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A Bare Bones Kit for Getting Started with Hand Tools, Building a Swedish Torch Camp Stove, Outdoor Furniture & More

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42
The Beginning Hand Tool Kit

Thinking of getting into hand tools? Here Shannon Rogers, founder of The Hand Tool School, shows you the beginning hand tool kit:

Backyard Gazebo for $500 w/ Limited Tools

Linn from Darbin Orvar tackles another large-scale project, this time constructing a gazebo on her father-in-law's property, using just a jigsaw and a hammer:

DIY Swedish Torch and Camp Stove

Ben Uyeda does something a bit different this week, creating a "Swedish torch"-style camping stove:

HomeMade Modern Loft Tour: The Bathroom

Not a build video, but this tour of Ben Uyeda's bathroom is cool because we get to see how many of the projects he's built have actually become integrated into his life:

Making Cedar Lawn Chairs

In this sponsored post, John Heisz builds outdoor furniture using DeWalts's Flexvolt line of tools:

Harbor Freight Belt Sander to Shop Vac Dust Port Adapter

Ben Brandt shows off a killer app for people who have shops and own 3D printers: Being able to make virtually any kind of dust port you need. With your own 3D printer, compatibility is no longer an issue.

How to Make a Knife Show Display, an Outdoor Storage Bench, the "Don't Drive Yourself Crazy" Approach to DIY & More

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42
Knife Show Display

Jimmy DiResta uses everything from forging techniques to a CNC plasma cutter to create a knife display system for a client:

Tall Bookcase, Clever Jigs

Matthias Wandel builds a tall bookcase out of scraps, coming up with a variety of clever jigs and techniques along the way. In particular, watch how he makes his own wood tap using an angle grinder:

Wood Turned Thin Walled Maple Bowl

Frank Howarth pushes his skills to the limit with this exercise, patiently trying to figure out how to solve problems that crop up as he goes:

The "Plan, But Don't Drive Yourself Crazy" Approach to DIY

From design to execution, Steve Ramsey shows you how he typically tackles your average DIY project:

Carving A Totem Pole

Here's a look at an interesting craft many of us don't get to see. The Samurai Carpenter visits Tom Lafortune, a carver of traditional totem poles and masks:

Outdoor Storage Bench

Bob Clagett bangs out a simple, sturdy outdoor storage bench:

Wheeled Vehicles from the Bay Area Maker Faire, Upsetting Street Design Mistakes and Remembering When "Special Effects" Were a Builder's Job

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

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:

25 wheeled vehicles from the recent Bay Area Makers Faire.

A fun DIY project for the weekend. BigFaceBox lets you gigantify your head.

Another "fun" DIY: Fidget Spinner nail art. Impress your kids.

They had a 50% chance of putting the hatch back in the right position...

The title says it all...

Bloomberg looks into why it took 7 years to create the transparent bottoms on Nike's new Vapormax shoes.

Why are Donut Boxes Pink?

When "special effects" was the job of a builder.

A blow to patent trolls.

A cultured and illustrious reference point for our own weekly (more hot-doggy) link round-up, Arts & Letters Daily should be a regular stop for you too. Today we’ll do a bit of “value-add” and line up these three recent links for you; a triptych of cultural insight: our consumerist origins, dressed-down present and a fixation on the future.

Speculative Needs XOXO - conceptual exhibit by Lebanese design students during Lebanon Design Week.

Making light bulbs the old-fashioned way.

Hot Tip: Check out more blazin' hot Internet finds on our Twitter page.

Mid Century Modern Find of the Week: Danish Modern Entry Chest

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

This Danish modern entry chest hails from the mid-1960s and is crafted in rosewood and copper.

Two drawers provide storage.

We've had a few other pieces with this same copper relief by Mobel Intarsa, which this chest may have been made by, but as it is unmarked, there is no way to definitively say who manufactured it.


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.

Design Experience that Matters: How to Build a Z-Rack Whiteboard and Save $150

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Every design studio goes through mountains of post-it notes while brainstorming and charting ideas. We love the portability of flip-chart posters, but even after moving to a big studio in Salem we never had enough wall space.

Then we found Make Space by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft at the Stanford's d-school. Their design for a DIY whiteboard made from a garment z-rack was perfect: the wheels meant we could park them anywhere in the studio, and the bases nest together to reduce clutter. Building them ourselves saved money, which is great because we're a cheapskate nonprofit and we wanted ten of them.

