Perspectives

Not enough X Chromosomes..

Being in the construction trade, for good and/or bad our designs are influenced by our gender.

The neo-classical stair in the video below was one we did a few years back complete with iron balustrade. All work was performed to closely follow the detailed orthogonal elevations as provided by a truly outstanding architectural firm. As always, we generate the model as per their details, then flatten any regions as required and finally, generate the necessary drawings for submission/fabrication.

It was in the balustrade flattening phase, that Pauline said to me:

“you can’t be serious! Don’t you see the problem?”

Sometimes the most obvious things are right in front of our eyes

Okay, silliness aside, obviously the design was revised, but the point is that it took a woman’s perspective to see what had crossed many (assuming) male eyes prior and yet went unnoticed.

My business partner also happens to be my beloved wife and we are Shoreline Parametrics Ltd. Proudly assisting architects, builders and manufacturers in both the US and the UK for 20 years.

Close to home

Sometimes when I describe our work and the modern tools we use, I see puzzled looks followed by something like “we didn’t need those things when I was a kid….”

Well perhaps you didn’t, but maybe others did. Because in this instance, SolidWorks®, 3D technologies and a very special team made a huge difference to our Shoreline Parametrics family.

Here’s why:

From the CAT scan of a damaged shoulder joint, a SolidWorks® 3D model was generated enabling a bespoke bracket to be designed to fit the contours as well as setting the optimum angle for usability. This also enabled design of a surgical jig for cutting, drilling and finally, a physical 3D printed part enabling the physical checking of the machined parts for final fitting and all before even entering the theatre.

Why? Because this reduced the surgical time by nearly 70%, requiring the patient to only be anaesthetized for less than an hour instead of over three.

The actual 3D printed part complete with tiny screw holes
The 3D printed part (note even the tiny screw holes)

Naturally, the credit truly goes to the surgical team for their skill, compassion and ingenuity, for which our staff are eternally grateful as this staff member tirelessly contributes a great deal to our company.

But please don’t overlook the tools and the technologies which enabled this.

Murphy – always by the phone.

Lighthouse Stair

This is the original cast iron stair in a decommissioned lighthouse on an island off the rocky northern coast of Maine. The stair is virtually free standing and sadly due to excessive movement, the 100 year old metal castings and/or fasteners are most likely fatigued and brittle.

Working on rocky islands is always challenging as the limited access affects the logistics. In this instance, we’ve generated a study adopting the original design coupled with modern fabrication techniques using CNC plasma/water jet and robotic welding of standard components to produce sub-assemblies which are easy to transport and install:

To download our study, click here:

Our prototypes enable us to:

analyse nearly all aspects of a project before commencing fabrication including

● costs

● weights

● accurate listing all parts and components for clear and efficient communication

We’re Shoreline Parametrics, Ltd. , we are very experienced fabricators, using SolidWorks.

Let us help you to plan and build your next unusual project.

Metal Cabinetry

I once worked in a cabinet shop which completely avoided working with metal. To my amazement, even the sharpening of hand tools was outsourced. I found this very difficult to accept because as an apprentice, sharpening my chisels, planes and scrapers was one of my FIRST lessons. When in any discussion involving metal, the classic response was to back away, palms up saying “oh no…we don’t DO metal here”.

*heh heh* Okay then guys…so this is your worst nightmare…..

I believe that to have a well-rounded knowledge of woodworking, one has to understand the basics of metalwork. Our modern designs require it, as does our tooling and hardware and this level of understanding doesn’t even scratch the surface for there are so many other materials, agents and finishes required to complete most contemporary projects.

For this particular project the client had chosen blackened steel. Needless to say however that the weight of a cabinet door alone wasn’t practical or safe, so we opted for blackening aluminum thereby reducing weight by 40%. The cabinet components are 1/8″ thick, skived and folded to give sharp edge details. And to keep all lines looking as crisp and straight as possible, we avoided welding (as heat causes distortion), opting instead for all components to be machine fastened.

If all this sounds like alot of work, it was. Being a woodworker, naturally I’d have preferred it was made in wood and sprayed with a Liquid Metal finish, but that wasn’t the criterea which the project called for and the end result was quite stunning.

The part drawings give an indication of the sheer number of bespoke parts required. Every part fitting and machine screwed together.

Photos courtesy of BLUBLK LLC

The fitting of these parts, represents the merging of experience, knowledge and CAD/CAM technology. There were no remakes, no costly delays to disrupt workflow.

Why?

Because our 20 year experience is dovetailed with thought, dedication and of course….SolidWorks®.

This story is for Dad.

He was a Paediatric Surgeon (Actually spelled “Pediatric” in America). And unlike the doctors we hear about charging exorbitant amounts for their services, his patients were usually children from young parents often struggling and many receiving financial assistance. One day I told him how much I was charged for routine knee surgery, outraged he replied “do you know how much I charge for an esophageal fistula??? Eight hundred dollars!!” Needless to say that Dad was never in it for the money. He was on call all hours and with very few days off. He loved people, loved helping them and loved his work. In 1972, He was left paralyzed by a botched routine disc surgery requiring a year of recovery. This left him permanently disabled, with extreme nerve paraesthesia, but his driving love for helping others never stopped him from returning to practise surgery for 11 more years and retiring as an inspirational figure to the next generation of physicians.

