Catalog review: Lee Valley & Veritas February 2008

Lee Valley and Veritas catalog

Thanks to Kaden‘s recommendation, we get the Lee Valley & Veritas catalogs. The February 2008 edition arrived not too long ago, reminding us of what a good catalog is all about. Lovely photos and clear, tempting descriptions are are often augmented by illustrations. Sprinkled throughout are tips on how to choose and use various tools.

The catalog is forty pages plus an insert. There is a nice assortment of items from their hardware, woodworking and garden catalogs. What more could you ask for in a catalog? How about a fold-out cable tie spread and a technical bulletin? Your wishes are granted.

Lee Valley and Veritas catalog

On page four there is a fabulous two-page spread of cable ties. The “Master Set of 1550 Ties” includes basic, heavy duty, and specialty ties. Specialty ties? Mounting ties, label ties, and releasable ties! One can never have too many cable ties.

If you can make it past the cable tie spread, you’ll get to the tools and hardware. I just don’t get tired of looking things like planes, picture screws, and drawer slides, and there is a truly impressive selection of the drawer slides. Right now I’m drooling over the double edged flush-cutting saw, which is used “to cut off a projection without damaging the surrounding or adjoining face.” I’m certain I will need one someday. I might have to come up with a project specifically for it, but I’m sure it will be worth it just to have an excuse to use the flexible yet rigid blade.

Lee Valley and Veritas catalog

The center insert had an added bonus beyond the usual order page: a technical bulletin. With articles on whittling utensils and using food-safe finishes it contains lots of interesting information and useful tips. The bulletin ends with this note: “These bulletins are intended as keepers, thus the three holes. We will publish them as often as we have something to say and as we have time to put it to paper.” I look forward to the next time they have something to say.

Project: Guerilla Art

The Guerilla Art Kit

Your task this week, should you choose to accept it, is to do everything in The Guerilla Art Kit (available at Amazon, Powells, SFMoma, and your local bookstore) by Keri Smith. Maybe doing everything is a little ambitious, but we exhort you to try these projects, or at least read the book.

We recently got a copy. We had to, since it had the subtitle “for fun, non-profit, and world domination.” Being in the world domination business ourselves, it’s important to know the competition. It turns out that she’s good. Very good.
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Book Review (and build!): Forbidden Lego

Forbidden Lego

It was on the 12th of March this year that I first heard about, and placed my order for, Forbidden Lego, a new book by Ulrik Pilegaard and Mike Dooley, $24.95 from No Starch Press. It’s finally here, and yes, you want a copy.

Forbidden Lego was written by a pair of Lego master builders, who used to work in designing advanced Lego sets (e.g., Mindstorms). While they obviously got to work on lots of cool things while they were there, there were certain projects that just turned out not to be suitable to be made into kits released by the Lego company. They wrote the book to give some kind of a tantalizing hint at the kinds of things that go on behind the scenes at Lego, and the kinds of neat things that might get released in a world without product liability suits.
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Book review: Sticker Nation by Srini Kumar

Sticker Nation - 1

For years we’ve admired the brilliant stickers, buttons, and shirts produced by Unamerican Activities (“quality rebellion at affordable prices”). So, when we came across a whole book about the stickers for $15 at Amazonwe though it was pretty sweet.
But what really sealed the deal was that we realized that it wasn’t just a book about the stickers but a book of stickers– 432 sweet stickers for fifteen bucks.
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