Diemen Design
Diemen Design
The wood in your newly turned item has taken many decades to grow and mature. With special care it can be enjoyed for decades to come! Nothing lasts forever though, but wood is tough stuff. Proper wood care will keep things looking good indefinitely, and they can improve with age. Wooden kitchenware has been used for centuries, and people value antique bowls wood items for their aged appearance. Your newly turned product may have been finished with a number of different finishes, depending on it's intended use. OB Shine Juice (mainly Shellac and Boiled Linseed Oil), for items that may be handled, but mainly used as a talking piece. Shellac, for items that are mainly for display, and that hardly get handled. Shellac, while it has a wonderfully smooth finish, can be fragile and easily damaged, especially if alcohol based liquids are spilled or used on the item. We use a modified French Polish technique, where we use Sheep Wool rather than cotton for the Pad. The Lanolin in the Sheep Wool helps with lubrication along with the Boiled Linseed Oil which also helps with the lustre, bringing out the Chattoyance in the grain of most items. Shellac with a Spray-on Clear Lacquer top coat, is usually used for items that will be handled a lot, and may come in contact with food. The Shellac process we use is explained above. The lacquer is used to provide as much as Lacquer can, a water proof finish. We most commonly use this type of finish on the Timber Pens and other items that would be handled often. To wash your wood item, simply clean it with mild dish washing soap and and warm water. Rinse and dry immediately. Never submerge your wooden item in water. Do not put your wood item in the dishwasher. Do not put it in the microwave or oven. Do no refrigerate. Do not leave in direct sunlight, as this can cause the timber to change colour over time due to the UV in sunlight. Forcefully stacking wooden items and in particular bowls could result in them cracking, warping or chipping. Take care with over-ripened fruit as it will create permanent stains over time. Clean your item when your finished using it for food, leaving it without cleaning it will more than likely damage the finish, and possibly the timber the finish is protecting.
For years I've found the history of video games interesting, from biographical novels written by such programmers the likes of Jeff Minter (YAK) of Llamasoft, and Bob Pape's "It's behind you, the making of a video game", to interesting facts of why some elements are in a game and what they represent. So, I decided to publish a list of all I could find from older video games that I could find, and add to over time. Consoles. Playstation 2 - The design of the PS2 is based on an old Atari computer, the Falcon 030 Microbox. Sony bought the design patent when Atari were going bankrupt. Nintendo 64 - When counting overlapping faces (sides), the Nintendo 64 logo has exactly 64 faces and 64 vertices. Nintendo Wii - The Nintendo Wii's motion control technology was presented to Microsoft and Sony before being presented to Nintendo. Both companies were rude to the creators of the technology during the presentations, and rejected the idea of using their tech for games. Diablo. Play it backwards - When the demonic boss "Diablo" is released in the final level of Diablo 1, he says something in a bizarre language that when played backwards, the voice is English and says "Eat your vegetables and brush after every meal.". Donkey Kong. Popey - Donkey Kong was originally set to be a Popeye arcade games. Mario was Popey, Pauline was Olve Oyl, and DK was Bluto. Nintendo lost the license to the game, but Miyamoto did not want to drop the project, so he filled in the blanks with his own characters. Doom 2. Nirvana - Doom 2 was released in the same year that Kurt Cobain shot himself with a shotgun. The map "Nirvana" in Doom 2 contained a shotgun in the starting sector. Mario Bros. Princess Peach - While It's a common theme of rescuing Princesses and other characters as the main story of a game, it's a little creepy that Mario is rescuing the Princess he loves, considering that Mario is around 40 years of age in the game, while Princess Peach is only 15. It looks as though, and after some extensive research, that the ages I thought were wrong. Mushrooms - For years people have joked that Mario eats magic mushrooms, which is why he see's walking turtles and giant caterpillars. The red and white toadstools that he scarfs down are actually based on a mushroom that, when eaten, makes you feel like you are growing. Porno Stars - There are two pornographic parody movies of Mario called "Super Hornio Brothers", and "Super Hornio Brothers 2". Nintendo actually own the rights to these movices. The bought the rights to makes sure the movies would never be released again. Pacman. Pizza - Pacman revolves around the idea of eating. His Japanese name is Pakkuman, derived from the Japanese phrase describing the sound of a mouth opening and closing quickly. But this connection to eating runs even deeper. His design is based on a pizza missing a slice. So if you’ve ever been chowing down on a pizza and thought you saw something familiar, you were right. Simpsons. Freaky ears - Marge Simpson's hair was originally designed to conceal large, life in hell-esque rabbit ears. The gag was intended to be revealed in the final episode of the series, but was cast aside due to inconsistencies. This idea can be seen in the Simpson's arcade game. Sonic. What's in a name - A gene and protein that separates your right brain from the left, and determines you have two eyes is called sonic hedgehog. The gene’s symbol is SHH. The name wasn’t inspired directly by the game, but a comic-book series. A British post-doc named Robert Riddle drew inspiration from a Sonic comic his 6-year-old daughter was reading. The gene appropriately has a spiky appearance. Fresher - Sonic The Hedgehog first appeared as an Air Freshener in "RAD Mobile", a racing games the released three months before the first sonic game. Space Invaders. Coin Shortage - When Space Invaders was release in Japan it was so popular that it caused a temporary shortage of the 100-Yen coin, the coin most commonly used for Arcade Machines. Obviously there are a lot more interesting,disturbing and funny facts about developing video games, and the above are but a meagre few. That said, if you discover or know any more don't hesitate to get in touch or comment below, so we can add them above (along with attribution).