We made a short video to show you how we modified the Stanford z-rack whiteboard design, and to share some of the accessories we designed to make the z-racks even more useful. You can also find our HOWTO guide on Instructables. We've shared the z-rack parts as Autodesk Inventor and STL parts on Thingiverse so you can modify and print them yourself.

The Best of WantedDesign 2017

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

On an all-inclusive note that considers makers from all of New York City's boroughs, WantedDesign continues to give design lovers not one, but two locales and experiences to visit during the NYCxDesign festivities. Each event in turn brings its own special flavor to the fair and exhibition mix. One fair, taking place in Wanted Design's lovely headquarters in Industry City, focuses on the future and community: how has the current economic and political situation we live in shifted our perspective as designers? In what ways can designers around the world collaborate and communicate in order to create a better world? The Brooklyn respite included works from innovative students from around the globe as well as exhibitions organized by Oui Design, an organization dedicated to fostering great design between creatives in the US and France. The Brooklyn space also took some playful turns, even offering some delicious and unusual honey tastings.

On the other side of the bridge was Wanted's Manhattan space, which honed in on the here and now by displaying beautiful renditions of form and function by working designers—the Manhattan fair offered up selections from small local furniture studios, a number of pieces featured in Salone's Ventura Lambrate exhibit in Milan, as well as several interactive stations ruminating on topics such as immigration, news echo chambers, each one thought up by students in the SVA Products of Design Program.

WantedDesign BrooklynWantedDesign Brooklyn began with a nice spring opening party in the courtyard of their headquarters in Industry City.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynWantedDesign Brooklyn began with a nice spring opening party in the courtyard of their headquarters in Industry City.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynSVA's MA Design Research Program manned a booth that visualized topics discussed in their recent thesis presentations. These Monopoly game pieces on display are part of graduate student Alexander Bevier's research on the history of game design and how the objects and images them gain cultural relevance.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynFor her thesis work, SVA MA Design Research grad Emma Ng's looked at "food startups Blue Apron and Soylent, examining how their visions for food systems change filter down into the products, experiences, and social lives they design for their customers." In conjunction with her research regarding food, her visual display at Wanted envisioned how a sort of apocalyptic survival cookbook of the future might read.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynThe welcoming "Honey bar" run by Green Island at the entrance of the Wanted Brooklyn space was a hit. The booth offered tasting of local honey served in a variety of innovative ways (they had all kinds of interesting honey variations, including a sour flavor).Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynThe University of Oregon's new Sports Product Design Master's degree program just launched last year and debuted some of their final projects from the first year at Wanted (more details from this exhibit in a later post!).Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynOutside the Box 6.0 was an exhibit at the Industry City space showcasing groupings of objects made by designers from specific geographic areas with prominent design communities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, New York and Montreal.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynOutside the Box 6.0 was an exhibit at the Industry City space showcasing groupings of objects made by designers from specific geographic areas with prominent design communities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, New York and Montreal.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynSVA's Products of Design Program curated a speculative exhibition called "Coincident Times", creating a number of conceptual products "for the present day that become catalysts towards their imagined futures." More on what exactly they designed in a follow-up post.Photo credit: Core77WantedDesign BrooklynThe SVA students created a fake news-esque newspaper brochure including future-gazing essays and images of their individual product designs.Photo credit: Core77View the full gallery here

Put Safety First with Zephyr Lock's New Product Line

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Zephyr Lock recently launched their new product line designed by StudioMoya. The new line of electronic and mechanical locks feature superior aesthetics, numerous locking functions to ensure the highest level of security, along with proven and reliable technology enhanced to meet all locker security requirements. Each Series—Club, Professional, and Architectural— offers a variety of capabilities to fulfill any lock need and application.

View the full content here

3D Fuel's Water-Soluble Filament for 3D Printing

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

3D Fuel is an American and European manufacturer of 3D printing supplies. "After conducting a survey with its user base," 3D Printing Media Network writes, "3D Fuel found that the most desired material to add to its offer was: Water soluble support filament." Thus they've come up with HydroSupport, a PLA-like filament that breaks down in water and is eco-friendly:

HydroSupport comes in both 1.75mm and 2.85mm diameters, with lasers used to ensure consistent diameter during the manufacturing process.

One warning is that since it's water-soluble, if you live in a humid area, you'll have to store the stuff in a sealed container filled with desiccant.

You can learn more here.

