February 26, 2010 |
In his former life as a divorce lawyer, Luke Cabanel spent his days watching things fall apart. Now, as a full-time woodworker, Cabanel spends his time crafting pieces meant to endure. Cabanel focuses on the classics, such as Shaker-style furniture and Windsor chairs, made using the same techniques and many of the same kinds of tools used in the 18th century. In January, some examples of Cabanel's handiwork went on view at the Betsy Ross House, which commissioned from him a stool, colonial-style shelves, and a comb-back Windsor chair for a new interactive exhibit that features "Betsy" working in her upholstery shop.
December 4, 2009 |
Nothing elicits squeals of delight like a power tool, says do-it-yourselfer Shelly Halloran. As program director for the Philadelphia branch of Habitat for Humanity, Halloran frequently witnesses the excitement that accompanies someone's first attempt at correctly pounding home a nail or using a screw gun - doubled in intensity when the builder is female. Women Build, an international program offered through Habitat for Humanity, encourages women to get involved in construction work by providing basic hands-on training and organizing women-specific job sites.
April 3, 2009 |
More people are staying put in their homes, waiting out the downturn, and making cost-effective changes to their living spaces to add value and increase comfort. To lend a hand to those who want to do some of this work themselves, today's column will focus on the contents of the home toolbox. Need to know: As with any product on the market, you get what you pay for. In other words, if you buy cheap, that's exactly what you will get. If you are one of those people who are attracted to shiny and expensive things, you are likely to buy tools that you will never use. It is much wiser to have access to a few good hand tools and a couple of multipurpose power tools - either corded or cordless - than to own the high-end and expensive machinery that Norm Abram uses each week on his PBS program, The New Yankee Workshop.
December 14, 2007 |
What's in your toolbox? No matter where you live, no matter whether you own or rent, what you need to keep your home in good shape should always be close by, so you can find it when you need it. That doesn't mean you should attempt jobs that are beyond your abilities. But, really, if you want to hang a window shade, why not grab the drill and a hammer and do it yourself? Need to know: You get what you pay for: Buy cheap, get cheap. But if you're attracted to shiny and expensive things, you're also likely to buy tools you'll never use. Better to have a few good hand tools and a couple of multipurpose power tools than a workshop worthy of TV's master carpenter, Norm Abram.
July 30, 2007 |
When Peter Lane retired from the Westtown School in 2004, admiring colleagues and students honored his service by planting a small grove of chestnut trees on the Chester County campus. The gesture was perfect. Although mathematics was the focus of his pedagogy, Lane taught woodworking as well. In his 39 years at Westtown, "Teacher Pete" introduced many to the language of numbers - "a humanity in its own right" - but he also introduced legions of students to the joy of working with their hands and using simple tools.
April 27, 2007 |
He's called "Farmer Dave," to distinguish him from four other Davids at Weavers Way Co-op, but don't get all misty-eyed about tractors and grain silos. His farm is as unlikely and urban as they come - in Germantown, in the heart of the city. In January, David Zelov, 28, became the member-owned co-op's first full-time farmer, a sure sign that this free-spirited fixture in Mount Airy is getting serious about organic agriculture. Weavers Way has quadrupled the amount of land it's been cultivating for the last seven years - to a full acre off Washington Lane, about two miles from the co-op.
June 16, 2005 |
Each year, we suburbanites welcome spring with open windows that sweep out stale air and draw in balmy breezes, scenting our homes with nature's potpourri: freshly tilled soil, newly mown grass, and blossoming flowers. And the birdsong floats in like an impatient symphony whose musicians can't wait to strike up their instruments. But springtime's soothing music and gentle, warming winds are quickly disrupted by the daily cacophony of lawn mowers, leaf blowers and weed whackers that disturb the peace, sending us running to the windows to slam them shut.
July 27, 2004 |
The wooden sides of the coffin are still visible in the clayish soil where it was laid a century ago, but this coffin and the two next to it in the newly excavated trench are less than 2 feet long. These were infants or toddlers laid to rest in the Montgomery Square United Methodist Church cemetery, at the intersection of what are now Routes 202 and 309, sometime in the 19th century. The widening of the roads long ago hemmed in the church and its cemetery, and the congregation has sold the site to build, bigger and better, a few miles away, as churches have been doing for centuries.
September 26, 2003
ON SUNDAY, Veterans Stadium will have its last (regular season) hurrah when the Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves. The last time the Phillies closed an old home field, on Oct. 1, 1970, chaos ensued and the scheduled events were canceled thanks to a few thousand morons who tore the place apart. Some might have been drinking before the game, which was at night. From what I have been told, security will be tighter than Shania Twain's corset, so, as a season ticket holder, let me ask those who are coming to do three things: First, please don't drink any beer or liquor that morning.
April 25, 2003 |
The minute the weather warms up, gardeners are outside digging and planting. Next day, they're often aching and complaining. Gardening is great exercise, but you can overdo it, especially at the beginning of the season, says physical-medicine specialist Leonard Kamen. Kamen understands the problem. He is clinical director of the MossRehab Outpatient Center in Northeast Philadelphia and a backyard gardener at his home in Abington, where he gardens on a "typical suburban plot," growing tomatoes, herbs and other vegetables and flowers.