I've been seeing a lot of people asking and offering DIY (Do It Yourself) recipe's for common Timber Finishes. These can vary slightly from country to country and even be regional depending on the ingredients available. I am not trying to take work or product away from those that sell finishes, on the contrary, if you would prefer to purchase a particular finish and support those making large quantities I wholeheartedly endorse you doing that and in turn support someones business and family. Before I start listing popular finishes, let me first endorse and link those businesses and brands that you can try out if you don't wish to go to the effort of making your own: Hampshire Sheen by Martin Sabban-Smith Yorkshire Grit Ack's Wood Paste Just Shellac Shellac has to be one of the, if not the most versatile of finishes or even used as a Sealer/Sanding Sealer. It's to make up from Flakes, which is from my experience the most economic way to use it. Shellac is processed from the hard Resin produced by the Lac Bug that it uses to lay it's young in, and comes in Waxed (Natural), DeWaxed (slightly processed to remove the Wax). To make up the product we use for finishing, require's an alchohol based liquid, such as Methylated Spirits (Metho), also known as Denatured Alcohol or DA, which is used to dissolve the Shellac Flakes into the desired quanities, or as known as Pound Cuts. 1 Pound Cut = 12gramms of Shellac Flakes to 100ml of Metho. 2 Pound Cut = 24gramms of Shellac Flakes to 100ml of Metho. I think you see where this is going. Generally to apply Shellac, I'll sand up to 240grit, then clean out the sanding dust using Straight Metho. This also raises the Knapp of the Timber. Then I apply a 1 Pound Cut of Shellac and rub it into the Timber to try and force the Shellac down into the grain. I let that dry off for a few minutes, then continue sanding up to whatever grit for the look of finish I'm after, obviously for a super shiny or French Polish look, I'll sand past 600grit, cleaning the sanding dust off between grits using compressed air. Once I'm ready to start applying the Finish, I use a modified French Polish technique, using some white cotton (old t-shirt's work well), and balled up cotton wool (actually, I use Sheep's Wool from our Sheep as it contains Lanolin and helps with lubrication during application and is the traditional way to do French Polish). The cotton wool ball is placed into the centre of a square of material about 100mm x 100mm square with the corners pulled up to the centre, held with the fingers, then twisted a couple of times to make a pad. You can either charge the cotton wool before folding up the corners to make the pad, or apply the Shellac to the outside, allowing the Shellac to soak into the wool inside which acts as a reservoir for the Shellac. Boiled Linseed Oil can also be used to help lubricate the pad as you apply the finish to the timber by dabbing the pad into a small container holding the Boiled Linseed Oil. When applying the Shellac, I like to use small circular spirals, working the Shellac into the Timber, and moving across the surface of the Timber. It's best to do many light coat's, rather than less heavy coat's, and slowly building up the layers of the Shellac, which helps gives more depth and shine to the finish. Keep applying more layers, changing direction of your circles to help with coverage. That's pretty much all there is to applying a Shellac Finish, well, at least how I do it. I don't do the full French Polish with using Pumice, as I've found for Wood Turned Items it isn't necessary. OB Shine Juice This recipe I got from one of Capt'Eddie Casteline's YouTube videos. It's pretty simple, made up of 1/3 equal quantities of 2 Pound Cut Shellac, Methylated Spirits/Denatured Alcohol, and Boiled Linseed Oil. Simply wiped on, and rubbed in, it gives a good shine, and durable finish that can be enhanced easily by adding a fresh coat. Frenchy's Shine Juice This recipe was taken from the WoodChuckers Facebook Group by Allen Mayles. I'm pretty sure I've also heard Kim Tippin on YouTube mention a similar recipe. Frenchy's shine juice. 10%BLO, 30% Metho/Denatured Alcohol, and 60%shellac. Faster build up. Yorkshire Grit This recipe was taken from the Wood Turning Basics Facebook Group by Butters von Buttersworth. For anyone that needs it, here is my recipe and process for making York Shire Grit. By volume 1 part mineral oil. 1 part bees wax, 1 part diatomaceous earth (food grade). Measurements do NOT need to be exact. Melt the bees wax in the mineral oil stirring till it’s all dissolved. Then add the diatomaceous earth (DME) stirring constantly till it firms up. If you don’t, the DME will settle. A few tips that I have picked up. An old large tin can works great for making and storing this stuff. I bring about 2” if water to a boil on the stove. I pour the mineral oil into the tin can and set the can in the boiling water to make a double boiler. I then add the wax and allow it to melt, stirring occasionally. When it’s melted, add the DME. Then I get a big bowl of ice water and move the tin can from the boiler to the bowl of ice water. This greatly accelerates the cooling process. But, you still need to stir it till it’s firmed up. Once it’s hardened up, you’re ready to rock. Super cheap and takes about 45 minutes total to make. No guarantee that the above is correct, use at your own discretion. CA Glue Finish Usually used for Pens and smaller items, CA (Cyano Acryolate) Glue produces a durable plastic finish. By simply sanding the project to be finished to the desired grit, several coats of CA Glue can be wiped on and left to harden, or an activator used to reduce time between coats. Then after several coats, most turners then use micro-mesh sanding pads to produce a high-gloss finish. Alternatively, turners may want a satin look, and here's how I achieve that look. Sand the project up to 240grit, then use Methylated Spirits/Denatured Alcohol to clean up dust and raise the Knapp (fibre's of the timber). Then using a piece of paper towel place a few drops of Thin CA on the towel, and a few drops of BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) directly on the CA, then with the project spinning at a slow speed rub the CA/BLO into the timber until it starts to become tacky from the friction. I then allow that to harden without using activator (I Usually leave between 15-20 minutes, good excuse to make a cup of tea). What this does is gets the CA into and beside the grain deeper into the pores, and helps with stability, and also brings out more of the Chatoyance in the timber. I then continue sanding, cleaning the dust between each grit, up to at least 600 grit which I find adequate for most timbers. I then start applying the Medium CA finish, I don't use activator myself, but there is no reason not too if you wish to speed the process up. I usually apply between 5-10 coats depending on how things look, then use micro-mesh to remove any scratch's or unusual unevenness that can occur when apply the finish.   