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Updated: 4 hours 3 min ago

Urushi Ratchet Handles

4 hours 3 min ago

Looking for a gift for the tool user who has everything—and I mean everything—how about an Urushi Ratchet Handle? For a mere $2,000-$4,000 you can get one of the handful of these things made each year.

Urushi is obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree and is so central to the art of Japanese lacquer work that the term Urushi is used to refer to both the material and the art. Applied in multiple thin layers, Urushi produces a semi-transparent finish with incredible depth and radiance.

Somehow or another someone decided it would be a good idea to apply this kind of finish to ratchet handles.

If you're going to put that much effort into ornamentation than you'd better darn well start with a superior tool. And they did, by using the award winning NBR390 from Nepros, a Japanese manufacturer of high-end hand tools.

YanagiGenji GurumaOld Turtle

I have no idea who buys Urushi ratchets. Odds are they're collectors with more money than they know what to do with. 

Part of me is annoyed by the idea of taking a perfectly good tool and turning it into something so valuable it can't possibly be used for its intended purpose.

But then I console myself with the thought that perhaps some of these might become retirement gifts for mechanics who spent their careers using ratchets. If that happens, I hope they resist the urge to try them out.

TakiRuffled arabesqueZuiyun Cloud

Design Job: Questioning Your Next Career Move? A Mysterious Company is Seeking a Junior Packaging Designer

4 hours 3 min ago

New Jersey based studio is growing and we are looking for an exceptional full-time, Junior Packaging Graphic Designer. As a part of our team, you will collaborate on all phases of the design process. We are a leader in consumer electronics with over 60 years experience. We need a Graphic Designer with BA, BS or BFA in Graphic Design/Visual Communication who would be responsible for creating packaging concepts, comps and artwork

View the full design job here

Mid Century Modern Find of the Week: Danish Modern Hallway Chest in Mahogany

4 hours 3 min ago

This small Danish Modern mid century cupboard Measures 27.5" wide x 15.5" deep x 28" tall.

This piece features two teak sliding doors which open to two bays- one with an adjustable shelf.

The mahogany case is mounted on tall base with a canted bookshelf.

The model that you see here has been refinished.


These "Mid Century Modern Find of the Week" posts are provided courtesy of Mid Century Møbler, which specializes in importing vintage Danish Modern and authentic Mid Century furniture from the 1950s and 1960s.

Weekly Makers Roundup: Efficient Workflows, Building a Workbench/Desk and a Sexy Coffee Table

4 hours 3 min ago
Shop StuffShop Shelves

This video of Jimmy DiResta and an assistant knocking out a series of shop shelves, in Jimmy's new shop, is the epitome of a hyperefficient workflow:

"Finally Got the Workshop Under Control."

Now fully relocated to the countryside, Matthias Wandel gives us a tour of his massive new shop:

DIY Table Saw Cabinet

Has everyone moved to a new shop? Here Izzy Swan shows us, in his new shop, how he made a portable knockdown table saw cabinet:

Cross-Cut Sled Slot Repair

If the slot on your cross-cut sled has become widened due to mishap, you're no longer getting the zero-clearance benefit it provides. Here the Wood Whisperer shows you how to fix that:

Objects & FurnitureHow to Make a Guitar Case

Bob Clagett uses plywood, upholstery foam, velvet and vinyl to create this protective carrying case for his guitar:

Making a Workbench Desk

Linn from Darbin Orvar tackles a big job this week, creating a two-part solid wood countertop and starting from rough lumber:

Tomato Trellises

This is almost like a design school assignment. Frank Howarth must prototype a reasonably sturdy structure out of minimal materials, then reproduce the design in a batch:

"New Handles for My Leatherman"

Declaring Leatherman's Crater her new favorite knife, Laura Kampf sets about creating her own custom handle for it:

2x12 Bench

Ben Uyeda upcycles a 2x12 into a bench with the help of a buying/selling app for makers:

Designing and Building My First Coffee Table

Chris Salomone steps up his game, designing and building his own piece for the first time. And it's a beaut!

