cramped condos organized. But until recently I had been envisioning a corner cabinet. It was only a couple of weeks ago I thought of something even better: the AirCab.

AirCab is a wall-mounted cabinet with sliding doors that don't get in the way, even when AirCab is mounted somewhere really tight, like a bathroom or foyer.

It's made from 100% aircraft-grade (un-certified) Baltic Birch plywood. The sliding doors are done without any plastic or metal track, and required a creative new design using thin-kerf tracks and some amazing 5-ply 1/16"  plywood "fins" that keep the doors over their tracks.

Production furniture, especially when it's made for real people who consider the price, is at its best when the form follows function both in terms of use, and in terms of streamlined manufacturing. AirCab achieves this goal to a pretty high degree, and promises more streamlined production as demand (and the size of my production runs) grows. That gives AirCab a pretty bright future.

The current design for mounting AirCab is as simple as can be: a "French cleat" is screwed to a pair of wall studs, and the AirCab simply drops into place on the cleat. Once you locate the studs, installation takes about three minutes.

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