Saturday, March 22, 2014

contrived in haste and desperation

Clinch hinges from Craft, Inc.
Yesterday I bought a small load of about 100 board feet of walnut which should keep me busy making small boxes for some time. I also received some sample hinges from Craft, Inc. that are intended for machine installation. The machine costs over $6,000, so it is unlikely I'll put these to regular use in my work unless I go whole hog into much larger production of small boxes.

These hinges press-in-place and are clinched for a tight grip in both hardwoods and soft or in cardboard and some plastics.

The unexpected great thing about these hinges is that they are made in a plant using solar power. Craft, Inc. in Massachusetts gets 97% of its power from the sun. In other words, these small hinges, shown in the photo represent the future of the American power industry -- Locally generated power for local use, and international distribution of manufactured products. These hinges are nothing new.

Craft has been making them for generations as shown on the box at left, marked as a gift from Bob Swigert in 1939.

In the meantime, as we've worked to prevent an extra high voltage power transmission line from devastating a huge swath of Arkansas forest, the power company has proposed new route segments that would help their preferred route 33 avoid the National Military Park at Pea Ridge, a course that set it at odds with the National Park Service and that would have made approval by the US Army Corp of Engineers far from likely. Of course their new routes are even more hastily contrived than their original proposal and show as a sign of their desperation. Also showing their desperation, they've hired a Washington lobbying and public relations firm from Washington, DC to take over their failed public relations on the project. So now there are advertisements going into all the local papers in the area claiming the vast benefits of greatly enhanced reliability. And it is tough being a small group of volunteers having taken on the challenge of stopping a major corporation with deep pockets and that is relentless in making profits without concern for the environment.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission staff weighed in with their opinion yesterday, that the power company's request for consideration of new route segments should be open to rehearing.  The Arkansas Public Service Commission has never met a transmission line it didn't like. I've been helping our attorney draft our response. Of course hastily drawn lines on a map are not the same thing as walking the ground and discovering what you find there, and what we've found already shows the corporation is acting out of haste and desperation. Their new proposed route segments have many problems of their own and will face stiff opposition.

In contrast, the work of craftsmen is seldom contrived in haste and desperation. We attempt to work skilfully. We become stewards of the space around us, and we strive to leave beauty behind us in our work. If we make serious mistakes, be back up and start over. Today I offer private lessons to Mike from Texas. We will work thoughtfully as I share techniques and offer insight into my methods of design.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. That power company may have never run across a group of volunteers as determined as you folks are. Hiring a public relations firm is an act of desperation. Keep on fighting!