Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Splinter: A Supercharged Study in Wooden Design

September 7th, 2009 by
1 Comment »
All Images courtesy Joe Harmon Design.

All images courtesy Joe Harmon Design and used by permission.

If wood is strong enough for a bridge and light enough for a speedboat or airplane wing, why not use it to build a high-performance supercar?

This sort of thinking must have kept Joe Harmon, an Industrial Design graduate student of North Carolina State University, up late at night, because that’s exactly what he set out to do for his graduate project: build a fully functional, supercharged automobile almost entirely out of wood.

Yep, wood.

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Fresh Perspectives

August 31st, 2009 by
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kidartLately, my third-grade daughter’s pencil drawings are making me wonder if woodworking could be a genetic trait.

When I was her age, I was drawing Peanuts characters, spaceships and some really scary monsters—at least in my estimation. My kiddo Barrett, on the other hand, is drawing tables and chairs these days…in three dimensions, no less! She draws lots of other things too. There are still plenty of puppy and kitty pictures intermingled with her furniture stuff, but tables and chairs are definitely on her mind.

You can just imagine how that goes over with her woodworking father!

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Finalist Videos from Fresh Wood

August 14th, 2009 by
1 Comment »
Split Personality; Jonathan Cox, Brigham Young University.

Split Personality; Jonathan Cox, Brigham Young University.

In the current issue our eZine, I’m reporting on a really cool woodworking design competition that took place last month at the AWFS trade show in Las Vegas. It’s called Fresh Wood, and this was its third appearance at this show. Woodworking students — from high school to design school — pulled out all the stops to create some really fine projects, while putting their skills to the test.

You can check out the article by clicking here.

Art Furniture; Saarinen Balagengatharadilak, Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School.

Art Furniture; Saarinen Balagengatharadilak, Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School.

But, while my article brings you into the loop about the competition, it doesn’t get you into the “heads” of the students who worked so hard to become finalists. We shot plenty of video covering some exciting new products unveiled at the show, but regrettably, we didn’t videotape Fresh Wood. Time just didn’t allow for it … hey, even in Vegas you can’t upgrade to a 36-hour day.

Cantilever; Carol Jackson, University of Oregon.

Cantilever; Carol Jackson, University of Oregon.

Fortunately, the folks at Custom Made did shoot video in the Fresh Wood exhibit. They sponsored the Fresh Wood People’s Choice Award, and their blog has some great new segments interviewing several of the student finalists who talk about their inspiration, building challenges and methods of work:

http://custommade.com/blog/

The Chair — A Vehicle for Collaborative Learning; John Barry & McKenzie Stevens, Halifax County High School.

The Chair — A Vehicle for Collaborative Learning; John Barry & McKenzie Stevens, Halifax County High School.

I think it’s pretty enlightening to hear other woodworkers talk about these kinds of issues, because we all face them. Their insights might even give you some “take away” that you can apply to one of your future projects. Oh, and just for the fun of it, here are some more photos of finalist projects we didn’t squeeze into the eZine article. All good stuff!

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

Three-dollar Fix Improves Fold-Down Outfeed Table

July 24th, 2009 by
2 Comments »

Your feedback can help make a good project even better, so tell us what you think. We'll appreciate it.

Douglas Green's modification to the "Fold-down Outfeed Table" makes it a better project. Thanks for the great tip, Doug!

Earlier this spring we received some good feedback about the “Fold-down Outfeed Table” project that ran in the February 2009 issue (p. 50). Glad you folks like it! But, if you’re planning to build one for your table saw (or if you’ve already completed it), be sure to add a simple modification sent in by fellow reader Doug Green from Wellington, Colorado. Doug installed a couple of screw eyes and a wire cable between the bottom of the table and the leg to keep the leg from swinging free when setting the table up. In case you missed it, he sent in a few photos of his version of the project, and they appear on p. 12 of the June 2009 print issue in “Letters.”

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No More “Name That Grit”

May 7th, 2009 by
4 Comments »

Here's my sad excuse for sandpaper organization. Amazing it lasted this long!

Here's my sad excuse for sandpaper organization. Amazing it lasted this long!

Aside from being a dull-as-dirt photograph, this empty box is not:

A) Evidence of my secret stash of cookies. I don’t have one, but if I did squirrel away a few boxes in the shop, they’d be Thin Mints. No question.

B) A rough idea of how many boxes of Girl Scouts Cookies® my kids have eaten this spring, although it’s probably pretty close.

C) Some sad prototype for my next Woodworker’s Journal project.

Actually, this Thin Mints carton, circa 2001, has been my poor excuse for sandpaper storage. Tattered, taped up and tossed around the shop, it’s been a dumping ground for the past eight years.

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