Activator, or the lack of it There are various alternatives to using Activator, which I'll list below so if you find yourself without it, or can't acquire it and need to get that project done. Glen 20 - Can leave a cloudy look to a finish. Might ok if the glue isn't visible, obviously no good if using as a finish. Bi-Carb Soda - This has been used for decades esp. by model makers in the film industry as explained by Adam Savage, as not only does it accelerate the drying process, it also acts as filler making joints stronger. Adam also mentions using Bi-Carb Soda in his book "Every Tools a Hammer". I have also seen suggestions of dissolving Bi-Carb Soda in water and using it in a spray bottle as an accelerator. BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) - Used directly, it's not as fast as actual accelerator, but it does work. RC Nitro Fuel (without Caster Oil) - I'd like more information about this one. Mineral Oil Quite often on various Woodworking and Turning Groups on Facebook, or Forums, the question of using Food Safe Finishes for Timber is asked, and most often the answers given to use Mineral Oil. Personally, I don't like to use Mineral Oil as a Food Safe Finish, and there is a lot of contention with most thinking towards Mineral Oil being Food Safe. So, what is Mineral Oil made from? Despite its name, mineral oil doesn’t actually contain anything healthy. Nor is it the slightest bit natural. Mineral Oil is made from Petroleum. The crude oil is processed to remove impurities – this is why food-grade mineral oil is clear and odourless. However, this doesn’t make it healthy or eco-friendly. Also, not all mineral oil is food-safe. Personally, I prefer not to risk it with my product finishes, that are likely to come into contact with food. There are a few issues with mineral oil you should be aware of before using it in the home. If you’re using it on food surfaces, you’re potentially ingesting small amounts of petroleum. One thing you can do to help protect your food if you use mineral oil is to apply a coat of beeswax over the mineral oil after it dries. Mineral oil that isn’t heavily refined will contain impurities, which can be harmful to your health. Even moderately refined mineral oils are classed as carcinogens and are not something you want in your body. You’ll have to reapply mineral oil regularly – it’s not a long-lasting wood product like oil finishing products that are designed for wood protection are. Mineral oil does have a few advantages: It’s relatively stable and won’t spoil when exposed to warm temperatures. When applied to wood, mineral oil leaves a clear finish, making it a practical choice when you want a natural look. Petroleum-based, highly refined mineral oil is considered to be non-toxic. Refined mineral oil won’t give off any foul odours. The majority, if not all of the above finishes are used on Wood Turning Projects, but this doesn't mean they can't be used on other types of Wood Working. I'll update and add more as time permits, or if you have suggestions or recipe's you would like to share, please comment, or contact us. Happy Finishing
This simple wood bowl was turned out of Macrocarpa, it is 190mm wide, 52mm high, with 45mm internal depth, it has had Boiled Linseed Oil burnished into the grain during the sanding process up to 240grit leaving a smooth finish that shows off the grain and wood feel of the material.Below is a photographic workflow of the turning process with some brief explanations. Figure 1: Blank of Macrocarpa mounted onto the Lathe using a Worm Screw. Figure 2: Rounding the blank, working out the diameter and starting to shape the outside of the bowl. Figure 3: Continuing to shape the outside of the bowl. Figure 4: Creating the recess for turning the bowl around to mount for turning using the Dovetail Jaws. Figure 5: Shape done, recess made with a centre flourish, and starting to sand from 40grit and working up to 120grit. Figure 6: Waiting for Methylated Spirits to dry, which raises the Knapp allowing the next process to take up the Boiled Linseed Oil. Figure 7: After coating with Boiled Linseed Oil and rubbing in using friction until the paper stops removing oil. Figure 8: Turned around and mounted on the chuck. The centre hole is from the worm screw. Figure 9: Removing the bowl material starting from the outside to remove the outside weight. This helps to keep the piece balanced. Figure 10: Starting to remove material from the centre. Because of the shape of the Bowl Gouge, it is necessary to remove material further in to avoid catches. Figure 11: An action shot taken by my 10yr old daughter, trying to catch the motion of the shavings flying out of the bowl as it's being cut. Figure 12: Using the same process as the outside of the bowl, sanding from 80grit to 120grit then using Methylated Spirits to clean the grain and raise the Knapp then Boiled Linseed Oil burnished in, then sanded up to 240grit. Figure 13: The bowl was finished with a clear satin lacquer to retain the natural wood feel. Figure 14: Another angle of the bowl. Figure 15: Bottom of the bowl, showing the outside shape and flourish in the recess. Figure 15: Width of the bowl, 190mm. Figure 16: Height of the bowl, 52mm.
