On our way to the lumberyard this morning, Brendan and I stopped at the local IKEA to check out an interesting joint used on some of IKEA’s more expensive tables. Also, Brendan likes the meatballs there.
The joint is used on the company’s Lisabo tables and is a prime example of how CNC can be used to improve the craft. Instead of using a CNC to cut an ancient joint, the designers created an entirely new knockdown joint. It’s a self-wedging tapered tenon that locks with a single screw.
We were both impressed by the joint’s rigidity and simplicity. Still, I wasn’t there to buy an IKEA table. We also checked out several of IKEA’s other semi-staked designs. One used a threaded tenon to attach the leg – nice but the lack of rake and splay killed the look.
We also checked out a table with a flying saucer design. The legs use machine screws and a threaded plate to attach them to the top. Very clever, but it is inherently a weak design as the machine screw is embedded in end grain. These tables are $30 and are not expected to last long.
There also was a fascinating staked sitting bench that used a clever way to introduce rake and splay to the bench. The rake was drilled into the cross battens. The splay was introduced by insetting the batten at an angle. Again, a great application of CNC.
The bench was pretty comfortable. Not comfortable enough to purchase, however.
IKEA scored only two sales from us today. First was the meatballs with gravy (yum, gray food), which Brendan snarfed down in a few minutes.
The second purchase was a couple sheepskins for my Welsh chairs. While in Wales, I noticed that John Brown’s extended family used sheepskins on their chairs to add comfort and warmth. These skins were a shocking $29.99. I bought two and we tried them out at dinner tonight (which was also not meatballs).
My daughter Katy reports: “They make me feel like royalty.”
— Christopher Schwarz