February 14, 2010

staying sharp

Our Monday morning meeting covered numerous topics and goals for the week. Specifically, to analyze the plotter shelf, help Meg finish up the NYC books, and by the end of the week have some plans drawn up and construction begun for a new desk in Randy’s home.

The plotter shelf (a shelf above the plotter to hold paper, ink, etc.) was a simple project that took a turn for the worse. It started out our first day on the job. Meg, Chris, and I built the original plotter shelf. Done. Next thing we know, water’s dripping through the joists onto the shelf and ruining the expensive paper. I guess the 30 inches of snow on the roof was some kind of Omaha record and roofs were not holding up well to the challenge.   My task was to design and fabricate a watertight box that could hold the paper but most importantly, keep it from getting wet. While I was designing this new shelf/box, I utilized the skills I have learned in my building systems courses of how to keep water out of a building and applied them to the design. The end result of the shelf is a much nicer detail than the original and to date, has kept the paper dry.

With that off the list, it was time to get the NYC publications finished and checked off the list. Randy had given us about a week to have the books finished for the trip and we were already beginning week two of work on the books.  Randy expressed to us that it isn’t so much that the books weren’t finished in a week because he needed them, but he only budgeted a week of work on them. This means that any hours that are worked on the books after that week is up are starting to lose the firm money. That is time that we could be spending on other projects that will bring in revenue. When back at school next year, I will be able to use some of this train of thought in my studio projects. Instead of losing money, I want to stay on schedule with my project or I’ll be short changing the design and end result.

By the end of the week, Randy showed me the spot in his home where this new desk was going to be located. I took a field measure, wrote down a few of the angle degrees (because nothing in his home has “regular” walls) and did a quick plan sketch of the space. Next was to come up with a few schemes for the desk design and discuss them with Randy. After a design was decided upon, I found the exact measurements and calculated the amount of material we would need to complete this task. To be sure all the pieces fit exactly; most of them were field cut to the specific dimension. Randy considers his home a laboratory of experiments. The only way to stay sharp is to attempt new things and see what happens. This is why I learned as much as a did from this project.

As for the weekend, Meg and I decided to take a different approach and embrace the snow. We headed to Mt. Crescent to do a little NE  skiing. Don’t let the name fool you, more appropriately, the name would be Bluff Crescent, but it was still a lot of fun.

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