When Toshio Tokunaga needs irons for his selection of kanna (handplanes and spokeshaves), he turns to Master Smith Yasuhiko Ohara to have them made from scratch, the traditional Japanese way. Which as it turns out, is quite the pain in the ass—because Japan doesn't have any iron mines. With no
Sandpaper has to be the number one consumable in the modern-day furniture shop. But a subset of craftspeople, like Toshio Tokunaga and his four apprentices, don't use any of the stuff—yet are still able to achieve a glass-like finish on their furniture pieces, even absent varnish. Anti-sandpaper furniture builders achieve
Mechanical robot grippers are designed to grasp specific shapes. This is perfect for assembly lines, where every object is the same. But what if a more flexible solution were required? Think of a conveyor belt covered with random junk that needed to be sorted for recycling: Imagine a robot hand
Later this year Leatherman will be releasing the Signal, a multi-tool specifically aimed at the outdoorsman/outdoorswoman. After interviewing survivalists, campers, hikers, hunters and fishers, the design team came up with a tool containing "pliers, saw, can and bottle opener, awl, removable pocket clip, hammer, replaceable wire cutters, a variety of
The brave can kill a single wasp with a flip-flop or a rolled-up copy of Time. But only the foolish go after an entire nest this way. The central "design problem" with eradicating a wasp nest is that the executioner needs distance; thus chemical companies proudly announce their wasp sprays
Maker Peter Brown wanted a plastic mallet, but rather than buy one, decided to make one himself—using whatever he had lying around, no plastic-handling equipment in sight. Which means, maniac that Brown is, he used a toaster oven to melt down milk jugs to get that delicious, creamy HDPE into
For those of you that own table saws, have you ever had to take yours apart? I'm not talking about swapping out the blade, I mean actually getting inside the machine and removing parts to perform maintenance. That's what Frank Howarth had to do when trying to diagnose and repair
Jeffrey Nelson runs Maryland-based Macpod LLC, which does software, electronics design and hardware prototyping. It being a small operation--I suspect maybe even a one-man shop--Nelson's got a tilting-column HiTorque Mini Mill in his house. Which means that during a recent snow-in, when Nelson found it "too wet and cold to
The last time we looked at an over-engineered Japanese product design of dubious utility, it was this highlighter with a see-through tip. I vowed not to fall into this trap again but I can't help myself. So today I'm staring at the order page for the Kadomaru Pro Corner Cutter,
Craighton Berman is the founder and creative director of Manual, a design brand that makes designed objects for food; he is an adjunct professor at University of Illinois at Chicago currently teaching "Entrepreneurial Product Development"; he has design work in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago; he
The way that a machine can "free" you is by doing both boring and exciting things. When you set up a machine to handle dull, repetitive tasks, or tasks of such sophistication that they require an undue amount of your attention, now you can turn your mind to what humans
For something that comes in a box, the Handibot is about as outside-of-the-box as you can get in terms of the way we think about power tools. ShopBot Tools' ingenious, diminutive invention is the world's first digital power tool, and since its successful Kickstarter launch in 2013, has swiftly made its way into the hands of a diverse user base.
Last year I stood in a snow-dusted field in Finland, handling a variety of bladed tools. There at Fiskars' proving grounds, a bunch of us visitors took turns chopping, cutting and slicing wood with a series of ingeniously-designed gardening tools that surprised me in their ease-of-use.
Furniture designer Jory Brigham tells us what six years with a Domino does for your work, and your workflow.
For the Core77 Tech-tacular, a look at a game-changing power tool of such unique utility and intelligent design that the capabilities of the tool itself actually change the way we are able to design and build.
This thing can cut wider boards than your bandsaw can, and it looks surprisingly doable
A craftsman builds contraptions in an effort to reconstruct pre-industrial production methods
These dudes bring the pane
Check out the existing designs. Can you do better?
Last year we saw the Pinclip, a combination paper clip/thumbtack, which allows you to affix papers to a corkboard without actually puncturing the paper. Alas, it was Japanese-market only. But now Chicago-based designer Mark Weiser has designed something similar (and got an earlier start than the Japanese product, see further
I love that people are still designing sawhorses. For such a simple, basic item that's been around for centuries, you'd think that by now we'd have settled on a perfect one and stuck with it. But the fact that folks can continue to tweak, innovate and personalize a sawhorse design
Despite an unintentionally hilarious product video, the Coolbox—billed as "The world's most advanced toolbox"—has successfully, swiftly tripled its funding target on Indiegogo. Before we get into this one, take a look:First off, I like a lot of the ideas in the design, assuming you'd have the toolbox within arm's reach...
Even earlier this month at CES it was clear that the wearables frenzy had lost some of its vigor since last year (presumedly as manufacturers try to make good on some of their overblown concept promises). Of the news that there was, it seemed that technology on the wrist...
And we mean quick 'n dirty. For every finely polished shop solution is an equally functional, nasty-looking one that you quickly bang out because you need it. And if there was a museum filled with people's ad-hoc shop creations from around the world, I'd be there once a month. The...
After a woodworker has cut his/her joinery, prior to final assembly they'll do a dry fit to make sure everything fits correctly. This can be challenging depending upon how complicated the piece is; the more tenons and mortises there that need to be lined up, the more swearing you'll do...
Our top-rated tool-related story of the year didn't involve a particular tool, but rather, the space where one stores and uses them. The story of a "Largely Intact Woodworking Shop from the 1700s Discovered, Being Used as a Storage Shed Behind a School" blew our minds and, judging by the numbers, yours.
My gym-going buddy says NYC's fitness centers will be packed to the gills--for the next two weeks. Getting in shape is apparently the number one New Year's resolution, though people start to fizzle as early as mid-January.For those of you with shops, let's make a more lasting resolution: To work...
Following their recent three-year $90-million mega-renovation, the Cooper-Hewitt has been going all out to raise the game of their recently relaunched all important museum SHOP. As part of their efforts, curator Chad Phillips has allegedly commissioned a number of home-grown designers to create a range of "exciting new products that...
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