Thought experiment

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Last night I was watching the "Handyman Challenge" and their first challenge went something like this: You get 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood. You have access to some crappy craftsman tools, table saw, CMS, circular saw, jig saw, drill, belt sander, probably a few others. Didn't see any routers or nail guns. An assortment of screws and hinges are available. You have 90 minutes. Build something.
What would you do?
What would you do if you had the same supplies but your own shop to work in?
-Kevin
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I'd cut the two sheets in half the hard way, and glue the front from one and the back from another together. I'd tell them I needed to 1/2" ply sheets but I didn't want to run to the lumber yard. It's an appropriate project - it shows a lot of skill and it's pointless...like that show. ;)
Seriously, though? I would have made a Morris chair with jigsawed out slats.
R
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90 minutes? An armoir.
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Kevin wrote:

I would say fuck this and that I'm slow, old and lazy. Call me in a year or two.
mahalo, captain dickwad :-)
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"Kevin" wrote:

--------------------------------- Get a beer and tell them to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.
That takes 90 minutes.
The engineering definition takes longer.
Given some time:
http://tinyurl.com/yh9usym
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

I'd be lucky to have my design Sketched-Up in 90 minutes...but I would not have wasted so many sheets of plywood either.
Great concept: encourage people to race against the clock with power tools! ;) The show is clearly a commercial gimmick. The Woodsmith show need not worry and perhaps it can pick up some new viewers.
Bill

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90 minutes???
Build a plywood sheet goods rack.
Last night I was watching the "Handyman Challenge" and their first challenge went something like this: You get 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood. You have access to some crappy craftsman tools, table saw, CMS, circular saw, jig saw, drill, belt sander, probably a few others. Didn't see any routers or nail guns. An assortment of screws and hinges are available. You have 90 minutes. Build something.
What would you do?
What would you do if you had the same supplies but your own shop to work in?
-Kevin
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What station airs the Handyman Challenge?
On 09/06/2010 08:31 PM, Kevin wrote:

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On Mon, 06 Sep 2010 21:37:47 -0400, Michael Kenefick
It was on HGTV. Wouldn't really recommend it, it has Mike Holmes in it so I thought it might be good but it's just a vehicle for overt product placement for Sears. I thought it was an interesting challenge though.
Personally I would be tempted to say screw it and ask if I could take the plywood home with me instead of waste it, if it looked like decent stuff. 40 sheets of ply wasted.
I would probably have whipped up a circular saw guide off the edge of the plywood while I thought about what to build. Probably a tool chest, rolling if they had any casters. Whip up the chest quick as possible and then add whatever I could with whatever time was left. You can get a lot done in 90 minutes if you don't panic.
Out of the 20 people, there were a couple half decent dog houses, I think 4 wine racks (all clustered together so 3 people had no idea what to do) all of which were horrible. A big table that looked decent from a distance but the understructure was pretty nasty (but the judges seemed to like it) A couple chairs. A headboard that was pretty heinous. And then some real crap.
The second challenge was a piece of ply about 4'x4' with a hexagon and a rounded rectangle attached to it, in just odd angled positions. They had to cut holes in another piece of ply so that it would fit over the two shapes. In 15 minutes. With just a tape measure, piece of string, pencil, drill, jig saw. I don't think they had a square which was ridiculous. But one person actually managed it, with 4 minutes to spare. One fellow decided to just freehand draw it and hope for the best.
There was also a what is wrong with this rough framed wall test.
Then the Sears guy gave them a test to see if they could identify some tools, some old stuff and then you can guess what else he showed them. I guess it was supposed to make the Craftsman stuff look super high tech, but all I thought was all that old stuff people still want around after 50 years and all the crap you just showed will be on craigslist or in a landfill next year.
-Kevin
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snip(just for you LB)
You have 90 minutes. Build something.

Build the MCs Coffin.

Think about it for a few days.

