Man Made DIY


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Jul 25, 2016

6 Myths About Wood Finishing that Need to Go Away

created at: 07/25/2016

I'll admit it... applying a finish to a woodworking project is always the most intimidating part. Once you've spent hours or days designing, milling, measuring, cutting, joining, smoothing the wood, it's a bit scary to know that you can mess up all your work in the final step.   … read more

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Jul 25, 2016

How to: Make a Hanging Leather Strap Planter

The notion of a DIY hanging pot is nothing extraordinary - just do a Pinterest search and you'll find hundreds...maybe thousands.    … read more

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Jul 25, 2016

A Dying Industry? Welcome to the Last Bookstore

BookstoreThere's something special about the printed word. As the digital age quietly kills those musty hardcovers, there is still a place where ink is alive. Watch it now.   … read more

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Jul 22, 2016

Make This! DIY Wooden Rocket Stove

Rocket StoveHere's another project that will go perfect with a long summer night at the beach. Make a portable campfire you can bring with you to light off wherever you need.   … read more

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Jul 22, 2016

How to Make a Folding Farmhouse Table from Reclaimed Wood

Make your own folding farm table

On the side, my wife and I sell some of our handiwork at craft fairs, barn sales and vintage markets. When we got started, we had mostly folding plastic tables and white table cloths. And as you know, nothing, except maybe a grilled hot dog on a paper plate on the Fourth of July, looks its best on a folding plastic table and white table cloth.… read more

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Jul 22, 2016

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of the High Five

created at: 07/29/2014

So, where did the high five come from?           

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Jul 21, 2016

How to: Make the Ultimate Workbench for Your Basement or Garage

created at: 07/21/2016

I don't think I've mentioned this on ManMade, but earlier this year, my wife and I bought our first (and hopefully last) home. It was a big deal, both emotionally and financially, and looking in one of the wildest and fastest changing real estate climates in the country, we got pretty lucky that our first offer was accepted. It's a solid home that we can afford, and it sits in a close-in neighborhood that's super liveable and great for walking, commuting by bike, and public transit. I totally love it. 

And...of course, when you own your own home, you get to mess with it. No more landlords to tell you what to do, no more wasting time and money investing in customizing a place that you'll only be in for a little while. And of course, as a DIY blogger, I had my sights set on the two most important spaces in the house: the garage and the basement.    … read more

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Jul 21, 2016

Five Poems Every Man Should Know...and Reference

For the last couple years, I've had a framed tattered page I tore out from an old book of poetry (pictured below) that I picked up at a garage sale in Minnesota when I was a boy. I've taken it with me wherever I've moved, usually displaying it on my desk, although occasionally on a shelf or bedside table. The poem is titled SEA-FEVER and came from a poetry collection called Salt-Water Poems and Ballads by John Masefield, first published in 1902.  created at: 12/14/2014 The poem expresses the yearning for the grey seas from the perspective of a presumably landlocked rover, and was one of my initial inspirations for rafting the Mississippi River.

I must… read more
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Jul 21, 2016

How a Dirty Old Waffle Iron Became Nike's Holy Grail

Every great breakthrough has its "Eureka!" moment, whether we're talking the discovery of gravity or the founding of the world's largest shoe empire. In the latter's case, that happened while searching for a way to create cleats meant for a urethane track (meaning no more metal spikes on the bottom of running shoes), and it involved a household wafflemaker. The infamous wafflemaker was then lost for decades... and now found.   … read more

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Jul 20, 2016

How to Build Your Own Outdoor Kitchen (For a Fraction of the Cost)

created at: 06/30/2016

Perhaps you've heard - it's suuuuummmmmmeeeerrrr!!!! That means the evenings stretch out seemingly forever, and every dinnertime is an opportunity to get the grill going. I love it. But I got tired of trying to cook dinner for my family in a space that is, objectively speaking, not a kitchen. I mean, where am I supposed to set plates, cooking tools, and seasonings, fill pots, and chop veg and everything else I need to fashion a fantastic BBQ? 

So I finally decided to go for it, and build my own outdoor cooking space, complete with a durable concrete countertop, lots of storage, and a convenient outdoor sink. Here's how I did it:… read more

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