Man Made DIY


Oct 26, 2015

Turning An Old Car Into An Electric Car (while doubling the horsepower or tripling the torque)

Michael Bream has a motto: "If you work on any car, you have to make it faster." A bold statement considering the stigma against electric vehicles for being sissy or potentially unreliable, on top of the fact that he helps run a company specializing in outfitting old cars with high performance electric drive trains.      … read more


Oct 23, 2015

Watch a True Craftsman at Work: The Violin Makers

created at: 05/28/2013

Music makes us feel. Good, bad, energetic,'s an ethereal experience to experience skill and passion coming together in one fluid moment. It has been said that the tone of a instrument improves over time as the instrument settles in, and the vibrations from playing helps to "open up" the resonance in the wood. 

While this may or may not be fully true, it is definitely true that a quality instrument begins with a master craftsman. Instrument craftsmen are some of the most gifted makers in the world. Not only must they be precise with joints and materials, but in the end the piece must sound as good as it looks. It truly is an… read more


Oct 22, 2015

Never Buy It Again: Three Ways to Make Your Own Killer Ginger Beer

Dark and Stormy Ginger BeerOne of my favorite cocktail mixers is the spicy ginger beer, used for the summer favorite "Moscow Mule", or evening sipper, the "Dark and Stormy." But I've had enough of the spendy, over-sweetened bottles from the supermarket, so I figured: it's time to make our own. Here are three ways to make an extremely tasty version happen at home. … read more


Oct 22, 2015

How to: Build an Rustic and Inviting Coat Rack w/ Storage and Message Station

First impressions count, and the first few moments someone spends in your doorway do too. You want the entrance to be welcoming and efficient for coats, shoes, etc., while also giving a sense of the rest of the house to come. And if your friends are of the Minnesota Goodbye persuasion, you inevitably spend a good deal of time chatting at the door before anyone leaves.   

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Oct 21, 2015

The Craftsmen of Etsy: 10 Wooden Products We Love

Bike Rack WoodenI've wandered through the Etsy offerings in the past, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes because something interesting has caught my eye. But lately, more and more great ideas are popping up on the handmade-centric site, and they're amazing. Here's a collection of Etsy's wooden offerings that are really worth highlighting.   … read more


Oct 21, 2015

How to: Make Cheap Bourbon Taste Like a Million Bucks

make cheap bourbon taste better

By simply accenting the varietals in bourbon with similar ingredients you can easily move a bottom shelf brand up a level. All you need is three simple ingredients!

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Oct 21, 2015

Frank Gehry Just Designed His First Yacht and It's Spectacular

Probably the most famous architect to the non-architecturally minded is Frank Lloyd Wright, but I would bet that for a significant majority of the population Frank Gehry would be a close second. As the creative mind behind the Guggenheim Museum, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and many more, Gehry is considered "the most important architect of our age" who can now extend his numerous credentials from architect to shipwright.   … read more


Oct 20, 2015

30 Things Every Man Should Know About Grilling

created at: 10/13/2015

Grilling and barbecuing meals is one of modern life's true great privileges. Earlier communities cooked over the open flame out of necessity, but we get to choose to adds layers of smoke, fire, char, and salt, because some foods just deserve it. To light a fire and cook your meal upon it is a ritual of gratitude that honors the ingredients, the technique, and the time it requires to make it work. It is, in every way, and opportunity to make food special again.

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Oct 20, 2015

Try This Simple Trick Anytime You Use Wood Glue on Your Woodworking Projects

created at: 10/20/2015

Whenever you're working on a bigger woodworking project that involves milling and preparing stock for parts, you often have to work on several parts at once in order to maximize efficiency. For example: dimension, plane, and joint all the wood at once while the tools are set up, cut all the joinery while the dado stack is installed in the table saw, etc. … read more


Oct 19, 2015

How to Make: Crazy Tasty Spiced Pumpkin Butter in Your Slow Cooker

created at: 10/19/2015

You know those little pumpkins you practically trip over in the market this time of year? It turns out: they're good for more than just Instagram props. With, like, no work, they make a really tasty pumpkin butter you’ll want to have in the fridge all year long. I’m talking about pumpkin butter with the magical spice flavor of pumpkin pie, but simple, less sweet and much more, well, pumpkin-y. … read more