He was an incredibly brave, strong and resilient man.

Dad developed heart problems years later. Congestive heart failure causes the afflicted to be starved of oxygen and as it advances, even pure oxygen doesn’t help as the patient struggles to breathe. Yes, the above part of the story is very sad, but the hospice care Dad received was incredibly uplifting. Every morning, the hospice nurse arrived and much like Dad had done years before – they worked tirelessly for another – only this time Dad was the recipient. My father’s bravery never wavered and when it was time, he was ready and he was at peace. It was the hospice that made the all difference and their gift to Dad was his final inspiration. Our family is so grateful for the peace and comfort that they gave to him. Dad did so much for so many and he is my inspiration, so this is for him:

Ronald W. Cooke MD

Please support the hospice.

This Saturday, 7 March 2020 come rain or shine, we’ll be participating in The Male Trail running, walking, marching, singing and shouting for Rowcroft Hospice, by raising whatever we can for those who need our love. Please support this event. Donation is easy by going to the link below:

Yes I wish to support this remarkable place

Nobody wants to think about it, but young or old, we all face the music and like it or not, most times the final act is the one which is the most profound. Rowcroft Hospice in Devon is a truly inspirational organisation giving hope to struggling individuals and their families at the most difficult times in their lives and without a single charge to them. Yes that’s right, zero cost to these families, so that carers, patients and families can focus on what’s most important – that of love, dignity and respect without the distraction of financial burdens to come. To achieve this is a monumental task requiring our collective compassion:

Click here to know more about Rowcroft:

Or better yet, come out and participate too. It’s healthy, it’s fun and you meet some fantastic people! Our task is so much lighter when we roll up our sleeves and do it together.

Thanks and see you there!

We’re on the home stretch

Please help to make a difference.

This Saturday, 7 March 2020 come rain or shine, we’ll be participating in The Male Trail running, walking, marching, singing and shouting for Rowcroft Hospice, by raising whatever we can for those who need our love. Please support this event. Donation is easy by going to the link below:

Yes I wish to support this remarkable place

Nobody wants to think about it, but young or old, we all face the music and like it or not, most times the final act is the one which is the most profound. Rowcroft Hospice in Devon is a truly inspirational organisation giving hope to struggling individuals and their families at the most difficult times in their lives and without a single charge to them. Yes that’s right, zero cost to these families, so that carers, patients and families can focus on what’s most important – that of love, dignity and respect without the distraction of financial burdens to come. To achieve this is a monumental task requiring our collective compassion:

Click here to know more about Rowcroft:

Or better yet, come out and participate too. It’s healthy, it’s fun and you meet some fantastic people! Our task is so much lighter when we roll up our sleeves and do it together.

Thanks and see you there!

Making a difference

Nobody wants to think about it, but young or old, we all face the music and like it or not, most times the final act is the one which is the most profound. Rowcroft Hospice in Devon is a truly remarkable organisation giving hope to struggling individuals and their families at the most difficult times in their lives and without a single charge to them. Yes that’s right, zero cost to these families, so that carers, patients and families can focus on what’s most important – that of love, dignity and respect without the distraction of financial burdens to come. To achieve this is a monumental task requiring our collective compassion:

Click here to know more about this remarkable organisation:

On Saturday, 7 March 2020 come rain or shine, we’ll be participating in The Male Trail running, walking, marching, singing and shouting for Rowcroft Hospice raising whatever we can for those who need our love. Won’t you help them? Donation is easy by going to the link:

Yes I wish to donate to this remarkable place

Or better yet, come out and participate too. It’s healthy, it’s fun and you meet some fantastic people! Our task is so much lighter when we roll up our sleeves and do it together.

Thanks and see you there!

The master’s hand…

So, trolling the web I saw this photo. “Hmm… unusual ” you may think… “interesting shaped pieces….gnarly hand….”

To me, the recognition was instantaneous because it’s unmistakably the hand of someone very special in my life, that of my former boss with whom I worked alongside for years. Together, we sawed, clamped, sprayed, installed and burned much midnight oil. This is the weathered hand of someone incredibly gifted, mechanically brilliant, strong and yet patient enough to stop and share his knowledge (and sometimes frustration) with me. As I grew older, near the end of our time together, we collectively discovered my skill sets while building our in-depth understanding of CAD, CNC and the developing technologies, often-times into the wee hours.

I could never thank this former boss for his time, patience and (yes even) friendship. He just wouldn’t have it. Perhaps this was because words are just too hollow and that a life chosen because of our love for woodworking requires sacrifice, a pursuit of something deeply personal which seems to transcend dialogue.