This is an article describing my process of making Woodturned Pens to show what goes into making them. For this guide, I'll be using the Rollerball SN kit supplied by Timberbits. The process is pretty much the same for the majority of pens kits, the sizing and number of wood turned parts may change depending on the kit and pen style.After deciding on the pen kit to use, timber selection needs to take place. Sizing will again depend on the pen kit, but generally, you want to make sure that blanks are square and have some interesting figure. Figure 1, shows the timber I selected to make several pens in one session. Picture from the top, the Pen kits as they come packaged from the supplier. The timber from the top, Huon Pine, Macrocarpa, Chestnut Burl, and Tasmanian Myrtle. Also shown to the left are the bushings needed to mount these kits on the Mandrel that each pen will be mounted on to be turned.Also shown on the timber is the marking out I did for the lengths of the brass tubes that will be glued into the blanks once they are cut to size and drilled to accept the brass tubes supplied in the kits. Figure 1: After selecting some nice figured wood I lay out the sizes of the pen tubes. Figure 2 below shows the marked out timber before being cut into lengths. You will notice that each is numbered for each kit, "T" and "B" indicate top or bottom of the pen. And the short mark that is parallel to the length of the blank indicates the orientation to help orientate the blanks for lining up the grain. Figure 2: Close up details of the marked out blanks before being cut to length. Figure 3 shows how the short parallel mark helps to orientate the blanks for lining up the grain. Numbering also helps if the blanks get mixed up, so they can be sorted. Especially helpful when using the same timber species with similar colouring. Figure 3: The blanks cut to size. Figure 4 is a close up of the marking out, and the interesting grain in Huon Pine. Figure 4: Close up of the marking out. Figure 5 shows the marked centre for drilling so the brass tubes can be inserted. As you can see with the bottom blanks (Tasmanian Myrtle), the marks are purposely off-centre to avoid the split in the timber which would produce a not so nice pen. Figure 5: Before Drilling the blanks, mark and centre punch. Figure 6: All the blanks ready to be drilled. Figure 7: About to drill a pilot hole. Figure 8: About to drill out the brass tube size for the top or cap. Figure 9: About to drill out the bottom for the pen section of the kit. Figure 10 shows gathering the swarf and shavings comes in handy for fixing chip out, or can be used for other projects that have inlay designs. Figure 10: I like to keep and gather the swarf to grind into powder for filling gaps or other projects that have inlay. Figure 11: Making use of old pen kit packaging. Testing fitting the tubes before gluing in as in Figure 12 helps to avoid issues once the blanks are mounted on the mandrel. Figure 12: Making sure the tubes fit correctly, before gluing in. Roughing up the surface like in Figure 13 helps to the glue to key and adhere to the inside of the timber blank. Figure 13: Before gluing I like to rough up the surface to help adhering the brass to the timber. Figure 14: Cyano Acrylate (CA) glue that I use, this is medium thickness. Figure 15: I use the end of the larger drill bit as it's end is machined down, and the larger tube fits, making it easier to push the tube into the blank. Figure 16: Tube glued in. Figure 17: All tubes glued, then left overnight to allow the glue to fully cure. Figure 18: Pen Mill Cutter for removing timber down to the tubes to give the exact length of the pen. Figure 19: About to Mill and square up the timber to the brass tube. Figure 20: This is the result of Milling the blank down to the tube. Figure 21: Blanks for the first pen mounted with it's bushing that fit into the brass tube. Figure 22: Turned down to the bushings. Figure 23: First coat of CA Glue used as the finish. Figure 24: After several coats of CA Glue. Figure 25: After being water sanded. Figure 26: Pen parts before being assembled, showing the order of the parts. Figure 27: How I push the parts into the brass tube. Figure 28: Second part about to be pushed in. Figure 29: Orienting the lid part of the pen kit before pushing the next part in. Figure 30: Pushing the aligned part into the lid part of the pen. Figure 31: Pushing the clip part of the kit into the lid. Figure 32: About to insert the ink refill into the body of the pen. Figure 33: The finished pen.
This article is a Work In Progress, but I am making it available to help potential client's along. It may be beneficial to come back now and then and see if there have been changes. Or as I make updates, I will more than likely reshare the article on various social media services. After reading many horror stories on Reddit, and remembering some of my own experiences, I thought I would put together an article outlining for client's what designer's or developers require, whether they communicate requirements or not, and possibly add some ideas for clients and designers or developers that may not have realised what they should be communicating to clients. I've been building websites for a long time now, and have had a lot of good and bad experiences with clients, some of which my fault, and a lot where the client simply didn't understand what was required of them to proceed or complete work. I'd like to make something clear at this point, and that is the difference between "Designers" and "Developers". This is a term that is often blurred and confusing to clients and makes understanding what those roles are a problem for clients to understand what may be required from each. A "Designer" is someone that creates the layout of what the website will look like and may in some cases produce the HTML code that gets used or implemented by a Developer who makes the design work. At times some Designers may do some of the websites pages layouts inside an editor that may be built into the chosen Content Management System, or pass the layout onto the Developer to do. A "Developer" is someone that creates or modifies the underlying code that makes the website work. Whether that is a static website or a website that uses a Content Management System. A Developer may also set up and install the necessary software, services, or plugins required to make the website work and function appropriately. A Developer may also do the design process, but does the extra steps that a designer doesn't do to make a website work.In this article, I will most likely use the term "designer", but I am meaning both terms for the sake of brevity. I have found that in most cases with client's where relationships have broken down, and from stories from others, the main issue is communication between both parties. By this, I mean communication on things like who enters the website content, or the time needed for a feature to be implemented. Beside's communication, there is often a misunderstanding on the technical aspects, and what those mean exactly. As a Designer or Developer, we need to be mindful that client's will more than likely not understand different technical aspects of what they require, or what web technologies can be utilised. And in some cases what isn't possible. I remember a prospective client from my early days, where the client wanted to have their website do things that were not technically possible. It was very hard to explain to them and have them understand that what they wanted to do was impossible, and thinking about it while writing this, what they wanted is still not possible. And this is something that both parties need to be clear about as well.That said, though, as designers we need to listen, and document what a client's requirements, suggestions, and what they think is required to have their Website work for their business while keeping in mind to advise the client how visitors will interact with their business, and work out a public-facing interface that allows visitors to become customers. If the Website is hard to use, and understand what the business is offering, they'll simply go somewhere else.Some things to discuss with the designer, or they should bring up with the client what the Website should do may include:- Get more inbound leads / quote requests/ phone enquiries / bookings? Increase brand awareness? Educate visitors? Encourage sales? Collect visitor information to build a list for newsletters or chasing up leads? Encourage onsite or social media interaction? Rarely does the discussion of contracts come up as the first topic of discussion, but is something that is required before any work is undertaken or paid for. Without an agreed-upon contract covering what work will be done, a timeline for tasks to be completed, and a payment schedule, both parties are open to serious problems that can occur. A properly written contract will outline and make clear what is expected of both parties, and can also outline legal responsibilities if either part breaks or can't agree upon changes that may occur during the process of the contract. Part of the process is agreeing upon a design. In most cases, a client with an already established business will already have a brand that makes their business unique. It is not a good idea for a designer to recommend tampering with that brand, something, that the client will already have invested money in creating. For the client, it most helpful for the designer if the client can hand over not only design idea's, but also documentation that should include a guideline that outlines logo graphics, variations, colours, fonts used, and include files that may