Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

More stories about Backfill

  • Solar Cargo Trailer

    Paul Bias, a green builder in Arcata, Calif., frequently works on sites where it’s difficult to get temporary power. Rather than use a generator — which is loud and dirty and easy to steal — he powers his tools with energy from the sun.

  • JLC Extra: Solar Cargo Trailer

    This schematic shows how to wire the trailer-mounted photovoltaic power system described in July’s Backfill article.

  • Haven for Homeless Homes

    When a northeast storm cut a new opening through a barrier beach in the Cape Cod community of Chatham, Mass., in April 2007, owners of seasonal cottages on the narrow strip of sand were dismayed but not surprised: North Beach, as it's locally known, is in a continuous — and sometimes dramatic —...

  • Turning Monster Posts on a Shop-Built Lathe

    When a local remodeler approached me about reproducing five porch posts for a 140-year-old house in Boulder, Colo., my interest was piqued. Despite the fact that I didn't have a lathe — much less one that could turn 10-foot posts — I took the contract, figuring I could build my own to do the job.

  • Tight Fit in Toronto

    To judge by its dimensions — 45 feet by 6 feet 6 inches — the structure at 128 Day Avenue in Toronto has more in common with a bowling alley than with a residence. And in fact, the site it occupies was originally meant to be an alley.

  • Where Have All the A-Frames Gone?

    If human scale is as essential to good design as architects say it is, the classic 1960s A-frame got it just right. You can confirm this by putting a ladder against an interior gable-end wall and climbing until your head is nestled snugly in the peak, as if you were wearing the structure like a...

  • Backfill

    When small was beautiful

  • Workbench Wonderland

    For some of us, vintage tools are impossible to resist. The mere sight of them incites an overwhelming compulsion to buy, regardless of need.

  • The View From Above

    In its few years of existence, the virtual globe program Google Earth — which allows anyone with Internet access and a personal computer to zoom in on recent satellite images of almost any point on the earth's surface — has attracted millions of enthusiastic users.

  • How to Build a Concrete Canoe

    If you don't know much about boatbuilding, start by welding rebar together to frame the gunwales and keel. Then form the hull with layers of chicken wire, and trowel a stiff 1/2-inch-thick mortar mix onto the mesh.