One more off the “Honey-Do list”


This one has been on the list since the purchase of the house in 2005. When we purchased our home, this room was originally a family room, we converted it into a master bedroom.  


   This is the door style used throughout our home, the wife wants to make the opening match other doors in the house. The problem is that the opening is 44″ wide and a single door has no place to swing. We decided to go with a pair of double swung doors, but that poses another problem. Using two 22″ doors the arched detail will not show, the vertical styles being 6″ wide only leaves 10″ for the panel.

Lil’ Red Wagon


This is not as much about the wagon as it is about the robot that is pulling it. The robot is a platform that will be work in progress for testing different sensors and tools that will ride along.
   My first attempt will be a robotic arm that will grab a bottle of water and hand it to someone in need of a drink. The robot is radio controlled and will also have the ability to be controlled through a video camera. This is known as FPV or “First Person View”.

Below is work in progress, as you can see it started as an electric wheelchair-

Borreson Deck

Last summer’s project is still in the works and due to be completed summer 2016. This was part of a total backyard restoration that we contracted out. We found a great landscape contractor, he had to be great his first name is the same as mine, that gave us a great deal for the total package. He is a “landscape contractor” that does great with hardscape and plant material but was lacking on the structural design of decks. Yours truly stepped in, produced a set of CAD drawings that enabled me to do a material takeoff for the treated beams and Trex decking that was to be used in the project.

Giant Foamie

This was a project I designed and built for DWFoamies in 2012, it was to be used in advertising campaigns and trade shows while we were on the road. The construction is 6mm/9mm Depron and 1/8″ lite Ply, the hinging is done with a carbon rod and fiberglass pivot points. The airframe came out incredibly light, total all up weight was 8 lbs and a wing span of 84″.

The motor is a Cobra 4130 -16 with a 390 KV running on 6S 3700 Lipos. Unfortunately the foamie had a short life, a Team pilot had radio failure on its 5th flight while test flying.

R/C Car Restoration

RA/CAR is the rarest and most desirable 1/8 RC car of them all, these were the one of the first competition cars on the market. They were produced in the late 1960s by Ron Moody, RC car racing began in the USA in the late 1960s. This car was purchased as a kit back in the early 70’s, my father and I started it but was never finished. After my father’s passing, I found it up in the rafters hidden in a old dusty box. I kept it for a couple years, after seeing one listed on eBay and selling for over $2,000 I decided to finish building it. Mostly finishing the wire suspension and mounting components.

The engine is a Super Tigre G23 which has never been started. All of the delicate suspension was completed, cleaned up and looks new. The chassis is made of urethane foam with a layer of fiberglass over the top of it, which makes it light and strong. Also unique to these cars is the two speed + neutral trans-axle with a centrifugal clutch. It is a beautiful piece of engineering and in perfect working condition. A three channel RS radio was also purchased at the time of the car. It is used to operate the steering + throttle + gearbox. The body is a Lotus 78 painted and detailed matching the original full scale racing body. There are no body mounts as the body is only used for display purposes, for which it does very nicely.

RA/CAR Development
338 W. Lincoln Ave Anaheim
CA USA 92805

Klemm L-20 Build

As a young boy from the age of 4, I lived for every moment working in the garage. Learning the secrets of model building from my father, a master builder, has carried me through a life long hobby. Today, I build both sport and scale models for customers, even one for myself once in awhile. Using modern tools such as a computer and a CNC router, I’m able to build very accurate and detailed models. Using computer cut stencils for painted markings, my graphic background gives my projects a professional finished look.

After two years of distraction, I found my way back to the workbench. My first building project was a model I stumbled across of which I knew nothing about. Upon extensive Internet research I discovered that I had a piece of aviation history, a story many have never heard. The aircraft was designed by Daimler’s chief constructor Hanns Klemm in 1923. The aircraft is known as the Klemm-Daimler L-20b1 and was one of the first cantilevered low-wing aircraft of its time. In fact, with a high aspect ratio, a very low wing loading and a very small engine (a Daimler of 20 HP), it would probably today be called a motorized glider rather than an aircraft.

In May 1928, Friedrick Karl Baron von Koenig-Warthausen (the “Baron”), a 22 year old lad with the assistance of his parents, purchased a Klemm L-20 aero-plane (type L-20b1 #D-1433) with the Daimler 20 HP motorcycle engine. With 5 hours of flight instruction, he used his new plane to obtain his pilot’s license. His plane became his comrade and was thus named “Kamerad”. President von Hindenburg created the “Hindenburg Cup” to be awarded to the amateur pilot completing the best sporting flight of the year. The Baron decided to compete for this honor by flying from Berlin to Moscow. From Moscow, he was pleased with his success and decided to continue flying east. Today the Baron is known for the “First Solo Flight Around the World”, with ocean crossings done by boat.

