Are you watching Ellen’s Design Challenge? We’re going behind the scenes of the show’s third episode with carpenter Chip Wade to find out more about the winning piece — Tim and Chip’s modern wood-and-metal dining table.
Read on for Chip’s commentary on the winning design: For this challenge, each designer got to pick a chair. Little did they know that we would have to build a dining table that perfectly complemented a full set of 6 of the chairs. In this challenge, Tim chose an iconic Panton chair in white.
With such a statement chair, you can only imagine the difficulty creating a dining table that complements such an iconic piece without being completely overtaken by it. We certainly did not hold back our boldness with materials and style. Tim loves the art of hot rod building as well, so we decided to make a table more reminiscent of a sports car, picking up on some of the subtle movement lines of the Panton chair. The table started with a statement monolithic base crafted from hand bent 5/8-inch steel rods. The table foot, as we called it, had to be positioned correctly of the tables center of mass and still give the feeling of balance while eluding to forward movement. The balancing point of this table was a wildcard given the unknown of the specific live edge timber we would eventually find.
We then created cardboard templates for the side metal panels and cut the s shaped pieces with a hand held plasma cutter. We shaped the piece to the frame with an English wheel, a tool often used to form metal contours like that of a motorcycle gas tank. The fun detail here is we welded the side metal panels of the leg from the inside, leaving the 5/8″ frame rod exposed creating a rounded edge. This gave the table base the feeling of a cast metal chunk rather than a welded piece, a critical design element that I loved creating. The argument over the specific piece of material with Carly and Jeff was completely real; in fact,we actually redesigned the table (for real) because we had to change the piece of wood at the last minute. Tim and I figured it would be better to just give them the slab they wanted and we could come up with something just as good again. The center of the table was created from the same metal as the base to make the final live edge wooden detail feel as though it is being split into like a racing stripe by the metal base. A fun detail I created on the corner of the table is a steel butterfly joint. This joint echoed the material of the base onto the table top and provided a creative alternative to the classic wood butterfly used to keep deep cracks from splitting any further in large solid stock wooden pieces. The final product was pretty striking, with sleek lines and sexy curves. With only 2 materials showcased, this table is arguably as beautifully artful as it is functional.
Thanks, Chip! See more of the finished piece in episode three’s behind-the-scenes gallery. And don’t forget to watch an all-new episode of Ellen’s Design Challenge, tonight at 9/8c. Tweet live with the cast (including Chip) using #EllenDesignonHGTV.