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Tools and Construction

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IRISH STONE WALLS

The Irish countryside is a patchwork of over 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) of stone walls. Built from local stone according to the style of each region, these walls are an intrinsic part of the landscape. Patrick McAfee, a consultant and expert stonemason, reveals the history of this ancient tradition and gives illustrated examples of the care and restoration of stone walls of all types.

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HAMMERS, SAWS, AND LASER LEVELS - THE NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW

Most people's architecture is not on the pages of web sites or magazines. It is three dimensional, it deteriorates, it has problematic wiring, it needs repair, and it's usually undergoing some kind of improvement.

Knowing that many people enjoy a hands-on approach to architecture, ArchitectureWeek went looking for well designed tools and products that can help people improve their own architectural surroundings. This mission took me to the National Hardware Show held in Chicago, this August 13-16.

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THE CHANGING SHAPES OF THE AXE

Editor's Note: The vernacular houses at the foundation of an American concept of "home" have their origins in simple constructions, where tools and materials coexisted in seemingly rustic harmony. To grasp the spirit of those archetypical structures, it helps to understand the tools that shaped them.

For early Americans who built log houses, the axe was indispensable. The axe is one of the most fundamental woodworking tools, and in skilled hands, one of the most versatile.

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MANUFACTURING FREEFORM ARCHITECTURE

Still mired in decades-old technologies, most architects are missing one of the greatest opportunities of the computer revolution. Even if they use computer-aided drafting software, these architects are following an old pattern of creating paper drawings for the later interpretation - or misinterpretation - by builders with conventional tools. Why shouldn't the architect's computer do the construction too?

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WOOD IN THE LANDSCAPE : DECKS PART I

"Wood brings us back to roots of our building heritage," says Seattle landscape architect Daniel Winterbottom. "The differing grains, colors, and expressions inherent in the material give wood a warm lively quality found in few other materials."

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WOOD IN THE LANDSCAPE: DECKS PART II

Last week, Part I of this series discussed the origins of wood decks and basic framing systems. This week our five part series continues with the fundamentals of foundations.

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WOOD IN THE LANDSCAPE: DECKS PART III

This article continues our five part series on deck construction with a discussion of beams and joists, how to build with them, and how to avoid common problems.

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WOOD IN THE LANDSCAPE: DECKS PART IV

This article continues our five part series on deck construction. In this installment, we look at decking and stairs—installing decking to ensure its long life, bracing the structure, and constructing stringers and steps.

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WOOD IN THE LANDSCAPE: DECKS PART V

This article concludes our five-part series on deck construction. This time we look at seating and railings. Although there are many options for designing railings, they can be strictly regulated by local building codes.

Seating

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