Former GM employee designs wood furniture in Solid Edge

Former GM employee designs wood furniture in Solid Edge

Ed Stuckey has always had a passion for building furniture, as he took 3 years of woodworking in his Canadian high school.  He became interested in period furniture because of the traditional design and how the pieces were built in the 18th century with hand tools only.

For almost half of his career, he was a NC (numerical control) Programmer, and was trained on NX.  Learning both the CAD and CAM sides of the program, he wanted to use his knowledge to start building 18th century American furniture reproductions.

Ed was formerly employed by General Motors Technical Center – Chevrolet Engineering.  He served a 4-year apprenticeship to become a journeyman wood pattern maker.  A wood pattern maker creates wooden patterns for sand-casting iron and other metals.  It is a skilled trade intertwined with tool, die and mold making, and incorporates elements of fine woodworking. Ed Stuckey is now a retired wood pattern maker, and has been building these wonderful, wooden masterpieces for 40 years now.

Ed is a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, a national organization of professional and amateur wood workers dedicated to preserving the hand-crafted skills of 18th and 19th century cabinet makers.  The pictures on the right show his process from start to finish, this of the front right leg.

After retiring in 2004, Ed bought Solid Edge v18, and is currently using ST6 to design his furniture.  He decided that because of the similarities between NX and Solid Edge, he was comfortable with his decision to move to Solid Edge.

In order to begin his design phase, he would research the piece of furniture by going to a museum or by perusing through books that have collections of furniture.  To obtain the correct dimensions from the pictures, Ed would use formulas to scale the pictures to the correct dimensions.  The picture on the right shows the chest of drawers, by John Chipman (1746-1819), found in the 1987 book Treasures of State.





Once he gathers all the information, he goes into Solid Edge to create the 3D models.  From the 3D model, he generates the drawing with all the essential details.  The full workshop in his basement paired with his own 36″ plotter allows him to make prints of the furniture.  All of the pictures on the right were taken by Ed himself.

From start to finish, Ed Stuckey will spend approximately one year on each project.  Primary woods used are Mahogany, Walnut and Cherry, with secondary woods being poplar and pine for the drawer sides and bottoms, and internal case construction. The brasses are copies of 18th century brasses.

The block front Chest of Drawers was originally built by John Chipman of Salem, Massachusetts in 1775, and is currently on display at the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the US Department of State. The chest that Ed built is made of Mahogany as the primary wood, and poplar as the secondary wood.

Here’s a 2D picture of his drawer compared to his finished product, and what the base of the chest looks like in Solid Edge compared to what Ed Stuckey pulls out and creates in his shop.


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