Toronto design and fabrication studio
STACKLAB combines top-notch technology with traditional
techniques to create timeless, durable pieces that are as elegant as they are well
made. And nothing exemplifies the company's approach to heritage furniture
better than its signature Wishbone base. Below we follow the creation of the
Wishbone, from concept to production. 66
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Sand-cast in a choice of aluminum, plated iron or bronze, STACKLAB’s signature Wishbone leg, featured in several of the studio’s pieces including its
Rubaiyat Table seen above, is the result of an extensive formal and mechanical process that the company honed over a 12 month period. Above: STACKLAB’s signature Wishbone legs in polished aluminum with historic redwood burl top.
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The Wishbone concept was STACKLAB’s first foray into cast furniture legs. Previously, STACKLAB’s metal legs were made using welded fabrication, where tubes or rods are cut or bent and then welded together, which limited shapes that could be created. By comparison, casting has much less formal limitations. The Wishbone tapers from top to bottom, while also moving in two planes, and the overall profile is a combination of ovular shapes. This design would not be possible starting from off-the-shelf metal pieces.
Above: Wishbone leg cast in polished bronze with walnut top.
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Marrying cutting edge digital technology with traditional manufacturing techniques and materials is at the core of the
STACKLAB brand and was central to the development of the Wishbone legs. Hand-sketching led to the overall shape of the Wishbone and then formal refinement of the design was achieved using digital modeling. Above: Technical drawings for prototype Wishbone leg.
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Once satisfied with the general design on paper and screen,
STACKLAB created a prototype of the Wishbone using sand-casting – a process that combines digital and traditional practices. A sand mold of the legs was created around a foam pattern, which had been cut to the shape of the Wishbone using computer direction. Molten aluminum was then poured into the sand molds to create the prototypes. These aluminum prototypes were essential to performing a structural analysis of the legs and guided the formal refinement of the Wishbone. Above: Patterns for the first Wishbone prototype and corresponding aluminum castings.
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To perform the analysis, the team attached the aluminum cast Wishbone prototypes to a walnut slab, testing a variety of static and dynamic loads. Results of these structural tests, performed using computer simulation software, were crucial to developing a design that strikes an optimal balance between aesthetics, material use and durability.
Above: Prototype Wishbone legs mounted to walnut slab with corresponding structural testing.
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The final Wishbone leg is created using the sand-casting process. The final pattern features smoother curves and stronger cross-sections than the prototype. These corrections were made to address structural issues identified during the testing phase, and the design was refined to soften the look and make it more attractive overall. The castings require a significant amount of post-processing, which
STACKLAB does by hand before final polishing and finishing. Above: Final aluminum Wishbone casting fresh out of the sand mold.
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The finished Wishbone legs are installed to the client’s choice of tabletop, which have ranged from redwood burl, as seen above, to bendable concrete. Thickness permitting, the mounting plate is inset in the table bottom and attached with stainless steel machine screws and special Japanese inserts, which allow the legs to be be removed and reinstalled as often as necessary without affecting the strength of the assembly.
Above: Aluminum Wishbone leg installed to redwood burl tabletop.
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Wishbone legs are made to order out of the
STACKLAB studio in Toronto. Legs are sold in pairs or matched with the choice of tabletop. Above: Wishbone leg in Polished Aluminum, Polished Brass and Shot Peened Iron with Nordy Bronze Plate.
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Above: Cast-iron Wishbone leg with Nordy Bronze plate paired with Engineered Cementitious Composite ( ECC) tabletop
www. for the full product line-up. STACKLAB.ca