I've had some good reviews and interest in the first Decomposition table, and I've been playing with some ideas for the next iteration of the design. I think it is now time to get moving.
Firstly, I wanted to better capture the sensation of movement and falling of the blocks, so in this version I will be attaching some of the blocks to appear that they are falling by making cut at compound angles and joining them to the main structure with a Festool domino machine and some creative clamping.
Second, I wanted to make the table a bit wider. Looks like I'm going with something in the neighborhood of 34-36" (up from the 19" width of the first table). This allows me to bring the cascade up to the level of the main table-top on both sides, to avoid seeing the flat line of cascading blocks from the side. The first table never felt balanced when viewing directly from the front, either.
Third, the new base will be made from two plates of UV bonded glass, instead of steel. This will enhance the illusion of a floating table top.
The first step was to mock-up the shape using pink foam and spray adhesive. Pictured above. Next, I will measure all the "steps" down the cascade at each row and draw them in Rhino 3D so that I can tweak the dimensions and output my instructions for assembly.
I've also pulled out some material (quite a bit in fact) - about 65 board-feet of 2" x 2" x 16" walnut, or 145 sticks (see below). The first thing I've done is to paint one end of each stick, so that I can keep track of their orientation while I machine them. In the previous table, I kept them in the same orientation, which led to some minor magnification of error due to the sticks being slightly out of square. The issue was rectified in subsequent machining tasks, but it made things a bit more tricky. Here, I will rotate every other stick during the initial glue-up to cancel-out any kind of error.
Check back for updates on the progress of this new design!