Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stone Trust VT

On Thursday April 28th me and my stone buddy Dale from NC hit the road to go to Vermont.  We were headed to The Stone Trust in Vermont for our Level 2 Initial DSWA. 

Back in town I feel like I don't know were to start ?!$* first photo's then more copy tomorrow. I had such a great time. I'm still on my stone high. 

 Great weather, Great people. Great old barn for testing inside. The Stone Trust

How could you not love looking out side every day to see this! Time for a stone break?! or just lunch. Look at that view. Makes me want to jump in. 

We stopped at a rest stop in Connecticut , I look over what do I see- but Stone Art.... So of course it only made sense for us to leave a little of our own. 

More to come.... Wow

Monday, April 25, 2011

UPDATE: First Defense Nasal Screens

One night I was watching a TV show on ABC called Shark Tank. The show is about people with inventions who present their product to sell the concept to a board of investors. The investors may or may not accept buying or investing.

This one episode had a new product called First Defense Nasal Screens (tm). The best part about this product - it works!  When I'm out all day moving stone, shaping stone, digging dirt.....DUST - DUST - DUST. Nothing that looks good at the end of the day when I have to blow my nose. To sum it up I love the idea of protecting my lungs and health. But not at the cost of wearing a face mask which I have to feel like I'm suffocating in. Dust masks also cause my glasses to fog up and make me feel hot.  I just hate them. Only in extreme situations will I wear a real dust mask or filter system. For example cutting stone with a gas saw. 

4/19/11 Monday I tried my first pair of Nasal Screens from Filter Your Life. I have to say I liked them. 

Cons - a little challenging when you have to eat - breathing and swallowing, if you have  a runny nose fluids can filter throw- but if you have to blow your nose or just the runny nose from cold weather- they may loose there stick over time. Print/marketing material needs a make-over to say the least. 

Pros - smart solution to your health at affordable price. Not only are these great they claim to be 99% effective on almost all air board allergens. They are not obstructive.  They are visibly attractive compared to the alternatives. Easy to use. At the end of the day when I pulled them off to blow my nose- I had nothing but clear fluids with NO DUST! A+ by my testing. I could keep going - You be the judge!

Image from Filter Your Life

Pricing starts at $13 w/shipping for a pack of 7 sets - 1 Week supply. ($1.87 1-set )

First Defense Nasal Screens tm
7143 State Rd 54, #117
New Port Richey, FL  34653
Phone:  877.MY.AIR.09
Fax:  800.616.0258
4/25/11 Update:
Today was about 80 degrees. I have really enjoyed the nasal screens they do work. The problems I had today was sticking to my nose. With fluids building up the stick on the product just doesn't hold up. I had to go through 2 pairs today-after the second pair I went the remainder of the day with out them. They need to make a "Active" version with STRONGER Adhesive.

5/17/11 Update:
I used the first defense again. I found about half way through the day they fell off. In a 8 hour day if your doing hard work expect to have to replace them. With fluids building up- they don't hold as well as they should! The product does the job - they just don't hold up to a hard day of work. If they had a more aggressive adhesive they just might hold up longer.

2/2014 Update: I'm currently testing a few new products I'll be blogging about soon. I still love this product the biggest issue I still have is that if you have a runny nose normally by 4 hours the product looses its stickiness and come off your nose.  I will add a link to my future blog post to come.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Romanazzi 3 Way Volvo Dump Truck US Patent 4412699

They Romanazzi 3 way Dump truck was built in Rome Italy. The Patent was filed in 1981. The Italians sure know how to make stuff. The patent drawings are amazing to view. Having a dump bed that can go left and right (and back too!) makes unloading material in the city areas a breeze.

I had a job in Baltimore City which had a small driveway on a narrow row home street. I was able to back up and dump my material in the driveway to the right. NO other truck could do what I could.

