Man Made DIY


Sep 04, 2015

Manmade Essential Toolbox: Why You Should Definitely Own a Really, Really Good Circular Saw

Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 
Get the saw blade up to full speed before entering the material
A circular saw is one of those essential toolbox items I'm guessing a lot of you already have. It's often the first powered saw for many DIYers. But do you have a really good one that you love and trust using? And if not, why should you care?
For years my circular saw was something that had been handed down to me in a dusty milk crate by a friend's dad. Yours may have been picked up for next-to-nothing at a garage sale, or even found on the side of the road, or bought cause it was the cheapest option at the home center. Hey - no judgement here. Some of those old tools are awesome and solid. But a circular saw is powerful, versatile and potentially dangerous, so using one of poor quality, or in poor condition, is bad practice, and can actually lead to serious injuries. … read more

Aug 04, 2015

Finally: Here's How To Pay Friends with Your Smartphone

Cash is boring. Use your smartphone.
Is it just me, or has the future turned out to be a bit of a disappointment? Hoverboards and jetpacks aside, I still can't beam anybody up, or down, or cook steak in my microwave, or have a sassy robot maid clean my house. But Square Cash is one area in which the future seems to have delivered, and I've been telling everyone about it for almost a year now. But, let me back up a bit and talk about the suckiness of non-future-money: paper currency.

Do you know what happens every third time I visit the drive-through ATM to get cash? I lose my card in the machine. Do you know how many armpits, waist bands, and god-knows-what-other sweaty… read more


Jul 06, 2015

Four Questions With: An Indie Filmmaker

Indie Filmmaker John Kingman: gear bag
John Kingman is a video producer and independent filmmaker (and former ManMade contributor) whose first feature-length film, Pearl: The Assassin, is streaming now on Amazon. We thought it'd be fun to get a glimpse of what it's like make indie movies, so we caught up with John for the first of our "Four Questions With" series:

MM: Tell us a little about your background, and about Pearl.


My background is video production. I started out making comedy videos with my friends, and taught myself how to shoot, light, and edit. Now I run a boutique production company in NY, doing corporate video. Pearl came about around the time… read more


Jun 23, 2015

Sister Sausage, What Happened To You (Or, Why Isn't Your 4-Year-Old in a Punk Band Yet?)

Rock Band Land Band Camp
Do you wish your kids were in a cool rock band? Do you wish you were in a cool rock band? Well, Rock Band Land can help with one of those things. At first glance, the San Francisco-based youth band camp might seem like just another ridiculous example of the artisanal-string-cheese-eating, urban-outfitted, hipster parenting you love to hate. But actually, it's a pretty awesome way to get kids involved a creative, artistic, collaborative expression.

And songs about cockroach villains who turn humans into sausages so they can sell them for a profit:… read more


Jun 22, 2015

Free Stuff! Win an Aeropress - The Best Coffee Maker on the Planet

created at: 02/12/2015
Earlier this year,  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. Our readers seemed to like that post so much, so 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 they gave a very enthusiastic and caffeinated thumbs up. 

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 rating with 3,500 reviews!

Anyway, this isn't a… read more


Jun 10, 2015

11 Seriously Good Gifts You'll Actually Want to Give Your Dad for Father's Day (and a Giveaway!)

Father's Day Gift Guide

What gifts did you receive from your father? Did he teach you to play chess? How to hike down a steep hill, feet turned sideways? How to go camping and sleep in the back of a 1977 Chevrolet Monza hatchback, looking up at the sky for shooting stars?

If you've got a dad, grandfather, husband, or even a son (who's a dad), you probably have lots of reasons to say thank you to that person. Here's a list of things I'd love to give (or receive) this Father's Day. 

For this gift guide, we teamed up with Duluth Trading Company, makers of quality apparel, backed by a No-Bull Guarantee. We've tried a bunch of their stuff, and are recommending some of it here, because we think it's worth recommending. Read on to the bottom to find out how to enter to win one of three Duluth Trading Co. gift cards!… read more


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 my kids. … read more


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,
read more

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


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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