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Aug 27, 2018

Book Review: Michael Pollan Turns from the Stomach to the Mind

For years now, Michael Pollan has become the authority on the relationship that human beings have to food in the modern mechanized, industrial world. He has written on gardens, the inter-relationship between specific plants and their human users, the food systems that operate in our world, the ethics of our diets and the deeper meanings behind our cooking traditions. In short, he has become one of the most influential authorities on what we put in our stomachs. In the process he has helped foster a whole new approach to food that has manifested in artisenal pickle shops, kombucha in every store, and a renewed focus on locality in our food

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Aug 10, 2018

How To: Rebind a Vintage Paperback Book

diy book binding

I love reading. It's a passion and a pastime, a comfort when I'm stressed out, and a total compulsion—ask my wife and she'll confirm that if there's written material anywhere in my vicinity, I'll scan it. I read books from the bookstore and the library, I read articles on my phone, I print out PDFs of friends' screenplays for annotated reviews.

I also really enjoy buying vintage books, especially while traveling. My trade of choice is artisan printing, particularly in letterpress, so I love examining the craft that goes into these old books.

Most books come to me in decent condition, but every once in a while I'll come across one in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree state. Today I finally sat down to work on this 70-year-old German paperback, and I'd like to share my DIY book binding process with you.

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Jul 19, 2017

How to Build a Modern Coffee Table from Scratch

Editor's Note: This project is an excerpt from the new book The Art and Craft of Wood: A Practical Guide to Harvesting, Choosing, Reclaiming, Preparing, Crafting, and Building with Raw Wood by Silas J Kyler and David Hildren. The book is available now at your favorite local bookstore, Powell's, or Amazon. Thanks to Quarry Books for sharing this project with us. 

Building furniture is what first drew me to woodworking. The first coffee table I ever made was for my mom. It was a surprise gift, and I worked tirelessly, hour upon hour, to create something I was proud of. I remember the unveiling well, and the joy it gave her was well worth all the hard work.

The projects to this point have been small and technically much easier than building a piece of fine furniture. Going from making a serving tray or lamp to a coffee table may feel like a big step, and in many ways it is, but practicing with small projects gives you all the skills you need to approach a simple piece of furniture. Remember: with a good dose of patience, you will be well on your way to creating beautiful furniture.

I had a particular set of mesquite slabs in mind when envisioning this coffee table. The tree came from my neighbor’s front yard. When it was removed, they simply asked the crew to leave the trunk behind for me to gather. As I was giving this tree a new life, I could step outside my shop, look across the alley, and see where it lived and died. I could also see where the logs sat and seasoned for two years, driving my wife crazy.    

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Apr 19, 2017
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Mar 08, 2016

How to: Print a "One Sheet of Paper" Book By Hand

Artist, writer, and teacher Andrew Salomone came up with this creative way to print an eight-page book from a single sheet of paper. 

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Feb 29, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Daily Travel Tech Organizer from an Old Book

In our elementary school days, packing your bag was easy: books, folders, pencil, lunch bag, done. But, as grown-ups, especially for those who work in a non-traditional office setting, making sure you have all the goodies you need for the day or a work trip can be tough - do you have all the right power and syncing cables

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Aug 28, 2015

Make This: DIY Pocket Notebook from a Beer Case

DIY Pocket Notebook6 pack cases - we all have a few of those around, the remnants of a night with friends and now the perfect cover for your pocket notebook.  

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Mar 10, 2015

3 DIY Book Press Designs Worth Checking Out

created at: 03/10/2015

I haven’t bound a book or pressed a paper for a few years, mostly because my old press broke and I never got around to fixing it. Well, I have the need for a few new journals and decided it was time to make another press. Here are three great presses I’ll be modeling mine after  

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Feb 10, 2015

How to: Bind Your Own Book

Perhaps you want to make your sweetheart a little something special. Perhaps you've got an idea that you want to share with the world in paper form. Perhaps you simply haven't found the right notebook size and style. 

Then you, my friend, should learn how to bind your own book!   

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Sep 19, 2014

Meat: Everything You Need to Know

If you're the type of guy who pays attention to food or restaurant type things, you know "America's most celebrated butcher," Pat LaFrieda. His story, philosophy, and technique don't take meat for granted, but instead honor the fact that 1) it's not a commodity product 2) meat is expensive, and deserves to be treated well. 

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Jun 03, 2014

DIY Inspiration: Penta-base Bookrest by TOC Studio

Penta-base Bookrest by TOC Studio

Give your favourite books and magazines the royal treatment with a "bookrest" that provides storage for your current reads while showing off their cover art. 

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Apr 21, 2014

How to: Make a Folding Secret Door Bookcase

scrape:false

A secret bookcase door isn't the sort of thing you can just whip up over the weekend: assemble a quick IKEA bookcase, hang it in the doorway, and start stashing your stuff. Instead, it requires planning, creativity, and some clever design features to make it not just look like...well, and IKEA bookcase hanging in a door way.  

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Dec 21, 2013

How to: Turn a Book Into A Clock

DIY Book CLock

Frank Zappa once said, "So many books, so little time." With a new year of resolutions fast approaching, what better reminder to read all the things on your list than this DIY clock from ArtOfManliness.com?   

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Nov 19, 2013

DIY Idea: Make a Balanced Bookshelf

My friend Jaime recently shared this super cool decor installation piece from Cush Design Studio on her always excellent site, Design Milk. 

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Oct 14, 2013

How to: Easy DIY Skull Bookends

Halloween decor and projects are a pretty mixed bag, but one thing is certainly true: during the month of October, you can find some pretty unique novelty goods at discount store, craft shops, and those short-term Halloween stores that pop-up in old Border's and Pier One storefronts. You know, stuff like

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Oct 03, 2013

Drink More Whiskey

There's nothing not to like about a hand-illustrated book entitled Drink More Whiskey.

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Sep 30, 2013

How to: Make Your Own Hidden Bookshelf Stereo System

created at: 09/30/2013

Psst. See those books? Behind them, there's an entire bookshelf stereo system, including an amplifier and speakers. 

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Jun 10, 2013

Man Up: 5 Summer Reads for the Curious and Creative Guy

Portlandia: a guide for visitors[http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=26384917&parentid=A_ENT_BOOKS_BOOK]

Need new reads for this summer? No problemo. This roundup will show you 5 interesting books that will make you smarter, manlier, and more creative.

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Apr 19, 2013

3 Books That Will Turn You Into a Cocktail Connoisseur

There comes a time in every man's life when, offering a rum and coke to your guests simply doesn't cut it. You may be able to fake your bar knowledge with a few recipes from Google, but that can only last so long. Like a scout needs a map to wander the world , a true modern connoisseur needs some solid cocktail books to guide his journey.

This roundup will take your bar skills to a whole 'notha level. Let's get to it!

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Mar 14, 2013

How to: Make a Vintage Book Lamp

created at: 03/14/2013

A few years ago, I read a piece by designer Frank Chimero called "What Advice Would You Give a Graphic Design Student?" where he suggests, "Keep two books on your nightstand at all times: one fiction, one non-fiction." I've always been a big book guy, but I always keep Frank's advice in mind...though sometimes, one or the other is a magazine. (One of the good ones.)   

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