Dan’s joints!

Dan has made these striking, functional and decorative joints on our CNC – these are his comments about the inspiration, the process and the techniques used:

‘’I’ve always been interested in modern fabrication: it provides the means to rapidly prototype ideas and thoughts. A common misconception is that it closes the door on traditional hand crafting but I see it as another tool which can be used to build on traditional techniques. In starting this project I reflected on jointing techniques and aimed to expand on them with the technology we have available at Touch Design Group.

Both traditional and modern techniques have their limitations. In traditional woodworking there are time and accuracy limits, with modern techniques the limits are due to the sizes of the tooling – but it is accurate, quick and consistent when doing repeat designs like these. I also wanted to incorporate curves into the joints, something that is difficult to replicate by hand.

Designing them required an awareness of the constraints in play, including the cutting length and diameter of the tool.  I had to overcome some challenges to cut the parts, including a less conventional holding technique in order to machine end grain sections. I also had to spend some time to machine test pieces to a suitable tolerance, ensuring a tight fit during assembly. Another challenge was the set up, I had to use complex machining strategy which is built into the software to machine around the fragile sections of the joint with reasonable speed.

It was a tricky job but an enjoyable and rewarding process and I am pleased with the result both visually and practically. The next stage and challenge for TDG is to incorporate them into a functional design.’’

Dan is our CNC manager and joined us after  graduating from Plymouth University having studied 3D design, on the Design Maker course.

At Touch Design Group we combine traditional craftsmanship with computer aided manufacturing; both have equal place in our designs, the high precision of CNC manufacturing complements the work of our highly skilled cabinet makers.