Most carpentry I do is to accommodate an interactive electro-mechanical design. A simple box will rarely do for these devices, so I am frequently afforded the opportunity to engage in complex cabinetry. Other projects are pretty much just straight-forward carpentry. Here you will see both.

Philo McGiffin

We created an exhibit to celebrate the life of Philo McGiffin, a legendary graduate of the Naval Academy.

Please see the slide show located here. All photos by my friend Roger Miller.

I also did the graphics for this exhibit. Here are examples of the two types of panels used.

The exhibit was divided into two sections: Philo’s life at the Naval Academy and his life in China. To symbolize his time at the Academy, we used the leaves of the gingko tree, which is very common on the campus. To symbolize his time in China, we used bamboo leaves. Also, the two types of panels have different backgrounds: the “Academy” panels have a background of parchment paper to symbolize his diploma (which is on display in the exhibit), and the “China” panels have a rice paper background. As you can see, the two types of panels are otherwise similar.

Naval Research Laboratory Satellites

We developed an exhibit to celebrate the satellites of the Naval Research Laboratory.

I did the design, graphics, and fabrication for this exhibit.

Above is a concept rendering. See below for the graphics and a few pictures of the exhibit.

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Over There!

We at the United States Naval Academy Museum developed this exhibit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

Above you see the title graphics for the exhibit.

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Tanker War


In 1987, USS Stark and USS Samuel B. Roberts were damaged in the Persian Gulf. This display presents models of these two ships, two artifacts from the Stark Incident, and videos that relate to the artifacts and events. One of the artifacts, an unexploded Exocet warhead, is mounted on a rotating base that can be controlled by the visitor.

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Pacific Gunner

Pacific Gunner: another zero-dollar project. We had an old computer with an old video game program that had until recently occupied an old cabinet. Someone decided it would be a good idea to get it back on the floor and so asked me to refurbish the cabinet and spruce up the game. Well, the cabinet was past the point of refurbishment and the game would brook little sprucing. Fortunately, someone had (long before I arrived) purchased large stick-on graphics for the sides.

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The Shed


The Shed is basically a free-standing set piece constructed as a “maker space”. I was given a floor plan from the Education Department and asked to design a space that evoked the feel of a workshop. Originally, we were going to simply put some workbenches, etc., in a recently available space, but then we decided to go all out and build a simulated work shop.

The Shed is the result.

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In Cahners Computer Place, there is 1/3 (cut lengthwise) of an automobile against the wall, around which is a Plexiglas barrier, behind which is a mural of a civic emergency.   Hidden in this car is a faux improvised explosive device (IED).  Within this small corral is a MARCbot.  The MARCbot is a small, wheeled robot with a camera at the end of an articulated boom designed and built specifically to inspect potential IEDs.  It is operated with a remote control unit called an Operator Control Unit (OCU).  This is where I came in.  Even though OCU was designed for combat situations, it was nowhere near robust enough to withstand the museum-going public.  (The preceding sentence is in no way a joke.)  I was asked to design and construct a kiosk that would house the OCU, make it more accessible for people with varying manual dexterity, and to add one final feature, to be explained below. For a sneak preview, see the video below.

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Cause and Effect

This entry concerns an extensive refurb on an exhibit I designed and built years ago.

For this refurb, the manager of the Children’s Discovery Center obtained grant money to 1) update the display’s mechanics, 2) utilize the area behind the display to incorporate a 3D underwater scene, 3) to build a splash wall to separate the Cause and Effect area from the water-table area behind it. Further, an infant’s mobile and a graphics display explaining experiments that parents can perform using the mobile were added to the area. A discussion of each sub-project can be found at the links below.

Improved mechanics


Underwater scene


Splash wall


Infant’s mobile


Yellow Submarine



SS Discovery

A boat – complete with a Plexiglas sea – for all the little tots in the Children’s Discovery Center.  This little display is intended to be a junior marine research station with lots of samples for the kids to enjoy.

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