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Showing posts from June, 2014

Great Designs in Wood (54) - The Hannah Cabinet

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Nothing I can say would add to the impressiveness of this work. Best listen to the master himself explain the work.



I've watched it three times now and am still seeing things that amaze me.

I like one of the comments on YouTube...
If I have some spare time this weekend, I might knock one of these out. :) The Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, which I visited back in 2011 and shared with you in...

The Bungendore Wood Works Gallery 

The Best of the Rest - Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Part 2

...and in which the Hannah cabinet was displayed in the summer of 2013, has a web page with more information and pictures of the work...and they offer a complete DVD on it for sale. This is one for the collection of serious woodworkers out there.

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD

Great Designs in Wood (53) - The Wooden Pallet

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This post is long overdue. While we tend to think of great houses, fine furniture, and unique products when we think of designs in wood, the humble wooden pallet may be able to claim to be the greatest design of all.

Wooden pallets, as the title of the video below states, literally move the world.



In fact, Slate Magazine recently called the pallet the "Single Most Important Object in the Global Economy." From the article:
Pallets, of course, are merely one cog in the global machine for moving things. But while shipping containers, for instance, have had their due, in Marc Levinson’s surprisingly illustrative book The Box (“the container made shipping cheap, and by doing so changed the shape of the world economy”), pallets rest outside of our imagination, regarded as scrap wood sitting outside grocery stores or holding massive jars of olives at Costco. As one German article, translated via Google, put it: “How exciting can such a pile of boards be?”And yet pallets are arguabl…

How to Build a Wildlife Habitat Snag

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My tendency the last few months is to give you a feel-good post on Fridays, because we all need to feel good on weekends, right? And for many folks, the best way to feel good is to do something physical, and productive.

About three weeks ago, I shared a video of a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Wranglerstar as they identify themselves, taking on an unusually large project...sawing down a tree by hand. In this video, the same Wranglerstar shares with us a unique project that many can achieve, even though we may have to be a little more modest with the size of our project. Nevertheless, as a little weekend warrior inspiration, this video is great.

If you think the part where he tops out the tree looks dangerous, you're right...it is. Experienced climbers and saw handlers only need apply for that job.



In the last couple of minutes of the video, Wranglerstar makes some interesting comments on the value of snags in the forest ecosystem. He's right on. Although, when I studied forestry many y…

Chaos of the Masses

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The young Lebanese woman, eight months pregnant, was desperate. While trying to join her husband in the Land of the Free, she had suffered a cruel disappointment...she had been turned away by officials at Ellis Island in New York City and returned to the turmoil of Beirut. Her husband had sent her money from his job in the rail car plant in Michigan City, Indiana, and she was now making a rougher, more dangerous journey to the promised land...through the back door, that is, the back streets of Juarez, Mexico. She had given most of her money to a man who had gotten her from Panama City, Panama, where she had relatives, to Juarez, and now her jewelry was going to another stranger who was smuggling her across the border into El Paso, Texas. Her hope was that, once on the American side, she would meet one of her husband's relatives who would take her on the long bus trip to Indiana.

She made it just in time. On October 12, 1917, my grandmother was born in a small shack in Michigan Ci…

Wood Science 101 (15) - What Houses are Made Of

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This video really impresses on the viewer is how much wood actually goes in a typical American home. Most folks think kitchen cabinets, wood floors, and decks when they are asked about wood in their homes...but as this video shows, there is much, much more wood that they don't see. Wall plates and studs, floor and ceiling joists, door and window headers, floor and wall panels, roof trusses, fascia boards, stair wells and treads...the list goes on and on. And none of this lumber is ever seen by most folks, except when they crawl into their attic.



Some fact checking reminded me that one 2400 square foot home may typically use 16,000 board feet of lumber, and 14,000 square feet of other wood products. And that's a good thing, as the USDA discovered and admitted in 2011.
USDA Leads the Way on Green Buildings, Use of Wood Products WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today USDA's strategy to promote the use of wood as a green building materia…

Great Designs in Wood (52) - The Kerf I-Phone Case

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In writing this blog, I've discovered that there are very few things in the world that can't be made in wood...and made better.

Case in point...the wooden cell phone case.


"KERF, founded in 2013 by Ben Saks, is rooted in a passion for craft and an exacting attention to fine details. Ben, a designer passionate about precision, fine craftsmanship, and natural materials was unsatisfied with existing wood iPhone cases. While working at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture, he spent an evening in the wood shop and created the first KERF case.  Over the course of six months, the KERF design was revised, tested, and revised again.   "Kerf" is the thickness of material removed from a saw blade, usually measured in 1/1000 of an inch. This standard wood working term is important to KERF’s philosophy, as it represents the precision needed to make our cases. KERF Cases use a patent-pending technology to hold your phone inside the case using only friction…