These Jaw-Dropping Computer Graphics, Modeling & Design Advances Will be on Display at SIGGRAPH 2017

4 hours 3 min ago

Most of you have heard of SIGGRAPH, but if you haven't it's "the premier international forum for disseminating new scholarly work in computer graphics and interactive techniques." This year's conference starts at the end of the month, and this teaser video shows you some of the astonishing CG advancements that will be presented at the show:

How Neoclassical Architecture Influenced the Classic Chess Set, Thoughts on Apple's Diseconomies of Scale and More

4 hours 3 min ago

The Core77 team spends time combing through the news so you don't have to. Here's a weekly roundup of our favorite finds from the World Wide Web:

"The search for the flavor of a beloved childhood medicine." 

y focusing on user empathy, one designer is able to get to the soul of a common household appliance, the toaster.

An argument (somewhat) against the 10,000-hour rule.

Insert casual inspirational cheese video.

"Apple's diseconomies of scale and the next iPhone."

Today, MIT Media Lab is exploring and celebrating defiance as a catalyst for positive change.

An exhibition of couture creations designed for Snoopy.

Wicked Mount Fuji flipbook.

How ancient marble sculptures are provoking a conversation about race within the art historian community. 

"Why don't we just make everything out of recycled plastic?"

When texting on-the-go goes from funny to dangerous.

Sketchers dress shoe vs. adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga. Discuss.

Google's next design project? Artificial Intelligence.

"Cape Cod Potato Chips strike again."

Michael Phelps vs... shark? What's fascinating is the monofin he used as a handicap.

History of chess set design aesthetics. Hint: neoclassical architecture plays a big role in the traditional sets we know and love.

Relatable.Nuff said. (via Pop Chart Lab) Hot Tip: Check out more blazin' hot Internet finds on our Twitter and Instagram pages.

An Operating Table Carefully Designed for Spine Procedures

4 hours 3 min ago

Goddard entered into a partnership with Hill-Rom and Allen Medical to design and develop a next generation operating table specifically for spine procedures. The process began with our team working closely with Allen Medical’s to evaluate the current approaches and procedures used by surgeons in the Operating Room (OR). We participated in ongoing patient cases to observe how the existing tables were being used and interviewed surgeons and physicians’ assistants to better understand the use case. Through this process, we uncovered a number of areas that would require a great deal of attention in order to improve patient safety and the usability of the OR system.

View the full content here

Reader Submitted: An Armchair that Pays Subtle Homage to the Kimono

4 hours 3 min ago

The Kimono Armchair is a piece of furniture that explores the formal essence of the traditional Japanese clothing.

The fluency of the kimono's textile, the horizontal panel that wraps around the torso and the covering of the human body are all aspects considered when aiming to reach a specific grade of mimesis—halfway between immediate evidence and excessive distance.

Different production techniques gather to result in a coherent, elegant and harmonized lounge seat that aims to pay tribute to the kimono.

View the full project here

Forget Ant Colonies. Here's a Desktop Termite Habitat

4 hours 3 min ago

It might be tough for me to sell you an inch-thick cross-section of Douglas Fir for $125. But if I encased it in acrylic and placed a live colony of termites in there, maybe you'd give it a second look.

That's the hope of the folks behind the Termitat, a desktop termite habitat that's a twist on the ho-hum ant colony. Twenty of these little bastards will go to town on that Doug Fir, spending three years or more munching it into their new nest while you watch. All you have to do is add water every once in a while. And once they get through all of the wood, you can ship it back to get a new piece of wood installed "and even a new colony if needed."

I'll give you $20 to set this as your Tinder profile pic

The termites can't get out, and even if they could, they'd leave your house alone; these are dampwood termites, and it's the drywood termites that destroy foundations and lives.

