Ken K


New York, NY, USA

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  • "Or … eat a bunch of fructose. Clears alcohol out about 2X as fast as just waiting. Straight from a package, or in candy form, or lots of fruit, doesn't matter. Not quite as fast as this gizmo, but cheaper, less conspicuous, and a lot tastier."
    on: Canadian Researchers Invent a De-Drunkifying Device
  • "Put a second one next to the first? If homemade, easy, cheap, compact. "
    on: The Design Flaw of Boot Jacks
  • "https://www.protoolreviews.com/tag/shootout/ These guys have really solid tool reviews, aimed at construction trade professionals. The "shootouts" compare nearly every brand on the market in side-by-side testing, ranking them on various criteria. The one-tool reviews mostly ask, "good enough for a full time pro?", and the the answer is usually yes. By the way, you mentioned thick concrete walls, and then hammer drills. Make sure you are clear on when a hammer drill is good enough, and when you need a rotary hammer. For solid concrete, depending on what you are doing, you very likely want a rotary hammer. Concrete laughs at hammer drills. Rotary hammers laugh at concrete, go through it like butter. Renting a rotary hammer is easy and a whole lot cheaper than buying. Even the big box stores rent them out, including a bit."
    on: Festool's Affordable Drill Dust Collection Nozzle
  • "This appears to be one of a bunch of Chinese sleazeball knockoffs of Uniburr, an American made Kickstarter item from 2014. These dirtballs are so sleazy they're even using Uniburr's original Kickstarter video, slightly edited, like editing out the Uniburr name and personnel. No me gusta."
    on: Cool Tools: The DOMOM Deburring Bit for Fixing Stripped Bolt Heads
  • "How timely. I was just thinking about this today, while standing on the platform of New York City's renovated Lexington - 63rd St station, an attractive station that was given a total rebuild almost exactly 2 years ago as part of the 2nd Ave subway project. The structural pillars are clad in a rather beautiful stainless steel mesh … which is still beautiful everywhere except for the bottom 2 or 3 feet which are now grimy and disgusting. The grime appears to be mostly stuff that has been embedded into the mesh by the dirty water that bounce-splashes up when they power-wash the floors. How do you clean the grime out of 50,000 tiny holes in the stainless mesh? Send a guy with 10,000 pipe cleaners?"
    on: When Designers Don't Consider That End Users Must Physically Clean Their Designs
  • "Bobtato ~ I have one from the original offering. It lives up to its hype. It does not disappoint. It is one of the best designed and most satisfying devices I've ever owned. Here are some answers to your questions. • The precision is superb. Far better than the .01 they advertise, reliably closer to .001 for me — which for woodworking is insane overkill but delightful.• One of the most gloriously satisfying things is being able to interrupt a cut, move the machine out of the way, check progress, and then drop the machine back in place with perfect alignment to previous cuts. I mean perfect. Like, not being able to feel even the slightest difference in the wall, not even the tiniest sub-fingernail bump, which to me signifies better-than-.001 repeatability. (On a big milling machine, my fingers can feel a .001 difference.) To be able to do that using a handheld router "freehand" is just mind-blowing. • The precision is dependent on the tape. The tape is nice. It's precisely printed, easily tearable, has just enough stickum to stay put on raw wood but is easily removed. It's highly custom, well thought through. In my opinion, worth it. • Narrow stock: The tape has to cover a moderately good sized field of view for the machines camera to be able to continuously register its location. For narrow stock — I use a lot of under-1x1" stock — you need to put tape well outside the stock. Solution: Some larger MDF or plywood boards (jigs) with the special tape on them, with slots cut in them to hold my narrow workpieces. I use the bigger jig boards over and over without replacing the tape, or just replacing the worn bits of tape and "rescanning" the board. • Note that the field of tape and the bottom surface of the Shaper Origin need to be coplanar for maximum machine-vision precision. Which of course means that the top face of your workpiece should be coplanar with (or lower than) the top surface of the jig board. This is one of the tradeoffs from not using a gantry CNC machine. • Dust extraction is excellent. I improved the already excellent dust extraction a wee bit by taping over one air intake slot in the see-through guard where tiny chips seemed to leak out."
    on: How Does the Shaper Origin Stack Up Against a CNC Gantry Router?
  • "Actually, the term "Lower East Side" changed just a few decades ago. For my parents' generation, it included everything between 14th Street and Houston, as well as what is now/still included. It is only fairly recently (in city terms) that the north section of the Lower East Side between 14th St and Houston even started to call itself the "East Village." So if you are old-school, St. Marks Place *is* in the Lower East Side. I know folks in their 30s and 40s who still call it the Lower East Side. "
    on: Those Easter Island Statues Aren't Just Heads, They Have Bodies That are Buried Underground
  • "(Um, a new plastic cup thrown away every day, from the diner?)"
    on: A $345 Automatic Coffee Stirring Device, Yea or Nay?
  • "I sure hope you are allowing for seasonal wood expansion and shrinkage in your fastening system. I was in a cafe recently where the stools had a roughly similar design — and every single wooden seat had split. Like, really seriously butt-pinchingly split. They had over-fastened the wood to the steel frames. "
    on: Manual's Stool Nº1 is a Modern Take on the Iconic Hairpin Design
  • "I think it’s a nice piece of sculptural work and a lot of work and love went into it … but I have to be honest and say that I think it is not a good OUTDOOR bench.- The base will catch every bit of windblown trash.- The wood around the brass crossbars will contract, expand, contract, expand, and split or leave ugly gaps that trap moisture and turn black.- The heavy beams will sag outward on their relatively small L-brackets, especially if people actually sit on the bench. This will in turn cause the ends and corners of the brass crossbars to pop up and be exposed and scratch people.- The exposed and protruding cap screw heads are unfriendly, and with erosion will scratch people. - It’s a very “busy” design, with a million surfaces that will need to be touched up and maintained even if none of the other things go wrong. Who is going to repaint the interior of that base? Who is going to redo the popping-out brass bars? Who is going to deal with all the rusted-out cap screws? That is, it's not as maintenance friendly as an outdoor bench should be.I think it would be better to promote it as in indoor bench, perhaps in a museum-like setting. (But that won’t solve the problem of the sagging beams.)"
    on: Atlanta's BeltLine Benches
  • "It is mysterious, not least because the letters are so well aligned and spaced, which would never happen if the local handyman did it.  Since it's new, and since it's in your neighborhood, why not stop in and ask? Track down the story. That would be a fun bit of reporting."
    on: Today's Urban Design Observation: Is This Screw-Up the Designer's Fault or the Contractor's Fault?
  • "If you are using a Mac like every sensible person… you can zoom the whole screen. Get closer virtually, without any worries about reformatting. I do this all the time. It's like a reflex now.  Go to System Preferences > Accessibility and play around with the "Zoom" settings. You can zoom in/out a preset amount with keyboard shortcuts such as Opt-Cmd-"+" / Opt-Cmd-"–". Or you can 'slide' any zoom amount using your scrolling gesture plus a modifier key such as Cntrl. Incredibly useful. The graphic result is so good that it's sometimes better than actually increasing visual size in any in-app way. I learned this a few years ago at an Apple software demo at the Apple Store in SoHo. Can't remember which of Apple's applications the demonstrator was demo'ing, but he kept zooming in to clarify, then out again. So cool. After the demo I asked him how he did that. He sighed, and said that that was always the most-asked question after each of his demos. He seemed a little disappointed that my question wasn't about his excellent demo itself."
    on: Acer's Innovative Hinged Laptop Screen
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