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Winter 2013-2014

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Philip Hendrix's beer stand: Celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Eliot House Woodworking Program

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Philip's other project that I want to show here is his adaptation for the always popular wine bottle stand. Philip's idea was to develop a board to carry not a wine bottle, but rather a beer bottle - as is fit for a graduate student.

Let me talk for a second about the principles of a balancing stand. The idea is to let the combined center of gravity, of both a full bottle and the board that support it, pass through the base of the stand. We can find the bottle's center of gravity with no difficulties. We can tie a rope around it and move the loop up or down the bottle until it is more or less balanced (drawing A). The board's center of gravity passes more or less through its middle. Now, the combined center of gravity (Drawing B) will pass somewhere in between these individual centers. If the board is heavier (or taller) it will get closer to the board, if the bottle is heavier it will drift close to the bottle side.

The important thing here is to experiment with this process, which is exactly what Philip had been doing.  One should make the board a bit longer than intended and be ready to cut it short on the base side as your experiment progresses. Once the bottle can support itself you are done. Make sure to drill the hole at an angle. I have seen balancing boards made with a big hole drilled perpendicular to the board surface. These boards don't provide the same bottle stability as the ones where the hole is drilled parallel to the angle which the board's bottom is cut to. 

In the following pictures you can see Philip's experimental process and the beautiful pair of supports that he built.