"We have certain work to do for our bread..."

John Ruskin, Seven Lamps of Architecture:

We have certain work to do for our bread, and that is to be done strenuously; other work to do for our delight, and that is to be done heartily: neither is to be done by halves nor shifts, but with a will; and what is not worth this effort is not to be done at all.

Thanks to http://www.everymac.com/

Thank you http://www.everymac.com/ for the information and instructions for replacing my 2010 Mac Mini's hard disk.

Copy & Cite Bookmarklet

I don't know why it is such a hard task to create a browser extension for copy & cite. Since none work to my liking, here is a simple bookmarklet. (This posting is mostly so I don't loose the code.)
var selection = "";
var ranges = window.getSelection();
if ( ranges.rangeCount > 0 ) {
   for ( var i = 0; i < ranges.rangeCount; i++ ) {
      if ( i > 0 ) {
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      selection += ranges.getRangeAt(i);
else {   
   var titles = document.getElementsByTagName("title");
   if ( titles.length > 0 ) {
      selection = titles[0].textContent;
var subject = "FYI:" + selection.substr(0,50) + (selection.length > 50 ? "..." : "");
var body = selection + "\n\n" +window.location.href;

Use the tool at http://mrcoles.com/bookmarklet/ to create your own bookmarklet.

$2.50 per row house

The machine rental and materials costs make each row house cost about $2.50 each. AS220 charges $25 for a 2 hour block of lab time. The 1/16" chipboard is $7 for 25 sheets. Each row house takes 2 sheets of chipboard and about 10 mins to setup and cut. Therefore, $25 / 120 min * 10 min + $7 / 25 sheets * 2 = $2.64. (These costs do not include the incidental costs of shipping, parking, a Cafe Tobe from Coffee Exchange, etc.)

If we add the cost of my time then they are priceless!

Assembled row house

I made the time to finally assemble the laser cut row house. Here are two photos of the assembled building. I think it is a little out of scale for 15mm, but am hopeful it will be useful.

I learned much in assembling these buildings.

  • I need to increase the laser power a small amount so as to ensure that each edge is cut all the way through.
  • The 1/16" chipboard is a good material choice, but like all cardboard it tends to warp. To mitigate this, I will add internal structure the next time. More specifically, a hollow rectangular plate around the inside, top of the walls.
  • The method of creating stone work around the windows is too fussy. The next time I will cut it out from 1/32" card and glue around the window opening.
  • A better method of aligning the floors is needed. The improvised teeth I cut work, but are ugly.
  • I improvised a number of jigs to aid assembling the house. I will include these to be cut alongside the house parts the next time.

If anyone wants the row house patterns send me an email.

Finally, charred edges!

Many thanks to Shawn Wallace who helped me complete my introduction to using AS220 Lab's Epilog laser cutter this afternoon. I was able to cut 8 building of two different designs on 12" square, 1/16" thick chipboard. Next step is to assemble them to see how accurate mine and SketchUp's measurements are. To be fair, however, the conversion pipeline between the SketchUp drawing on my MacBook and final output to the cutter is very long -- SketchUp to PDF to iDraw to PDF to Corel Draw to Epilog driver to Epilog hardware.