An organised environment enhances a young person’s bedroom space . Design and make a slimline, wall-mounted storage unit for use in a bedroom. A portion of the unit should provide a means of concealing a number of personal items. The unit should be of elegant proportions, enhanced by the natural beauty of solid wood. Your design should reflect the sustainable ideal of doing more with less. The maximum dimension of the unit should not exceed 500mm. Analysis of Design Brief Identification of requirements . Slimline 2. Wall mounted storage unit 3. Conceals Personal items 4. Must be of elegant proportions 5. Enhanced by beauty of solid wood 6. Do More with less 7. Should not exceed 500mm In order of importance these would be: Must be a Wall mounted storage unit that, should be slimline, Should not exceed 500mm whilst doing more with less and enhance the beauty of solid wood and should me of elegant proportions My Design Requirements for Wall mounted Storage Unit Must be Capable of storing General Items (built in requirement) Must be wall mounted (built in requirement)
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Should be easy to open Should be able to conceal personal items Should be enhanced by solid wood Must do more with less It Should be functional whilst maintaining attractiveness (Built in requirement) Must not exceed 500mm Should be of elegant proportions It should be safe and stable Investigation and Research Size and shape To begin my Investigation I measured some of the storage units in my house. The measurements of these were 423mm x 587mm, 309mm x 309mm , 400mm x 400mm and 300mm x 300mm. As the first one was bigger than the allowed dimensions (500mm x 500mm) I disregarded it.
I also did a “Google” search on the internet for most popular storage unit sizes. This produced 79 million search results, I reduced the search results by adding the phrase “in Ireland” with the domain of “. ie”. This brought the search results to an achievable 7000 results. I browsed the top ten results and the size of storage unit which seems to be most popular was 320mm x 300mm. I based my dimensions on all these factors and arrived to the final decision of 400mm x 400mm as personally I felt any less would have been too small and any more it wouldn’t be of elegant proportions.
To decide a shape I looked at magazines , catalogues ,television ads and the internet to determine what shapes were already available. The magazines used were “This is carpentry”, “Popular Woodworking” and “WOOD”. The catalogues used were “Argos” and “IKEA”. The internet had lots of images of different kinds of wall mounted storage units and a selection of these are available on the next page. There seems to be two main shapes of storage units: a rectangular shape and a more traditional square design. I decide to use the square design as I feel its more practical Materials
One of the design brief requirements is that it should enhance the beauty of solid wood. My intentions were to use only hardwoods as they are regarded as being more solid and beautiful than softwoods. After some investigation however I estimated the cost of using all hardwood to be far above my budget. Also hardwoods are far heavier than softwoods and as the storage unit is wall mounted I thought it should be lighter as there’ll be less chance of it falling off the wall. The choice I was left with was: Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, Sitka Spruce , Lodge pole pine and Larch. I looked at their dvantages and disadvantages to determine which to use DOUGLAS FIR Advantages Hard, Strong, resistant to decay , cracking, splitting. Easily worked by machine and hand tools Attractive grain Disadvantages Hard knots-difficult to work with. Can dull cutting edges SCOTS PINE or RED DEAL Advantages Fairly strong and stable, relatively easy to work with, Cheap and readily available. Finishes well, Attractive knotting, Chips away easily for pairing Disadvantage Low resistance to shock . Knots and resin can be problematic and can cause cutting and finishing problems. Chips away easily when dropped etc.
