Wood Is Good – World’s Tallest Wooden Towers Proposed for Paris

As American Carpenters in Paris you learn quickly how little wood is used in construction and renovation here.

Bottom line; it’s just too expensive.

Much of Europe has been deforested many hundreds of years ago. In fact the first US patent was for potash or wood ashes used for fertilizer, which was sold to Britain and other European countries.

But lately, it seems as if wood has been getting a bad rap.

The focus on sustainable development never seems to include lumber as a material of choice; that is until now.

In the article, Towers Proposed For Paris Would Be The World’s Tallest Wooden Structures wood evangelist and architect Michael Green argues exactly the opposite.

He says because of new technological advances wood as a building material has become stronger, safer, and more economical than steel.

But Green goes even further, “Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront.”

And with a name like ‘Green’ it’s kind of hard not listen.

What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

DIY Garage Shelving

Don’t forget to Spring forward this Sunday, March 8th! It’s in that spirit with the longer days and the warmer weather that we enjoy new found energy to do lots of spring cleaning and to tackle long overdue organization projects. In this video Ana White shows us how to put together a DIY garage shelving unit that not only is simple but loads of fun to do. So grab your miter saw, screw gun, screws and 2x4s to spring forward with a tidy, organized, solid shelving solution that should take only a few hours to build.

Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Girl Power/Guy Power: A Stereotype Makeover

Oberfraese

Oberfraese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you think of woodworking, or picture a sewing machine, what do you see? Do you associate men with one and women with the other? The American Spirit is the fuel for our DIY world. Today people are more comfortable to disregard gender stereotypes and do what they want to do. Many women are enjoying creative pastimes like furniture building, as more men feel free to explore crafts such as sewing and quilting.

This article is a wonderful exposé which explores this freedom of choice in great detail. Case in point:

Ana White.

Her blog “has become the go-to resource for furniture building DIYers, with over 1000 free plans, step -by-step project tutorials, and videos in which White explains power tools and how to properly use them.”

In a related video, check out President Barack Obama as he tackles Toy-gender based stereotypes 😀

WOOD AWARDS 2013 SHORTLIST SHOWCASE

As an American Carpenter learning your skills back in the good ol’ USA, it’s easy to fall in love with wood. The feel, the smell, beauty; it’s a sheer pleasure to work with.

In Paris, and France in general wood is expensive. The country has been deforested after thousands of years of building homes and villages which make home grown lumber a valuable commodity.

Our beloved American has only been building for the last few hundred years. So building with wood is still a cost effective and viable option for both the client and builder back home in America.

This is a re-post is a dedication to all the woodworkers out there who know how good and why you should work with wood.

Architecture, Design & Innovation

A shortlist of 30 projects has been selected from a record entry of 318 in the Wood Awards 2013, the UK’s premier award scheme celebrating excellence in design in wood in British architecture and furniture.

This year’s 30-strong shortlist features unique private houses, stunning small projects, outstanding restorations, impressive public buildings and extraordinary bespoke and production-made furniture, ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge.

The independent judging panel of architecture, engineering, craftsmanship and design experts and specialists led by Michael Morrison of Purcell UK and Sean Sutcliffe of Benchmark Furniture now see the shortlist in person before making their final decisions. The winners of the Wood Awards categories and which project will receive the coveted Gold Award – the winner of winners – will be announced on the 19th November at a reception hosted by the Worshipful Company of Carpenters.

The shortlisted projects range from dRMM’s…

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