Advice from Ron Beckman

I was getting to the end of my Sophomore year. We had a project to find a structural material section in basswood and then construct a cube from it, having the same joint on all pieces. It had to be held together by pins or clips. We were to hand in both the object and a drawing of an exploded view of the corner detail.

drawing with pin

A pin and not a pin.

When Ron saw my drawing, he took me aside. He had a big red circle around one of the pins. "What's this?" he asked. "A pin," I replied. "Oh, really?" he said. "A pin has a thickness of material. The shaft has a taper at the end. The head has a thickness and a slight crown. This," he said pointing to his drawing, "is a pin. This," pointing to mine, "is NOT a pin. Winston! I've heard you play banjo. You are more sensitive than this. Keep working on it. Maybe you'll become a designer."

It was a lesson I took to heart, and one I've passed on to my students. Just ask them!