Advantages Strong and dense, cheap and readily available. Attractive grain pattern, Satisfactory finisher Disadvantages Very knotty- difficult to work with SITKA SPRUCE Advantages Lightweight, Strong, Elastic ,Easily worked with hand and machine tools. Average Finisher Disadvantages Tools must be very sharp to avoid tearing the grain. Wood is soft and easily Marked LARCH Advantages Strong, resists abrasion , cheap , relatively easy to work with , resists water well. Satisfactory finish Disadvantages Heavier than other softwoods , knots can blunt cutting edges of tools, tends to warp Chosen Material
Out of all these options I narrowed it down to two suitable woods. These were douglas fir and scots pine. My school at the time did not have any douglas fir and neither did my local wood supplier so that made my choice for me. Scots pine or red deal as its commonly known is fairly strong and stable, relatively easy to work with. It is cheap and readily available. It finishes well and has attractive knotting. It takes preservative well and takes nails and tacks without splitting . The “live knots” add character to the piece. It can be left unprotected indoors. The most common finishes are wax and Polish Appearance
The finish I chose was varnish , polyurethane clear varnish . It is resistant to Heat , water and most chemicals , although nail varnish remover (acetone) strips it . It gives protection against continual knocks and scratches . It can withstand wear and tear . It is easy to apply and is safe for children . It comes in three finishes : Gloss , satin and matte . I have chosen gloss because it brings out the shine in the wood . The varnish will expand and contract with the wood and there is a microporous version available that allows the timber to breathe . I have decided not to go for this microporous option due to cost
Development of Design Ideas Design ideas / possible solutions Taking into account the criteria of the brief I then put ideas down on paper through rough sketches to ideas drawn from other sources which included the internet and design manuals . This enabled me to visualise the finished product . Each design will have advantages and disadvantages ; It was up to me to decide which design best suits the requirements of the brief Solution 1 Advantages of solution 1 Attractive Compact- is of elegant proportions Enhances the beauty of solid wood well with the equilibrium between softwood and hardwoods
Slimline Disadvantages of solution 1 Would be tough to get softwood to match up evenly with hardwood Sides would be tricky to make as they would have to be round The curved design restricts space on inside for storage Solution 2 Advantages of solution 2 Still has ying yang design from solution 1 but is overall a better , more practical shape Stable build Could easily be wall mounted Easier to make than solution 1 Has a more practical means of storage than solution 1 Disadvantages of solution 2 Ying yang design would be even harder to match up due to it needing to fit the rest of the door also Is not slimline
Not compact – not of elegant proportions Solution 3 – Final solution *Two identical red deal doors will cover the front Advantages of solution 3 (final solution) Design is simple and easy to craft. Has the same practical storage of solution 2 but does not have the ying yang design as it would have been too tricky to manufacture. Will be easier to use finishes as the hardwood has been taken out so there’s no need to accommodate for it Disadvantages of solution 3 Without the ying yang design it looks bare and empty Heavy Not compact – not of elegant solutions Not slimline Will protrude from wall when mounted
Manufacture Mark out and cut four rectangular pieces of red deal together 400mm x 160mm Mark out intermatching finger joints on all corners e. g A to A ,B to B etc. Cut out finger joints using coping saw Sand and pare joints until they fit together Glue Interlocking joints together using G-clamps and wood glue to create basic frame Sand frame using sandpaper (left – Right) P80 ,P100,P120, a sanding block and finish it off with wet/dry Emory paper 7. Mark out and take out two pairs of trenches for shelves to slide into Mark out and cut two rectangular pieces of red deal for shelves 380mm x 160mm
Pare down inside of trench until shelves are able to slide in fully Place glue on inside of trenches and slide the shelves in and leave them dry Mark out and cut a sheet of MDF (medium density fibreboard) to be used as a back panel 400mm x 400mm Use a tack hammer to tack the MDF onto the rear of the storage unit Mark out and cut a sheet of red deal 400mm x 400mm and cut it into two equal pieces which will serve as doors Sand doors using the same method as mentioned previous to achieve a desirable smoothness to enhance the finish Attach doors using piano hinges Apply varnish Evaluation
I am overall happy with the design although I would have like to have done the ying yang design. In hindsight if I were to do this again I would make some changes: I would try to incorporate some hardwoods to give it a better and more attractive look I would add the ying yang design for doors if at all possible as I did really like it The finish I would change to beeswax as this would give it a more natural looking finish whilst protecting from water I would try to make it more compact and slimline while not sacrificing practicality and too much storage space.