with Daniel Eatock

An invitation / brief

Design a piece of furniture to be constructed from one or more complete sheets of plywood without waste. Fixings, fittings and finishes are allowed.

Translate your design and construction process into text only, allowing another person to reproduce your design exactly from your instructions and description.


Specification: all fixings using 40mm wood screws at 100 centres 40mm from any end. Fixing from flat face through to perpendicular abutting piece. Screw to be located at centre line of abutting piece. All cuts by table saw perpendicular to edges timber.

Cut sheet from one side to get 4 strips 1200 long and widths: 300, 600, 700, 800.Cut 700 strip in half to get 2 pieces 700 by approx 600. Cut 800 strip to get 2 strips 500 by 800 and remainder approx 800 by 200. Cut one of the 500 by 800 in half to get 2 pieces 500 by 400.

Take 300 by 1200 piece. Fix long edge to long edge of 600 by 1200 piece to form a butt joint where 600mm wide piece wins. Fix the two 700 by 600 pieces perpendicular to either side of the joined pieces, so that the 600 common dimension is aligned and the corners of each piece meet.

Take 200 by 800 piece. Fix long edge to long edge of 800 by 500 piece to form a butt joint where 600mm wide piece wins. Fix the two 500 by 400 pieces perpendicular to either side of the joined pieces, so that the 500 common dimension is aligned and the corners of each piece meet.

18mm thick sheet

cut 8 by 4 equally into 6 to get 6no. 400 by 1200 sheets. glue and screw 4 of the sheets together to form a block 1200 by 400 by 72mm. locate remaining single pieces either side of long edge so that the 1200 common dim is aligned, 72mm long edge is located perpendicular to face of single piece and centre lines meet. This should form the shape of an extruded I. screw fix at 200mm centres from face of flange through to web, locating the centre line of each single piece that makes up web so that from either face there is a line of four screws every 200mm down length of piece

Ply sheet: 1no. 15mm fine sanded and water-based lacquered applied. Additional items: 10 hinges + 18mm long wood screws and approximately 6 washers to match. 1 threaded bolt about 8mm diameter, 450mm long, 8 washers, 8 nuts. Quality: all cuts using table saw. Process: cut sheet into 3 equal width strips along long axis. Take 1 strip and proceed with following complete process, then repeat with remaining two strips. Equally divide strip into 6 along length, but do not cut. Do not leave permanent marks on wood. At centre point of each square, rout hole 9mm wide and 50mm long in same direction as long axis. Cut 4 of the 5 divisions, to leave 4 squares and 1 rectangle. Reassemble into flat strip with rectangle at one end. Beginning with junction between rectangle and square fix hinge at both ends with flanges fixed to top face. Repeat process for remaining junctions but alternate between top and bottom faces so that when completed the strip would effectively concertina except at last square repeat face on which hinge is fixed and also fix two hinges to far edge on other face. Fold up strip so that edge of square with loose hinges meets centre line of rectangle. At this stage object will be in approximately final form. Align top face with centre line and fix loose flange of hinge to rectangle. Pack gap between flange of hinge and rectangle face with washers to allow for thickness of pivot. Run threaded bolt through the four aligned holes of the legs, placing a washer and nut against each face of leg. Adjust position of legs and nuts until satisfactory sitting position is achieved.


Cut the sheet in half across the middle (into two squares) with a rip-saw or other reliable tool.

Find a washable marker pen with which to draw out points and lines on the wood. Find a ruler (preferably 1m long), and a T-square. Take one of the two squares of wood you have cut and put it flat on a reliable surface (eg. the floor, or a large clear bench or table).

Taking the edge of the wood nearest to you as the bottom of the sheet, mark out the following 74 points, measuring from the bottom left corner of the half-sheet you have cut. Each point is described with two measurements: X and Y co-ordinates from the bottom left corner of the sheet. For each point, X distances are measured horizontally (from left to right) and Y distances vertically (from bottom upwards). The X distance is the first number, the Y distance is the second. All distances are in millimetres. As you mark out each point (drawing a small cross with the pen), number each cross as they are listed here:

1: 112, 68
2: 112, 237
3: 93, 204
4: 50, 229
5: 120, 350
6: 173, 350
7: 173, 68

8: 193, 174
9: 193, 224
10: 297,224
11: 297, 174

12: 327, 50
13: 327, 350
14: 377, 350
15: 377, 100
16: 477, 100
17: 477, 50

18: 507, 50
19: 507, 350
20: 557, 350
21: 557, 50

22: 597, 50
23: 587, 350
24: 627, 350
25: 740, 163
26: 740, 350
27: 790, 350
28: 790, 50
29: 750, 50
30: 637, 237
31: 637, 50

