simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Big Boom Theory
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Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Big Boom Theory

Having been in manufacturing most of my life and dealing with hundreds of trade suppliers, I can assure you of one thing. If you want to get things done without losing your mind, you had better know what things are called. And as the world becomes more specialized, this applies to most things - medicine, food, technology or stationery. If you walk into a real lumber yard in NYC, look right and call things by the popular, proper colloquial name used in the trade, you will garner respect and perhaps get decent service. Otherwise you will be seen as the typical do-it-your-selfer, even a nuisance. Depending on the mood of the salesperson, you will be given the simplest thing to get you out of the store and not necessarily the best or correct item for the job. This is not to mention the difficulty in attempting to get what you want by using a combination of sketches, descriptions, hand gestures and other sad, inaccurate and ineffective ways of trying to communicate your needs. It's like being a contractor in France and not speaking the language.
Today's photo shows how drywall (or sheetrock) is delivered to a highrise building through a window opening (windows are frequently removed) by using a drywall boom truck (other variations of articulated lifts and their names include: cherry pickers, bucket trucks, boom lifts, basket cranes, scissor lifts, etc.). This method of delivery is a huge improvement over unloading sheets from a truck by hand a few at a time, carrying them into a freight elevator and then off into the job site.
So, perhaps your exercise machine is broken and you need a Delrin wire rope pulley with plain bronze bearings. Or you're assembling a piece of furniture, a screw is missing and what you actually need is a flange button, socket cap screw with hex drive in plain steel with a black oxide finish - oh, and you'll need to know the size and pitch (such as 1/4-20). Of course one solution is a sample - if you have one and can carry it - but if you want to rent a boom truck, it's just best to know what it's called ...

Photo Note: Location was a new residential condo development at 151 Wooster Street in SoHo.


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