Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cafe on The Corner burnt down [Pictures]

The Lookout Mountain Fire Department shut down Scenic Highway to fight the fire at Cafe on The Corner.
When I drove up that morning of May 27, that’s all I could see — water, trucks and tape.
I was on my way to work, But I had a few minutes. When I parked and saw a fireman, I asked him what happened.
Gas fire, he said. During the night, the gas built up and built up in the building. A spark, and Boom!
It’s terrible, he added.
Cafe on The Corner was one of the cornerstones of Lookout Mountain. I interviewed twice for a job at the corner table inside — now probably damaged by water and the collapsed roof. I was looking forward to making it a restaurant I frequented whenever I ate out because of the three restaurants nearby, it seemed the best.
I had my camera and so stood behind the fire-line tape and burned some frames. Later, when the firefighters opened Scenic Highway, I took another round of photos.

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The Khukri: legendary and cheap to make

Khukri in North Africa, 1943

A soldier using a Khukri in North Africa, 1943.

Khukris have always fascinated me because its one of those knives with a deep history, practical application and a somewhat mysterious manufacturing process. Forged out of leaf springs, these knives are the every-day working knife of the people in Nepal. But the knives won world-wide recognition as it was carried by the Gurkha Army, a mercenary army employed by Great Britain, from the deserts of Africa, to the jungles of East Asia, to the mountains of Nepal.

In short, it’s a concentrated knife to carry when you need to depend on a large blade to get out of jams.

And yet, the manufacturing process is simple. So simple, in fact, many craftsman don’t use electricity.

In many cases, they hammer their blades over a sledgehammer head re-purposed as an anvil. In all, the equipment these knifemakers use probably costs $30.

A legendary knife, humble beginnings — I feel like starting a weekend project. Anyone want to donate an old sledgehammer head?

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Pictures of my first knife designed with CAD

Besides writing, I enjoy knifemaking. While I could only admire the knife world from a distance for months, I’ve made my way back into the knifemaking world thanks to CAD.

I always thought Computer Aided Design (CAD) was something expensive and out of reach to the average Joe. My first glimpse into the world of CAD was when I rode shotgun as my dad went to pick up building plans from his “CAD guy.”

Through my young eyes, I saw CAD as expensive, confusing and something you probably went to college to learn.

But thanks to 3D printing, CAD is almost ubiquitous. Want to create a 3D image? There is free software that you can use, like SketchUp and TinkerCad, in addition to the professional-grade software. With this software, you can design an image, hit print and a few hours later you can hold your design in your hand.

3D printing technology is in its infancy. Like the personal computer, techies say it will revolutionize the way we manufacture and consume goods. I figure it would be a good idea to dabble in the technology, before it does, or does not, take off.

So this weekend, I messed around with CAD. I first downloaded SketchUp, but it had a high learning curve. I slid right down the curve and switched to TinkerCad. The program is also free, and it was designed for the weekend craftsman.

It’s almost stupidly simple and in a few minutes last Friday and Saturday, I created this space-age looking knife:

It’s a knife I would be proud to make in real life.

Just so you know, one of those large squares equal an inch, so the knife is about 10 inches long.

I’ve noticed with both SketchUp and TinkerCad that it’s difficult to create curves. This knife has many straight lines and angles — something I hope to fix in the future because I think knives shouldn’t have many straight lines.

Knife Design

This knife will probably stay in the design stage. With the limited free time I have, I want to make knives that will get used by me or other people. This knife looks like something an astronaut in a dystopian sifi would use. For what, I don’t know. We’ll let Hollywood figure that one out.  Sure is pretty, though…

Knife Design2


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