Mrs. Coucer Green and Other Great Old Photos


The PERINIK. A beautiful living van.

Three great and rare books have come to me in the very recent past.  Each has it’s own merits and is full of great stuff.  I am scanning, reading, and summing up some excellent stuff and will get it out as soon as I can.  In the mean time, enjoy these great photos ca. 1911-1914 the Golden Age of Caravanning.

LadyMore and better details on the way, including plans and historic photos that have lots to show us about design.

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A little more about creating an elliptical plan


Following up on the ellipse.

Originally posted on A Woodworker's Musings:

Several folks wrote and said that they were having some difficulty getting their heads around this method.  Well don’t despair.  When I first read about this method, it took me a couple of days for it to sink in.  And, if you don’t have much experience with projective drawing, it’ll take a bit of cogitation.  Of course, at my age, everything takes a long time to sink in.  But it doesn’t necessarily stay “sunk in” for long.

But here’s a little more graphic information that might help.  First off, I elongated the major axis to make the model a little more easily understood.  So remember, A-B is the Minor axis, A-C is the Major axis.  I’ve divided the A-B line into equal segments (with a couple of little “cheater” segments at the ends.


Again, I extend the segments at right angles to the diagonal line and transfer the line measurements…

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Simpler Times

Explanations were so much simpler once upon a time.

Creator as Architect

Creator as Architect

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Another way to create an elliptical 1/2 (or 1/4) plan


Interesting to learn more of the sacred geometry all the time. Compass and rule work was my favorite bits in high school geometry class. I can’t wait to add this to my layout repertoire!

Originally posted on A Woodworker's Musings:

A true ellipsis is, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful shapes in the universe.  Unlike an oval that is drawn with two mirrored radii (or three in the case of a true “egg” shape), the radii of the ellipsis continually change.  It’s incredibly strong shape in structural terms and it’s one of the best shapes for table tops.  There are many ways to draw an ellipsis.  But here’s an old method that you don’t often see referred to these days.  It’s simple and can be extraordinarily precise.  This method can also be very helpful if you’re creating domed framing for any type of construction.

First, establish a horizontal base line then raise a vertical line.


Swing a semi-circle with a diameter based on the minor axis of the ellipsis.


Next, open the compass to the length of the major axis and strike a point to the base…

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Yucca Fiber Skirt


A great yucca fiber project. Check this out and more good stuff on UncommonCate.

Originally posted on UncommonCate:

Yucca fiber processing is an ancient art. I first became interested in yucca fiber in my time at The Clovis Site (an important archaeological site on the high plains of New Mexico). People have used yucca for ages past in every form. From raw leaves, to finely spun yucca yarn, the leaves have been used in every form. The book Treading in the Past: Sandals of the Anasazi showcases many excellent examples of yucca fiber in all forms as used in sandals. Yucca is also used for cordage, bags, nets, and really anything fiber related.


I start by chopping down a yucca plant. I happen to have access to narrow leaf yucca. All I use is an ax. The difficulty with yucca is the pointed tips, so I begin by gathering the leaves up, holding them up with one hand, leaving the base of the plant exposed. With the other…

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Found 1300-Year-Old Ski and 6000-Year-Old Arrows in Reinheimen

Originally posted on ThorNews:

Viking Age Ski Norway

Archaeologist Runar Hole with the 1300-year-old ski. (Photo: Oppland County Authority)

In recent summers, many sensational archaeological discoveries in Norwegian national parks have been made. This summer there was found 390 objects from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, including sixty 6000-years-old arrows and an 1300-year-old ski.

The Early Viking Age ski is 172 cm (69 in) long and 14.5 cm (5.7 in) wide, well-kept with binding constructed of wicker and leather straps. The binding sits on a raised section in the middle of the ski, and there is a hole where it was attached.

(Article continues)

Viking Age Ski Norway 2

The discovery shows Vikings used skis with bindings – which meant they could move fast and steady on the snow. (Photo: Oppland County Authority).

There are about 2,700 glaciers in Norway, and these glaciers have an area of ​​approximately 2700 square kilometers (1042.5 mi²). When they melt due to climate change…

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This Week’s Retro DIY Project – Pedal Driven Lathe

Originally posted on Retrorambling:


Whether you’re planning on going green in your workshop or prefer working with traditional hand tools, here’s some old plans for a pedal driven lathe.


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Ship of Fools, a look at the human condition

Ship of Fools (painted c. 1490–1500) by Hieronymus Bosch

Ship of Fools (painted c. 1490–1500) by Hieronymus Bosch

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Good Advice

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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Eclipse on the Vardo

Getting ready for the eclipse tomorrow?  MAKEzine has again linked to our little Vardo. We were fortunate to get a really neat lighting effect during the 2012 eclipse playing over our camp.

eclipsevardoLight coming through the trees created a pinhole effect focusing the eclipse in dozens of images as we were packing to leave.


Click the image for more information.

As we slide around the sun for yet another year we can experience a little science and scale and think about our place in the solar system.  If you are interested in learning more, check out NASA’s Eclipse Page by clicking the banner below:

bannerEclipse2008…and HEY KIDS, don’t look directly into the sun.  You Makers can get out the welding goggles (with a rating of 15 or higher) and have a look.



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