John Whitley

Sr. Principal Design Technologist
Washington, USA

Favorites & Upvotes

  • 2 Upvoted Guide Items
  • 1 Favorited Article

Comments

  • 8 Comments
Upvoted Guide Items
Favorited Articles
Favorited News Items
Comments
  • "Some time back I got an inexpensive pack of about three zillion velcro ties, which are quite quick to use, easily reusable/repositionable, and are made of the good velcro with the short and robust hook side. I can imagine uses where this tape gun might be a significant improvement, but those also set off RSI warnings in my head..."
    on: An Unusual Hand Tool for Applying Tape as If It Were Zip-Ties
  • "This is extremely in my bailiwick and I backed it instantly. If this device is reasonably accurate and repeatable it will be a game-changer for a quite a lot of handwork fiber arts processes. I know of a high-end studio in Japan that had a similar device built into a custom warping/setup machine, but in no way modular. This solves the hard part of building all manner of similar contraptions, so it’ll be great for individual artists as the video shows, but scale up in all kinds of wild ways for diy/studio/professional usage."
    on: Great Design: Maurice Ribble's Device for Measuring the Length of Yarn
  • "It’s worth noting that the demountable nature of Japanese timberframe joinery extends to the original construction workflow.  The original joinery work happens at the carpenter’s workshop, and only the assembly happens on site.  So in some sense, what Iwakuni’s team is doing is an extension of that original workflow, they’re taking the building timbers from another structure rather than from their workshop.Amazingly, these buildings basically just go right together at assembly time, possibly with the help of some BIG mallets. Professional carpentry teams don't really fiddle with the fit of the joints, rework them on-site, etc., as furniture makers often do. And a tight fit is important as it’s key to the structural qualities of these buildings: rigid enough to stay standing over the long-haul, but flexible enough to handle shear loads from winds, earthquakes, etc."
    on: Non-Destructively Disassembling a Timber Framed House
  • "Speaking from experience, I tend to simply curse anything other than properly designed range hoods for the primary task of removing particulates and fumes from cooking.  In short, it’s effectively impossible for cooktop or pop-up extractors to do a good job “because physics”.  In this regard, cooktop extractor fans have a similar challenge as industrial dust collection systems.  The intuition, however, is easy.  Think about blowing vs. sucking air through a straw.  It’s easy to blow through a straw and feel the stream of air at quite a distance away, as you’ve created a directed stream of air.  But think how close do your hand needs to be to the end of the straw to feel air being sucked in. In the suction case, air is being pulled evenly in a (hemi-)spherical space.  This is why the hood on a range hood extractor is important: as collection space for the hot, rising gases so the extractor fan “has time” to capture and remove them.  Without a properly designed above-mounted range hood, it’s inevitable that a huge amount of the cooking fumes simply escape upward and away.  Most recently, my experience with a nominally well-regarded pop-up extractor was that it was just a “slingshot” for greasy cooking fumes into the adjacent space. I think there’s a strong argument that this entire category of extractor is a particularly bad kind of “form over function”."
    on: The Bora X Pure Downward-Extracting Induction Cooktop
  • "Reflecting on my own workflows with a chopsaw, primarily rough cutting raw lumber from a cutlist for further processing, this thing does make sense. I completely agree that little beats a good stop block setup for repeated cuts. But for cutlists, which the video specifically calls out, this design destroys tape measures.  That’s either a handheld tape measure, which is a hassle, or an adhesive tape mounted to a miter station.  Either way, the user has to fuss with the tape and/or  joggle back and forth along the workpiece, trying to eyeball the correct cut length badly. With this device, you just zero it and proceed to work down your cutlist as the workpiece is consumed."
    on: When MIT Engineers Design a Power Tool Accessory
  • "Regarding stability, that tends to be a function of the bike geometry, or specifically the “rake” of the front fork. With proper geometry, a front-loaded bike will handle and steer just fine. For example, this page [https://viventebikes.com/considerations/frames-and-forks/] describes the basics of this geometry with an eye towards the needs of touring cyclists.  The key bit:“Another issue with touring bikes is that they need to steer and behave properly when they have a front load and are going fast on long descents. The slower steering and greater stability of higher trail [greater fork rake] provides this.”So the design of this cargo platform around its adapter, in combination with the bike’s existing rake/trail geometry, will determine the quality of handling."
    on: CargoDrive: Replace Your Bike's Front Wheel for E-Bike Cargo Capacity
  • "The software development community is having an analogous conversation right now.  The by-far dominant version control software, git, has long named the default code branch ‘master’.  One of the best alternative suggestions I’ve seen so far is simply ‘main’, which I think works well here as “Main Bedroom”.  It’s unambiguous, doesn’t conflate architectural features such as an “en suite” bathroom with the role of the bedroom (not all such bedrooms have an en-suite bath).  “Owner’s Bedroom” in the example floor plan is a terrible choice, as it names the /role of the space/ for /who owns the property/ which is outright wrong for anyone who rents and probably other cases. For many people, that creates the connotation of staying in someone else’s space, which is certainly not how people want to think about “home”."
    on: Question for Architects and Designers: What to Rename the Master Bedroom?
  • "This is super interesting, just from consumer-scale additive manufacturing. But it further opens doors to innovative new components like the Pinion gearbox (https://pinion.eu/en/). Pinon requires specific support in the frame which means it’s mostly offered by custom frame builders, greatly increasing the overall cost. For Superstrata, this “cost” would be a one-off addition to their master configurable CAD model."
    on: Superstrata: Affordable Unibody 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Made-to-Measure Bicycles
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