Since this patent has run out. Others have copied this design. I was able to find some interesting examples of big rigs and agricultural wagons with the same design. 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Walling Wildlife

Last summer when I was working on one of my walls, I spotted this beautiful Pickerel Frog. I tried to catch it just to move' em (him/her). But this Pickerel frog liked my stone hotel I was building. The Pickerel wasted no time moving in. I didn't want to pack'em into the wall as I was building. I'm sure this frog could find any way out of the nooks and crannies. What was I thinking? I was in awe with the Pickerel markings.

The Pickerel Frog is a medium size frog about 3 inches in length. Never green more of a gold brown with beautiful black and gold eyes. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wall Frame -Cons

Wall frames are one of the most important tools for building walls. They do have some cons that I have found, making walling a challenge. Of course the positives outweigh the negatives. To name a few cons I'll start with curves. Building curves with wall frames can be a challenge. I find they block my view on my curve. I have a difficult time stepping back to see the shape when a frame(s) is in the middle of my build. Lately I have focused building without them on curves.

Stones behind the frame-

The 2 stone masons who worked on this section may have been so focused on building, they forgot to work with each other? Noticed the running joint all the way up the wall to the left of the bucket. I'm sure they had a wall frame directly between them. Instead of taking the time to lay stones behind the frame they only focused on their section. Of course this same issue can easily happen with any one. Unless you focus on building properly behind the wall frame.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How - To Wall Frames

When I went to my first stone workshop, I never focused on the most important tool...the wall frames. I was too busy learning to place stone.  I never gave much thought about them until I had to build my first wall head.  Only then did I get it. I had always built to the string line. Moved my string up the frames. But what really was the frame all about. The wall frames are your wall shape. Without them you will not have a proper wall.

I've taken a 4 x 8 plywood board measured out to find the center. Then I have laid out on the board my wall frame design. I have based my one off the DSC's Kentucky style wall. With a foundation of 34 inches and bottom of wall at 26 inches. Using a 1 to 6. This term refers to the amount of inches the wall comes in as you move up. So for every 6 inches you will come in 1 inch. For other walls I may use a 1" to 5" or for extreme retaining walls a 1" to 4". By setting up my plywood board. I can easily make frames before I start any job which will insure accuracy for every step of the wall. Examples listed below:

Frames can be made out of wood. 2 x 4 (heavy, last longer) or 1 x 4 (lighter, will not hold up as long) work great.

Another simple walling frame is made up of rebar with 2 board clamp. Great for doing rebuilds on existing walls or even new walls.

I never realized working with stone would require me to be a carpenter. Dry Stone Walling requires that we bring many skills to the table. As professional wallers it is our responsibility to take the time and care necessary to guarantee a structurally sound wall. (even if it means becoming carpenter).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Business - Full Color Printing

I have a BFA in Visual Communication in Graphic Design. I always wonder why people don't take the time to put as much energy into promoting their business. As they do in their day to day business or craft. The business card - A simple answer to every thing. But I have seen every thing from the printed off a printer to the Vista print cards. Now come on. In this day one can buy 1000 full color printed cards. Or you can buying a ink cartridge for the same price. Now if you have any of the above please take a hard look at getting some new cards.  Now I love supporting my local printer but the last batch I sent him end up costing me $70 for 1000.

A well designed full color business card should be just as important as your line of work. I have been using a company called Copy Craft over the years. Take some time to look at their site. You will be amazed when you see you can order up 1000 full color cards for $25 bucks. Yes Really. But wait there's more. You can have them do just about every thing. So even if you normally can't afford to set your employees up with personal cards. Now you can. They will really feel like part of the team now.

So be sure to get some new cards. If you don't have a Identity for your company take some more time to make sure all marketing materials tie into one another. So if you already walk out of the house wearing matched stocks your off on the right foot. Don't stop now!

Copy Craft 4413 82nd St. • Lubbock, TX 79424 • 1-800-794-5594

Side notes. I don't feel that all full color or off the shelf printers are the answer to every solution. As a designer some times the best idea's are right in front of you. Those idea's could be as simple as handing a customer a rock with your name on it. Having a creative business card will help that first time customer remember you. That's the name of the game.