The drawing process with the trépied établi has moved along somewhat - the third side x-braces are now drawn, and let me tell you, they were by far the most challenging layout on the piece:
The first set of braces have faces in the same plane as the slope; the second set have side faces plumb to the floor, and this third set has it's top faces rotated so as to meet the top beam flush.
Here's what might be called a worm's eye view looking at the inside of the bench - the second set of braces (faces plumb to floor) are on the left side, while the third set are on the right:
In the bird's eye view, this third set has an attractive zig-zag pattern formed where the two braces cross one another (left side of drawing):
Compare to the plumb braces on the right side of the above drawing and you can see the difference more clearly at the crossing.
While I still have a fair amount of drawing work to do, and I can assure you that I am just barely hanging on to the ledge, as it were, when it comes to the lay out method for the third set of braces, I feel like I have made some good progress in relatively short order on this piece.
I was also able to take advantage of some features provided by SketchUp and play with the form a little. Here's a 6-sided version with a glass top and contrasting woods:
I'm thinking this would make a nice coffee table. Looking straight down through the glass would show an attractive pattern I think:
And if you wanted to lie underneath it and look up, which is the sort of thing I would do, it would look like this:
And one last shot emphasizing the 'bird's nest' of braces:
Then I decided to try another configuration, one that would be pretty insane to build and likely impossible to assemble with mortise and tenon joinery - a 12-sided version:
I didn't bother cleaning the image up of the trace lines, as I have no plan to make such an item. Still, it is pretty neat to look at all the same (or is this just in my warped view of things?):
Looking from underneath, it almost looks like a basket:
One last one:
Anyhow, enough of the theoretical for the time being. I have been working on the Mazerolle tréteau project again, and will be posting another installment on that thread soon enough. I've also started that book review I mentioned recently, and that will probably take a while to complete. This coming Monday I should be heading to the Boston Children's Museum to install the fold-up bench in the machi-ya. Photos of that process will be forthcoming shortly thereafter, to close out that thread.