I chat with lots of ManMakers who would love to get started with bigger, more in-depth projects, but lack a dedicated place to work on them and the storage space for all the tools they'd like to acquire. So, here's a perfect project for them: a small-footprint workbench that's sturdy enough to do real work, and includes lots of built-in storage and plenty of accessories.
It happens to the best of us. On a jacket, pair of jeans, backpack. Zippers are moving parts, and as the ManMade Fourth law of physics goes, anything with moving parts will eventually wear out or break.
But, no worries. When a zipper splits, you don't need to toss your goods. It's a simple, one-tool repair you can complete in five minutes.
When Google Glass was first demo'd and prototyped among the public a few years ago, most of the cultural conversation was the same: it's super interesting and functional, and looks absolutely ridiculous.
But...what if they didn't? What if the same tech could be embedded into something way less....Google Glass-y?
Anyone who regularly uses the same water bottles several times a week - runners, cyclists, hikers, athletes, or any general person-on-the-go that likes to stay hydrated - can attest: they can get nasty. Even if nothing but water and ice ever go in, the crud can still build up, and non-H2O fluids like sports drink or add-ins make the taste, odor, and junk even worse.
In a world where more and more things exist in the digital realm, it's always fun to take a stroll back through the analog world. The music world has already gone through a bunch of iterations from walkmans to discmans to iPods to Spotify, so I think it's safe to take apart that old walkman now and turn it into something rather fun...
One of the great joys of completing any quality woodworking project is that final moment when you get to put your own unique stamp on the finished piece. That "stamp" can range anywhere from tiny engraved initials to a bookplate-sized brand, and it's how you show the artist's link between a variety of different projects. And if you don't have your own branding iron, then here are two great ways to make your own -- one very high quality, and one down and dirty solution (made out of a disposable lighter).
Last weekend I grilled in a public park for a friend's birthday and my buddy remembered all of the necessary ingredients... except for the grill. Someone dashed out to pick up a cheap grill from Target ($16!) and I began scouring the internet for cool ways to good meat on a cheap grill. And that's how I learned about the Snake Method...
When I bought it ten years ago, my backpacking stove cost me more than $100, and each time I fly to a destination trip, I've got to scout a local outdoor store to get my fuel bottles filled or source some disposable canisters.
The DIY Mountain Ranger Camp Stove, on the other hand, is made from (maybe) $5 in new materials and some recyclables and relies on found fuel - small twigs, sticks, and brush, to produce a very hot flame, very quickly.
So. As we often find on ManMade, the DIY option makes a compelling case.
In the early days of building your workshop it's important to invest in tools with multiple functions so as to get the most bang for you buck. Now normally I'd think a blowtorch doesn't exactly fit that criteria, although since reading this I'm beginning to rethink that...
You've heard of smokey flavored cocktails before... but how about a smoke bomb cocktail that actually explodes? Well not actually explodes, but with a flourishing crack to the ice cube mold from a tiny hammer or utensil, billowing smoke will pour out into the rest of your Black Manhattan (or other smokey drink of choice)...
Full disclosure: I have never played Settlers of Catan (simply due to time constraints). But I have watched the insanity, passionate rivalry, and joy it has brought to so many of my friends as to be able to endorse it as a great way to spend a couple of hours.
There are two routes home cocktail enthusiasts tend to take when choosing a muddler: the mini-baseball style that sits on the check-out counter and the local liquor store (which suck), and then there's the handmade, lathe-turned muddler made from some exotic South American hardwood that can cost you as much as $60 or $80.
Or, you can get the performance of the second for the price of the first.
There's all sorts of reasons you might need to hang your bike inside your home: perhaps you live in an urban area, and it's really the only place to put it. Or maybe, you just love cycling so much you wanna pay homage to its design, and you'll proudly display your ride as a piece of functional art.
Cause sometimes you just need to distill something non-drinkable into clear, pure liquid...you know, like, uh, water. Yeah, that's right. Distilled water.
Yep, you can buy waterproof pouches and "drybags" at your local outdoor retailer. They're made of super lightweight, fancy-pants fabrics that really do keep your stuff dry. And they're super expensive.
These DIY pouches can help protect smaller items for long term storage. Use your scrim-reinforced vinyl options to stash your high value items for a kayak or rafting trip temporarily, and make your own little custom pouches to keep the goods inside, and the moisture out.
So you know how Netflix has some bizarrely specific movie categories like Gritty Tearjerkers or Mind-Bending Biographical Dramas (currently empty since they took A Beautiful Mind off the list)? Well if you take a look at the URL e.g. http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/276, you'll notice a number at the end.
Head to any discount store or the cookware section of a higher-end grocery store, and you'll all kinds of cool acacia and olive wood and walnut cutting boards and serving strays with rich, striking grain patterns.
The DIYer will, of course, then say: we should totally make something out of those.
If you know anything about bourbon, you've no doubt heard the fables of Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most hard-to-find and sought-after bottles on the market. It's become the stuff of legend, perhaps better known for its rarity than its flavor. Or, if reports are to be believed, perhaps not. People say it's pretty amazing.