Not only do you get to watch the termites devour wood, but you can also watch them commit class warfare and murder/cannibalism. To explain:

Termitats are set up using a small group of worker termites and possibly a soldier (if one is available in the original larger supply colony). Soldiers are dependent on workers for their food; they are unable to obtain their own cellulose meals due to their jaws being suitable solely for defense of the colony. Usually a new colony in the wild will only begin to produce soldiers after the colony achieves sufficient numbers to be able to feed extra mouths. Even in a mature wild colony, there will only be about 5 soldiers for every 100 workers. In a small starter Termitat colony that has a soldier included, it is common for the colony to consume the soldier and therefore save the colony's energy. Soldier production may be deferred to a later date. The colony will consume the protein packed body of the soldier (nothing is wasted!) and place the inedible jaws and head in an area used for the colony's debris. If this is the case with your colony, be patient, as a new soldier will appear in due time as your colony builds up its population.

There are two models of Termitat, both with 9" diameters. The $125 Tripod model is 11" tall, while the $150 Tower model is 14" tall.

Our idea for a future product expansion, influenced by our New York City roots: The Cockroachitat.

The One Low-Tech Design Feature All Rolling Carry-On Suitcases Should Have

4 hours 3 min ago

With more and more of us traveling more frequently these days, luggage design has become a hot category for design entrepreneurs. As one example this Samsara design, billed as "The world's first aluminum smart suitcase," recently sought just $15,000 in pledges but pulled in a whopping $293,192.

New luggage designs like the Samsara tout their "smart" functionality, with apps, onboard batteries, anti-theft alarms, onboard lighting and other hi-tech tricks bordering on gimmicks. Except for the battery, I don't care about any of the other stuff and don't want that in luggage. I'm still using luggage I purchased in the 1990s because they're tough and there's nothing in them to go obsolete.

In fact, beyond the ability to store its contents in an efficient manner, there's only one design feature—and a low-tech one at that—that I think all rolling carry-on suitcases should have:

Yep, that's it. More of us traveling means more delays, which for me at least means more time parked at the gate performing my consuming late-departure pastime, which is fruitlessly trying to get to Inbox Zero. Having a simple, flat platform on which to rest my laptop and work at a somewhat ergonomic height would make the suitcase worth its weight in gold to me. So if you're thinking of jumping into the luggage redesign game, please dispense with swoopy or rounded tops and give us all a level worksurface.

Wera Kraftform Kompakt Pistol RA

4 hours 3 min ago

With so many cordless tools to choose from, it's easy to forget what it's like to drive fasteners by hand—or why it's frequently preferable to do so. German hand tool company Wera has not forgotten and continues to develop new and better hand drivers.

The Kraftform Kompakt Pistol RA is a bent-handle version of the company's Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA straight-handled ratcheting driver. 

Ratcheting action allows you to drive with greater speed because it eliminates the need to reset your grip when you reach the limit of your wrist's flexion. 

The ratcheting mechanism is the same in straight and pistol grip models but the pistol grip alters the ergonomics, increasing leverage while allowing for a more neutral grip

Ratcheting is controlled by a twist ring that allows for clockwise and counterclockwise ratcheting action or with the bit holder locked in relation to the handle.

If the shape of the Kraftform handle looks odd, it's because it's designed to fit the palm of a hand. 

A press of the spring-loaded button on the end of the handle causes it to pop open to reveal the magazine where 25mm long 1/4-inch hex driver bits are stored. It contains #1 and #2 Phillips, #1 and #2 PoziDriv, and T20 and T25 Torx. There aren't any slotted bits—but then who uses those anymore? And if you did need to use them you could install a slotted bit (or any other kind of 1/4-hex bit) and go to town.

It's a cleverly designed tool, and while it won't replace powered models for driving large numbers of fasteners in wood it's a good choice for working on vehicles and machinery—where finesse is more important than raw speed and power. And with no need to carry a power tool and batteries it allows you to travel light.

Design Job: Get Hands on Fabrication Experience as Conant Metal & Light's Custom Department Product Manager

4 hours 3 min ago

Conant Metal & Light works closely with Designers and Architects nationwide to design and fabricate custom lighting and metalwork of significant scale, scope and story for residential and commercial clients. Among the last year’s projects are custom cast glass sconces for a private natatorium, reproduction vintage sconces for NYC’s Augustine

View the full design job here

What Happens When You Combine a Floating Dock with Surfing?

