California Cookie Cutting

For my new line of California Coffee Tables I needed a good standard template that I will use to hand cut many new versions of this design from various types of wood. The original reclaimed version above was a bit too big for many living spaces + I need to maximize how much I can squeeze out of 1 sheet of plywood for more modern looking versions of the design.

I employed a bit of old and new school techniques and tools into making my new Cali cookie cutter:

Wifi Tablet w/ map image and calculator
Tape measure
Angle Set
Table saw
Some junior high math

I started with a search for a clear and crisp (and accurate) version of the California map. Then I measured the size of the straight edge lines that make the Cali Nevada border. Then a little equationating...

Don't remember the name of this formula, but I use it ALL the time for transposing sizes from smaller to bigger and vie versa. Hey, math class did pay of in the real world after all;)

After I have some solid numbers, I start plotting some points where the major should end up in order for it not to look like Florida in the end. Then, using my picture reference, I start freehanding like it ain't no...

It takes more than a few lines to strike that balance between geographic accuracy and what will actually work as a table. Some of California's coast line wouldn't feel too nice to bump your knee on, so I mellow out a few sharp peninsulas like Malibu and Monterey for the future owner's (knee caps) own good.

Then I use a sharpie to simplify the sketch lines and straight slice the spine w/ a tables saw. Finally, I cut down the coastline with the tool I fondly call my "Electric Pencil". Most people just call it a jig saw.

Now the template is ready to produce the first production model of what I hope to be a popular table. Stay tuned as I will post the finished version as soon as its ready...

With love from Cali,

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