Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Carbide Sawblade Investigation

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

(Updated 21Aug09: see bottom of article.)

I had a matched set of 10″ circular ATB+R Amana blades which seemed to wear out on me very rapidly compared to the Freud blades which preceeded them. Then, a few weeks later, I had an Amana ripping blade pick up six chipped teeth while passing through (what seemed to be just) a knot in 1″ thick oak.

This made me wonder if the Amana blades had a cheaper carbide in the teeth, so I called up one of the technical guys who will be doing my next set of sharpening after the local guys (A1 Sharpening in Dalton, Ga) TOTALLY botched the last job I sent them.

So here's what I learned:


A New Vision of the Phone-Based Office

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Up until today my conception of the “office of the (near) future” is that it would be based on the laptop. So, for example, you would walk in with your laptop, strap it into a cradle, sit back in a reclining chair, and go to work using the laptop screen for visuals and using peripherals for keyboard, mouse, etc.

In such an office, you would still need the traditional structures for managing paper: it's not going away any time soon. But rather than needing large structures for housing the monitor and the tower, all of the supporting structures (except the chair) could be folded away into a small space. Imagine an office that could fit into a cavity in your wall. (I discuss my early prototype of this in my “built-in cabinets” series.)

So, that brings us to today. Have a look at this video:

The fact that these technologies are already so close to being ready for the mainstream market leads me to the following conclusions:

First, though I had been expecting most cell phones to soon include projectors that could act like a monitor when projected on a suitable surface, what I didn't anticipate is that such a “screen” would also function as a touch/sketch screen. Now it's clear that it will. Your phone will soon function as both the “wiimote” and the projector in this video, allowing you to have an office anyplace you can find or create a clean surface upon which to project. A cradle/tripod for holding the phone in the right orientation would be needed.

Second, this means that the high-tech office is going to quickly adopt this technology and laptops will become obsolete. What can a laptop give us now that a phone can't? We already need a separate keyboard for protracted writing sessions.

Third, this means that the structures of the high-tech office just got simpler. The main structure needed now is a lightweight white screen that includes a phone cradle off to one side. And a chair and paper-management area, as always.

What I’ve been up to…

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Well, I managed to miss the whole month of April on this blog, so I thought I'd post an update for those of you who follow it.

My own path has been moving further from remodeling and toward woodworking, cabinetry, and now furniture.

(I have a mental hierarchy in my mind that goes like this: trim carpentry graduates to cabinetmaking, which is below furniture building. Then at the top is musical instruments or maybe the “arrow carver”?? See Cole Porter on that one.)

Anyway, I'm in that transitional phase between cabinetry and furniture. Here's a piece I built recently. This was not a completely solo effort, but it was mostly my baby.

Furniture-style vanity

The other big development, and somewhat related, has been the recent opportunity to go deeper with CNC-based woodwork and design. (Translation: programming a robot to do lots of your work for you.) For good or ill, this is the future. Hopefully in future entries you'll get to see some work created on this machine.

Tips and Numbers from my old files

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

In Spring of 2003, a deck builder stated to me that, here in Chattanooga, a cheap treated pine deck would cost $10 per square foot and a good one (structurally good, not necessarily fancy), would cost $15. I would multiply those numbers by 1.5 today to account for inflation and the rise in materials prices after the discontinuation of arsenic-treated lumber. Obviously, the synthetic deck materials would add to that.

We were preparing a 100 year old heart pine floor for refinishing and it was accidentally inundated with water. (more…)

If you want it done in time for Christmas…

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

… then start your project in January.

No, I'm not kidding. (more…)

Migration to

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Hello gang!

In response to popular demand for a simpler, more concise web address, I have registered and am going to migrate our existing content to it over the next few months. Hopefully it will make our info a little easier for folks to find.

So, pass the word that this is the new location.