An Alternate Use for Helical Strakes

A helical strake is a spiraling strip often designed by engineers to give structural support to large metal cylinders such as smoke stacks. The process to make the strakes requires an initial set up of dies and tooling to roll the parts. A flat steel bar is rolled to a specified diameter or radius. At the beginning of the roll, the diameter and radius are gradually increased to attain the desired degree. At the start and end of the strip, there is a segment that is not rolled to the correct radius or diameter. But, after adjustments, they can be within 1/16 of an inch in accuracy.

When each helical strake is made, the initial pieces rolled are out of tolerance and are not usable for the smoke stacks. Luckily for a furniture designer in Chicago, he saw these strakes and was enamored with the shape, the way light bounced off the flat surfaces, and the uniqueness of each strip. These pieces were sold to this local artist who created a one of a kind table. The creator of the table loved the fact that all the pieces could be rotated in any direction to make this unique shape for the table base. He loved the shadows that were created on the floor from the light above. Sitting in the room, from any chair or sofa gave a unique view.

Looking narrow and almost surfboard shaped from the top, yet full and curvaceous through the middle. As one moves around the room, the table has a unique look, and the light makes the table seem to shine as it reflects off the strake. The strakes each have their own twisted form, and curve at different points on the flat bar. The strakes are interesting and eye catching not only for structural reasons, but to the artist as well.

table using helical strakes


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