have been produced or licensed by the concept designer that developed the brand. Once the design, and what will be worked on is agreed upon, outlining to the client what Content Management System will be used and whether the client or someone else is going to be entering the content, such as articles, services, or products. I've had some clients be confused with this, believing it was my responsibility to produce content, even though I was sure I had made it clear to them that the content wasn't up to me. Without content, a website is pretty much useless and doesn't help the business grow via their website. There are options for clients who don't wish to produce content, and that is to hire a Copywriter who will write content for the client and hopefully do so in a manner that positively affects the Websites SERP (Search Engine Rank Position). SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is another subject that is very important to discuss. From choosing an appropriate Domain Name (if one hasn't already been registered), to deciding if the client is going to do their own SEO, or hire someone to do it for them. In some cases, a Copywriter will also specialise in SEO. Outlining how SEO is to be implemented on the website is also important. By this I mean, how the different aspects of SEO will be utilised, from ad-dons that will be installed, or like in the case of AuroraCMS, if it's built-in already, and how necessary fields can be edited.Where exactly the website will be hosted is a concern for some businesses. I've been made aware recently and depending on the type of business, that some business insurances can dictate where a business website is hosted. For e.g. a financial-based business in Australia is required to be hosted on Australian services. While the location isn't a factor for SEO anymore, it is a factor for legal reasons depending on the type of business. Ownership of content and materials should be outlined clearly as there is often confusion about this. Generally, while the design of the website is being developed, and if the designer is creating materials and graphic content for the website, those are usually owned by the designer until full payment and handover of the website are made to the client. If the client hands materials over to the designer, which usually aren't altered apart from resizing, those materials are owned by the client, the client should also indicate any legal permissions and whether the material was sourced from another service which may make altering or using material difficult from a legal standpoint, and whether permissions are required or forthcoming. The budget should be determined whether the designer works at an hourly rate or a one time fee and if a deposit is required before undertaking any work. A client's budget should also be taken into account with payment options where work will commence once a set amount is agreed upon, and how much work will be completed in a set time period for that amount. Incomplete payments should be outlined in the contract, and the consequences for both parties if those are not met. I've been caught with this in the past, where the client was unable to finalise payments to complete agreed-upon work. In those cases, I usually kept any completed work that I had undertaken but handed over material that was provided by the client, as I didn't own the rights to that material, but was able to protect the work I had completed by not having to legally hand that material over to the client. In some cases, it's better for both parties to come to an arrangement amicably rather than dragging the issue through the legal system. Ongoing costs should be outlined, and options discussed, which usually involve design changes over time or if requirements come up as technology changes, as well as ongoing hosting, and domain registration. Hosting can be done a few different ways, with the most common being that the designer hosts the client's website and either includes a time period of hosting within the design costs, or changes per month, annually, or whatever is agreed upon. Domain registration is much like car registration where it is most commonly year by year, multi-year, or can be paid for years in advance. Sometimes this is left up to the client, but in my experience mostly by the designer, where the designer invoices the client when the ongoing registration is due, and they will have an account with a preferred Domain Registrar.
I met Alan Raycraft online about 9 years ago (2010) through a business that was listing and encouraging other businesses to work together on Facebook, mainly Work At Home Parent types, they had a Website that had one of those old school link exchange systems on their site (something that Google doesn't like, so don't think about using one). It turned out that Alan was the owner of Raycraft Computer Consultants, and after some back and forth and friendly banter, we learned that we had a lot of similar interests, particularly in the IT (Information Technology) field. Both of us have a history of performing customer services, such as computer repairs, building new systems, and general troubleshooting of hardware and software. It also happened that Alan was interested in updating his Website and his online presence. While Alan already had a Website, he was interested in something more robust, nicer looking, and something he could easily maintain. And this is where I came in. I was at the time, providing hosting services, and web design using my own custom-built Content Management System which has now evolved into AuroraCMS. Since then, I have hosted and designed with Alan's approval a design for his business, that I believe works well for him, and in that time we have helped each other out in different ways, on a personal and business level.We've both let off steam about issues (that I won't go into here) that we have and still struggle with on a personal level, and give each other advice, that has helped us both greatly, and come to an understanding that we are not the only ones who struggle in similar situations. We have both passed work onto each other during this time, benefitting us both in as far as being able to earn a little for each of our businesses. Alan now does the hosting of his and my client's websites, and he has also brought more website client's into the fold for me to design. During my time as a Web Developer, I have also been able to use Alan's Website to test Search Engine Techniques, which I'm happy to report have worked great and have benefitted Alan's Search Engine Rankings positively. And those findings will enable us both to pass that information learned onto current and future client's. In today's mad rush of a society, where it seems that everyone is out to make a quick buck, do everything on their own, and be in competition with similar businesses, it is refreshing to be able to work with someone who is not only like-minded, but is also not out to simply make a quick dollar at the detriment of lousy work, or not caring about client's needs. Getting to know Alan on a personal level, even though we've never met face to face, we've been able to watch (via social media) our families grow and evolve in the past 9 years, and I believe we've come to trust each other on a level that other businesses or people simply don't. That seems to be a rare thing these days. We need more of it, and we need more businesses to work together even in the same industry as one another. Collaborating with other businesses, regardless if they are in the same industry or not, can be beneficial not only to yours and their business but also the local economy. Working together is less stressful and much better for long term health, physically and the health of your business. Actively putting your business against others can also mean spending a lot of time doing so, and not working on your own to it and your detriment. A great example of collaboration could go like this. A local coffee shop could display an impressive arrangement of flowers on its counter, provided by a florist located locally. The coffee shop receives a beautiful addition to their décor, while the florist gets to reach out to potential customers in the area that may not have otherwise been aware of its services. In this way, both businesses benefit. In my case, there is a local artisan that may need a website to promote their products, which is something I use in my everyday life. After building their website, I add it to my portfolio with links back to their website, and a purchase code the customer can use when they purchase one or more products. That code, could give the customer a discount, and indicate to my client where that customer came from, and in turn, also gives me a discount on that product. This collaboration works in a number of ways, not just financially, but also helps both businesses with natural links to my client's website, helping theirs and my SEO, as well as passing on business to my client on an ongoing basis (obviously as long as customers are filtering through my website onto the clients). The client can also pass business back when asked who built their website, in turn benefitting my business. Those are just a couple of examples, there's a lot of ways businesses can work together. In the case of businesses in the same industry, there may be situations where each specialises in a particular part of the same industry, and each can pass on customers that need that specialised service. Well, I hope this article gives you the reader some ideas that can help improve your inter-business relationships, and you can prosper in this tough economy. Just remember, not everyone is your enemy.