4 hours 3 min ago

For a concept shoot in Bali, surfing rag Stab Magazine towed a floating dock out to where the waves break, then set Volcom's surfing team loose. Here's what happened, and it looks as fun as it does dangerous:

The Dock from STAB on Vimeo.

Hand Tool School #39: Useful Tool Features vs. Gimmicks

4 hours 3 min ago

For today's woodworker, tool buying is as much a part of the experience as actually working wood. For better or for worse is a matter of opinion—I'm going to stay positive and say that without tool buying much of the economy of woodworking would fall apart. No woodworker can deny the siren song of buying a new tool, and today we are very fortunate to have a lot of tools to choose from. Whether you need it right now or not, a new tool represents possibility. Maybe you don't think you could execute a task without the tool or you think it will make a task faster or better with this tool. It is the potential this new tool can unlock that is intoxicating.

I write this preamble as a disclaimer that I see nothing wrong with buying new tools to scratch that itch. Supporting the makers is important to keep the market alive. However, buying a new tool because you think some additional feature will change the way you work could be a frustrating move that may even set you back in your growth as a woodworker. Today as in the past, tool manufacturers abound with slick options and features that will make their tools work better. These additional features cause a lot of confusion and create sales where there are none now. In our option heavy society, we want to super size our tools and get the works. While you may consider sour cream, chives, and bacon essential to your baked potato experience I am hesitant to say similar options in the tool world are anything more than infamous automotive undercoating.

Gimmick or Useful?

What do these additional features really add to the performance and ease of use for your tools? Does it really change the game, or is is just a gimmick to bring people back to the cash register? Let's look at some hand tool examples on the market today.


Canted Saw Plates

This basically means the width of saw plate beneath the toe of the saw is narrower than at the heel. This feature will prevent you from sawing past your line on the far side of your workpiece by accident since the heel side will reach the depth first. A second advantage is that the angled presentation of the teeth makes for faster, easier sawing. I call gimmick on this. The baseline argument assumes that the sawyer is keeping the back of the saw parallel to the work. Spend any time with a back saw, and you will find that angling the saw slightly and working your line across the board, sometimes from the far side toward you, sometimes the opposite, is the best way to accurately saw to a knife line or pencil line. In fact, the really nice saws are hung (simply put, the angle between the handle and the tooth line) so that this angled presentation is the natural way the saw is used. Moreover the tooth geometry is matched so that optimal cutting happens at this natural hang angle. It seems to me that the canted blade is just messing with something that already happens when attention is paid to the hang angle in the first place. This feature is certainly not new, as it is found in many vintage saws. However, just because it was used back then doesn't mean it is right. In fact, I think hand tools were more prone to gimmicks back in the day when more people used them and more competition existed. I have worked with both canted and un-canted blades, new and vintage, and I can honestly state that the difference is negligible but leaning toward a proper hung saw and un-canted blade.

Thin Plate Saws

The thin plate creates a narrower kerf and allows for more precise cuts and easier work. It makes sense that the less wood that is removed the easier the work will be. Also a gimmick in my opinion. The specs will vary from maker to maker, but on average, the difference between a thin kerf and "regular" kerf saw is .004?. Somehow I don't think the perceived effort is any different and if so, I think I can handle that extra work. Maybe it will help me burn off that stick of gum I just chewed. As far as accuracy, are any of us cutting joints that are so small and need to be so accurate that this reduced kerf will actually make a difference? In reality, I think more problems arise with a thinner plate that could be more fragile. A beginner sawyer is going to be more likely to bend and kink the plate. I have no data on this, but I have to believe that the thinner steel will heat up faster and expand more readily in use. I wonder what the actual kerf is after the plate heats up? With an average difference of 4 thousandths, it wouldn't take much before that margin is gone. Then again, how much continuous sawing does one do with a dovetail saw? And the thin plate saws really are all dovetail saws. If a larger back saw was made to be thin kerf, it had better have a bamboo-wrapped handle and be meant to be pulled, or I would run the other way.

