When I recently tested a blacksmithing technique on a piece of plastic cutting board. I had the idea to tick something else off my list. Something that had been on there for ages. I wanted to make a knife. And what better way to do that than fake blacksmithing? Well, yes, there are better methods, but I challenge you to tell me that they would be more fun!
If you enjoyed this video why don’t you share it and hit the subscribe button on YouTube. I really would appreciate that! And as always, remember to be Inspired!
This boom arm is a great addition to any shop! It is easy to make from scrap pieces, preferably plywood (but you can get away with virtually any kind of wood if you adapt the dimensions a little). Have things within reach without cluttering up your work space with stands or such.
Let me know what you think, and remember to share – and to be Inspired!
A Whiteboard is a cool thing to have around. They offer the permanence of paper notetaking with a glimpse of the versatility found on digital devices. From shopping lists to planning your week, a whiteboard always comes in handy. Here I show you how you can easily make your own out of old glass fridge shelves. Please share this with your friends, and remember to be Inspired!
Christmas is a great time for making things. So what better reason to introduce my olders daughter to the lathe in this newest Adventure in the Workshop? She makes a Christmas Tree Tealight Holder from walnut. Her patience for sanding is not the best, but as she says, this way you know you made it yourself. Please enjoy and share! And as always, remember to be Inspired!
A friend asked me whether I was interested in a couple of display cases made from some kind of plastic. They were colorful and free, so I said yes. When I learned that they are actually made from fluorescent acrylic – a good choice for things supposed to catch the eye – I was even happier that I did. Now, I turned them into an acrylic wand that looks, as the kids say these days, “lit”. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!
The Death of Rats has been guarding our home against supernatural incursions around Halloween for a few years now, but I finally got around to redoing it with a skeleton and a light show of its own. Let me show you how I made it, so that you can make your own – or something completely different! Please share this with your friends, and remember to be Inspired!
Give your old garden shoes new life and pretty up letters, invitations, and drawings with this rolling stamp. In this video, I make one that leaves behind tiny footprints, akin to a gnome toppling over your inkpot and running over that important paper you were writing. Enjoy, please share the video, and remember to be Inspired!
We have a collection of neat shot glasses, mostly from medieval fairs. I wanted to make a stylish home for them and decided that they would look best in a barrel – a Shot Barrel! And in order to save on space, it would have to be a thin slice, just deep enough for the shots. Enjoy, and please share if you found this interesting! And as always, remember to be Inspired!
I know it looks like I made another magic wand, but with good reason. I use it to showcase a very simple technique that you can use to animate things, i.e. make them move. And even better, you do not need microcontrollers, servos or electricity for it – springs and string are all that is required. You can combine that with more high-tech ideas, but it is a good starting point for Halloween costumes and decoration.
Sharing this video would mean the world to me, and I greatly appreciate you supporting me this way. If you are in Instructables, you can check out the ‘ible for this project there, and maybe find answers to questions you did not even have yet (I would appreciate you liking it and following me there, too!). Thanks for watching, and remember to be Inspired!
What else can you animate?
As usual, the short answer would be “everything”. But if everything was animated, nothing would be animated (I know the comparison does not work well), so I will give you a list of examples that I have either considered doing or that I think would be really cool to animate. Seriously, some of those are going on my list. And I know, some seem a little complicated, but remember, you can go as complex or simple as you want – just aim a little above what you normally feel comfortable with.
Imagine a tentacle sitting on your front porch, coming out of the ground, apparently. Make a bigger version of this wand, use wax cloth instead of felt (to protect it from the rain) and make it so that when the string is pulled it will bend towards the walkway. But here comes the fun part – make a small ramp or something similar that people need to step on – not an obstacle, but something people will actually step on without much thought. Then, build a mechanism that makes the tentacle bend when someone steps on that. Yes, it could be a simple switch connected to a motor, but I imagine you could go low-tech there as well and work with a reverse pulley to turn a little movement into enough to animate the tentacle.
Animating a tail for a costume seems like an obvious choice, but actually, I think there are better ways to make a tail that can go in all directions. Instead, when it comes to costumes, I would use this technique for tentacles (duh), snake hair or overly long claws. Small wings would work, too, although they are probably not very good at actually spreading feathers or something similar. If you do it right, combined a few pieces with different motors (or a gearbox) that continuously pulls and relaxes the string, you can get cool “background” motion for your piece.
Consider a “helping hand”. Something with fingers that grip in their “relaxed” state, i.e. when the string is not pulled. It could hold, say, a towel. And you could theme it as a zombie, a robot, a bird’s claw, a knight or, again, something unspeakable. Now, if you pull the string with a foot pedal, for example, the fingers would straighten and the hand would release. Someone could then use the towel, then place it back and release the pedal.
With a little improvisation, you could use the same technique to make your own Dune-style sandworm. And since I am old-school, I’ll go with the classic design with three jaws. They do not even need to actually articulate – a single joint would work quite well. Unless you want the jaws to bend out slightly. And depending on your use case and which state should be the more common one – open or closed – you should design your worm accordingly.
Yes, I need a new pun. But since this project is, in fact, a wand, why not check out the other wands I made? Then again, maybe you thought this was a weird one, so how about more weird stuff? Either way, I hope you can use this technique and be inspired by it.
Last but not least, if you make something that moves, wriggles or even just twitches using this, please send me pictures. I would love to see and possibly share!
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to be Inspired!
If you ever read the Tintin story “Destination Moon”, chances are that the iconic rocket design with its slender curves and the bright colors stuck in your mind just like it did for me. When it was time to make a LED-based project for a challenge (hosted by HolzwurmTom), I decided to pay homage to this design, the Tintin Rocket. Enjoy the video, read more about the project below, and remember to be Inspired!
Design lessons learned from the Tintin Rocket
The most important thing I learned after finishing this project is that is is not as well suited as a reading light as I had hoped. It now serves more of a mood light function, which is okay, too. But to be a proper reading lamp, the light would have to be either more focused somehow, or more widespread as to cover the whole book.
During the design phase, there actually were a few iterations that would have worked in that respect, although looking back now they would have required a different kind of light source – a small LED “bulb” rather than a strip. If you can manage to wrap it enough – more so than I did in the final project – it might be possibly to use a strip, too.
The idea was to have the tip of the tintin rocket separate from the main body – say, the top 4-5 rings. This part would also house the light, and still be connected to the main body with a cable. You would then be able to lift it up and put it in a position to direct the light somehow.
I think the most promising way to achieve that, and the one I almost chose for this, is to have a triangle of three long dowels extending downwards from the top and a hexagon of holes in the bottom, i.e. two matching, offset triangles. One set of holes would be deep enough to accommodate the whole dowels, while the other would be shallow. In one position the tip would sit flush on the bottom, while the shallow holes would elevate it to spread the light a lot better. If you add to that a way to bend the light to one side you would have a proper reading lamp.
More Things I learned from this Project
The main lesson here is that unless you have inhuman precision and patience, having to get a cove to match a round face should be avoided at all cost. It might work if you have a pipe that stays the same diameter all the way, and a sanding drum of the same diameter (which you could make yourself). On the Tintin Rocket on the other hand, the diameter changes all the time, and the legs need to attach at the right angle, too. Sanding flat faces in these spots is the much easier solution, especially since you can use some kind of jig to keep the faces roughly aligned – even if it is just a piece of tape on the workbench or on a fence.
Also, screws are not always the answer, especially in tight places like the inside of a tube. I might feel good for a second to be actually able to get it in there and tight, but that short moment of gratification is not worth it at all. Not to mention that it makes drilling the holes for the wires much harder.