--
National Socialism showed what can happen when very ordinary people get
control of a state and the merely opportunistic are regarded as
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In the best Don LaFontane voice:
Imagine a world with no Sketchup. A world without nailguns. A place without Dominoes, DowelMax or biscuit machines. A universe that didn't know a simple project required thousands of dollars of tools, and weeks of planning.
The time? Nineteen hundred and seventy five. The place? Welcome to the jobsite.
*********** My boss: Robert, take a couple of sheets of that birch and make a *utility* cabinet for that back washroom, OK? This isn't a retirement project. Don't get too fancy. It will be painted. Art will make it look nice.
Me: OK. You want to hang it, or have it sit on the floor?
My boss: Which ever is faster. Get going.
***********
Using the predecessor to Sketchup (a pencil and a piece of paper) I begin.
Then I get tired of doodling and start cutting. We had no jobsite tablesaw when I was on the road crew, so this was done with a circular saw, a framing square and a new arrival on the scene, a "speed square".
Using one piece of plywood as the straight edge, I place it on the sheet to be ripped to 16", with 1 1/2" added to it. The 1 1/2" reflects the most outward kerfed tooth distance to the shoe, which will be used as the guide.
After correct placement, a 4d is driven (gasp!) into the plywood at each end to ensure it doesn't move. After the the first piece 16" wide is ripped off, that becomes the new, easier to handle guide.
All material is ripped to 16" width.
I now cut three (at once - just barely) of my rips to 64" in length. I have used one piece, and have two sides, and three shelves 32" in length.
I have two more rips. I cut one more rip into three 32" pieces. Now I have one more shelf, and two doors, all 32" in length.
I have one more rip. Attaching the rip guide to the saw (we didn't travel with a Powermatic, and no portable saws in those days) I cut two strips 2 1/2" wide (now known as rail and stile stock) off the remaining rip.
This leaves 11".
The layout, working from the bottom:
The idea is to have doors on the bottom and an open shelf on the top for quick reach items.
The bottom shelf is 12" off the ground. This shelf is also positioned to be covered by the bottom of the bottom rail. (12" will accommodate all kinds of bottles, containers, etc., that might leak such as cleaning agents, laundry detergent, etc.)
The remaining shelves are laid out to reflect the correct position of the stiles. You can put two or three shelves behind the doors, as long as you get the top shelf correctly for the rail, with your 32" door installed to cover all shelves.
Cut the rails and stiles and install with glue and 6d finish nails. Since plywood is often hard and gnarly, take a straight 6d, and nip the head off it. At the point side, grind it to a spade bit on your belt sander. This is now your pilot hole tool.
Assemble all of it. At the top, cut back (starting at your top most shelf, the one attached to the top rail) and cut a slant back towards the back of the cabinet from 16", to 11". You already have your top shelf material ripped.
Cut the to shelf 11" X 32". Install. Cut the remaining 64" of your 11" rip into two 32" pieces. Tuck these under the first shelf hidden by the doors and the bottom shelf on the exposed bottom area. Nailing and gluing these will make this remarkably sturdy.
I liked a center stile, but not more than 2". Cut that, and center it on the open area to receive the doors, effectively cutting it in half.
Since you laid it out properly, you only have to cut the doors for width. You should have some rail and stile stock left over to make a dandy rip guide.
Lay the cabinet on its back, getting it as square and level as possible. Orient them as needed, mark, and attach the hinges.
**Gently** ease over all square edges (except doors, and insides of rail and stiles) with the belt sander.
Done. Examine the work, and wait for you boss to come kiss the deal. Approval was usually granted by saying, "hell I thought you went home. Go help Lester finish hanging the doors."
Longer to type than to build it. As a side note, not all measurements were perfectly 32", 64" etc., as some consideration would be made on site to allow for saw blade kerf.
Now with a table saw, you could do all kinds of maneuvering to cut 45s to conceal the raw edges. I can't imagine how much that would speed the deal up, as well as with a CMS. Even back then, when we wanted to make something like that a little more fancy, we used to make screen out of 2X4 edges. (Much easier than you might think. Cut them square and round as needed after installation).
All of it works well from planning on a scrap piece of paper, and remembering the multiples of plywood layout. When performed correctly, one cut yields more than one piece. Personally, it is still easier for me to take down full sheet goods with a good circular saw rather than going back to the shop to fire up the table saw.
I think I see a pattern here of exactly what types of tools some folks learned on, and how they learned. I did like the Mission chair idea, though.
I looked at the list of tools and it looked like a pretty full deck to me. I am stunned that no one could slap a simple project together with all that artillery. Obviously they weren't looking for a Federalist highboy if they just gave you two sheets of plywood.
Then again, two sheets of plywood and a bit of screen has yielded some nice furniture, too. It just takes longer than the time allotted in the challenge.
A world with no CMSs, no brad guns, no table saws at hand, no biscuit/ dowel gizmos, no drafting programs, nothing but the tools on hand and your skills? I am hearing Don LaFontane's voice again.
Hmm.....
Robert
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wrote:

