The best kinds of creative inspiration are always born out a specific need. "Leftmusing" found herself looking for a very special solution for her apartment: "a table in my oddly shaped kitchen that could act as additional counter space, a place to eat, store kitchen stools and general spot to put stuff on, all while being 16"x52".
These days, there are a multitude of screw and driver styles lining the hardware stores: torx and square, and Supadriv and star-bit and the like. But less than a century ago, there was but one - the single slot. So begins the surprisingly interesting story of Henry F. Phillips, the Portland, Oregon-based inventor of the Phillips screw drive.
They say, "It don't matter if you've got a lot, you can't be happy till you're happy with what you've got." And that's true. But getting free stuff never hurt, either, so why not enter this week's True Value giveaway! Read on to see how to enter! THE PRIZE:
- Two, yes ¡TWO! $100 gift cards to True Value.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks for entering.
If you'll recall from your grade school science lessons, a screw is a simple machine. It's a continuous helix-shaped thread that cuts a groove into the surrounding material, thereby keeping the screw in place and, usually, holding two things together.
And, they work great...except when that "surrounding material" they're supposed to cut into gets worn away, and the screw just spins and spins inside the hole, holding absolutely nothing together.
Luckily, there's a super easy solution to fix it, and it costs about four cents and takes less than five minutes.
Nothing beats a stylish DIY project that's made from easy-to-find supplies from the home improvement center, comes together in an afternoon, and provides extra storage space.
The great Dutch thinker Erasmus once said, "“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” And for most ManMade readers, I imagine it's the same. First things first: books, records, and, in particular, tools and supplies for making stuff and completing projects. And then the rest.
Today, we wanna help you with that, so we teamed up with True Value to give you a hundred bucks to spend on tools, materials, and other goodies so you can execute all those great ideas in your head.
Lighting and furniture design and manufacturing firm Rich Brilliant Willing show you how to create an industrial yet colorful chandelier for less than $25.00 from materials you can find at your local hardware store.
Last year, ManMade was honored to be a part of the 2011 True Value Blog Squad, where we joined the ranks of talented DIYers, makers, and home improvers from around the internet, showing folks all the cool stuff you can do with supplies from your local hardware store.
Bruno and I had tons of fun last season, so we were very excited to be invited to participate again this year!
Whenever I'm at a cocktail party, get together, or other small talk-conducive occassion and I tell people what I do, the first question I always get asked is, "Okay...so how do you make money from that?" But the second question I always get asked is for a recommendation of what are my top ten essential tools that everyone should have/buy for their niece who's getting their first place/try to get their husband to use.
The answer, of course, is "well, depends on what you're trying to do with them." I usually come up with some combo of measuring devices, handsaws, clamps, and fasteners, but I always think..."maybe I should come up with a list of essentials for the average homeowner or artist/maker at some point."
Pop quiz time! There are six types of simple machines that have been identified for the last four hundred years. How many can you name?
While a design student at Cornwall College of Art and Design, Marcus Levine began to play with the idea of creating human forms with nails. He explains, "the interplay between the rigid, angular nails and the soft curves of the human torso, would be more striking".
Years later, Marcus has perfected the technique, and he's nailing it.
Last year, my favorite Christmas stocking gift (besides the candy) was a set of stainless steel drinking straws. I'm a committed straw user, and I love that I can simply wash these and use them indefinitely...plus the experience of drinking a cold beverage though a chilled, heavy straw is...I dunno, pleasant.
Many of my straw-hating friends and family even took to them, preferring the experience over the sensation of thin plastic in their mouths, so I looked into buying some more...and they're like $7.00 a piece.
Who wouldn't wanna participate in a movement who dub themselves an "Open Source Laboratory for the Development of Sustainable Furniture?!"
Dosuno Design is a collective that maintains, "We as industrial designers have been privileged to recieve a great education, and we feel it is our personal responsibility to give back to the community. In this case the return comes in the form of our intellectual capital which we push forth to develop low cost furniture solutions that anyone can manufacture for themselves."
And give back they have! They've release a PDF including step-by-step instructions for creating three original pieces of DIY furniture from scratch.
Cinder blocks are quite possibly the most boring material ever. And really, when's the last time you saw someone make something creative with them? Well as it turns out, it actually doesn't take a whole lot of effort to transform boring old cinder blocks into a work of art.
Though its the element that we use the most, and usually the largest, the tabletop isn't really the tough part when it comes to building DIY furniture. It is, most of the time, something solid and flat, that likely comes from a solid, flat sheetgood product that is then simply cut to size. The challenge is always in the other stuff: the legs, the base, etc. It's pretty easy to cut and glue wood or acrylic materials. But shaping, bending, and welding metal is a whole 'nother skill set that's way bigger than just picking up a circular saw.
I know it's not cool to say so, but I hate recyling. Or maybe it's more accurate to say I'm incompetent at it. I forget to take it out on time, I get plastics and papers mixed up, and trash things when I should recycle them and vice versa. So it's no surprise that our kitchen recycling area has long been an embarrassment:
That's how our 'recycling center' used to look. Note the problems:
- General disaster
- Shallow pantry means the doors won't close when it's in this state
- How many brown paper bags does a guy need?
Well, after an inspiring trip to my local True Value store, I decided this was a solvable situation. I searched the internet far and wide for some recyling bins I could just buy, but our 10-inch-deep pantry made that very difficult.
For me, summer is that most creative and productive of seasons. It's a good 10° in my basement workspace, so it's not tough to head down there and start making stuff. Plus, the long days, good light, and warm weather means you can work outside more, paint dries faster, and everything's just a bit more inspiring.
When we last left my tiny 4x4' backyard, it was, well, a box of dirt. A nice, square, painstakingly measured box of dirt and with flush joints, but a box of dirt nonetheless.
So, for my next project as part of the True Value Blog Squad, I needed to outfit it to support the plants, keep out the pests, and then actually start growing something!
I've been scheming a DIY hammock for months. There's a set of trees in the green space near my building that's perfect for one, and I've been thinking through how to go about it? Sew a panel from outdoor fabric? Weave rope into a grid of knots? Then there's the supports? Wood? Does it need to be curved? Can't you just buy a kit somewhere?