What tools did the Vikings use
to construct their ships? During the early years of the Song dynasty, while Sridhar Acharya's concept of "zero" was making it's way westward and a pair of anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets was committing the tale of Beowulf to animal skin, a Viking craftsman lost his tool chest. It is speculated that the chest fell overboard off a ship or through the ice into what was then a swamp on the modern island of Gotland, Sweden. The chest was unearthed in 1936
when a chain attached to the chest got caught on a farmer's plow. In it were the tools a Viking blacksmith/ship builder would need to ply his trade.
Named the Mästermyr chest its discovery was a boon to archaeologists, historians, re-enactors
, woodworkers and blacksmiths. The original tools
(catalogue of the items
) were restored and put on display. Numerous
copies and tributes
of the chest
or selected tools
have been made over the years including a complete replica
of both the chest and contents made using period techniques as a 'net project
of a blacksmiths and woodworkers. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral
on Feb 9, 2014 -
Shigeru Ban: ‘People’s architect’ combines permanence and paper"
Generally speaking, an architect’s style is defined by particular forms or shapes. There’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s prominent horizontal lines, for instance; Le Corbusier’s simple white boxes; or, more recently, the deliberately abstract masses of Frank Gehry — of Guggenheim Bilbao fame. But in the view of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, such formal elements are ultimately little more than reflections of current trends — in the first two cases above, Modernism, and in the third, “blobbism,” or the recent taste for irregular shapes made possible by computer-aided design.
According to Ban, the only way for architects to keep their work free from the influence of such transient fashions is to come up with new ways to actually build things — new materials, for example, or new approaches to structural engineering.
His own answer? Paper — or, to be more precise, cardboard tubes. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 26, 2014 -
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 16, 2013 -
is a crowdsourced map for people to share and post reusable materials that they spot left outside. It is a resource for creative hobbyists, artists and people conducting renovation works to find unique, salvageable old wood, windows, doors, metal, glass and furniture. So far I think it's mostly Toronto and Montreal but is expanding to other areas.
posted by dobbs
on Oct 28, 2013 -
“Solid Wood: All About Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood — and the Soul of Wood-Burning”
This best selling book by Lars Mytting highlights a passion for firewood and inspired a TV program in Norway about cutting, stacking and burning firewood. The TV program, on the topic of firewood, consisted mostly of people in parkas chatting and chopping in the woods and then eight hours of a fire burning in a fireplace. Yet no sooner had it begun, on prime time on Friday night, than the angry responses came pouring in. “We received about 60 text messages from people complaining about the stacking in the program,” said [Mr.] Mytting .... “Fifty percent complained that the bark was facing up, and the rest complained that the bark was facing down."
posted by caddis
on Feb 20, 2013 -
Wood Central is a long lived forum
for woodworkers predating even young upstart Metafilter. Having been around for so long the forums are a source of immense knowledge of all things wood and some of that has been collected into posting archives and essays on their Articles and Reviews
page. So if you ever wanted to know
Wood Central's article page has you covered. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral
on Feb 15, 2013 -
NewScientist is reporting new way of processing wood pulp making new wonder construction material.
To ramp up production, the US opened its first NCC factory in Madison, Wisconsin, on 26 July, marking the rise of what the US National Science Foundation predicts will become a $600 billion industry by 2020.
So why all the fuss? Well, not only is NCC transparent but it is made from a tightly packed array of needle-like crystals which have a strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times better than stainless steel. Even better, it's incredibly cheap.
posted by aleph
on Aug 27, 2012 -
is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside]
posted by zamboni
on Aug 13, 2012 -
On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising
. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1
. 2011 ComicCon Preview
. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning
) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 13, 2012 -
is a well-produced video blog about traditional woodworking with hand tools. Many of the videos are aimed at the beginner. [more inside]
posted by jedicus
on Oct 31, 2011 -
Michael had always claimed he could make anything from wood, and James called his bluff in a big way.
More than 1,000 man hours and a considerable amount of skill and ingenuity later, the SplinterBike
was ready to ride.
posted by veedubya
on Apr 27, 2011 -
Ron van der Ende
is a sculptor living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in wall mounted bas-relief constructed from found wood. The original color and texture of the wood is utilized to form a gripping and sometimes photo-realistic mosaic. The realism is further enhanced by the perspective built into the relief. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Mar 10, 2011 -
Russia's Wooden Churches
- A century after celebrated Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin
called for preservation of Russia's decaying wooden churches, architectural photographer Richard Davies revisits the churches to document and raise awareness of these gorgeous historic architectural treasures. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive
on Mar 14, 2010 -
A digital clock
made of wood and operated by 70 workers for one continuous 24-hour period. "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing."
posted by freshwater_pr0n
on Dec 27, 2009 -