Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pole Snowball Launcher


Snowball fights are one of the simple joys of winter. But I sometimes like to make useless inventions that make simple things more complicated. For instance, why just throw a snowball when you could build a catapult for them. So in this project, I built a pole snowball launcher. It is basically just a cup on the end of a pole. It doesn't seem like much, but with it you can hit targets almost twice as far away as you could with a thrown snowball. 

Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Pole-Snowball-Launcher/

Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Winter Hacks to Help Keep You Warm This Winter



Here are a few tricks that can help you stay warm. They are each really small so I combined them into one video.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Adding a Digital Scale to a Workshop Vice

In this project, I attempted to use the sensors from a common bathroom scale to make a digital readout for a shop vice. The idea was pretty simple. Relocate the sensors on the scale to locations on the vice. That way when the vice is tightened on an object, it will press on the sensors. The scale should then give a readout of how much pressure the vice is applying.

Unfortunately, I discovered that the scale doesn't work well unless pressure is applied evenly to all the sensors. Also many scales will not give readouts for small weights. They only work above a certain threshold.

So this is an example of the many times when a project just doesn't work out. But I still got to take apart a scale a learn how it worked. So it's never a complete loss.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Replica of the Glowing Briefcase from Pulp Fiction


Every now and then I like to make replicas of props from my favorite movies. In this project, I built a replica of the mysterious glowing briefcase from the movie Pulp Fiction. In the movie the briefcase contains an unknown treasure that emits a golden light when the case is opened. The prop itself is basically just leather briefcase with a light and a switch to turn it off when the briefcase is closed. This is really similar to the glowing treasure chest project that I built a few weeks ago.

It's a simple project that you can build in about an hour. Why not build one for yourself. It's a fun way to carry around your stuff.

For full written instructions check out the Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Glowing-Briefcase-From-Pulp-Fiction/

Friday, January 10, 2014

$2 Car Camera Mount



You have probably seen quite a few videos that were taken from inside a moving car. They are a major element of professional racing and police car chases. My favorites are the videos of the meteor exploding in the skys above Russia in early 2013. You never know what interesting things you might see while driving.

So in this project, I designed a really simple in-car camera mount. You can build it in just a few minutes with materials that will cost you less than $2. Basically it is just a 2x2 board and a 1/4" machine screw. The design is pretty crude but it work.

Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-In-Car-Camera-Mount-for-Less-Than-2/

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Adjustable Power Outlet



There are a lot of electrical devices that only have two settings: ON and OFF. For a many of these, it would be helpful if you could adjust the output with an external circuit.

So in this project, I show you how to make an adjustable power outlet. This circuit acts as an external dimmer and can be used to adjust the power on a variety of appliances such as Lamps, heaters, soldering irons, and hot glue guns.

For detailed instructions check out the instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Adjustable-Power-Outlet/