Okay, begin witty caption contest for this rugged DIY speaker system...now! "You can play your explosively good music?" "For use only when you really need to blast your tunes?" "Only plays songs that charted number one with a bullet?" "Solder up this stereo, soldier?"
I've recently been doing a bunch of woodworking and lamp-making for Luke Hobbs Design here in Los Angeles, so it wasn't long before I found myself looking at what else is out there in the DIY lighting universe. Instructables user darbinovar didn't seem to have too much of a plan when she started in on this industrial-looking copper and leather lamp, but the final result really is beautiful.
Old tape players are abundant, and cheap. Many have solid speaker sets, perfect period styling and design, and handle-equipped portability. So, what to do with 'em? Play music through them! Oh, tossed your mixtape collection in the late 00s? Then, I guess you gotta make that music yourself.
There's no better way to say: I freaking love projects like this. Reddit user mxmln23 used the case from a stylish vintage radio, and did some clever hacking that allows it to become a wireless speaker that can stream from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player, Apple Airtunes, web radio stations, and Last.FM.
It's a whole lot easier to remember to charge that phone when it's secured in a spiffy looking block. We made a simple cube charging station out of reclaimed pallet wood.
No, it's not the weekend yet, but this one upcoming is holiday one, so it's time to get a little head start so you can be ready to go all three-day break long. July 4th is all about getting outside, whether grilling or dining outside, camping, hosting a barbecue or picnic, even when doing yardwork or outdoor maintenance projects. And all those things, we say, deserve music. A standard Bluetooth speaker is a great way to get it from your phone, but because they're small and often made of fragile parts and cases, they can't always stand up to the rougher conditions and surfaces of outdoor use.
I'm a big fan of internet radio. It's customizable, high quality, and increasingly easy to use. Here's a project for those with a bit of tech savvy mixed in with your DIY prowess.
I've always been a sucker for rustic decor, and the tasteful ambiance provided by lanterns are solidly in that category. However, if you opt for a lantern in your interior (or exterior) design, it really ought to be functional (and therefore probably electric) but still keeping the charm of the flickering, homey light. Enter this design from "dtt900653" that meets all the criteria.
Back before we had the intuitive computer interfaces we have today, the men in the control booths had to rely on looming control panels full of switches, levers, buttons, and all sorts of intimidating and archaic devices. The physical industrial design had to be both wholly practical (in a lot of cases) and as user-friendly as possible, resulting in a wealth of unique control panels.
If you've ever found yourself looking for a good project to MacGyver, building a transistor radio seems like a good place to start. This vintage design comes from 1956, and as advertised can easily be built within an hour.
In honor of Groundhog Day, the holiday (?) occurring every February 2nd (that's today), and the 1993 cult film Groundhog Day, Randy of the Instructables Design Studio managed to created his own take on Groundhog Day alarm clock. The hack results in a DIY'd version of the one of the film's most iconic images, the clock radio on Phil's nightstand that awakes him each morning at 6:00a, playing Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe."
Whether it’s by accident or misuse, chances are you’re going to need to repair a power cord on something you own. I can’t count how many times I’ve almost cut my circular saw cord while ripping a board or yanked a lamp line and ripped it clean off. The good news is you don't have to toss out your expensive tools to a severed cord. Instead you can repair it yourself!
For me and my generation, music was cassette tapes. We never found the radio stations that played anything but Top 40, albums and LPs too public and, uh, not portable , and CDs too fragile. I still have a box, though my last means of playing them went when I sold my first car...
The Boomcase is an inspired solution for taking your tunes on the go: high-fidelity audio components are mounted inside a stylish vintage suitcase, so you can charge it up, grab the built-in handle, and rock out wherever life takes you.
These "vintage" cage lights have character for days, provide plenty of functionality, and help to fill that most often empty space in any room: the ceiling and upper walls.
And, of course, they're sorta pricey. Unless, of course, you make your own.
I try my best not to just throw up pretty pictures and go on and on about how much I love them, but for these paper sculptures of vintage electronics, I have to make an exception.
Cause I do. Love them, I mean.
I'ma go out on a limb here, and say that knowing how to solder is an essential skill for any creative person. Make no mistake: I know nothing about capacitors and breadboards, nor programming or arduinos. In fact, part of the reason I founded ManMade was to complement that version of the maker/hacker website by bringing in less tech-heavy approaches to creativity.
But, regardless of whether or not I'm ever gonna build a robot (I'm not), I think knowing how to solder is super important for DIY projects. Making a lamp from plumbing pipes really benefits from knowing your wires are gonna stay together inside the thing; just this weekend, I retrieved my first "grownup" instrument - a Peavey Fury bass guitar in all its 1994 red/white glory - from a family member who'd borrowed it years ago, thinking it broken, and I fixed it just by soldering some ground wires that had come loose.
It is, as this free downloable comic book from Andie's Log states, easy.
Ah, the twenty-first century, and its provision to take weeks of music with you stored on a single device. Yet, in order to play these lovely contraptions for an audience, you music employ a speaker system, which are often shiny black plastic and simple won't do for a vintage-inspired decor.
So, what's a antique or retro enthusiast to do? Why, build a custom iPod speaker system within a vintage radio housing, of course.
For many creative men, "making things" often includes circuit boards, LEDs, microcontrollers, and the like. And while ManMade always argues that men should be encouraged to use their yarn skeins just as often as their soldering iron, it's still important to know how to actually use that soldering iron safely and effectively.
Enter the Ten Commandments of Soldering, a collection of Thous and Shalls for the wire connecting crowd. Even if you don't know how to solder, or what it actually does, it's a worthwhile read.
How To: USB Bike Generator that Charges Your Gadgets with Infinitely Renewable Energy...The Human Body
Modern technology has made cycling a fantastic experience - you can plan and check routes with your smartphone, and bring along tiny digital still and video cameras to catalog your experience. I use the great EveryTrail app on my iPhone to calculate routes and speed, but keeping it connected to GPS is a huge battery drain. Wouldn't it be great if you could not have to worry about killing the batteries of these guys whilst on your ride?
Turns out - you can, and power lies in your own two feet. With a little DIY muscle flexing, you can build a USB generator that's 70% efficient in converting your pedals into the energy needed for powering and charging your devices.