Folded Backs

Instead of a solid piece of brass or steel or whatever with a groove cut in it and glued to the saw plate, the folded saw back is folder over and holds the plate in tension. On this feature, I say useful (you thought this was going to be all negative didn't you?). With a folded back holding the plate in tension, you can easily adjust and re-tension the blade if you kink it. Moreover, the folded back provides a safety mechanism of sorts that allow the blade to move instead of causing harm to the tooth line with a rigid plate. Think about how your skis are designed to pop off your feet when you yard sale all over the ski slope and what shape your knees would be in if the skis didn't come off. Folded backs are more expensive because it takes more work to execute, but I think you will find they make for a better saw that will be more durable and stand up to the mistakes that beginner and advanced sawyers make.

Adjustable Mouth Planes

I'm a bit "meh" on this option. If you only have 1 or 2 planes, then I can see being able to adjust the mouth opening to accommodate a thicker shaving/chip. As an everyday plane user with a nice selection of planes to handle each stage of milling and joinery, I can say that I rarely, if ever, change this setting. My rough and medium planes are set for that purpose, and my smoothing and finished surface tools only do that job. Also, I work primarily with happy hand tool domestic species that don't require a super tuned plane to control tear out. I find that a medium mouth opening is more than sufficient for jointing and smoothing and only my Fore plane and Scrub plane require a wider mouth. So I'm on the fence as I can see it being useful, but I certainly wouldn't use this feature as basis for buying or not buying a plane. If you want this feature solely to control tear out, consider whether the woods you work really demand it.

Progressive Pitch/Rake/FleamA well fitting handle will do more for starting a saw than futzing with the tooth geometry

This is the practice of gradually changing the tooth geometry on a saw. Sometimes it is smaller teeth that get larger along the lengths and more simply it is a more relaxed rake with greater fleam that glides over the wood and makes the saw easier to start. I say gimmick! This may be a surprise to some of you as I myself used to think this was a great thing that turned a saw from good to great. Then it came time to resharpen it, and I found it confusing and annoying to have to adjust the geometry along the plate. This is one area of sharpening where I still use a guide and having to stop and change settings is really inconvenient. Maybe one day I'll ditch the guide, but I still can't see this changing my mind. If you pay more attention to your body mechanics and sawing technique, I think you can solve any problem that you would try to solve by gerrymandering the teeth of the saw. I did a Hand Tool School demonstration about a year ago on starting a saw, and I illustrated that by taking the weight off the toe, you can start just about any saw easily. With no starting back stroke. I successfully started a 5 ppi 28 rip saw with no rake or fleam in Ipe (a wood that makes granite cry) with a single, light forward stroke. That doesn't make me a savant, just aware of the weight at the toe of the saw. Messing around with this progressive stuff just complicates things and is nothing but a gimmick.

Higher Angle Frogs

This is another option that isn't new as you will find many vintage wooden planes with higher bed angles, and you will find some mention to higher angle frogs in the last century with metal planes. It seems like this additional frog and even the additional, higher bevel angle blade idea have really become popular in recent years. I'm not going to call this a gimmick because it does work to control tear out on really gnarly woods, but I will call it somewhat unnecessary. Unless you work with HEAVILY figured woods born deep in the rainforests that are harder than granite and have grain patterns more interlocked than a DNA strand, I think your tear out problems can be correct in other ways. A tight mouth, sharp blade, and good chip breaker position will solve this problem without having to swap blades or change the frog and without increasing the level of effort to push the plane.

I think I'll stop there. There are some more things that I could probably come up with, and I realize that I'm only talking about hand tools. I think the power tool makers are more guilty of this and have a lot more gimmicks built in to their tools. Can you say laser? But I would be speaking on that subject from a several year old perspective since my power tools and their gimmicks are currently taking up space in other woodworker's shops now.

So What's Wrong with Gimmicks?

