Man Made DIY



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May 15, 2015

Face to Face With the Guy Whose Stolen Bike You Bought

I was suited up. Snow pants, ski goggles, lobster mitts, and long underwear all around. A super-warm super dork, in full regalia, atop my beloved, radiation-green, single-speed Salsa El Mariachi mountain bike. Just another day, mid-winter in Minnesota, doing something that I love: snow-biking.
What's that? Where you live it's warm and snowless in January? Well, gay kaken aufen yam, as they say in Yiddish. Uh, I mean, good for you! But not here. If you don't find a winter sport to do here in Minnesota, then you are liable to go stark raving mad, quicklike, come the fleeting daylight of December.

For me, snow biking has opened up a whole new world of outdoor winter physical activity. I'm not much of a skier, and hockey's not my thing. Ice fishing is a thing; but it doesn't make any actual sense. So when I discovered winter mountain biking, it gave me, well, it gave me a reason to go on living, to be honest. You know... that and… read more

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May 14, 2015

Wood That Works: Handcrafted Kinetic Sculptures

Wood that Works

When David. C. Roy got bored waiting for results from the mainframes in his late 1970s programming job, he started sketching whimsical mechanical wooden sculptures and toys. Though he had few woodworking skills, he soon began creating more and more complex sculptures, and within months had quit his job to launch his own business. Priceonomics has the whole story of this scientists-turned-art-trepreneur:

Though he constantly gets requests for custom pieces, he doesn’t build them -- mainly because it’s not practical. Every time he makes a new design, he spends six months finding weaknesses, making sure everything functions properly,
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May 08, 2015

Good Songs and Where I Heard Them

A list of great songs.

You know...the ones that change your life.… read more

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Apr 23, 2015

Good Books and Where I Read Them

Good books and where I read them
Every book you read leaves two stories with you; the story told in the book, and the story of its reading. Here are some of my favorites:

The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk – sprawled atop luggage in train walkways on overcrowded passenger cars, traveling through Europe with my dad the summer I was seventeen. Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II classic about a sane man trapped in an insane system. ( Buy on Amazon, $12.89 )

Reading on trains through Europe.

It, by Stephen King – by flashlight, tent-bound, terrified, on rainy afternoons during my first trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, when I was thirteen. An evil creature assumes the form of a… read more

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Apr 22, 2015

The ManMade Spring Style Guide

This is a commerce post in partnership with Frank & Oak

ManMadeDIY Spring Style Guide
I'm the sort of guy who holds on to super-comfortable, super-threadbare, moth-hole-ridden t-shirts for far too long, much to my wife's great chagrin. And while there is a place in your life for that favorite, falling-apart shirt, let's make sure it's just one. Recently, I cut down and donated a good portion of my wardrobe, editing out anything I hadn't put on in the last six months. Doing so allowed me to replace staples and add a few new pieces to my closet. 

I'm long-limbed and lanky, so I often have trouble time finding clothing that fits. Pants are too baggy, and… read more

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Apr 22, 2015

Essential Toolbox: Why You Should Have Bike Multi-Tool and Patches

Bike multi tool
This happened: my brother and I were out for a bike ride (mountain bike; single track) early this spring. It was the first day of open trails, so the place was packed. And it was my brother's first time on a mountain bike, so we were going a little ... um, slow. Dudes in latex gear on fancy bikes were passing us left and right, as if we were going in reverse. We felt a little like rookies, but we were still having fun. 

Then a guy with tree-trunk-sized quads flies by us on a cross bike (y'know, skinny tires), and 20 seconds later we come across him stalled on the trail with a flat. He was getting ready to walk all the way back out to the… read more

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Apr 02, 2015

ManMade Essential Toobox: You Need a Pair of Trusty Workboots

One day you will be tearing down a plaster and lathe ceiling, or cutting up some wood pallets in the back yard, or cleaning up a gutted bathroom, and you will bring your foot down on a two- or three-inch long nail. The metal will pierce the skin, cruise through the soft abductor hallucis muscle that forms the arch of your foot, and, if you step down hard enough, take out a tiny chip of bone from one of your metatarsal. I'll let you imagine the sound of that for a minute.

OR!

You could take the advice of a guy who's speaking from experience (I stepped off a ladder onto a nail sticking out of piece of lathe while wearing, of all… read more

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Feb 12, 2015

Win an Aeropress: The Best Coffee Maker on the Planet

created at: 02/12/2015
Last month we posted about the fascinating story of the invention of the AeroPress, a $25 plastic device that makes the best single cup of home-brewed coffee we've ever tasted. Well, you guys seemed to like that post so much, we reached out to Aerobie (makers of the AeroPress, and, yes, the amazing flying disc) and asked if they'd let us give away a few ... and guess what? They said "coffee". Ok, no they said "yes", but I presume they're pretty caffeinated over there most of the time.

Can't wait to see if you win the giveaway? Or just want to read all the reviews? Click here for the full product listing at Amazon. It has a 4.6/5-star… read more

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Jun 11, 2014

How to Throw a Great Father's Day Lawn Party (Everything You Need!)

How to throw a perfect father's day party
This year we teamed up with Lowe's to throw an early Father's Day lawn party for our friends and family. Today I'll share the nitty gritty details, all the pretty pictures, and (hopefully) inspire you to pull together a few last minute DIYs for this weekend's Father's Day celebrations. Read on to find out what we did, and download everything you'll need to throw a party of your own.

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Jun 05, 2014

Father's Day Blueprint: Win A $2000 Lowes Gift Card!

Win a $2,000 Lowes gift card

Yesterday I shared our plan for an awesome backyard father's day bash, and today I'm really excited to let you in on a huge giveaway. We've teamed up with Lowes and are giving away a $2,000 gift card. People, do you know how many ratcheting screwdrivers I would buy with $2,000? Power tools! USB-enabled power outlets! Those little rolly things you use to put painters tape down! Caulk guns! Shrubbery! I could go on and on, but I don't think you'd enjoy that as much as I would. So read on to find out how to enter the giveaway (I promise no more shopping-spree daydreaming from me)...

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