Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanks to Hansons Building Supply

Every year the team at Hansons Building Supply does something generous around the holiday season. Regardless of what you build, how much you spend, or who you vote for, Hansons gives each and every loyal customer a shirt or jacket.
Here Brad and Josh pull salvaged wood from a tent in our new Hansons attire!
Having a building store isn't just about moving products, it's about service too. At Hansons the great guys in the yard will collect and load your materials. Scotty and the others behind the counter are knowledgeable, fast and helpful. And, of coarse, Michelle and Shawna in the office are always happy to get a quote, call a manufacturer for information, or check you out -- with a smile.

2x8's after being sorted, faced and crowned, wire brushed and installed.

My projects have lots of recycled materials in them. Often, the quality of these products is superior to new products, explaining my attraction to them. But building a house is worth building it right and you can't detail and build a building to last 150 years with all the parts recycled. It is a combined effort and were it not for Hansons, my buildings couldn't happen.

Published FrEdLey Residence built from lots of recycled materials and at least as many trips to Hansons, my building store of choice!

Why I love design build. It's not just that the process leads to better design and often more efficient use of materials, but that it's hands on, it's outside and it's ever changing, and most important, I get to go to Hansons almost every day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New dbBrad mascott

Born October 25th, picked up just last week and cuter than any button I've ever seen.

New Puppy proud to be part of good architecture and landscaping!

Aussie Puppy in motion
Perfect portrait of Australian Shepherd puppy
Aussie puppy off chain!
Australian Shepherd Puppy at 6 weeks looks like a cartoon figure!

And the name, after much deliberation, comes from the town where he was born, Benton

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Splendide Washer Dryer All in One.

This machine wasn't designed,
it was just assembled.

Ive been fixing, welding, wiring and modifying all kinds of machinery and architectural systems for almost three decades. Though not the Maytag Man, I’ve taken a stab at fixing more than one washer and dryer. When I think back to the machines I've tried to fix, I recollect thin metal cabinets, parts not quite strong enough, sharp edges, rivets or cheap screw connections not meant to be removed, and parts not serviceable or replaceable.

An example of a beautifully
designed and crafted machine.
Recently I had the opportunity to fix a Splendide washer/dryer combo. The machine was a pleasure to work on. The sales staff was knowledgeable and helpful. They were a pleasure to work with. The parts were in stock and shipped immediately. I was given personal assistance in troubleshooting the problem, and the manual was excellent as well.

When it turned out I'd misread the 'error code', they even sent me a different part to try to make sure I was able to isolate the problem.

I ended up changing both a mother board and motor, equally well engineered -- properly sized bolts, accessible, well designed connections, high tolerance milling and, I have to say, the motor may be one of the most beautiful modern motors I've seen.

This is a combo unit with the motor running both the wash cycle and the dry cycle. In the wash cycle it just turns slowly and gently back and forth.

A turbine engine.
In the spin cycle, at it's climax, the drum is spinning at 1500 rpm. It sounds like an airplane taking off but the machine, with it's well engineered dampening system, solid cabinet/case and computer logic controls, runs smoothly and doesn't walk/vibrate. Even with the oddest load of fleece and cotton, it's never crept even a millimeter.
Splendide All in One
Conveniently, it plugs into any 110 volt standard outlet and comes ready to use in one simple box that fits under a counter (36") and in a space less than 24" wide. It does everything the larger machines do but with more efficiency. Now if they could just get the machine to fold and put away the clothes.

A Bosch, not a Splendide, but a quality European
machine designed to work well and to be serviceable.
I appreciate a company that sells a well designed product that is serviceable, has a good manual, and is distributed by people who understand and believe in the product. In my opinion, this is one of the best washer and dryers I've used over the years, seen in the stores or tried to fix. This machine is a demonstration of good design, craftsmanship and performance.