This May I was in the throes of finishing up my toolbox and thinking about my table project. Table is a loose term. It really just needs to be something that employs table construction. As I do on occasion, I went down one day to play one of the pianos that the Piano Technology students practice on. Seven lines into Maple Leaf Rag, I realized that I should make a piano bench. It makes sense with my love for piano, would satisfy a number of table requirements, and was chock full of new operations and techniques. It took several sketches and conversations before I came up with the design of the stool in the photo to the left but that initial idea was the necessary spark of inspiration that I was craving.
Getting approval to make a piano stool became its own challenge. Apparently, putting the weight of a human on a small set of wooden threads just doesn't seem safe to some people. I fought that notion, figuring if the thing breaks, at least we'll know. Though my most wizard-like teacher adamantly opposed the wooden screw initially, he eventually became quite involved and enthusiastic (for him at least) in the engineering and design of the project. A great find at a New Hampshire tool sale supplied the wooden screw and nut, which were part of a large wooden clamp. Using one gigantic board of stunning red birch and plenty of instruction from my teachers, I built the petite and elegant piano stool which is now on display at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Here are a few photos from the building process.