Posted: March 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Links | Comments Off on Links!

Great story behind the NASA logo. (I always love the use of “Meatball” as a non-pasta descriptor)

– I’ve really got to try this paper blade in the Dremel thing! (Also: read the comments for some really useful thoughts on the use of abrasive disks to cut non-metallic materials)

– I always like to keep things in perspective -so I loved seeing this post which reduces smartphones as simply a 5th-order elaboration of Maxwell’s Theory, which is the true work of wonder which propels our modern world.

– Apparently there are only 5 things to look for when drawing.

– For those nerds wanting to go deep into a radioactive rabbit hole – here’s a heady analysis of plutonium found in a Soviet-era smoke detector.

– For you zombie apocalypse types: How to make gunpowder from urine.

This experiment reproduces some of the challenge to growing plants on Mars. The best part – you can do it while still here on Earth.

– This Nespresso Capsule Detector caught my eye.

– Never knew that UPS trucks never turn left. Does this apply even in NYC with all its one-way streets?

– Tips for those of you going on international flights but who don’t want to relinquish your personal data at the US border.

– Wow. The founder of Atari also created Chuck E. Cheese! Great article here at Fast Company about the legendary Nolan Bushnell.

– I still have not bought a 3D Printer, but I am always curious about how they are developing. This article is a little dated but still very good.

– Yay Drones! They’ve discovered new ancient earthworks in the Amazon rainforest!


Posted: March 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, IG | Comments Off on IG

Space….. is still the final frontier. Our stuff will replace the plastic. #nyc #manhattan #metal #metalwork. #rush #steel #snow

A post shared by Marshall Wilson (@wilsonbuilt) on

Choosing Hardware (the fancy kind)

Posted: March 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Choosing Hardware (the fancy kind)

Weight is the quickest gauge of value.”   This 2004* NYT article by Marco Pasanella about shopping for home fixtures & hardware had me at this fourth paragraph opener. I do this ALL the time – I pick something up and if it weighs heavy in my hand I am halfway to being happy with it. Whether I can afford it is something else entirely, and that’s why the article is very useful by giving some clues to getting quality items without overspending.

I have a little experience with the making of nice things, and I am very picky about buying things. For me, a lot of the choosing is tactile – it comes down to whether the “thing” is pleasurable in the hand. Does it have a good weight? If you drag your fingernail along the edges, does it feel smooth or a bit pitted? Is the finish consistent? Are the little nooks & inside corners smooth? Do the “hidden” faces feel nice? Besides weight, quality mostly comes down to finish** – which is responsible for a lot of the sticker price since the best finishing is done manually by experienced craftsmen (suck it robots!).

*As to the question of why I was reading such an old article – the answer begins with the letter “G“.  I have been recently working on the designs for a set of 9 custom steel-and-glass doors for a penthouse in lower Manhattan. The architect specified some gorgeous Nanz Hardware for all the locksets & hinges in his hardware takeoff. Sadly there wasn’t the budget to go this route, but it would have been SO nice to be able to hold some of those Nanz pieces in the hand.

**This is true for non-mechanical items at least (Door pulls, etc). Once you start getting into things that “do work” – hinges, latches, faucets etc – things get a lot more complicated. Generally speaking though, if a piece has first-rate finishing & material, its pretty likely that the mechanical design is reliable.

Drawing Circles

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Drawing Circles

Sometimes I think that if i could draw better I wouldn’t need all this fancy software. I know it is wishful thinking but nevertheless I’m still hungry for drawing tricks. Recently I found this neat video with 7 strategies to help draw clean circles. I like the rubber band one most of all.


Posted: February 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, IG | Comments Off on IG

Finally got to take some install pix of this 4-story penthouse stairway I detailed for a client. Our job was just the steel structure – sides will be clad with ply & fancy plaster. Treads with stone and (if you can believe it) upholstered wood. Or so I am told. I’m just glad our stuff went in smoothly. #metal #metalwork #nyc #penthouse #construction #detailing #solidworks #cad #autocad #steel #stairs.

A post shared by Marshall Wilson (@wilsonbuilt) on

Land Lines

Posted: February 21st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Land Lines

This Google experiment called Land Lines is really fun. When you draw lines or make gestures on your screen the software finds satellite images which match the shape you’ve made. You end up with kind of a make-your-own collage map. I wish it had a feature to match to constellations in the sky too…

Detailing & Shop Drawings – Its what we do

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Detailing & Shop Drawings – Its what we do

Chandelier drawing – 2013

What we do: use CAD to create shop drawings for our fabricator clients.

Software: SolidWorks (95%)  | AutoCAD (5%)

Clients: NYC area metal fabricators



Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Links | Comments Off on Links!

Origin Of Leatherman

–  My new favorite new thing on IG.
– That >||< Button in the elevator is just a placebo? WOW.
– This Instructable on How to check moisture content in wood with only a Multimeter is a really useful hack.
– If you are a fan of Steampunk art, here’s how to build a human heart (via notcot)
– The history of Leatherman is a great small business story   – and I really loved seeing the original Leatherman prototype (pic above) . (via notcot)
Extremely entertaining video on how to machine a cube to be (nearly) perfectly square.
Nice post from the wonderful Hackaday blog asking how today’s engineers match up to yesterday’s.
– Though I don’t really buy the whole “things were better back in the old days” line, this ancient Roman concrete recipe rocks!
– Insane home-made high-capacity capacitorsDo not try this at home (or ANYWHERE)!
– This time of the year reminds me of Hurricane Sandy, so this New York Magazine article is especially haunting.
– iOS 10 has loads of cool stuff.
– As if we need another reason to be wary of email links – if you lose your iPhone beware of scammers posing as Apple who attempt to steal your password.
– Every little bit helps: 101 Small ways you can improve your city (via swissmiss)

Solidworks – Keyboard Quick Hack

Posted: July 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Tips | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Solidworks – Keyboard Quick Hack


Photo Jul 07, 1 26 47 PM

I am always struggling to make things easier when creating models. This week I am experimenting – I have remapped my “~” key to be a decimal point. This way I don’t always have to move my left hand off the keyboard when entering dimensions. So far it has been pretty helpful. (The silly label you see is only for this pic)

I use the SharpKeys program to change the mapping – which has been pretty handy over the years, since I like to use an Apple keyboard on a Windows machine AND I use the incredible SYNERGY software to allow me to control both mac & pc with same keyboard/mouse.

UPDATE 10/27/16: This hack began to be unreliable – causing lots of erratic keyboard behavior, so I abandoned the attempt. Instead I bought a wireless numeric keypad to put on the left side of my keyboard, which is a much better long term solution.


Posted: July 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Gpic

Photo Jul 06, 1 30 22 PM

Pic of the day of Georgia.