Adobe Edge Animate is Easy!

I have been doing a lot in Edge Animate lately. It is another program to learn but if you are going to use Muse to build a site, in my opinion, you need to use Edge Animate to design the site up to the expectations of todays standards . There is a page experience people expect these days and Edge is an easy way to accomplish that. Once your animation is complete it has a simple process to import it into Muse. Adobe has great help and support pages that have everything you need to get started and more to learn these programs. From there it is easy to navigate to the Forums or more help resources for the particular project you want to create. I know that my page is a woodworking page but in these times a person that doesn’t have the extra cash lying around for a webmaster or developer can save a lot of money if they do it themselves. Being the type of woodworker I am it is just the right diversion for me when I can’t get into the shop or, God forbid, I just don’t want to. I will point out the obvious in that there is a cost associated with the way I have chosen but to me it is way worth it because of the end result. The cost of a full membership to Adobe Creative Cloud is $50 a month. I know that there is a lot of controversy out there among the pro’s about this new subscription base because now you do not actually own the software but to me it allows me the chance to give it a shot without investing a $1000 on the whole suite. I do understand that this will affect the people who do this for a living because it is available for the masses now and people can, like myself who have the time, instead of having a site just like everyone else can create their own unique, for good or bad, site without the cost of paying someone. I like that very much because I am DIY all the way. I know that this will not interest everyone but I have always had a passion for art. I was a Professional Photographer and semi-musician before my construction or woodworking days and have always been very interested in what the computer has to offer in the development of my artistic ideas. I love to draw but I am not very good at it and these programs allow me to create “Art” that I can be proud of.edge_animate_hero

So Edge is a must-have tool for me in creating a web site. I know there are a lot of other ways to create these animations like Motion 5 by Apple or After Effects by Adobe but these are video files and are rather large causing a page to have slow load times. You can also create them with Java and other languages if you know how to write code but I do not so this does it for me. This is what Edge does it writes your animations in HTML/CSS and Java which keeps them very lightweight and fast to load. This does create limitations for me because if I did know how to code Edge would allow me to go in and enhance the code it writes to further it’s capabilities. Right now I have to rely on other peoples coding knowledge and copy and paste it for my purposes. I hope in the future that I will be able to do these kind of things myself.

Like I have mentioned earlier I am in the great position to take advantage of the extra time I have to learn these programs and I understand most probably won’t have this kind of time available. Most people however may have more experience with computer technology and will not need the amount of time that I do to get a handle on these. Like I say in every one of my articles If “I Can Do This So Can You!”


Hard Drive Upgrade

I have just finished shooting my 2nd video for my channel and even though I have a woodworking channel I thought I would post a video of my hard drive swap. As a woodworker these days we are all using computers in our shops and they can get rather expensive. Especially when you add all the extra apps and things we need to have if we want to get serious about our 3D drawing programs, print programs and the many other programs for those like me who are posting videos to You Tube. My computer is a late 2008 Macbook that just doesn’t have the power to run these apps and store all the files. I do not have the money to sink into a new computer every couple years like I used to so I upgraded the drive with an SSD drive versus the old SATA drive.

Hard drive
stock photo

I am hoping for a significant increase in speed. Just to give you a little back story of why I am now getting into the video posting scene is that I had gotten hurt a while back and haven’t been able to continue on with my career. I have been forced to change gears. Over the last year and a half of weighing my options and going back and forth on a viable but economically sound and still rewarding career I have decided to pursue videography and web development. The former I do have some semblance of a background in which I will explain now. I started as a youngster pursuing a photography career. By the time I was 21 I was a professional working for three different studio’s as a wedding and band photographer on the week ends and working in the rental department at a large photographic equipment retail and manufacturing company. I had decided to not go to college and to try and break into the bigger studio’s in Chicago. I had a daily interaction with many of these studio’s because I was the one renting them all the equipment they needed for there larger shoots. I knew the camera’s in and out and backwards but soon realized that I wasn’t going to get in with any of those larger studio’s with out a college education. At this very time when that realization was sinking in rather deep I had a great opportunity to become an Ironworker in Chicago’s Local #1. Well even the starting pay was a substantial increase in what I was earning at that time so I took the job. I took this job with the assumption that I would continue with photography as a sideline. Soon I had let photography go and allowed ironworking to be my career. I love it and it is exciting, fun and has a lot of great people to work around. I did that for 25 years and enjoyed almost every minute. All except that last minute which was horrible because I hurt my back and now have been through two surgeries. The outlook isn’t so good to continue in such a labor intensive field. So while recovering, and not being able to do any lifting or standing for more than an hour at a time, I have been trying to teach myself computer skills and learn a lot of the programs that are needed to build a good web site and to make a great video. It seems like it has been a long time learning the little that I do know but at this stage I feel as if I am breaking through a barrier to that next level. I think at this juncture it is more a psychological barrier than anything. I feel that to get some actual schooling in a live situation would be a tremendous help and speed up the process but I can’t afford it right now. I can’t help but to think back to those days hearing those same questions. Where did you go to school? Which college are you planning on going to? So that brings us to where I am today and the awesome opportunity that the computer age holds in it’s soldered hands for us. The knowledge that is given away for free on You Tube and other sites is astounding in it’s magnitude. We can learn anything we want in a couple clicks of the mouse. A couple of minutes watching a tutorial or browsing help forums and related web sites offers us an education never dreamed of just 20 years ago. Well I’m sure some forward thinkers knew but I hadn’t a clue and even resisted getting a computer until 2002! So I am thinking probably the 5th of this month is when the video will be up and hope to get a few more views! I hoping to do a shop tour next so stay tuned and I hope all your holiday gatherings will be safe and fulfilling. As always “If I can do it than so can YOU”!

Post Surgery!