In July of 2006, My wife and daughter went on a 7 day vacation to New York City, I was free to do a marathon building session. All building material needed was collected prior to the build and was hoping to complete it for the “San Diego Spring Fling 2006”, I had less than 3 weeks for the build. While the family was away, I got a great start on the Klemm with many 12 hour build sessions. The kit was a set of CNC stainless landing gear brackets and a molded cowl, the remainder was a large box of un-cut quality spruce and balsa. There were no plans and the instructions were in German.

The pre-bent wire landing gear was non-scale and not acceptable; a shock/tube gear was designed much like the real thing. Researching and designing the 20HP dummy engine took much of a day. I was bit by the scale bug and the details seemed to never end. From the pull-pull wires, detailed instruments, the laminated tail skid and much more, my deadline was coming near. The airframe was covered with SolarTex iron cloth, using 15 yards of olive drab and antique white. Without the need to paint, much time was saved and I quickly got back on track. The lettering details were done with stencils and automotive paint.

In less than 180 hours I had completed the Klemm, but to fly it I needed a maiden flight under my belt, for the “Spring Fling 2006” time had ran out. Early Sunday morning before the event, I was able to get 2 successful flights on the Klemm, but didn’t feel comfortable flying the last day of the event. The motor is an old Astro 90 brushed cobalt with a 50 amp controller. The batteries are the new Emoli 3000mAh Li-Ion’s from 28V Milwaukee tools. At half throttle, my flight times are around 10 minutes. Landing is pretty much hands off with a long rollouts. On a side note- the first full-scale Klemm used wing tip ailerons only and proved to be unstable for flight. Conventional ailerons were later added for more stability. I have not been able to document the effects, but I can say that it does effect the yaw at very low speeds.

Glory of the Cross

Our mother was a religious person and very involved in her church. She passed away in 2005, with my experience in woodworking I felt that it was very fitting for me to build her an urn. I designed the urn as a cross and built it out of teak, which was my favorite wood.

September 15, 1928 – October 19, 2005

  Along with the cross I built small memorabilia pieces in the shape of a cross for her grand-kids.

Aerial Cub

Back in the late 90’s I started working as a consultant for an engineering company. They developed master planned communities with 100’s of acres of land. They needed a way to monitor construction along with environmentally sensitive areas. With my background in model airplanes I came up with an electric airplane in 2001 that had a medium format film camera and a video down-link.

Images of my 1/4 scale 109″ wingspan cub.





Aerial images taken at about 1000 feet up.

The House of Furniture

Imagine a house in which the living room is a giant cabinet drawer, the garage is a bed and the third level consists of a deck designed as a huge chair. Mike and Robin Morgan aren’t just imagining, however. They have a serious intent of building this extraordinary “House of Furniture” designed by architect Tom Grondona.

By Carol Olten SD Union, 1984




The “Morgan’s House of Furniture” started out as a kind of Italian Rationalist box. Well, at one point we had to add a room, so we put this cube on the side of this, oh..almost like the side of a salt box…and it started looking like a drawer, and Mike, one of the owners who’s a cabinetmaker said “This thing looks like a drawer”. So, next thing we knew, we had put a handle on and had a wooden drawer coming out of the house. Then, the disaster came when Robin, the other owner, wanted to add another room. At this point we had another drawer pulling out of the house which made it sculpturally top-heavy. We had now searched with the clients for what they wanted. I said give me a week. I may come up with something different. Mike replied: “Don’t forget the drawer!”

That’s when the inspiration of doing a house with giant pieces of furniture came. We now have a 12-foot tall bed as a garage, a 25-foot tall chair as a viewing deck, a black file cabinet as the master bedroom and various other furniture parts making up the house.

Tom Grondona, AIA





My friend John

I met John Long and John Hynd back in 1983 through Michele Needel, an interior designer. Our first project with Michele was an edit bay for A&G Productions, a video production company owned by the Johns’. Since then, John Long has been my challenge customer bringing me projects like I have never seen before. John moved to Las Vegas to cater the the Gaming Business. His customers range from slot machine manufacturers to casinos on anything from strategic planning, marketing or product design and his clients can be found in Australia, Japan, Europe, Latin America and of course, all over the good-old USofA.

Below are some of the projects John and I have worked on over the years, there are many more some of which John would shoot me if I made them public. Except for the bottom two photos, the rest of the images are all 3D modeled and rendered. The rendered images served as a great prototyping tool for his customers.