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More stories about Backfill

  • 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.

  • Heating With Dogs

    Let's talk about a terrific new alternative-energy source that can save you up to $4 billion a year on your home heating bills.

  • Not Your Grandfather's Power-Tool Race

    Belt-sander racers step aside: Your tools just aren't fast enough — and even if they were, they're way too ordinary-looking to compete in the Power Tool Drag Races.

  • A Master at Work

    Watching from a distance as Fred Sprinkle quickly set pilings with his excavator, I had the impression he was handling much smaller sticks of wood.

  • Fully Loaded

    Like most contractors, I seldom give much thought to how much stuff I lug around every day. That changed earlier this spring, when I decided to get all my tools and supplies in order.

  • A Carpenter's Home Is His Castle

    As a union carpenter, T.J. Baker works on large, complicated structures like baseball stadiums, computer-chip factories, and high-rise hotels. So what does he do in his spare time? The same thing most carpenters do: He remodels his house.