Tim Heffernan is a freelance writer interested in heavy industry and the natural world. [more inside]
Robert Bruno labored for decades to build one of America’s most striking houses, but died before he could complete it. Is there a way to preserve his work and legacy? [more inside]
A putter is a 'putter together of scissors.' This short documentary by Shaun Bloodworth follows the work of Cliff Denton, who works at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. More from the BBC, with Eric Stones, the other Master Puttertogetherer at the factory.
This is a collection of Francisco "Puree Tomatoes" Taccir's blog posts from Myspace and Friendster from 2005 – 2010. Tomatoes was a writer, artist, and addict who was born on February 26. 1977. He died on October 10, 2010 from a heroin overdose. [more inside]
For over a year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been digitizing old photos from its far-reaching library and putting them on a Tumblr called The Digs. [more inside]
This 1935 film of the London Midland & Scottish Railways' Crewe Works construction of a 4-6-2 Pacific-type steam locomotive [SLYT] is a fascinating study of heavy industry in prewar Britain. And not a hard hat in sight!
Blood, Sweat, and Steel: My Afternoon with the Ace of Swords. “When I got this sword, it was completely covered in blood rust.” Sword maker Francis Boyd is showing me yet another weapon pulled from yet another safe in the heavily fortified workshop behind his northern California home. “You can tell it’s blood,” he says matter-of-factly, “because ordinary rust turns the grinding water brown. If it’s blood rust it bleeds, it looks like blood in the water. Even 2,000 years old, it bleeds. And it smells like a steak cooking, like cooked meat. I’ve encountered this before with Japanese swords from World War II. If there’s blood on the sword and you start polishing it, the sword bleeds. It comes with the territory.” [Via]
Worc. Telegram: "Higgins Armory Museum to close after 82 years; Collection to find home at WAM; END OF AN ERA" The Higgins Armory in Worcester, Mass., will close on Dec. 31, 2013. Uncounted children will be saddened, as will modern swordsmen, when most of the museum's programs -- from educational "OverKnight" sleep-overs to the Academy of the Sword -- will come to a halt. Until then, though, the planned events will run full-tilt through 12/31/2013. [more inside]
They were the finest European swords the day, superior to almost any other on the battlefields of the Viking Age. Made from steel no one in Europe would know how to make until the Industrial Revolution. Stronger, more flexible, almost magical in combat, engraved with the mysterious name "+ULFBERH+T" by unknown makers, these swords were the both fearsome weapons and incredibly expensive prestige possessions. Only 171 have every been identified. And no one had made one from start to finish, using only hand tools, for over 900 years. [more inside]
The Perfection of the Paper Clip - It was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since. [more inside]
Craftsmen and women, some of them the last of their breed, making their art by hand and profiled in beautiful short-form videos: Knifemaker. Ornamental glass artist (previously). Master printer . Swordguard maker (previously). Beekeeper and honey maker. Stone lettercarvers. Carmaker. More, and related, at This Is Made By Hand, FolkStreams.net and (less related, but still wonderful) eGarage.
The kinetic sculptures of Anne Lilly.
The Tatara Project: Learn how to make your own Japanese tanto knives from homemade steel; just follow these explicit directions and 125 photos.
Sean Walling invites us into his machine shop to show us in great detail how each and every Soulcraft frame is hand designed for the individual customer based on their fit needs and riding style. [SLV]
Is your sword having difficulty cutting through boots filled with meat? Then perhaps you need the Cold Steel Two Handed Great Sword. [via] Trouble getting through your opponent's cleverly designed chainmail (and some cardboard boxes)? What you need is the Cold Steel War Hammer. Pesky eggs hanging from strings hanging from a wooden frame got you down? There's a solution: the Cold Steel Indian War Club. More Cold Steel products/videos here. (All meats utilized in these videos carefully preserved and donated to the Ventura County Rescue Mission.)
Steel Town is a pretty cool little film made in 1944 highlighting Youngstown, Ohio's steel industry and it's workers. The shots inside the mill are amazing. Now, much like other old steel towns, Youngstown is working to make a come back in new ways
Accomplished by seamlessly blending images captured with different photo and microscopy techniques – and some deal of illustration – delve deep into the matter, from the hair above to concrete, steel and more in the Weird, Weird Science Channel. Via forgetomori
Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival There stands the only plant in the world...capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak. From a windswept corner of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Japan Steel Works Ltd. controls the fate of the global nuclear-energy renaissance. Each year the Tokyo-based company can turn out just four of the steel forgings that contain the radioactivity in a nuclear reactor. Even after it doubles capacity in the next two years, there won't be enough production to meet building plans. [more inside]
Not only does Dr. Duncan Steel have a manly name, he's also one of the guys responsible for keeping those pesky asteroids away from Earth.
Help Dr. Steel take over the world! Doctor Steel is an escaped toymaker with an elaborate, flash-based website wherein you may witness him dancing, leaf through his notebooks and examine his toymaking ideas, and of course, buy his toys. Of particular interest are the recordings.
via the ever-lovin' Cartoonist.
via the ever-lovin' Cartoonist.
This has a value in our profession, and it doesn't have to do with scale at all. It has to do with the actual meaning of a house.
Trade Wars Bush imposes import tariffs on steel, something I didn't really expect coming from the administration. Dangerous precedent or useful bulwark against laissez-faire globalization?