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Jan 23, 2017

You Need to Watch: "Raw Craft" (Free on YouTube)

If you're the type of person who reads ManMade, you're no doubt familiar with the modern genre of the artsy, dreamy behind-the-scenes video that captures the processes of creative types who make cool stuff. They're fun to watch: a bit poetic, a bit inspiring...and hopefully, they include lots of droolworthy shots of cool benches and workshops and tool walls.

But, there are a lot of them, and all that shallow depth-of-field and voiceover is nice, and... sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between them. 

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Jan 23, 2017

How to Cut a Mortise with a Table Saw

A mortise and tenon is an extremely sturdy and strong way to join wooden furniture. A recess is created in one member (mortise) that allows a protruding tongue from the other (tenon) to fit tightly inside. There's no better way to assemble table bases, chairs, benches, and even frames. 

Except, mortises can take a serious amount of work to cut. Unless you have a dedicated mortising machine, you're in for lots of time with a chisel and mallet, especially on large mortises like the one shown above.   

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Jan 19, 2017

19 Powerhouse Ingredients Every Man Needs in His Pantry at All Times

You know the basics. The onions and carrots.  The potatoes, rice and noodles. The salt and pepper. The goods that can help accompany fresh proteins and vegetables into a proper meal. But today, we're talking those "secret ingredients" — those back-of-the-lazy susan bottles and powders that improve anything they come in contact with, and take food from being simply filling to truly satisfying. Keep them on hand, understand and respect their powers, and you can use them to blow any dish out of the water.    

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Jan 17, 2017

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why You Definitely Need a Pocket Hole Jig System

Pocket Holes

Joining wood can be as much art as it is skill, and beautiful joinery really defines a piece of furniture. But for the times when you just need to quickly join a few pieces of wood securely, try the pocket-hole.  

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Jan 17, 2017

DIY Idea: Large Scale Outdoor-Inspired Wall Art

Sometimes, you need a little inspiration. Something to remind you to get off your phone, get outside, and soak up all that nature has to offer. 

And sometimes, you simply need something to fill up that blank wall you've been ignoring.    

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Jan 12, 2017

Make This: DIY Health Tonic to Help You Feel Better During Cold and Flu Season

I'm a big fan of a glass of DIY fire cider to help keep your system in prime fighting condition during the winter months. It's the single best way to keep your immunity up as best can be. (We love you, too, flu shot!)

But, still, sometimes you get sick. And you feel terrible. And all the OTC bottles in your medicine cabinet just don't seem to be doing anything.    

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Jan 11, 2017

How to Shine Your Shoes in 1 Minute

You know those tasks. The ones that you know won't actually consume that much time, but you imagine will take *just* long enough that you just can't motivate yourself to just step up and get it done.

Shining your shoes doesn't have to be one of them. True story. Provided you've got the right gear and a little technique, you can bring your leather shoes and boots back into shape in less than sixty seconds.    

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Jan 11, 2017

Make This: DIY Vintage Electric Camp Lantern

created at: 10/19/2014

Autumn is the perfect time of year for camping, pumpkins, crunchy leaves and hurricane lamps. Ok, maybe it's just me, but I love these lamps. They bring a certain sense of camp-like nostalgia to my heart and I have a couple around the house.    

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Jan 10, 2017

7 Essential Cocktail Recipes You Should Memorize Right Now

created at: 04/16/2013

Often, when I try to explain the idea behind ManMade or what I do for a living, someone who doesn't quite get it will inevitably say to me, "You mean like MacGyver?" Um...I guess?

7 cocktails recipes you must memorize right now

For the record, I don't think making stuff out of ordinary materials – what we do on ManMade – is anything like MacGyver. But I do like the approach of understanding how things work, and then applying standard techniques to whatever materials sit in front of you. Especially when those materials are bottles of spirits, and the techniques result in something like delicious cocktails.

'Cause here's the thing: when you become known amongst your peers as a guy who knows something about tasty cocktails, you become the guy who everyone turns to to make a tasty cocktail, whatever the occasion. And that's a good thing. It's a solid skill to have, and it's even more impressive if you don't have to look a recipe up on your phone before you start shaking and stirring.

So, with that in mind, here are seven standard recipes, ratios, and approaches to cocktail making that you can tuck in the back of your mind to whip up a tasty option, whatever you find in front of you.  (Oh, and if you need bottle recommendations, here are our picks for stocking your home bar without spending a ton of money.)

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Jan 09, 2017

10 DIY Ideas to Stay Occupied While You're Snowed In

10 man-made snow day projects

This week they're predicting record-breaking winter storms in my area which means, aside from braving my drive to and from work, I'll be stuck inside. So, instead of heading to the grocery store for bread and milk I'm headed to the hardware store to get some supplies to keep myself busy under the snowpack.

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Jan 09, 2017

One Thing You've Probably Never Changed in Your Vehicle...But Really, Really Should

created at: 05/20/2015

Before I headed out on a short road trip this weekend, I did a quick checkup on my car. I had been having some issues with my engine rattling when my air conditioning was on. I'm really not much of an auto-DIYer, but YouTube has certainly helped me become a better mechanic than I once was!

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Jan 05, 2017

Make This: Leather + Walnut Cutting and Serving Board

There are plenty of times when a small wooden board is all you need to set out or serve something when entertaining. And it's even better when they look awesome and make whatever you're sharing look that much tastier. If you have a few scraps of wood lying around after a project, this is exactly what you should do with them.  

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Jan 05, 2017

8 Awesome Camera Hacks Using Things You Already Have On You

In the era of advanced smart phone filters, it's not difficult to make your images look like something more than a snapshot. But, more often than not, these images don't look textural or vintage or interesting, they just look... filtered. It's not a je ne se quoi, it's an I know exactly se quoi — it's also my favorite Instagram filter. 

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Jan 04, 2017

How to: Make DIY Wooden Shot Glasses

It's a new year, and for the next twelve months, I'm committed to trying to make every object in my life something of true value. Call it a Kondo-inspired "sparking joy" if you like , but this year, I want to cut out the garbage and keep only what's quality. I want everything I touch and use in my life to be beautiful, lasting, and made with integrity. This starts with my morning routine, from the my coffee routine and the mug I drink it in, and goes all day through the book I read during the last few minutes before bed.

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Jan 04, 2017

Make This: Simple, Classic Leather Key Chain (in 30 Minutes)

There's something to be said for the all-in project. The weekend filling, head-scratching, multiple-trips-to-the-store, major build project that ends up so satisfying, and useful, once it's complete. But there's also something to be said for the straightforward, quick and simple project that can be started and finished after you get home from work. For those times when you don't always have the capability, or bandwidth, to take on something huge, but that creative spirit just keeps telling you to make stuff... make stuff...

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