After the long hard recent posts it seemed like a good time to take a look at where we have been and to look down the road at where we are headed.

In this blog / podcast I have talked so far about measuring things and geometry.

We started with a line and how to measure the length and how to make sure additional points are on the line. We used the simple tools of a string and our eyes to do this. After that we moved on to a plane and talked about making the plane level and other planes and lines (posts) plumb (straight up and down). We introduced more simple tools, a spirit level and a plumb bob. Then we moved on to making walls and lines perpendicular to each other (also called square). Here we introduced some simple measurements and our first introduction to a right triangle with the 3, 4, 5 measurement and the general case of the Pythagorean theorem. We also talked about another simple tool, the square. This also brought some math into our tool box.

I then talked about bracing and how to calculate the forces on a brace. That was done initially just using graphical methods, but later I decided to talk much much more about right triangles and introduced trigonometry.

We have also talked about some simple fixtures and sawing and cutting. There have been a few posts about other things such as the dancing frog and Alice’s creations, but primarily we have talked about constructing things and those traditional measurements.

In general the things talked about so far have been around since antiquity and the methods are still in use daily today.

As we continue on I probably will stay on course with construction theory and practices and I will continue to talk a lot about theory because it is my goal to talk a lot about the why. The goal is to talk about technique and not about recipes. In that way you can think and reason your way past problems and move on to solutions.

The next few episodes will be about materials, and that will be primarily wood and metal and some about concrete, because these are the main materials used in construction today in the United States and the materials I am most familiar with. However, in the future we will be talking about alternative building methods and other materials such as insulating materials.

Further in the future we will be talking about more primitive construction methods as well as more technical subjects, but always I will be doing much more theory and technique and not a lot about plans. It is not my goal to teach “do it my way”, but more like “This is how I did it and here is why.” As usual, I am taking the hard path for me, but if you spend the time, I think it will be the more rewarding path for you.

Gary

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