....and there you have it: an armoire.
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Ayyyyyup.
I thought you wuz funnin'.
;^)
Robert
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wrote:

Moi?
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<snip an entertaining tale of life>
How many years did it take to beat that process into your mind so you could recall it from memory?
Lew
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Actually, not long at all. My first employment to be trained as a carpenter landed me with a contractor that built restaurants. EVERYTHING was based on speed, economy, and deadlines.
We were on the road a lot, probably 40 weeks out of the year. They taught me to rely on the tools I had, not to fold up and quit because there was a job that would do the work in a faster or more elegant manner. If I didn't have it with me, it was on to plan B.
They also taught me to think logically about geometric things, to minimize waste and to maximize efforts. If exact sizes were not specified by an architect, everything was cut and built to work out based on 8, 12, 16, 24, or 32 inches. To me it was a revelation. I was all over that, and I was in amazement to see guys build something that left only a a couple of pieces of scrap and a pile of sawdust.
I had worked summers as a carpenter, but I went full time at 18. I was running my own jobs as the carpentry foreman (not the job super) by the time I was 19. I couldn't get enough of that stuff. To me, it was like working a FUN puzzle. I was pleased when I hit one out of the park, as was my employer.
Working for a contractor that was a tight fisted squarehead (my upbringing as well!) they took for granted that all work was done that way. To them, it was "just the way it was done".
They showed me that system of multiples one time, and I was so astonished that I have never, ever changed the way I look at building anything from a house to a utility cabinet.
BTW, I was 19 when I first built the aforementioned cabinet without any help, and had been in the trades for about a year. My design, my work from start to finish. I had no helper, as a "helper" never got a helper. I must admit that from lack of proficient tool handling (read: inexperience), it took about 4 hours, not just a couple.
The best lesson I learned from those guys was that with a hammer, nails, a drill and screws and a good circular saw and a framing square you can do just about anything.
Now when I hire someone, they are so damn tool reliant it is unbelievable. And not one inventive bone in the bodies. When I have one of them telling me that they need a certain tool or they can't work, I always think of my first boss.
He was nasty. If he saw you at a loss because you didn't have the exact tool you wanted, he would yell at you so everyone could hear. "So what now, do you want to go home? You don't have what you want so you want to quit? This part of the job shuts down because you don't have that one particular tool? Robert.... do you think wherever and whenever you go to work you will have a shop full of tools pulled behind you in a trailer? Figure it out, or go get a broom and start sweeping."
These days, my young guys would quit if I talked to them that way. 35 years ago, I found his words more than motivating. I did not want to sweep forever. Too, I was pretty motivated. I really loved everything about carpentry work in those days, and wanted to learn it all.
I know some of the answers here were tongue in cheek, but I will say this - I have had plenty of carpenters and woodworkers (workers, really) that have passed through my company over the years. For most of them, if they don't have the EXACT tool for the job, they are f**cking stumped. I mean stumped.
My favorite guy to work with now is an independent, and he is a joy to have on the job. He drives a little Dodge Dakota with 300,000 miles on it, and he can do just about anything with the stuff in that truck. He is mid 50s like me, and we actually have a good time working together. He was trained the way I was, which was make do with what you have in tools and materials.
Hate to sound like an old fart (since I'm not one!) but I think those days are long gone.
Robert
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On 9/8/2010 12:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

One of my biggest gripes with building where lot size, and municipal regulations probably moreso, make it IMPOSSIBLE to effectively use multiples to make the job easier and minimize waste.
The loads of cutoff material that go in the landfill just from inane, idiotic building regulations defies imagination.

Normally I would have snipped/trimmed this ... it's just too damn good of a story, and too damned true, to not take the chance that someone may read it, in its entirety, that may have missed it otherwise.
Good on ya, Robert!! :)
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"Swingman" wrote:

-------------------------------- Any interest in your area to have a jobsite chipper to create a recyclable product that generates it's own revenue stream as opposed to filling up a roll off with it's disposal costs?
Lew
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On 9/8/2010 2:08 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Good idea ... especially if you can get someone to come pick it up like they do hamburger grease at the local fast food.
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"Swingman" wrote:

------------------------------ Understand it is a going business in certain parts of the country, which is why I asked about your area.
Some contractors have their own chipper, others sub it out.
Lew
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