Invisible Craftsmanship

Posted: December 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Invisible Craftsmanship
Dremel Wrench
Here’s a pic of Andrew Rumpler’s mod to a Dremel collet wrench. He did it because he was frustrated that he could not pick up the wrench while he was wearing gloves. So here’s his beautifully done solution – putting half dowels on the sides, cutting tiny grooves and wrapping them together with string. I think he also epoxied them on and  applied some lacquer. This is why I love checking out the Nine Stories shop. It’s filled with the normal detritus of making, but in his case all the jigs, tools, tables etc are beautifully crafted.
Now I get the whole wearing gloves thing – I can imagine I might get frustrated too and want to deal with the problem. But – if it were me I would have just slapped some epoxy putty on the thing and then called it a day.  I also would be super embarrassed if anyone happened to see it….
So hats off to all you who make things beautiful even when there’s no need, you’re not getting paid to do it, and  when no one will ever see.

Apple Intention

Posted: June 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Apple Intention

Apple’s Design Philosophy.

Boy I wish Solidworks ran on Mac OS……

That said I’ve been running SW for a few years now on my old Macbook Pro running Windows 7 with BootCamp. Haven’t had any problems but the horsepower is just not there for more advanced work.

So here I am planning on getting another computer soon and sadly it will be either a Dell (boring) or a DIY Hackintosh (more fun but no warranty….)

alas.


Kickstarter Success(?) Story

Posted: May 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Kickstarter Success(?) Story

Une Bobine

Great article at Fast Company which tells what happened after a fledgeling company’s Kickstarter campaign succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Hoping to raise only $9,800 to get their Une Bobine iPhone charging cable design into production, Fuse Chicken reeled in a staggering $212,265 from Kickstarter. The tale that follows shows how raising money is not always the hardest part of getting things done. Though the tone of the article is somewhat in the vein of “this is what happens when you ask for money from strangers on the internet,” the story is (from my perspective at least) quite a success story. Fuse Chicken’s founders, having worked in product design for many years, already had some relationships with manufacturing in China, and the article tells of no problems with the manufacturing. The sticky bits come under the heading “logistics” : getting manufactured goods from China back to their offices in short order, sending out thousands of finished pieces to Kickstarter donors (grand total of $20k in postage), dealing with international taxes, and picking trustworthy sales representatives out of the thousands of requests that came in through the internet.

The article mentions that Kickstarter is subtly discouraging people from projects like this, and I think I can understand why. Kickstarter is awesome and revolutionary and somewhat mindblowing. But — Kickstarter is also an avenue for inexperienced people to get in way above their heads. If you have a good idea and can sell it then there’s no reason why you can’t bring in huge donations just like Fuse Chicken did. Fuse Chicken’s story is excellent because it show how difficult things are even for the best prepared. And, by the sound of it, they are succeeding – but only after a long and grueling learning process.

But of course who gets anything started without a long and grueling learning process?

(via notcot)

 


Apollo Rock Box

Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: | Comments Off on Apollo Rock Box

LunarRockBox

This box was used on the Apollo 11 Lunar mission to transport rock samples from the Moon back to earth for study. Manufactured by Union Carbide’s Nuclear Division, the all-aluminum case has triple seals to maintain a protective vacuum inside the case during the trip back home. This carrier was filled with 21.8 lbs of lunar material from the Sea of Tranquility by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

(photo: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum)


Space Links

Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Space Links

Nasa-logo

This week I’m a bit obsessed with NASA, in particular with things designed to be used in space. Its kind of the holy grail of design to me. And surfing for NASA pictures is really rewarding because the images often come in huge resolutions. Here’s some of the fantastic links I’ve found so far.

Michael Soluri – This is the guy who created the amazing photographs of NASA’s custom tools that were designed to be used on the space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He’s also done great portraits of NASA personnel.

NASA Tool Hack – Even when you’ve spent millions on custom tools for every conceivable need up in space, you’re bound to run into a situation that you haven’t prepared for. Here’s a great NASA tool hack for use on a Space Walk at Space Shuttle Discovery. Astronauts are DIYers too!

Vintage NASA Facility Photographs – Over at brainpickings.com they have put together a bunch of beautiful photographs from NASA’s image archives.

Apollo Geology Tool Catalog – a catalog with images of all the tools used on Apollo lunar Missions – from hammers to collection bags to tool racks. My favorite is the sample collection container – basically the baddest Pelican case ever made. I love this so much I’m going to have to post a pic of this in a separate post….

Apollo 11 Objects – The Smithsonian Museum has this fantastic page with images of tons of awesome Apollo 11 stuff …. space food, spotmeter, pressure suits, penlights, radiation meter …. what fun.

 


Gearheads in Space

Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Gearheads in Space

Haynes Mars Rovers Manual

Anybody who has an old car and wants to do some simple repairs on their own knows about the Haynes manuals. Whatever vehicle you’ve got, there’s a Haynes manual for doing pretty much any repair or maintenance – from refilling washer fluid to doing a full engine rebuild. I’ve got at least 3 different ones from all the different vehicles I’ve had over the years. Even though I’ve gotten rid of the wheels, the books are hard to part from.

So I was pretty happy to see (while doing some research for a job) that Haynes has now gone farther than I ever would have imagined. There’s one on the Apollo Lunar Module, the Mars Rovers, the Space Shuttle, etc etc.

Way cool stuff.

 


Nine Stories’ ALEX

Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Nine Stories’ ALEX

Nine Stories ALEX design

 

Nine Stories' ALEX

 

Our good neighbor Nine Stories Furniture has just finished presenting their new ALEX modular building system at the Wanted Design show in Chelsea. I love Nine Stories’ work – clean design that shows a love of technical details – furniture for engineers with taste.

The show is over but its great design and you should check it out here.

 


Handrail Codes

Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Resource | Comments Off on Handrail Codes

Handrail Codes

A lot of my time these days is spent drawing stairs and handrails for my clients, and I always am looking for reference materials on railing heights, baluster spacing, and things like that. Up until now, I’ve had trouble finding reliable, easy to read resource for this information (reading the NYC Building Code is NOT easy btw). Today while looking for metal railing details at the wagner metal I lucked out and found a link to a great reference PDF at the Wagner Metal website.


Quick Links

Posted: April 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Quick Links
Haiti Nuts & Bolts

Photo of Hardware seller in Haiti – I’ll never take Home Depot for granted again

Nice Video of a backhoe loader getting onto a truck bed without a ramp. Ramp? Who needs a ramp?

While looking for info on my newest tool purchase – the Fein Multimaster, I found a pretty cool site for tool reviews – Tool Snob.

Grinders are awesome tools to have on the jobsite, and here’s a new tool to put on yours: the Arbortech Turboplane. It’s a circular planer for freehand work. Dunno what I’d use it for but it looks quite cool!


Wagner Metals

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on Wagner Metals

Wagner Metals

 

I need some new resources for architectural metal parts so I just ordered the Wagner Metals catalog and just wanted to share the awesome cover. Kinda got a bad-ass cartoon-y thing going on…