Design Job: Ready to Rock? Universal Music Group is Seeking a Web Designer in New York, NY

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company. In everything we do, we are committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship. We own and operate a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising, and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. We identify and develop recording

View the full design job here

Hand Tool School #32: Which Saw to Get First

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

I get asked which saw a beginning woodworker or even someone wanting to use more hand tools should buy first. There are a lot of things that make this answer "it depends" but I feel pretty strongly that it should be a carcass saw. This video is a detailed look at why it should be the first saw you buy and depending on how much hand tool work you do, maybe the last saw you buy.

PS: sorry I forgot to correct for the fisheye effect in a few of the wide angle shots, I think it looks kinda cool, but I'm sure someone out there won't like it.

Saws Used in the Episode:

Bad Axe Small Tenon Saw with Hybrid Filing

Lie Nielsen Carcass Saw

Bontz Toolworks Carcass Saw

Bad Axe Sash Saw

Bad Axe Dovetail Saw

Bad Axe Stiletto Saw

Not shown, but still a great saw is the Veritas Carcass Saw

Don't forget the vintage Market and guys like Hyperkitten or Jim Bode Tools


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.

Our Favorite Booths at ICFF 2017

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Taking up more than 165,000 square feet in the gargantuan Javits Center, ICFF is likely home to any type of design style and designer you're looking for—lavish, minimal, handmade or downright dramatic, there's a little something for everyone in the sprawling space. This year felt particularly broad, as it welcomed not only ICFF regulars, but also young newcomers and a number of promising design programs around the country. As university design programs were invited this year to attend and exhibit for free, the school projects living amongst commercial booths brought about an overall welcome mix of small and big, functional and conceptual (stay tuned for more about the student projects coming up in a later post).

For those whose feet proved too weak to check out everything or simply didn't get a chance to see things on the floor of the fair (it's okay, the fair is exhausting and the Starbucks lines were long), we've highlighted here some of our favorite commercial projects and booths to demonstrate the best of 2017.

So it beginsMaking our way into the madness inside the Javits CenterPhoto credit: Core77"Rumors Fly" Pop-UpAmerican Design Club's pop-up shop installation "Rumors Fly" at the entrance of the ICFF floor.Photo credit: Core77Playful 3D printed ceramic lighting by Christo Logan's studio, Two Parts, housed in a tech-inspired installation by Katie Shima.Photo credit: Core77Up close, the forms are equal parts fun and elegant.Photo credit: Core77Up close, the forms are equal parts fun and elegant.Photo credit: Core77This cool ombre gradient bench by Ercol is actually one of their original designs and has been around for over 50 years, but amazingly seems to fit perfectly in the mix with pieces made in 2017.Photo credit: Core77Designed by Jordi Ribaudí for Barcelona-based design company TORU's, the CLOP chair is inspired by the manufacturing of clog shoes—from its half wood half leather materials to its unusual form.Photo credit: Core77Just like traditional clog shoes, the CLOP chair was made using primitive manufacturing methods and natural materials.Photo credit: Core77Stellar WorksA look into Stellar Works' booth, which featured new work from designers Neri & Hu, Yabu Pushelberg, Creme and Space Copenhagen.Photo credit: Core77Neri & HuThe Arta Collection designed by Neri&Hu, part of the Stellar Works booth. Their liquid vessel with a brass handle was inspired by Chinese traditional wine bottles and the cups can be stacked on the neck of the bottle.Photo credit: Core77View the full gallery here

Amazon's NYC Bookstore Transposes Digital Conventions Onto a Physical Environment

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Amazon has been opening physical stores for two years now, and today they open their first physical bookstore in New York City's Columbus Circle. It is interesting to see how they've essentially transposed their digital strengths into an actual environment, rather than aping the design conventions of a Barnes & Noble or a Borders.

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

First off, you'll see nary a book spine. All of the books are displayed cover-out, as they are on their website, for maximum visual punch:

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

They've replicated their useful digital features in both their reviews…

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

…and even their "If you like this, you'll love…" recommendations:

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

They've harnessed their data to isolate a section of books that people can't put down:

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

And they're selling physical objects right next to books related to using those objects:

Image: Recode/Dan Frommer

What we still can't figure out is…why the heck are they bothering? Apple Stores make perfect sense, as the tactility that compels folks to buy their wares cannot be experienced online. But few people need to feel a book to decide if they want to read it, and Amazon cannot possibly move as many physical objects through a retail store's footprint as they can with their warehouses.

As an end user, would you ever visit an Amazon store, and if so, why?

