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Blowing bubbles and scratching the veneer

AJ+. column

If you are an AutoCAD jockey you may already know about Bubble 2. It is free and it displays the property of any object in a drawing. You move your cursor over, say, the kitchen sink on the 90th floor, hold it there a moment and up pops a bubble with the information:

type, name, layer, colour, and whatever.

You can download it from www. bubblecad. com.You have to renew Bubble 2 every six months, which means you have to log on to the site and, out of curiosity of course, take a look at Asuni CAD's other applications.

Nothing is free.

We get quite a lot of firms telling us about their web sites and, although this isn't a product site-finder column, some of them are useful. One such is www. veneerselector. com by Spa and Fritz Kohl.You are asked to register but, happily, you can instead click straight into the veneer selector page where you enter colour, cost range, and pattern.

Trying a safe 'medium' for the three categories, up come 15 possibles with a brief description next to a square showing the veneer. Click for more details and that is what you get - with a bigger view of the veneer pattern. The basic site colours seem to be a brown, a pale mauve and a 1950s lingerie-pink - all on a dirty cream. The wishy-washy site colours are presumably intended to allow the colour and pattern of the veneers to shine. But I am not sure what you can expect to do, even with high quality photography, to illustrate stuff which is basically shades of brown plus graining.

I guess the idea of searching on the basis of colour, cost and pattern reflects real life - although, virtuously, you can enter a timber name or reference number and search on that as well.

Once found, you can compare up to four veneers on screen and add the ones you like to an electronic swatch - and have samples posted to you. There is also a glossary, veneer of the month and a page on veneer trends. Good stuff. But that pink.

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