Man Made DIY


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Jul 26, 2016

5 Things I'd Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

Looking At The ValleyI actually don't remember a lot of the blur that of this exceptional decade in my life, but I do remember a few things I should have known. Here they are.   … read more

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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

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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Jul 20, 2016

How to Get Started with Outdoor Adventure Gear on the Cheap

I think we can all agree: a weekend spent outside is good for the soul. Whether the forest, desert, mountains, or beaches, spending a couple of days without walls restores a fellow. It can simultaneously energize and relax us. Just about everything John Muir ever said sums it up nicely. Here's a few: 

  • Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
  • Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
  • Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. 

 

And in order to make it happen safely while staying warm and dry, you need a bit of gear. … read more

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Jul 20, 2016

We Will Never Get Tired of Watching These Hand-Lettering Videos

PenmanshipAh, the art of writing. Handwritten notes are always the classiest way to correspond, but here are a few people that take it up a notch with some of the most amazing calligraphy you'll ever see.   … read more

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Jul 19, 2016

How to: The Easy Way to Remove Pencil Marks from Your Woodworking Projects

Saws are exciting, and chisels and hand planes look really great on top of your workbench. But if you ask me, the number one most-important, guaranteed tool I use on every single project is: the No. 2 pencil.

created at: 07/19/2016

It's essential for everything from sketching to measuring to layout and marking parts, and its "easy to remove" nature makes it perfect for seeing now, disappearing later. Except, have you ever actually tried to remove pencil from wood before applying a finish?   

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Jul 19, 2016

Flavor Tube: 5 Killer Food Videos You Have to Watch This Week

HarissaIf you love good food, these videos are for you. Take a look at the artisan side of New York food - everything from diners-style doughnuts to Tibetan fare - and if weren't already hungry for something seriously tasty, you will be. Take a look.… read more

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Jul 19, 2016

The Man Behind The Brand: 10 Things You Never Knew About Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer Sports StoreYou've probably heard of Eddie Bauer's outdoor gear, but do you know about the man behind those outdoor products? The company put together 10 little known facts about the founder, and they're as impressive as you would expect.   … read more

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Jul 15, 2016

How to: Pack the Perfect Overnight Bag for a Weekend Away

Weekend Drive Gear

This time of year, I almost always find myself looking for a reason to drive.  There's something exceptional about the spring foliage, misty weather, and changing of the seasons. I like to keep a simple bag of gear packed up in case my wanderings turn into an overnight trek.   … read more

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