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!
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.
While the “Garden Gnomes” are enough to repel your basic zombie attack, they fail when the undead come in force. So to keep our house, our brains and, apparently, our cookies safe, I need to enhance our protections – with a tree! Enter the Gigatorch!
Remember to be Inspired, and keep reading if you want to know more about this project.
So either you are familiar with Doctor Who and its current season, then you will know what I am trying to recreate. Or you want to see me use some new techniques that might come in handy at some point. Either way, enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!
If you are old enough to have enjoyed computer games before they looked as treal as they do these days, with graphics that rival the thing next to your screen that your parents call a window, then you might recognize what this project is pretty early on. If not, come along, because I feel like I could… like I could… like I could… Take on the world! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!
In this video I build a small piece of decoration based on the famed Wikkit Gate from the third book of the Hitchhiker cycle. If you do not know the Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the late Douglas Adams then, in my opinion, you are really missing out on some of the most refined fun to be had when reading what probably passes as science fiction. Either way, I hope you enjoy this one, because I have had loads of fun editing it for all the pathos it contains. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired. And Don’t Panic!
This just had to happen. Minions! Tealights! A Minions-themed tealight holder. I used it as an excuse to practice with my new lathe tools, but there is so much more going on. I hope you enjoy this build because I did, and remember to be Inspired – because you cannot know how easy it will be unless you try!
Just in time, I managed to complete my entry for Whirligig Wars 2015. And since I do not have any minions in my shop to do all the boring and hard work, I decided to take a leaf out of the new Minions movie and depics how they evolved. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!