Hello! — shop

A Video Tutorial: How To Assemble A Basic Hoos

Short, speedy, and meant to get kids started. Once kids can see how simple the concept it, they usually take it from there and come up with lots of ideas of their own.

Download this printable sheet for some build ideas. 

The stop-motion was shot in the shop in Olympia by Kieran and Sean, and narrated by me in iMovie on my computer in Chicago.

Thanks for making our pre-launch open house a success!

A bunch of folks and their kids came by yesterday and played with Bilderhoos.  All this kid- and parent-testing was amazing and resulted in some subtle design tweaks in the next iteration.

We're having an Open House and you're invited: Saturday January 31, 2015

Next Saturday -- between the hours of 11am and 3pm -- we're opening the big door of the shop and showing off the Bilderhoos sets.  This means a lot of sweeping up of sawdust will have to happen quite soon.  We'll have a ton of lemonade and cookies, boxes of hot coffee for the addicted, and some huge banners and stuff.

If you're in the area, please drop in!

The address is 3015 10th Lane SE, Unit 1, Olympia WA 98501. Be sure to type in "SE" and not NE because all map apps are challenged by this address.  

The Hoos Shop

December 2014: The shop is coming together quite nicely.  This is entirely due to the trusty hard-working shop manager and co-founder Kieran, and Sean, who gave up a primo job as a sled dog handler in Alaska to come to work for Bilderhoos. 

Kieran and Sean are the hoos-elfs who are going to produce Bilderhoos play sets.  (Seriously, I would have put hoos-elf as the title on their business cards but they both nixed that idea.)

These guys are both relatively new to woodworking (though Sean built dog houses in Tanana, AK last year) so they learned how to use...

Prototypes and innovations

The next several months were spent playing with ideas and building prototypes on the back porch.  The neighbors in our six-flat were so kind about David's loud power tools and the inordinate amounts of sawdust we created.  And that's where the cool stuff happened.

A major design revision came about because of a persistent irk: The original 'popsicle' set was was limited to structures of about three feet wide, or six feet if we used long (and very heavy) pieces David nicknamed the "Three-zee". So-called because it had three notches: 

There is plenty of charm in that original set (it's on display in our shop) but one cannot...