32: 820, 50
33: 820, 350
34: 970, 350
35: 970, 300
36: 870, 300
37: 870, 225
38: 945, 225
39: 945, 175
40: 870, 175
41: 870, 100
42: 970, 100
43: 970, 50

44: 990, 50
45: 990, 350
46: 1120, 350
47: 1170, 268
48: 1170, 175
49: 1140, 175
50: 1170, 125
51: 1170, 50
52: 1120, 50
53: 1120, 110
54: 1080, 175
55: 1080, 225
56: 1120, 225
57: 1120, 268
58: 1100, 300
59: 1040, 300
60: 1040, 50

61: 60, 350
62: 60, 372
63: 1160, 680
64: 1160, 710
65: 1160, 860
66: 1160, 890
67: 1160, 940
68: 1160, 960
69: 1160, 1094
70: 1160, 1124
71: 1160, 1120
72: 1160, 990
73: 1160, 930
74: 1160, 820

Now draw lines to link the following points in a series of dot-to-dot exercises: 1-7, 8-11, 12-17, 18-21, 22-31, 32-43, 44-60. You should have marked out a series of 7 closed shapes. They should clearly spell out a well-known phrase. If not, check the setting out of the points and correct. Number the shapes 1-7 from the left.

Now use a suitable 6mm router bit to cut along the lines you have marked. Start at the lowest numbered point on each shape you have drawn. The router bit should always be centred on the line. Use any temporary supports, sacrificial backing boards, guides, clamps, etc. that you need to keep all lines dead straight and prevent the plywood breaking out around the cut. Take care not to overrun at the corners of shapes.

When all shapes have been cut, use the router to drill holes at points numbers 61-74. Next, countersink each hole carefully, to provide flush fitting for a countersunk 30mm long M6 hex-head bolt. Also, take the shapes numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 and drill holes in the top edge of each shape (top given the way they were originally positioned relative to the board). These holes are to be on the centreline of each edge (i.e. 9mm from either face), inset 10mm from the sharp arris that should form a corner at the end of each edge. Fit each hole with the captive threaded sleeve (or wood insert) for the M6 bolt. The sleeve should be finished flush with the surface of the edge of the plywood. Depending on how confident you are about your accuracy at this stage, you may wish to drill only one hole to each shape at this stage, then offer them up according to the next set of instructions, in order to check the marked position of each of the second holes before drilling.

It should now be possible to raise the square sheet of wood and support it on the shapes you have cut. Shape 1 should align with points 61 & 62, Shape 3 with points 63 & 64, Shape 4 with points 65 & 66, Shape 6 with points 67-70 inclusive, Shape 6 with points 71 & 72, and Shape 7 with points 73 & 74. All shapes to be positioned facing out from the sheet according to the conventions of normal lettering. Once all shapes are fixed to the underside of the sheet and are being used to support it, place Shape 2 between the bottom edge of Shape 1 and the floor.

Clean off all pen marking. Use the completed ensemble as you see fit (it may wobble, in which case just look at it).

Providing you enjoy the experience of making and using this object, repeat this exercise with the other square half sheet, thus using all the plywood. You should end up with two identical pieces: one for home, and for one for exhibition at fashionable design exhibitions in the East End of London.
1no. 1220 x 2440 sheet ply, 26mm thick, veneer chosen according to individual preference. Wood glue & 12mm dowel (1inch 6 gauge countersunk brass wood screws as an option)

Draw a line across the short axis of the sheet, splitting it into two equal 1220 x 1220mm squares. Locate centre point of each square. Draw circle, radius 550mm on each centre point. Draw line along long axis of entire sheet, passing through each centre point. Draw line through each centre point across sheet, parallel to ends of sheet. Using small drill bit, make starter hole and cut out each circle. Glue and clamp both circular pieces together. Cut remainder of sheet along the lines already drawn. This will result in eight identical pieces. Take two of these pieces and arrange them next to each other, with the long straight edge of one against the same edge of the other. They should form an inverted T. Flip the left hand piece so it's other long edge is at the top. Keeping the long edges parallel, lap this piece over the other until their overall width, measured parallel to the long edges, is 1050mm. Fix the two pieces in place, first with wood glue, then by drilling three equally spaced 11mm holes along the overlapped area and tapping in sections of 12mm dowel ( or screws if preferred). Repeat with the next two pieces. Repeat with the last four pieces but instead of lapping the first piece over the other, slide it under. There should now be one circular piece and two pairs of identical curved composite sections. Take the first composite and fix to underside of circular piece along a line parallel to the centre line, offset by 85mm. Ensure the piece fixed directly to the circular element is nearest the centre of the circle. Prop during drying. Take the second composite from the other pair and fix at 900 to the first so their upright edges form a strong, glued corner. Do the same with the remaining two composites so a square void is formed in the middle. Once dry, turn so circular piece is uppermost.