Metal table bases have arrived

Hard Work and Hard Steel for Suffolk County Community College

Whoa. We are busy. A little crazy actually.

We’ve been working hard to complete a project for Suffolk County Community College on Long Island. This project came to us through JCJ Architecture in Connecticut.

Our portion of the project at the Montaukett Learning Resource Center on the colleges East Campus consists of 13 library tables, 4 counter-height tables, 48 end panels, pinwheel carrels, canopy tops, periodical shelving, coat racks, book trucks and several other various pieces.  It’s a good sized project and the designs are, as we say in Maine, WICKED. 

We have been working with Al Kronk of Rusted Puffin Metal Works, a metal fabricator here in Maine, to create the table bases and some of the details for the other pieces. His steel work is fantastic and lends a whole new dimension to our library furniture.

The three images below show a group of table bases by Rusted Puffin, just after they arrived in our workshop.

Metal table bases have arrived
Metal table bases, end view
Metal table bases up close

The unique inverted triangle shape with the metal “spine” is a form that we borrowed from the design of the ceiling in the new library. These elements are repeated throughout the furniture pieces. One of the greatest benefits of specifying custom furniture is that the furniture can be designed in this way; to capture some of the architectural and material elements in the surrounding environment. Not only is this furniture going to physically last for generations in its new home, but it will also be aesthetically timeless, enveloped in the architectural structure that gave it birth. As long as the building remains, the furniture will work within it.

Below you’ll see the ceiling of the library and the other metal elements in the architecture, and then how that was translated into several different furniture designs. The fifth image down is a table top (upside-down) which will fit onto one of the metal bases shown above. 

Library ceiling and metal elements
Designing the Suffolk reading tables
End panel with inverted triangle element
Low bookcases in progress
Suffolk table top in progress, upside down

Many of these pieces are large and required some extra physical activity in the shop (ie, climbing on tabletops and two-man lifting).

Saer clamping way up high
Saer and Ethan clamping in tandem
Saer and Ethan working on a bookcase, on end
Saer working on pinwheel study carrel

But the majority of the work is done now and we are loading trucks and waving goodbye tomorrow. The end panels have been delivered already, and the remainder of the furniture will be delivered to its new home later this week. 

Below: bookcases wait for their tops at the end of a long workday.

Suffolk bookcases waiting for their tops at the end of the day

The students arrive back at SCCC next week and we can’t wait to hear of their reaction to their new study spaces. We promise to share some photos of the finished library when we have them.