welcome to my blog

designing and building with wood channels my creativity and challenges my mind.
This blog is a record of my life in my studio.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

QR Code for business cards?

A business development consultant advised me to add a QR code to my new business card, so that people could quickly navigate to my blog or website through their camera phone. It's an interesting idea, though I wonder

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vicco Von Voss: Mastering Fine Furniture

Vicco and Jacqui's timberframed home

See more of Vicco's work at the Massoni Gallery Website.

Achieving truly fine furniture is as much about talent and experience as it is about relationships.  

On a recent return home to Baltimore, Maryland, for Thanksgiving, we got the chance to visit with our friends Jacqui and Vicco Von Voss, who live and work in Centerville on the Eastern Shore. Jacqui and Vicco live in idyllic splendor amid vast forests of maple, oak, and walnut trees. On their property are several structures Vicco built himself, including an award-winning timber-framed home and a large workshop where Vicco creates unique custom furniture of unparalleled quality.

My friendship with Vicco began only a few years ago, when I

Monday, November 21, 2011

What goes into a loudspeaker?

I have built a couple of loudspeakers in the past 18 months, but they were very simple affairs: one driver, no crossover, and an open baffle.  But I aspire to make "real" speaker cabinets.  I have a good book, the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook (LDC), but I am also looking for more inspiration, and more options.  One challenge to speaker design, however, is matching the acoustical and mechanical properties of the drivers with the cabinet design.  One solution, which I will likely use, is building a speaker according to plans, such as those in the LDC.  The company Parts Express also sells speaker kits. 

As for myself, I plan to build my own cabinets.  But I am certainly tempted by the high-quality products available from Parts Express.  Here's a video showing what goes into a basic 2-way loudspeaker.  Interesting, no?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Custom 120 Cabinet & Canopy

>>>> Click here for the photo album of the project, step-by-step <<<<

I recently completed a custom cabinet and canopy for a 120 gallon aquarium.  The project represents several firsts for me, and is also the best aquarium cabinet I've made, with dozens of unique features for major load-bearing applications.  Apart from the design, the fit and finish on this cabinet are among my best work.  The doors, for example,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Building a Square Base Pyramid

when it came time to build a pyramid out of plywood, I found myself stumped. This seemingly simple task is made extremely complicated by the compound angles of the mitered edges of each panel in the pyramid.

I eventually created a truncated pyramid with trapezoidal sides with base angles of 22.5 degrees, and edge miter angles of 40.2 degrees each. I couldn't see any rhyme or reason to the relationship between these two angles, so I looked online.

This explanation is a pretty good one.

But then I found this calculator, which is even better! (no math).  but alas, it doesn't show the angles between the sides.   

THEN, I found this gem of a site: the Miter saw calculator website, with calculators for all kinds of compound miter cuts. 

I used it to predict the angles on my NEXT pyramid. Now, If I could only find tools accurate enough to make the cuts...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Review of Sketchup 8 Pro Solid Tools

I love Google's Sketchup software.  I have used the free version, and I currently use version 7 Pro, which is now free on Sketchup's website.  I have also tried the new version 8 Pro with Solid Tools.  My only gripe is that making actual complete plans is difficult because it's hard to draw compound angled faces, or manipulate profiled extrusions.  Sketchup isn't great at curves.  

But the Solid Tools are a major improvement in Sketchup, especially for