Hey, I like lasers as much as the next guy, but what happens when the battery dies and I don't know how to line up a cut or level a picture without that laser? What skills am I skipping and not learning? When I get tear out on a board, do I just go buy a different plane, or do I try to solve the problem with what I have using my knowledge of wood and how a blade actually cuts? Your answers will probably be different than mind, and I do think in some instances getting that new tool may be the path of least resistance. You will also find that a gimmick-free tool may not exist anymore. When was the last time you could buy a car without power windows and locks?

Gimmicks and options can be a lot of fun, but the minute you start thinking that your perfectly good tool won't work now because it isn't canted with a laser line and kung-fu grip, you need to stop and think about what these features really will add to your woodworking experience.

So what do you think? Maybe I'm getting old and set in my ways and feel the need to bad mouth options that "kids today" have on their tools. I would love to hear from you whether you think the above are gimmicks or what other options you think might be useful or just gimmicks. Ready? Go!


This "Hand Tool School" series is provided courtesy of Shannon Rogers, a/k/a The Renaissance Woodworker. Rogers is founder of The Hand Tool School, which provides members with an online apprenticeship that teaches them how to use hand tools and to build furniture with traditional methods.

Clever Designs for Perpetual Calendars

4 hours 3 min ago

For those of you that still use physical calendars, maybe you like having a dozen photos of hapless kittens or shirtless firemen cycling through the months. But a subset of you might prefer a single grid that will serve for the entire year and that doesn't have any pages to be flipped. If that's the case, the perpetual calendar is for you.

I was not able to track this Russian design to its original source, but this is typical of the genre.

A fellow named Renan Rozante sells these plans for a laser-cut design.

I'm not so into this DIY design made from acrylic, but it does add color for visual pop.

This design on Amazon Japan makes clever use of a metal frame to line the days up with the dates.

Here's an all-metal design (that I was unable to attribute to the original source).

My favorite of all of these designs is the Perpetual Calendar designed by Keita Shimizu, because it does not have any excess numbers sticking out of the sides.

All of these designs have a UX flaw that you design nerds have undoubtedly spotted. That flaw being that there is no provision for obscuring the higher numbers for months that have less than 31 days.

Make This DIY Ruler Stop

Sun, 2017-07-23 08:51

Combination squares come in very handy in the shop. But the thing I hate is that I'll often set the depth, then need to leave it at that setting for various stages in a project, and I basically can't use the square for anything else in the meanwhile. For that reason I've been meaning to buy a simple ruler stop to free up the combination square.

After seeing what's in the photos below, perhaps I'll make one. Lumberjocks user Bas, who hails from Holland, posted these photos of his simple and elegant DIY ruler stop.

Just a simple ruler stop.
Made from beech and a modified brass nut.The magnet inside holds the ruler tight and adds some friction during precise setting.The last pic is a little tip: I added 2 magnets to my ruler. So I can pick up it very easily.

Nice work Bas!

Building Better Products Through High Fidelity Prototypes & Low Volume Manufacturing

Sun, 2017-07-23 08:51

– Sponsored Post –

Every product starts as an aspirational vision for how the finished result should look, feel, and function in the consumer's hands. However, the design process to transform ideas into mass manufacturable products is a road paved by technical reality and practical compromise. Mitigating risk before investing in mass manufacturing is a crucial step in ensuring market success.


Because the market is so highly competitive, products can be considered obsolete before they even reach their consumers. It is no longer enough for a product to be good—products must be excellent and be crafted specifically to meet customer needs and expectations.

Desktop 3D printing and creating photorealistic renderings only get us so close to experiencing the real thing. In order to truly measure and learn, we need to build.

Prototype sample run to test final fit, feel, and finish.

Adopting a lean development philosophy demands prototyping and testing earlier and more frequently throughout the design process. Prototyping regularly and with progressively higher fidelity allows designers to focus on key features, validate assumptions, and evolve into the final version. Decisions are now supported through testing and data and no longer rooted in mere assumption. The result: greater end-user satisfaction and long-term risk reduction.