Reader Submitted: This Student Used 3D Printing to Combine the Best Parts of Discontinued Cameras Into One Device

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

3D Hubs recently received an application for their Student Grant from Paul Kohlhaussen a student at Richmond. Thanks to 3D printing, Paul was able to combine expensive and discontinued cameras into one new device: The PK-6142016, also known as the Cycloptic Mustard Monster.

Cycloptic Mustard Monster - FrontCycloptic Mustard Monster - TopCycloptic Mustard Monster - ExplodedView the full project here

Video of Why Marc Newson Made This Stunning $12,000 Hourglass

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

It takes a lot for me to be absolutely smitten by an object, but this is it. Marc Newson, in collaboration with Hodinkee, sought out hard-to-find craftsmen to create this stunning, tactile, ultra-designed hourglass. If that sounds frivolous to you, I'd ask you not to pre-judge, and just watch why and how they created it:

Introducing: The Marc Newson Hourglass For HODINKEE from HODINKEE on Vimeo.

Design Job: Knockout! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is Seeking a Project Manager and Graphic Designer in Las Vegas, NV

Sun, 2017-05-28 19:42

Become a Champion with us: Just like the way our fighters prepare with their training partners to be the very best, here at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) we encourage that type of teamwork. A UFC employee, like a mixed martial artist, is well-rounded and willing to

View the full design job here

Vitsœ's 'The Strong collection' Gives an Intimate Glance Into the World of Braun Product Design 

Thu, 2017-05-25 19:17

Tucked away in Soho was one of our favorite exhibits on display during NYCxDesign: The Strong collection. On display at Vitsœ's NYC location, the exhibit featured around 75 items from Tom Strong's 250+ item collection of Dieter Rams-designed Braun products. Strong's diverse collection ranged from tabletop cigarette lighters to electric mixers, most of which were actually used by the collector himself. The pairing of well-loved objects and hilarious quotes from the opinionated Strong created a truly personal exhibit, a breath of fresh air from those featuring objects for sale. Needless to say, we felt like kids in a 1960s candy shop. 

Braun packaging Remote control for the Atelier combination hifi system, Peter Hartwein, Dieter Rams, 1982-84. This example was branded ADS as they distributed in North America Phase 2 clock, Dietrich Lubs, 1972 SK4 radio phono combination Claritone model, produced for Canadian market, Hans Gugelot, Dieter Rams, Herbert Lindinger, 1956

Strong started out collecting stamps at a young age, but transitioned to collecting Braun objects during his time in the US Army. The first item he acquired was a T1000 radio, and the collection kept growing as Strong gained an appreciation for the day-to-day usability and durability of Rams' designs.

BM 12 shaver, Florian Seiffert, 1972. Look at that cute brush on the side!M 140 hand mixer, Reinhold Weiss, 1968Strong noted to Vitsœ that he developed an obsession with grids in design school that carried over to his love of Braun packaging.(left to right) KTC/KC combination kitchen clock, Dietrich Lubs 1988; MPZ 1 juicer, Robert Oberheim, Reinhold Weiss, 1965

Through Strong's quotes littered throughout the exhibit, it became clear the collector appreciates Rams' attention to small design details. At one point, he calls out how Rams' kitchen appliances come apart in the right places for easy cleaning and how his controls '"told you quietly 'lift me' or 'push me'". 

BP 1000 hair dryer, Robert Oberheim, 1983 (left to right) ET 66 calculator Dieter Rams, Dietrich Lubs, 1987; SM 31 electric razor Gerd Alfred Muller, Hans Gugelot, 1962 (2 razors on the right)T 52 radio, Dieter Rams, 1961 TG 1000 reel to reel tape recorder, Dieter Rams, 1970 Audio 400 hifi system, Dieter Rams, 1973 F 900 flash, Robert Oberheim, 1974

During his time at Braun, Rams found a way to clearly communicate the use of each product to the everyday consumer while keeping them beautiful enough to display in the home. Strong reinforced Rams' desire to make good design accessible to all by donating his collection to Vitsœ, who will soon move the entire collection to England where it will be permanently on display in Vitsœ's new building in Royal Leamington Spa.

Audio 2 hifi, Dieter Rams, 1964 Nizo S40 & S56, Robert Oberheim, 1968 HLD 4 hair dryer, Dieter Rams, 1970 HL 70 desk fan, Reinhold Weiss, Jurgen Greubel, 1971.  The fan rests on the plastic stand when not in use. (left to right) Domino ashtray set, Dieter Rams, 1976; Domino lighter, Dieter Rams, 1976. If you're going to smoke cigs, do it in style.

