Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Friday, December 19, 2014

Metal Search

Seattle is a fascinating city and even though I’ve lived here for twenty six years I still feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface.

A South Hill still life
Earlier this week I went in search of a substantial steel “T” section for a massive pine countertop that I’m making for the third store in my friend Bianca’s chain of Jujubeet juice bars.  You can’t just go to Home Depot and steel and so I had to some digging, but eventually I found myself navigating the maddening dead ends and gravel roads of the industrial area known as South Park in search of Seidelhuber Iron and Bronze Works (this place has been in business for 108 years- one of Seattle's continuously running businesses).

I was a little nervous entering a diamond plated door on which a handwritten sign read “beware yard dog on duty” but once inside the cluttered office filled with equipment from the seventies I met Heidi and she put me at ease.  I described what I needed and she led me out to the yard to find what I wanted amid well-organized racks of angle, square tube, channel and T sections.  I quickly found what I was looking for, Heidi said “how about twenty bucks,” as easy as that I had what I was looking for.

A major aspect of making stuff is knowing where to get the raw materials.  When it comes to metal, I now know where to go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bagged and Tagged

Matt just finished up a big production run and they are now all bagged, tagged and ready for shipment.  We now have full inventory at

Monday, December 15, 2014


"I saw no point in being the richest man in the cemetery"
-Peter F. Drucker

If you have forty five minutes pick up Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker. In it's fifty pages are half a dozen things that I wish I'd learned thirty years ago.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waves for Water Part II

Some more shots from the Waves for Water UCI Cylocross race on Sunday.
The coolest American in bike racing today - Adam Craig

Jamie Driscoll showing his characteristic head lean

Logan Owen leading the front runners

Monday, December 8, 2014

Waves For Water Cyclocross Race

Yesterday Melony and I went down to Ft. Steilacom in Tacoma to watch the Elite racers at the Waves for Water Cyclocross race.  This was a UCI (C2) race, so this was an opportunity to see how the big boys do it.  I especially went down to watch the huck fest hosted by my favorite American bicycle racer Mr. Adam Craig.  Steilacom is fairly non-technical but if anyone could find air it would be Adam.

I was happy to see Ben Berden hold on for the win.  Ben is one of the hardest working guys racing cross.

I'll trickle in a few shots at a time during the week.
Keeping it clean

Elite Men's winner Ben Berden

Friday, December 5, 2014

Howard and the Coffee Factory

What to you get when you combine Howard Schultz (Starbucks) with Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) - the new Starbucks Reserve here on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
Beans arrive at the brewing station from the roaster via copper tubes
I know it's cool to poo poo the big guys but I have to say this place is pretty awesome.  It's all copper and wood and steel, it's cool pure and simple.

In England they have these things called "follies," basically some unusual, whimsical structure built
The Dunmore Pineapple
by some rich guy as a lark.  He had the money so why not.  Well it seems to me that the Starbucks Reserve is kind of Harold's folly, and like I said it's pretty awesome.

After two bouts of sub-freezing temperatures Seattle is back to her dreary temperate self, and I took advantage of the rising mercury to roll out my bike and ride over to Capitol Hill for a cup.

Locally made chairs
The place was packed with tourists watching Seattle hipsters in the natural habitat.  I love hipster style by the way - but that can wait for another post.  I spent nearly fifteen minutes waiting for a cup of drip - wait they don't have drip so I went for the pour-over.  "Dark as ya got" I said in response to what roast I wanted.  In my opinion the best way to make coffee is to brew a full ten cup pot of drip, so right off the bat I was a little skeptical of what I would get.  A few minutes later a dude in a nice waxed cotton/leather apron brought me over a ceramic cup emblazoned with an "R" partially filled with perfect drinking temperature coffee.  Damn it was good.

I took a seat in a comfy chair, but then it was time to go - my daughter wasn't feeling well at school, time to go into nurse mode.

What I really like about the store is the fact that the furniture is all sourced locally.  The cool waxed cotton/leather aprons worn by all the employees (and there were a lot - on par with an Apple store) are also made by a Seattle company (I wish I could remember the name).  I'm happy that the big dogs are once again looking to the little dogs for craftsmanship and creativity.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How We Do It

Matt is finishing up a run of pants.  He's pretty fast on that machine:

Every Greenlite product is made in our Seattle workshop.