Low volume, high resolution vacuum castings for collecting user feedback. LOW VOLUME, BIG RETURN

Between prototyping and mass manufacturing, there is one additional bridge to cross—you still need to experience the final product before going to full scale production, and that is where low volume manufacturing comes in. While investing in low volume manufacturing requires additional upfront capital, its real value is in the money you'll save by mitigating long-term risk before you invest in expensive tooling costs.

Iterating through low volume production reduces your long-term risk by:

-Validating usability and aesthetic decisions by presenting the product to your target audience

-Gauging consumer interest by showcasing beta-products to retailers and/or trade shows

-Generating community interest by fulfilling beta orders through crowdfunding platforms prior to mass manufacturing

-Increasing stakeholder confidence and/or pitch investors to secure additional funding

-Refining important features or implementing changes before investing in tooling costs

(left) ABS with soft-touch finish. (middle) 5-Axis precision stainless steel part. (right) Optically clear polycarbonate lens. A BETTER WAY TO MAKE BETTER THINGS

"We can't do that," or "Yes, but it'll be expensive," —phrases frequently heard from shops that claim to do low volume production.

In response, the founders at Firsthand Fab decided to create a shop that bridged the gap between design thinking and manufacturing. As a team of product designers and engineers themselves, Firsthand Fab recognizes the value of prototyping and low volume production as part of the process from vision to full scale manufacturing and have worked to develop techniques that allow for reasonably priced, low volume parts and products.

Partnering with Firsthand Fab means:

-Open dialogue about your end goals

-Help navigating fabrication options

-Collaborative and responsive communication

-Wide variety of processes and finishing options

-Seriously competitive pricing

Find out how Firsthand Fab can help you with prototypes, appearance models, functional parts or low volume production here.

A Super Organized Work Van

Fri, 2017-07-21 07:16

When Zack Dettmore replaced his old work van he went to extremes to organize the interior of the new one, outfitting it with a manufactured bulkhead and home-made shelving designed for the tools he carries.

I've seen a video of the setup he once used in his contracting business and his tools have changed a lot since that time—at least insofar as how he carries them. He now uses modular boxes, Festool Systainers for tools and Milwaukee's first-generation organizers for fasteners and small parts (Milwaukee's next generation organizers just came out, but they're incompatible with the first).

Because so much of what he carries is modular, there's almost no wasted space. I like how he notched the shelves to house the "feet" of Systainers to keep them from sliding out. 

His vertical charging station, with chargers mounted to the back of the bulkhead, is an excellent use of space. I also like that he puts heavy items close to the side door so he does not have to drag them out the back.

His labeling system makes a lot of sense—horizontal labels for what's in front and vertical labels for anything stored in back. Because when items are stored two deep, it's easy to forget what's behind. 

Long flat tools such as levels, short ladders, and track saw rails store in cross-wise cubbies behind the bulkhead (which he was smart enough to buy rather than build because you don't want to be hit by shifting cargo ).

Check out the video tour of Dettmore's work van. He has a lot of good ideas about organization, many of which would work equally well in a workshop or office.

Mutsuki's Organizational Objects Created with a Lasercutter

Fri, 2017-07-21 07:16

If you've got access to a lasercutter, some 4mm / 1/8" plywood and live or work in an untidy environment, Thingiverse denizen Mutsuki's got you covered. She's designed and/or remixed a host of organizational designs like these nifty Stackable Boxes:

And this Customizable Parts Box:

Or this all-purpose Portable Box:

And this reel that will hold 10 meters' worth of air hose:

Check out more of Mutsuki's stuff here.

Design Job: Navigate the Career Waters as Garmin International's Industrial Design Team Leader

Fri, 2017-07-21 07:16

As a leading worldwide provider of navigation, we are committed to making superior products for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor and fitness markets that are an essential part of our customers’ lives. Our vertical integration business model keeps all design, manufacturing, marketing and warehouse processes in-house, giving us more control over timelines, quality and service. Our user-friendly products are not only sought after for their compelling design, superior quality and best value, but they also have innovative features that enhance the lives of our customers.

View the full design job here