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a long time since a new post but I have had a rough couple months. My back had gotten so bad that I finally had to take the plunge and get two of my discs removed and fused. Well it is post surgery three weeks and I guess everything is going well. I am still on lots of pain meds so if this post doesn’t make any sense then you know why!


I had gotten hurt at work awhile back and they have tried to do everything that could be done instead of the surgery. In the end though it was the right thing to do because the pain that I was in everyday was only getting worse and the shots along with nerve burns were just not working anymore. So here we are three weeks post surgery and I am told we are progressing normally. I just hope that the pain can be at a level that will be manageable without to many meds everyday.

The real big news is that I have finally posted my first You Tube video! I want to do some build tutorials and some tool reviews but at this point I think I am just starting out with some Sketch Up Tutorials. I can’t build much in the shop right now but I can do the Sketch Up tutorials and maybe even try some tool reviews. I hope to get these out weekly so please check back often and please hit the like icon and the subscribe button! I do not mind feedback and will try to reply  in a timely manner. Thanks for watching and as always “If I can do it than so can You!”


Plans for a Pantry Cabinet

Pantry w: DoorI have been working on some Sketch Up (link) plans for a Pantry Cabinet. I realize while building this cabinet in Sketch Up how powerful this program really is. I use the free one so I can’t even imagine what the paid program does for you. I am not proficient with this program by ant means and it probably saved me $300.00 in things I had not thought about while drawing them by hand. I would have realized about these items obviously but only after the estimate was submitted. This program allowed me to build the cabinet virtually and use all the joinery and dimensions as if I was really billing. It allowed me to think more thoroughly on what I needed to do and the materials that would be used. I would have short changed myself on the material costs by as I said almost $300.00. Yes that is a lot I know and not typical of most jobs but we had a lot of things arising that week and on the day I was to submit the estimate. I decided to take a couple hours and work up a drawing. Good thing I did because I can not take that kind of hit.Pantry 3

So the plan I am showing has only one door. I know it’s easy to add the other but to be able to see things more clearly I left it out. While working these up I also realized that I have some real work to do with learning the ins and outs of Sketch Up. It took me way to long to get these right and I still really don’t. The joinery, which is simple, is not shown or in the drawing at all. There are just dados and rabbit joints anyway so not a real loss there. I just have to remember to add a little to the shelves that are going to be stationary. I may go back and add the extra dimensions I need so I will be able to print cut drawings. That is the huge advantage of the program. Allowing you to break the cabinet apart and make a cut list up and a diagram of what you need to cut and how. What I have been doing is drawing my pieces on a sheet with the kerf dimension added and that allows me to see just how much I can get out of a sheet of plywood. There are three shelves on the top that will be moveable and one small shelf on the bottom that will move. So really just the sides, the three shelves and the top and bottom will have any kind of joinery that requires special machining. I had tried to pull the case apart and add this but got hung up on adding the dados to the side. I watched a few tutorials from Jay Bates and Matthias Wandel on You Tube and still could not figure it out. I will try again later because I think my computer was acting up because there were some glitches going on when I was trying to change them. So I hope you all like the plans and if you want I can send them to you. I am only posting pics here but am willing to send you the .skp files that I have. Just send me an email and I will send them off. By the way this is not my design. Thus cabinet is a conglomeration of three different cabinets the customer wanted. Thanks for stopping by and as always “If I can do it so can YOU!”Pantry


I am a newb to Sketch Up.  A FREE 3D cad program from Google. I really, really like this program. There are tons of tutorials out there and videos on You Tube which has allowed me to start making my own models pretty fast. I had gotten a $10 gift card from Rockler so I bought a Google Sketch Up for beginners DVD by Fine Woodworking (link to dvd). I watched that DVD and for some reason that broke it open for me. I had been watching tutorials from You Tube and Googles Sketch Up site but that DVD made it all come together. I have been able to, I think, become pretty proficent with Sketch Up. 

Simple desk and chair
Simple desk and chair

Here is a recent model of a simple desk and chair for a toddler. I like the fact that you can add colors and textures. There is also a function that allows you to make scenes which I use to show different views. You can export all the scenes as a quicktime movie. This is a really cool aspect of this program I think.  I do not show that here but it is a function that I love. It is a great way to show someone exactly what the dimensions are and it is all to scale in 3D. At that point you can break down the model add your joinery and make yourself up a cut list. This of course is much more involved. I am still learning how to do that but I am geting better. Doing this is still taking me much longer than I would wish or have seen others doing. Just like most things it takes practice and once you learn the short cuts to all the tools it gets very easy and fast. Mentioning that, you are allowed to go into the settings and change or add shortcuts to your most used tools. You are also allowed to customize the main tool bar on top. The best thing is all of this is FREE!

Coat cubby
Coat cubby

Here is a coat cubby someone had wanted me to price for them. They were not sure about the dimensions and color. I think it is really benificial for me as the builder and to the customer. Most people cannot visualize what the piece will look like after it is built and are afraid it won’t be what they want. When I draw these plans it allows them to feel confident that we are on the same page and they will not be wasting there money on something they didn’t envision. I know there is a way to import a picture into Sketch Up and then add your model to that scene. I want to learn this aspect because it will allow me to take there piece we designed and put it in there home before it is built. What a sales tool this has become for me. It allows the customer to become the designer. They love being the one who gets to design there own furniture.

I used to just draw a sketch on a piece of paper and fly by the seat of my pants when building most things. Once I found plans on the internet I started using them and change things to suit my needs. I found this to be kind of cumbersome and when someone mentioned Sketch Up to me I finally took the plunge. The fact that it was free was a huge factor. Most of these kind of programs are very expensive or if open source very hard to use. I had not really tried it before then becaSo thanks for stopping by my page and as always “If I can do it so can you!”