The process of how I turn Bowls and Platters. This one is made from Macrocarpa Pine from an old burnt log that was on our property when we moved in, and I've been cutting bits from it every since. Music after the Introduction is Lords of Iron (Celtic Music) by Antti Martikainen Music, if you like his music please show you support by purchasing his album/s: Antti Martikaine
Timber care is something that a lot of people neglect or forget about after they've purchased one of our Woodturned items so to help makes taking care of your bought item a little easier I thought I would put this little article together as a guide. Now, I am well aware that there are a lot of different ways to finish and protect timber, below is our way, that works for our products. Timber care doesn't have to be a long convoluted process, but there are things that we should, and shouldn't do, and that care will depend on a lot of different elements, such as sun exposure, the timber species, and even the finish that was used on the timber. Most timbers can be simply wiped with a damp, not soapy cloth to remove dust, much like dusting furniture. Keeping timber out of direct sunlight will help to reduce discolouring particularly bleaching and whitening, but some timber species will change over time regardless of the finish used. Timbers such as Purple Heart will continue to darken and become a deeper purple over time and faster if exposed to direct sunlight. If the timber is finished with a UV Inhibitor this will greatly reduce the discolouring time. Here are some finishes that you may come across on Woodturned items: Wax: We use mainly a Bee's Wax, Carnuba Wax, or combination of Bee's Wax and Boiled Linseed Oil. Most wax can be easily repaired if damaged, but most of all, it feels nice to handle. Martin Saban-Smith of Hampshire Sheen has a great article on why he uses and prefers a Wax finish. Maintaining a Wax Finish is done by simply wiping gently with a clean cloth to remove dust and grime. Using detergents or cleaning agents may remove the wax in some cases, leaving an undesirable result, and possibly leaving the timber exposed. In most cases, and as long as you know what wax to use the wax can be replaced and repolished to bring back the lustre of the coating. BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil): Linseed oil, extracted from flax seed, is one of the most useful natural oils. It makes for a great preservative of wood. It's used as an ingredient in paints, varnishes, and stains. Boiled Linseed Oil is used to seal timber, protecting indoor furniture and cabinets, and artist's use it as a thinner for oil paint. Over time BLO gets harder creating a great protective layer. Generally, using BLO, by saturating the timber will produce a pleasing golden glow, which over time will darken to an amber colour. Maintaining a BLO finish is achieved by simply wiping over with a damp cloth as with a Wax Finish, again without detergents. Unlike Wax, as BLO is usually used by saturating the timber, the piece can be handled more, and scratches will be less evident. A coat of BLO (as long as other finishes haven't been used on top of the BLO), will help maintain the finish once a year, and will only help the timber soak up more of the BLO. However, on some timbers, the finish can feel oily to the touch, and not feel nice to handle. Oils: There is a large range of types of oils such as water-based ones and they are for both interior and exterior use. These finishes are similar to wax finishes only they are thinner so timber can absorb it much more easily than wax. Oil finishes are rubbed or brushed onto the timber like wax and they are easy to apply and maintain, though more coats may be needed than a stain because of how light and thin most oils are. Polyurethane: Polyurethane is usually intended as finishing coat once a stain is applied, more often though they are used as a finish that is easy to apply and increases the appearance of the natural bare timber. Care for this finish is probably the easiest, and most durable, as essentially the finish seals the timber like a plastic coating. Wiping with a damp cloth like other finishes is usually the easiest, and you could use a soft soap to remove dirt, though Polyurethane can be easily scratched. CA Glue (Cyanoacryolyte Glue): A CA Finish is very similar to Polyurethane, and a coating we often use on our pens. Generally, cleaning and maintaining the wood products we sell and supply, only need to be cleaned with a soft cloth to remove dust. To remove built-up grime we recommend a damp cloth and gentle rubbing, as the majority of the finishes we use could be damaged if harsh cleaners and soaps are used. Though, we do try to use finishes that allow you to use (particularly pens, or products that would be handled often), without damaging them.
Woodturning a Tasmanian Pepperberry Pepper Grinder Long awaited Pepper Grinder made for a friend out of Tasmanian Pepperberry that's been felled for over 5 years. We'll be making a lot more Pepper Craft products and items. The music is called El Magicia by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Artist: Incompetech Pepper Grinder kit supplied by Timberbits
This is a sped-up process of making Multiple Rollerball Pen kits. The pens shown in this video have already been sold, we'll have more available soon, and will appear at the bottom of this page when they do, The Pen Kits in the video were supplied by Timberbits. The Music in the video was supplied by AmpleTunes.
