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2009 July | Tomita Designs

Jumbo Chaboo

July 26th, 2009 by admin

A few weeks ago I shipped out my largest order for chaboos yet.  Wasteland Clothing is opening a new location in Burbank, CA and ordered ten chaboos with minor customization and one custom jumbo chaboo.

Here is the whole family of chaboos.  To the left is the original- 12.5h x 14″d x 32″w.  Middle is medium chaboo 15 x 18 x 36.  JUMBO chaboo is 18 x 24 x 48!!! For scale is my brother.  He is actually 7ft 2″ tall, 325 lbs- thatll give you an idea of size!

I had to change the design to accomidate the extra length.  With 3/4″ I wouldnt go past a 36″ span without a beam supporting it.  The half moon cutout creates the handhold in the top like in the original.  Clever clever.

This order came in through a random google hit to my website searching for bamboo benches.  They had never heard of Project Chaboo or seen the website.  AFTER ALL THAT my only online sale had nothing to do with Project Chaboo.  Funnnnny

Field Trip to Aurora Mills

July 21st, 2009 by admin

My brothers friend’s family runs the architectural salvage company Aurora Mills.  The business is run out of an old mill in Aurora just like the name says.  Duh!  Super cool place.  One of those things where you pretty much just have to go there yourself to feel what its really like.

I love the nature of this old mill- how its been pieced together and added on to through the years.  It has the feel of some of the buildings in the Miyazaki animations.  The owners son, Seth Burns gave a few of us a super top secret insider tour.  Here he is with my friend Emily Steen of Built-Studios.

Seth showed me some casting molds hidden in storage.  These are molds made out of wood to make metal parts.  Simply amazing.  I never even knew these things existed.  Mold makers were the finest craftsmen of the era. No lasers or CNCs back then.

Besides the really cool antique parts theyve salvaged, they also have loads of salvaged lumber.  BIG beams from old barns and such.

If youve never been here and live in Oregon, its well worth a trip out there to check it out.  I got so many furniture ideas and inspiration from seeing the history there.  I will save them for some other day! ;)

Mile High Music Festival

July 13th, 2009 by admin

Its the time of year where I take off on my adventures with BambooDNA.  With the increasing responsibilities of my kids TomitaDesigns and Project Chaboo, Im scaling back this year.  Last year I was gone for two months, this year I will only miss 3 business days and squeeze in a rafting trip.

I will be at the Mile High Music Festival in Denver to build a “light” version of the bamboo skyscraper at Coachella this year.  It will be “only” 66ft tall.  We have a compact, experienced crew of 7 BambooDNAers to build this monster in only 3 days.  Can you say “working by generator”? Im interested to see how things go with so few people but all very experienced builders.  It brings back memories of building starry mandala at burning man in 2006 with basically only 7 people at the same time.

We can go to the concert for free but ill probably pass.  The crew is going rafting on Saturday!  Excited for Denver- stay tuned.