Anyway whatever your profession, perhaps you too were fortunate to have a boss so generous with both his/her time and confidence in your abilities. You are a product of his/her good deeds. Please, remember them and share your time liberally with that next eager apprentice. No doubt, it may not be easy and some days won’t be stunning, but with patience, the rewards will eventually exceed the risks. In his words, I can still hear him say “Ruf, no guts, no glory…”.

Thanks Ken.

Not just CAD…..

Shoreline Parametrics Ltd is a small highly skilled company created by Rufus Cooke assisting other companies in the custom woodworking industry. Having a strong understanding of 3D geometry has lent itself well to the stair industry and as notable builders and architects have recognized this resource, more diverse projects have evolved – including cupolas, domes, eyebrow dormers and architectural metalwork. Having a joiner’s background merged with the developing technologies of both CAD and CNC we can offer a wide array of services from:

  • 3D CAD (using SolidWorks®)
  • Stair building and tangent hand railing
  • CNC integration
  • Cutting List Strategies based upon
    • extensive prior use of both Cabnetware® and Cabinetvision®
    • AlphaCam®
    • Cadcode®
    • Microsoft Access®

Designing with nature

The photos below are just a few inspiring photos of some art nouveau pieces. We all know that nature abhors straight lines. This integration of nature with thoughtful design produces glorious working sculptures.

Complex elliptical staircase
1909 – Giovanni Gribodo – Turin
(photo by Paola Parodi)
Fenoglio-Lafleur House
1902 – Pietro Fenoglio – Turin
(photo by Paola Parodi)
Private house -1907 -Pietro Fenoglio – Turin
(photo by Paola Parodi)

At Shoreline Parametrics, we pride ourselves on our abilities to work with complex elements. How can we assist you today?

Wood, Steel and Glass Winder Stair

As experienced fabricators, we know the importance of clear co-ordination between the shop, the job site and other trades and our work is central to that communication. Fabricators often defer to us for their construction problem solving and we then model/draw as if we were building it ourselves.

In this extreme winder stair, every piece of steel and glass was CNC cut and formed from this 3D model resulting in fewer than 4 days installation of the structure.

(Click on the drawing for 3D view)

The finished stair as shown below:

(Click on the drawing for 3D view)

If you really care to know about immigration, ask an “immigrant”

Apologies for the soapbox, this isn’t about politics, but about people – people like so many of our great-grandparents who came through Ellis Island or other ports of entry. Hopefully some of this immigrant’s experiences can help to dispel some myths:

The mindset which demonises immigration is so destabilising to everything democracy stands for.
Being one of those “immigrants”, I feel it important to share the experience and hopefully dispel some myths:
My wife is from the UK, I am from the US. We moved here 4 1/2 years ago to support/assist with her family and her ageing parents. Every 30 months, we have to re-apply for my family visa. The cost for each 30-month re-application process is roughly £5000 to £8000 with a substantial part of that fee an NHS surcharge (this is in addition to PAYE deductions). The application is 70+ pages (it grows every time) and requires a massive amount of supportive documentation (requiring all originals and often 20+ years old). We cheerfully accept all of this as a consequence of our commitment of our lives together as we’d lived in the US for 10 years prior and had a somewhat similar process there for my wife’s. We respect the overall process, we accept its costs and its complexities.

Our business brings quite a lot of money into the UK, we don’t displace UK workers, we don’t claim benefits, yet literally every day my wife and I live in fear of the next visa application being rejected because someone behind a desk is having a “bad day”. This results in working doubly hard to integrate oneself into society and to invest oneself completely into this adopted place now called “home”.
Ironically, it’s a human necessity that we all take the definition of home for granted as it is our lives and our harbour from life’s occasional stormier days. Yet, if someone knocks on our door and says “you have to leave …….” (and I ask that you please think very deeply about this and really take the time to truly imagine it), imagine becoming completely divested of your home, your business, family pets, automobiles, furnishings, tools and most of all, your family. And if you and your spouse are of different nationalities, what are they to do? What are they left with?

So this is my family’s personal example and I apologize for the details, but feel they are relevant to illustrate an “immigrants” experience. On one hand, these people from away are working doubly hard to integrate themselves, but on the other hand, the goal posts are shifting so fast with callous and frequently deceitful indifference based mostly on easily marketed, political hot-topics.

We must recognise the lies and demonising for the evil that the attached posting reflects and combat it with facts starting with our shared experiences as the most genuine validation of truth:

For example, as Family Leave to Remain visas state directly on the document;

“NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS” (though I personally never have in my life and never would never seek them anyway).

Again, we went through this as well with my wife’s processing in the US and although the forms and protocols are different, the policies share similarities, so unless fraud is being committed (and I believe that most people who undertake such a massive upheaval, are trying hard to build new lives and be productive contributors to society), the majority of crimes to be most watchful of are those of misinformation and ignorance.

So again apologies for the soapbox, but ask that you be wary and be truly informed before closing your door to others.

And if you really care to know, ignore the hyperbole, go to the source and ask an immigrant.