Category: website
AuroraCMS is Diemen Design's premiere Australian Open Source Content Management System. It's built to be lean, fast, and easy to use, including built-in features that other platforms need Addons or Plugins to achieve.Built using PHP7+, PDO, Bootstrap (Administration). Let me, just for a moment, explain why AuroraCMS is different than other platforms. Size, it has a smaller footprint compared to other CMS's, esp. considering its features. AuroraCMS is not only Blog/Article capable, it also has a lot of other built-in features, such as: Pages. Portfolio. Client Proofs. Messaging (Full Email Client built-in) with storage of Contact Page Messages. Inventory. Shopping Cart. Rewards System. Services. Bookings. Full Invoicing System. Content Scheduler. News. Events. Testimonials. Portfolio. Newsletters. SEO including JSON-LD Built right in. Accounts with User Ranks with Permissions Options. Content can be reverted if other Administration Users change the content. Content Editing Suggestions. SEO's or other Permission enabled Administrators can suggest edits, that if accepted can simply be changed with an approval button Comments and Reviews require Approval before they are displayed on the Front End, and are also put through the Spam and Honey Pot Test. Built-in Security that checks submitted form data for spam, and checks users IP against Project Honey Pots Blacklist and can automatically block IP's with a 30day option to clear blacklisted IP's. Security options can also block IP's if known Wordpress attack attempts are made, to reduce hammering of the Website and to stop brute force attempts. Front end can use any pre-built CSS Framework, or you can roll your own. The front end uses simple HTML Style tags to indicate where database content should be used. You can view and download AuroraCMS for our GitHub Repository.
How much does a Website Cost? How long does it take to build a Website? These are questions that Web Designers and Developers get asked often. The costs in today's world for a Website can vary greatly, and you will get different mileage depending on what you pay, and what options you want to take, and not really something that can be answered with a definitive cost. The biggest thing is to make sure you're getting value for money, and that value can be determined whether your Website is giving you a return on your investment. In today's world, it is important that most businesses have some sort of online presence to help bring in customers and earn money. Not having a Website in most cases can hamper your business when competing with others in the same industry. A Website can be the first impression to customers, of your services and products, and most importantly, if your business can be trusted, and determine if that customer wants to deal with you. Some things you should have in place, or be working on before undertaking to build or having someone build your Website: Branding, Business Name and Domain Name: These things go hand in hand. Branding of your Business will include things like Colours, Logo, and those will be determined by what your business does and the Services and or Products it provides. And will also include your Logo, which you should have in mind how you want it to look online, and if it's readable easily by customers, as well as memorable. Your Domain Name needs thinking about along with your Business Name, again you want something that's easily remembered, instantly recognisable. Target Market: By this I mean, research your competitors. What Keywords are they targetting? What Keywords you want to target. How you want to implement your marketing strategy, like how much you want to spend on marketing, what your monthly, yearly limits are. This will also help determine what kind of content, and the frequency of adding content like Blog Articles to your Website. If you decide to include video's, like embedding YouTube Content, consider also adding a Transcript for Visually Impaired visitors, or for those that find it hard to follow verbal content in your videos. Website: Knowing what you want your Website to do for your business before undertaking the build process will actually help map out what tasks need to be done, whether that's for yourself or your web person. Researching your competitors will help you determine what works for them, and how you should proceed design-wise. Here are some things you should be asking: Will my Website be Secure? Having security in mind is usually the last thing a client should have to think about but is something your Web Designer or Developer should at least discuss with you to create a plan that you can both implement and know what roles each should be taking. Your already busy running your business, you don't have time to fix security issues. A regular backup plan and storage of that backup should be something the Designer or Developer implements as part of negotiating and undertaking to build your Website. This should also include steps to help make your Website secure, including any additional Addons they recommend, and also discuss the update and upgrade plans. That said though, they should not try to convince you that their setup is secure and hacker-proof, there is simply no such thing. Will my Website be Standards Compliant? Having a Website that follows W3C's Standards of Compliancy, will go a long way towards helping your Website be crawled by Search Engines, as having the underlying code of your Page easily crawlable by not having out of date techniques that are deprecated (no longer in use), or code that is full of errors. Just think how difficult it is to read a page of text full of errors where you have to try and guess what the text is trying to represent. Will my Website be Accessibility Compliant? Having a Website that is easily used by Visually Impaired or other Disabled people is very important. In some countries, there are laws to try and encourage Website owners to make sure their Websites are usable by the Disabled. Does the Copyright of any of the Content, like Graphic Images, Logo (if created by the designer) and Website Template or Theme belong to me? This is actually something that I have seen a number of times, where Designer's, as they created the Graphic Content and other Media for a Businesses Website or other Media, have claimed that the Business owner does not own that Content. Most of the time though, once full payment for the work has been made, the Copyright is transferred to the Business Owner. Who does (you, them, or outsourced) the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for the Website? SEO is something you can do yourself and doesn't take as much time as you may have been led to believe. However, if you decide not to undertake doing your own SEO, then this is something you can discuss with who you are negotiating your Website with. Most Designers or Developer's don't do the SEO side of things, and you don't have to use who they recommend. There are links at the bottom of the article for resources where to learn to do SEO yourself, or where you can find someone to do it for you. Who does the Content, and can I easily Edit the Content myself? This is something that often causes issue's between Clients and Designers/Developers, and should be discussed from the beginning so it's clear who, whether it's you, or them that does the Content and Editing. It used to be, that a client would contact their web person with what they wanted to be changed, and be charged for the web person to make those changes. These days with a lot of Websites being driven by a Content Management System, Client's (You) have a login that allows them to add, change, or remove the content as they see fit. Usually, though, you can't make changes to the Theme of the Website, which still falls to the web person. If the content is up to the client (you), and something you feel you aren't capable of doing yourself, you can hire a Copywriter, and there are some great ones available. There are links at the bottom of the article where you can source a good copywriter or learn to do it yourself. There are a lot of factors, including, using a custom-designed Website (more