How about those guys at Benjamin Moore. The paint applies by brush,
and the size of the brush determines the size of the checkers.
Nano engineering at its finest. The only drawback so far is that it
only comes in water base and two colours.
Thanks for that...
You are bringing back some great memories.
In the 60s I attended a wonderful high school called
Brooklyn Tech, and took a pattern making course.
In the tool crib there were all sorts of terrific things.
I remember the cans of checkerboard, and polka dot paint: 2"
White on Black, 2" Black on White, 1" in the same colors.
Also, left and right handed wrenches.
And hanging in the corner, various lengths of "Shore Line."
I'll tell you another piece of the culture at that wonderful
The pattern making teacher was a great guy named Klee.
On one occasion, he singled out the job being worked on by a
student named Barditch. Mr. Klee called the other students
around Barditch's bench and gently made an "example" of the
work done there. He pointed out a dozen errors the kid had
The kid asked if he should get another piece of stock to
start again, and Mr. Klee explained that we were not in a
situation that would allow him to waste what amounted to
about a half of a board foot of pine.
He told the kid to "Go up to 2N4 to ask Mr. Nepo for a jar
of Number 5 Expanding Solution, and all the necessary
equipment for its application."
Barditch headed for the stairs...
A few minutes later, he returned wheeling a cart with all
sorts of stuff on it surrounding a gallon jar labeled
prominently "#5" and containing what appeared to be rusty
Klee then called the students to Barditch's bench and asked
Barditch to "suit up." The kid put on the heavy rubber
apron, the neoprene gloves that went to his arm pits, and
the special face mask.
The teacher then handed Barditch the special (metal handled)
brush for the application of the solution to the job.
But moments later Klee shouted "No!!!" and Barditch stopped
in his tracks..."
Always eager to teach, Klee then asked the breathless
Barditch what he thought would happen were so much as one
drop of the "Number Five" to touch the maple bench top. The
kid understood immediately that the expansion of that one
small area would be such that the bench would all but
Klee then had Barditch alternately layer upon the bench the
Nepo supplied newspaper and sheets of plastic apparently cut
for this purpose.
With that protection in place, and to the obvious relief of
all of the students, Barditch painted the block of wood with
Klee then handed Barditch a pair of huge tongs, and asked
that the job be locked in the appropriate drawer beneath the
Moments later, a tone rang in the hallway, and the students
started to leave the room.
I was responsible for sweeping up the shop, and so, would
often linger to chat with the teacher. As soon as no other
kids were in the room, I went over and said "Hey Mr. Klee,
that was great, but why didn't you tell him? The joke's
Klee looked at me with a wink, and said "The joke has barely
With that, he reached into his own bench, and pulled out a
huge duplicate of Barditch's job. Though perhaps five times
the size, it was identical down to the missing chips, the
finger smudges, and the same sloppy, greasy looking,
penciled name "Barditch" that identified it.
He walked over, unlocked the drawer in Barditch's bench and
He unceremoniously tossed the original job into the trash
bin, and then gently inserted its "replacement." It was
sized so that it would not fit without a careful push.
The following day, we all filed in, and started our work.
But the buzz of activity was soon interrupted by a scream
when young Barditch opened that drawer...
All this was about fifty years ago, and I remember it as if
it happened yesterday.
It's nice to have all that come back,
I've heard a bunch of those stories, but they're usually more mean-
spirited practical jokes. Klee was a pip. Why did you leave that
place? You wanted to go out and get a _real_ job...? Not nearly as
Reminds me of when I used to work in a truss shop and a right of passage for
every newbee was when a piece of lumber was too short someone would send him
off to look for the "board stretcher". Everyone was in on the joke and would
send the kid from worker to worker looking for this miracle device.
On Wed, 2 Apr 2008 07:00:11 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour
It really was interesting:
That school had 6000 students, all boys, and it drew from
all over New York City.
Run a different way, it could easily have developed a
culture that was, as you commented, "mean spirited" but it
did not, at least in my era.
There were occasional exceptions of course, but the vast
majority of the teachers quite obviously loved the kids.
And yes, Mr. Klee was great.
I'll mention another thing about him:
Four years after I graduated, I returned as a teacher of
mathematics, and one of the great joys of that experience
was getting to know Mr. Klee (and other teachers) as
After a few years, I left for other opportunities.
(Please hold on to your seat as we are about to move in a
direction that could be considered, by some, to be ON
Still later, in a hobby-business sort of thing, I bought out
an axe company that had been located in Oakland, Maine. They
had absolutely incredible tools, and I sold them off.
Among the tools were many broadaxes, some with bits as long
as 14", but unlike the other tools that I bought, the
broadaxes were not ready for sale. They still needed
At some point, as I was trying to learn something more about
the metallurgy related to preparing those tools for sale, I
realized that there were metallurgy teachers at Brooklyn
Tech who would be happy to help me.
Carrying one of those huge axes in each hand, I walked into
the familiar building, and waited for the faculty elevator.
I entered, and immediately saw my buddy Klee talking with
another teacher, but oddly, he acted as if he did not know
Moments later, in a stage whisper, he said to the other
fellow "Ignore him, he's in the Mikado."
All the best,
Tue, Apr 1, 2008, 6:27am (EDT-3) email@example.com (Robatoy) doth
How about those guys at Benjamin Moore. The paint applies by brush, and
the size of the brush determines the size of the checkers. Nano
engineering at its finest. The only drawback so far is that it only
comes in water base and two colours.
You've never heard of the Acme Paint Company? They invented that
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I do not have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
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