Oct 19, 2015

Five Diverse Style Guides Every Man Should Check Out This Fall

created at: 10/19/2015

I think I have a fairly well cultivated sense of style, but I love seeing a well put together outfit with all the steps and accessories broken down nicely so that I can steal from it. If nothing else, I think it improves my style sense to see the trends in what makes great outfits. I found that nobody does this for my price range better than Primer Magazine, which recently put together five unique style guides for men this fall.   … read more


Oct 16, 2015

Reflecting on a Season of Outdoor Adventures: What Makes It All Worthwhile for Me

Atop Mount Whitney

Around this time of year I often find myself in the basement, getting my backpacking gear ready for winter storage. It's a bittersweet ritual I go through as the season comes to a close. If you love the outdoors like I do, you probably get asked from time to time, "Why do you do it?" After all, mother nature can be a tough mistress. As I unrolled my packs and checked my tents for damage, here are some of the moments from the last year that help me answer that question:

The best backpacking trips are also the toughest (I mean, if climbing mountains were easy, why would you do it?). The payoff is that surge of emotion when when you reach the highest summit, or that tender moment you share with friends when you find the perfect campsite at the end of a long day. Of course, having the right food along the way makes a big difference.

Jerky is my favorite protein-packed trail food, so I was excited to try a new product from Ball Park ('yep, you know 'em from the hot dog stand). They sent me a box of their new Tough but Tender Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky (it's on shelves now); it's flame grilled (instead of dried like most jerky), with a uniquely tender texture that stands apart from other jerky. … read more


Oct 16, 2015

Don't Spend A Dime This Weekend - It's Easier Than You Think

EscapeWith the weekend always right around the corner, it's time to think about plans. How about trying this - keep the wallet at home and figure out how to spend two whole days without spending a dime.   … read more


Oct 16, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: You Need A Router, But Where Should You Start?

Palm RouterAside from the table saw, one of the most useful tools in my shop is the router. This large, loud, powerful tool can be intimidating to work with, but once you know the basics I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a tool worth learning to use.   … read more


Oct 15, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Single Malt Scotch Under $30?

created at: 10/15/2015

There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.      Throughout the next few months, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party.   … read more


Oct 15, 2015

Keep Your Busy DIY Mind on Track with These Super Effective Productivity Tools

DIY Memory Management

Perhaps the most essential tool for any ManMaker is your mind. However, if you're like me, it can be really hard to keep your mind on track. That's why I have to write everything down!

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Oct 15, 2015

The Process: Crafting a Traditional Post-and-Rung Stool from a Tree

created at: 05/28/2013

You know those videos that show some young dude dressed in leather boots and a crew neck sweater, walking into his shop or studio, blowing off the sawdust or unrolling a side of leather, arranging his tools and assessing his materials, all with some slow churning music and a shallow depth of focus?   created at: 10/15/2015
This is definitely one of those videos. … read more


Oct 14, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: You Need a Quality Soldering Kit. Which One's Right for Your Project?

Soldering GunWhen most people think of joining metal parts, a big bulky welder comes to mind. But what about the jobs where something more precise is needed? You need a soldering kit. Here's a look at what kind is right for your project.   … read more


Oct 14, 2015

The Most Instagrammed Locations in Every State

Many of us love to travel and it's always fun to see the local sights. Surprisingly though, the favorite sights are not what you'd expect. Since everyone has a camera in their pockets with the ability share their favorite places through social media, Busbud (a travel site for booking bus tickets) recently went through Instagram's location hashtags to find the most instagrammed places in the US.   … read more


Oct 13, 2015

40 Things You Can Do in One Minute or Less that Will Make Your Life That Much Better

A few years ago, I was attending a conference, and, as I recall, not really listening to the keynote speaker. It was one of those trying to eat-lunch-and-try-to-meet-new-people-and-I-can-barely-hear-from-the-back-of-the-room sort of things.

But, in a moment of unexpected drop in the banquet room din, I caught something that sunk in. The speaker, musing on happiness, suggested that it's all those little tasks and the clutter that hang over our heads and keep joy from settling in. That knowing you have a million little tasks to do is more stressful than actually doing those tasks. And it's not the big work projects, the term papers, the spring deep cleaning that keep us down, but the little stuff that piles up and creates anxiety about when we'll get it all done. … read more

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