The Strong collection exhibit closes today, but the full collection will be on display later this year in England. Learn more about Strong's story and his incredible collection here.

Tools & Craft #48: A Look at Violin Makers' Planes

Thu, 2017-05-25 19:17

Luthiers have a problem. When making a stringed instrument, the belly (front) and back need to be thin in the right places so that they will vibrate correctly, and thick and strong in other places so that string tension doesn't break the instrument. To do this they must carefully remove slivers of wood in very localized areas.

While scrapers are very useful, small, metal "violin makers planes" evolved at least as far back as the 16th century. In France, by the mid-18th century they had evolved to essentially the same form as the circa 1910 Preston violin-makers plane seen at the left of the photo below.

From left to right: Preston, ESE and two Laarman with palm rest, Laarman without palm rest.A close-up of the toothed iron in the Preston.

Available sizes listed in the 1909 Preston catalog ranged from 5/16" - 15/16" in either a flat or convex sole. Preston's planes were supplied with both a regular plane blade and a toothed blade. The latter blade significantly reduces the tearout you get when planing, and cannot always plane with the grain. Preston's offerings were similar to most British planemakers. Preston closed in 1932.

The second plane from the left was made by an English company named ESE. They made similarly styled planes in a full range of sizes. Machined from solid bronze, which negated the need for a fancy casting, the style is boxy but ESE planes worked well. ESE ceased production shortly after the turn of the 21st century.

The two planes on the right are by an American, Christopher Laarman. I had the privilege of stocking a few of his planes for the few years he made them (circa 1990's-2003). The highly sculptured bodies were investment cast and fit fingers perfectly. The irons, which are solid and thick were by Ron Hock. The sculptured bodies are a joy to hold, a joy to use, and a feast for the eye. His planes are treasured today. The larger of the two Laarman planes in the picture has a palm rest, which many people feel gives them even more control.

Luthiers also use small block planes, which are sometimes also called "violin planes". But the larger violin planes, (which are still pretty small) developed separately, with a different set of roots that also go back to the Renaissance. These larger block planes are the ancestors of the entire modern family of mitre, block, and bench planes.

There are a few makers of violin maker's planes around today. IBEX is probably the most well known although I haven't used one and don't have an opinion on if they are any good.

By the bye, I am calling their planes "violin maker's planes" rather than just the more common "violin planes" because that's how Preston listed them in their index. Also it's more pretentious. Either term is obviously correct. "Finger Plane" is another term that is used, but in my view, that term is more suited for the family of small boxwood planes that were used by cabinetmakers and casemakers, not by luthiers.


This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.

Movisi's Lego-like, Lightweight Modular Furniture

Thu, 2017-05-25 19:17

German manufacturer Movisi (pronounced "move easy") has created a lightweight and modular furniture system called Grow. The system is based around a single component that the user can attach to others via tool-free connectors; they can then build them out, like Legos, into seating, storage or room-dividing units.

The modules are also exceptionally lightweight, being made from expanded polypropylene, which is technically a foam but confers the performance characteristics of plastic: They're sturdy, impact-resistant, antibacterial and waterproof. And each module weighs just 10 ounces (the team reckons that the pieces are 95% air by volume).

Here's a look at the system:

And here's how the modules work:

Movisi is currently running an IndieGogo campaign to fund the tooling. Their funding target is €25,000, and at press time they were a little over halfway there with €14,332 in pledges and a month left in the campaign.

Microsoft's Beautiful, Design-ey New Surface Pro

Thu, 2017-05-25 19:17

Now that Apple has slowed down on innovative design, it's great to see that Microsoft is picking up the slack. Yesterday they put out a video of their new Surface Pro, and the thing looks amazing:

I'm digging not only that they've developed their own style for the video—remember that stretch of time when all people did was try to look like Apple's videos?—I'm also loving the outside-of-the-box thinking here. Every laptop requires the hinge between keyboard and screen to support the latter, but here the kickstand does the supporting, taking the burden off of the keyboard connection. I'm not sure if using it would prove irritating—in a café, for instance, you'd need more free table space behind the screen—but I'm impressed that Microsoft is willing to take these kinds of experimental risks.

I'm also very curious to see, and try using, the "next generation hinge" in person.

We all know that Apple does things on their own terms, and typically will not react to a competitor's product by trying to one-up them. That is a shame and, these days it seems, to their detriment.