What's happening now at Because We Can

Flat Pack Lanterns

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Before it gets too much later, we really need to show off these lanterns and camp decorations we made for Burning Man 2013! Our camp for The Serpent Twins project has grown, and with it, our camp facade.

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The winged benches, axes and medallions we made for last years camp. This year we went much larger with the light up camp sign and flanking solar lanterns.

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The solar lights inside the lanterns were able get a good charge all day, and then shine all night showing off their lattice patterns.

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Because of the overlapping panels, the lattice carvings threw really neat designs onto the ground.

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During the day the lanterns acted as a tall perimeter marker to the entrance of our camp.

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Dust collecting on the cut outs created a nice softening effect.

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Before the dust was able to get them, the lanterns looked like this in our shop.

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With fun designs, the lanterns are a pleasure to look at from afar or close up.

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Standing over 10ft tall, they give a grand presence!

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And, of course, we designed these to be flat pack for easy transport & assembly!

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Shopbot Acquired. Bonus x1000. Again.

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So just a hint over eight years ago, we ordered a Shopbot. Bragging about it is actually the very first post on this blog. We got it running, named it Frank, and started making stuff.

First we made stuff for ourselves, then our friends and family, then friends of friends, and next thing you know a year after Frank arrived in our lives we quit our day jobs and jumped in with both feet. The last seven years have been very busy indeed! Since then we've delivered on many wonderful projects for some really great people and companies.

So I'm very proud to say that we just ordered another Shopbot. Slightly larger than Frank, but twice as fast, twice as strong, and much stiffer and more accurate. Technically, it's a PRS Alpha 96x60x12 with a 4 HP spindle. Shopbot has been one of the best vendors we've ever worked with, and we've very excited to get one of their new awesome machines!

Frank is far from being sent to pasture, however! He's busily cutting a job as I post this, and after eight years is still a wonderful, capable, dependable machine. We're going to run them side-by-side, in parallel. In time, we'll probably convert Frank into something that's even better for big 3D carving, maybe even convert him into a 4 or 5-axis machine maybe.

Now the only problem we have is what to name the new robot. If you've got a great idea for a name please let us know!

Kid friendly additions

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Making a home that is a perfect fit for it's owners is what we do. And children are no exception!

We outfitted a home renovation we recently completed with some fun and attractive kid friendly additions.

First off, the back yard sandbox desperately needed a cover in this Bay Area weather prone to daily fog and drizzles.

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These durable and weather resistant covers allow the sand beneath to ventilate, and can more easily store toys with their domed tops, that keeps water from pooling.

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In the basement we've added a screen to cover the exposed pipes and knobs necessary for a modern house.
Now the basement is more usable for storage, prettier to look at and safer for the kids.

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Already a part of the project were these acrylic window guards we did around the house.

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With fun designs carved into the acrylic, they added some non-overpowering whimsy to the utilitarian acrylic guards.

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And, of course, everyone needs a chalk board of house rules.
This one cleverly hides a utility panel near the kitchen.

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Tinker Stations and Shelving for an Oakland School

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For a small private school in Oakland, we recently completed the first phase of a revamp of their front hallway area.
Now to be used for displaying the students art pieces and holding "Maker" classes.

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The shelving is a shadow box design with cork backers for hanging the students art, and runs the length of one side of the hallway.

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On the other side of the hallway, the tinker stations line up in a row. We took design references from the original Julia Morgan building & furniture, integrating them into the stations.

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The stations have a full cabinet of storage in their interior, and peg boards and white boards inside either door.

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The work surface has a grid pattern carved into a sturdy maple top.

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And small drawers for supplies line the top.

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Happy Making, kids!

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West Oakland in the news

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We are so proud that our local area of West Oakland has received some great press this last month.
Celebrating the custom fabricator and "Maker" scene that has been growing here for years. It is nice to see some thoughtful pieces being written about this area and it's future!

Metropolis Magazine wrote a cool piece on our local area, focusing on two large community based fabricator establishments, The Crucible and American Steel.

Make Magazine and Tech Hive wrote a pieces on what the future holds for the area, and how it has changed into a thriving custom fabricator mecca, with plenty of room to grow.

We are, and have been, excited to be part of this exciting and growing area!

The Long Now Blog did a feature on us!

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Honored to be featured on our client's blog. They showcase our work, how we do what we do, and our work with them in transforming their space into something amazing.

Check it out! Both their blog and lecture series are top favorites here at Because We Can. We highly recommend signing up and following all the inspiring things The Long Now Foundation gets up to!

Vintage Modern home renovation, San Francisco

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This home renovation we completed recently in San Francisco freshened up a historic home from the 1900's, while keeping and celebrating it's vintage details.

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The woodwork now pops into view with its white paint job and the dark floors in the entryway, and all over the home.

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The kitchen and bathrooms were heavy and dark from their last renovation in the 1970's. We lightened and brightened and opened up walls were we could. Even taking out some load bearing walls and replacing them with steal overhead to create a better living space.

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Raising the ceiling in the main living space, and taking out those walls made such a difference!

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And, or course we could not resist a little BWC fun.... with this porthole window in the kids room.
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See more photos and descriptions on our project page here.

Summer 2013 BWC Open House, this first Friday August 2nd!

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Summer has been amazing, so we're celebrating. So stop by and join us in the fun!

We are opening our doors for Because We Can's Summer 2013 open house.

We'll be starting early at 5PM and going until 8PM-ish.

We'll be dancing, drinking, snacking, talking, and showing off great projects recently completed and some currently underway. It's a great time to drop by and talk shop with us, too, if you want to learn more about what we do and how we do it. If she's brave, you might get to meet the new shop kitty too!

Kids welcome, but it is a shop and a party. Lots of sharp corners. And they might learn some interesting new words!

Friday, August 2nd

5PM - 8PM

2500 Kirkham St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-8846
Click here for the Google Map.

All are invited, so come on by! We'd love to see you.

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