costly and takes longer), or a pre-built Website (Quick, Cheaper, but fewer features and less customizability). Free Websites such as Wix, Weebly, Yola, while great to get you online and get your business, services and products online, do have a severe caveat when it comes to customising the underlining code of your Website, which can make getting your Website Search Engine Friendly (SEO) a nightmare. Things like specialised payment facilities, custom forms, or being able to tailor pages to suit exactly what your business does, can be very difficult to achieve. Free also means using pre-defined Website Templates, that can be very difficult to modify. The biggest hurdle though is SEO and making changes to things like speeding up your website as you are at the mercy of the hosting provider, and how they've built the underlying code of their product, as well as the technology they use to make your Website available online. Another issue can be the copyright of uploaded and edited material. Some Licensing of Free Website options can be worded in such a way to allow them to onsell or even take over the copyright of your content, check the Terms Of Service before undertaking this option. Paid Hosted Services, such as Squarespace (who have just made improvements to the SEO of their Websites, but time will tell how good that is). Much like the Free explanation above, these services also leave their customers at the mercy of what they provide. While Squarespace has a lot more that can be customised, and it can be a good starting point if all you need is to get your brand out there, there are limitations, esp. when trying to rank against other businesses that have much better custom-built Websites. Squarespace currently charges between $ 12 to $ 40 per month billed annually depending on the plan you require. This can be a good option if you don't want to be bothered with updating the underlying Website system, however, you are at the mercy of the service. If they have a serious security issue, this will not only affect your website, but all the website's on their service, but it is something they will have to fix at their convenience. Wordpress. I've made this its own section, as a lot of Graphic Designers, or Web Design businesses these days, are simply using Wordpress, with an Addon Theme, and plugins that can be purchased and installed. There are some developers that custom-build a Wordpress Theme, and modify Wordpress to behave how you need for your business, which usually requires a lot of back and forth with the Developer (Designers and Developers are two different categories), but you will end up with something close to your needs. Both can be a quick turn around time to get you up and running. There is a risk, as with anything, most of which are security issues due to plugins, bad updates, or the lack of security plugins being installed to protect the Wordpress Installation. Making changes to the underlying code can also be difficult, esp. if you need to make changes to how content is output and displayed. Costs can vary greatly, from the very cheap to thousands. The most I've seen someone charge for one of these types of Websites is about $ 12,000, and this isn't even including the Domain Name Registration or Hosting. Wordpress, however, is primarily and was originally a Blogging System, that over the years has had addons to force it to behave like a CMS, under the hood though, it's still primarily a Blogging System, and depending on what your requirements are for your business, it can be difficult to have Wordpress fully behave as required without extensive workarounds. Custom Coded Websites, are the most versatile, customizable option. Though they too have pitfalls, the main being development time, and costs. It costs a lot more to pay a developer to build something from nothing, but the result is that you get exactly what you need. Costs can vary greatly, but you will find the cheaper the developer usually means they are inexperienced as more expensive developers know what their time, knowledge and experience is worth. Lastly, (and yes this is kind of a plug for the way I build Websites), is a custom-built CMS, and there are quite a lot of Open Source Projects, some being osCommerce (one of the oldest) Shop type system, Drupal, Joomla, or my own project AuroraCMS. As with any CMS, templates/theme or plugins can be installed to extend the functionality. Addons and Plugins in any system can be fraught with security issues. Especially if developers outside of the project create addons, and don't follow security procedures, or it could be that the developer is just not experienced enough to take security into account, one of the biggest issues with Plugins with Wordpress. There is also the issue that malicious code can be purposely inserted into the addon. Costs for these systems, as with Wordpress, can vary depending on the Designer/Developer. Let me, just for a moment, explain why AuroraCMS is different than other platforms. Size, it has a smaller footprint compared to other CMS's, esp. considering its features. AuroraCMS is not only Blog/Article capable, it also has a lot of other built-in features, such as: Pages, Portfolio, Client Proofs, Messaging (Full Email Client built-in) with storage of Contact Page Messages, Inventory, Shopping Cart, Rewards System, Services, Bookings, Full Invoicing System, Content Scheduler, News, Events, Testimonials, Portfolio, Newsletters, SEO including JSON-LD Built right in, Accounts with User Ranks with Permissions Options. Content can be reverted if other Administration Users change the content. Content Editing Suggestions. SEO's or other Permission enabled Administrators can suggest edits, that if accepted can simply be changed with an approval button Comments and Reviews require Approval before they are displayed on the Front End, and are also put through the Spam and Honey Pot Test. Built-in Security that checks submitted form data for spam, and checks users IP against Project Honey Pots Blacklist and can automatically block IP's with a 30day option to clear blacklisted IP's. Security options can also block IP's if known Wordpress attack attempts are made, to reduce hammering of the Website and to stop brute force attempts. Front end can use any pre-built CSS Framework, or you can roll your own. The front end uses simple HTML Style tags to indicate where database content should be used. Other costs to take into consideration are: Domain Registration: This is an ongoing cost, just like car registration, and can vary depending on the domain name extension (the .com, .com.au, .design, or any other of the many options now available). We recommend and use VentraIP. Hosting: This too can vary greatly. We recommend and use VentraIP for Hosting as well. Outsourced SEO Consultant: This cost can vary greatly as well, we, however, recommend the option of doing it yourself, and one of the best courses we recommend are Kate Toon's. Outsourced Copywriter: Another variable cost, and as with the others, mileage will vary. Kate Toon also does Copywriting and has a list of people she recommends on her Website, another great Copywriter I recommend is Belinda Weaver of Copywrite Matters, she also runs courses. And to finish up, the differences between a Web Designer, and a Web Developer to help clarify who you may be talking too when negotiating the design and costs of your Website. A Web Designer is, at the basic level, a Designer, someone who creates the look of your Website, and in most cases doesn't write code (the stuff that makes your website work). A Web Developer, on the other hand, writes the underlying code that makes your website work, for e.g. the HTML, CSS, which is the structure of your Website, possibly the Javascript that helps with the client-side functionality, and they may also write the software that creates or modifies the content and HTML of your Website (PHP most commonly), and generally usually does some of the backend magic. The person who administers the server where your Website is hosted is called a SysAdmin, or Web Master (Old Skool name), sometimes and quite often the Web Developer may perform this role as well.