Tag Archives: green living show

First day at the workshop.

2 Apr

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We have a shop!

31 Mar

Our brand new workshop for the month of April. Tall ceilings, toilet, shower, kitchenette, loading dock, extra loft space, shopping cart included.

Joinery Test

31 Mar

I haven’t made any joints in a while, and I also haven’t seriously used my new tools, so I made these as practice. All the joints I’m using are simple variations of the lap joint and I’m using them to locate all the pieces. The simplest way would be to just glue everything together, as some have suggested. The next easiest way would be to drill holes and bolt the pieces together, as it was drawn in the initial concept. Personally I feel that joining the wood in this way is the most honest way to build this particular table, considering the history of the wood.

The first one below is shouldered for the connection between the rail and the table top piece, and the next joint below is for the rail and all the middle pieces of the table top.

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Harvest Table

30 Mar

I’ve been working somewhat steadily away at the harvest table, which is proving to be much tougher than expected, even by my standards and I’m used to pain and difficulty for every project.  The wood for this table is, as I said before, from the bottom of Lake Ontario, from what used to be Toronto’s docks. When the city expanded, the backfill from the construction was pushed into the lake, effectively burying the timbers that made up the old docks. They were rediscovered in the late 90’s during the condo construction along the Lakeshore. It was at that time that Lambos (don’t know if he has a last name), the person whom I bought the wood from, came into possession of said timbers.

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Green Living Show update. Recycling is a lot of work.

22 Mar

The updated urban agriculture fence is pictured above below. We’ve decided to build the whole thing out of wood reclaimed from skids, or pallets. You can find them behind Home Depot, at Home Hardware, and art stores. Basically any place that gets large product deliveries will have piles of these things. And since it’s a hassle for the store/warehouse to dispose of them, they’ve been more than happy to let us haul them away. I’ve been working with Peter from J&B Landscaping to collect and disassemble the skids, and so far we’ve spent about 13 hours over two days to harvest about 600 boards. Considering our calculated need of about 2000 boards, it will take us approximately 3 more full working days just to break down enough skids for the fence. (keep in mind that we’ll need about 8 of these panels to make the fence.)

Why are we using skids?

I’ve been curious about using skids as building material for a while. Indeed, I’ve been experimenting with scrap for a while as well. You can find all sorts of projects that use skid board as material, but I was personally inspired by Faye Mullen’s Skid Collector project (http://theskidcollector.blogspot.com/), which I got to see at XPACE last year. The skid collector is a story of obsession, love and redemption, in which the principle characters are Faye(or you) and those forlorn, abandoned skids. With love, a sharp plane, bees wax (or danish oil, whichever you prefer), and some buffin’, those lowly mules of our supply chain industry were restored, nay raised to a nobility that they previously did not possess. In short, they clean up well.

However, I realized my folly on the first day, when, after 7 hours of hard labour, we had about 340 boards. It’s one thing to disassemble and restore 5 pallets. It’s quite another thing to dismantle, de-nail, trim the edges, cut to length, and plane 2000 pieces of board. I’m estimating that it will take well over 102 man hours just to harvest enough wood. I will post pictures of the refinished wood, as well as the work-in-progress fence.

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ToDo: Green Living show

1 Mar

Part of my work at Sander Design includes the design and building of a unique fence to give a garden feel to the booth they are designing for this year’s Green Living Show.

Urban agriculture fence. The shelves also pivot to close the fence when you’re not growing anything, so that you can choose when you want to be social, and when you want to be private. The fence takes sprout and herb growing vertical. An important part of the design work for this project will be to test whether or not it’s worth it to grow plants out of the ground outside. Vertical growing is likely to become important in our urban setting, but I suspect that growing in the ground outdoor and in the sunlight yields more than container growing. I would like to find out how a healthy, robust rhizosphere could be nurtured in a container environment, given a limited soil depth and area.

The other, almost larger portion of my work will be to design/build a community harvest table for 20 people. The table will be a part of the Urban Forests booth, which will be shared by 10 environmental NGOs or ENGOS. I’m quite excited and nervous about this piece, because it will be built from irregular pieces of reclaimed, dredged from the bottom of the lake wood, and it will live in a public park in north Toronto called Ben Nobleman park. Growing For Green has planted a community orchard in the park, and the table will be used for sorting the harvest, picnics, events and so forth.