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Mar 06, 2019

​How to Build Your Own Altoids Tin Survival Kit

I'm sure the original makers of Altoids had no concept of survivalism, let alone having any inkling that they were providing a vessel for emergency lifesaving tools. Yet here we are: this humble, yet curiously strong, breath mint has inspired scores of tutorials for intrepid would-be wilderness warriors.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, we at ManMadDIY have scoured the tutorials, and we've honed in on what we think are the best basics for that quintessential Internet favorite, the Altoids tin survival kit.

Let's dig in!

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Sep 05, 2018

ManMade Recommended: These are, Without a Doubt, the Best Headphones for Woodworkers

First came the radio. Turn it on, tune in the dial, and hope you'd have something listenable during the quiet moments. Then came the shop stereo, usually an old bookshelf system we didn't mind getting covered in sawdust. But for the last ten years or so, it's been all about the personal audio player...and for most of us, that means our smartphone. Why blast the tunes throughout a space,  keeping up with loud machines and bugging those around us when you can have literally anything you want playing through your own set of earbuds?

best noise canceling headphones

Whether you opt for music, podcasts, audiobooks, or digital radio, most DIYers and woodworkers have a set of earbuds plugged in during most parts of a project. The problem? If you use power tools, you still need to wear hearing protection to 1) take care of your ears and reduce loud exposure to noise and 2) hear your audio over the roar of the motors. 

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Aug 14, 2018

ManMade Recommended: This is, Hands Down, the Best Dust Mask for Woodworking

best dust mask woodworking

Hopefully, you're already a committed safety glass wearer. Grabbing a pair for even the simplest drilling/driving task is good practice, and a part of your DIY routine. Even better, if you use power tools, you're also protecting your hearing from those roaring 85-90 dB motors.

Last in that great triumvirate, and perhaps the most often overlooked, is protection for your respiratory system. Too many of us don't wear a dust mask, respirator, or sealed face shield when working on projects for one simple reason: they are extremely uncomfortable, a total hassle, and more irritating than your second cousin's toddler at the Thanksgiving table

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Feb 02, 2018

ManMade Recommended: (Probably) The Best Affordable Safety Glasses Money Can Buy

We don't ask much from our safety glasses. Their primary purpose is right there in the name: they protect you when performing activities that create and project debris that could damage your eyes... woodworking, scrapping paint, anything dealing with rust or metal shavings, and the like. The most important thing is that they be handy and ready to go, so you don't hesitate to grab them when execute a potentially dangerous task. Here's the best way we've found to deal with it.    

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Nov 30, 2017

This is the Best 79¢ You Can Spend on Your DIY Projects

Earlier this week, I was asked to be interviewed about getting started in making things, and the conversation turned towards the best tools for the money. The guy asked me what I think the best thing to invest in, and we naturally discussed how, once you have all the tools you need, you tend to think the things that support your workflow are more important that the cool-looking trappings of the woodworker. Like, how my favorite power tool is actually my two horsepower dust collector on its own circuit, because that's the machine I use on every single process. Or how I'd rather have an inexpensive Japanese dozuki saw and a really nice mechanical pencil and Starrett combination square vs. low grade measuring and marking tools and a fancy dovetail saw. (Though, to be fair, I do have both.)

But, it got me thinking about the truly best value in woodworking, the craft process, etc. Like what's something that's entirely inexpensive yet you use on every single project?  

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Jun 14, 2017

7 Shop Essentials You Just Can't Have Too Much Of

7 Shop Essentials You just can't have too much of

My name is Bryson and I have a problem. Whenever I find myself in a hardware store I have a list and I have a second list. On that second, unwritten list, are the things I always tell myself I need for my shop and I inevitably walk out with a bag full of it.

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Apr 18, 2016

Breathe Easier - You Need A Shop Air Filter

Filter BoxI'm a fan of making some sawdust, and I produce plenty of it in my shop every chance I get. While it might be fun making the mess, breathing those fine particles is a major problem for your health. That's where shop air filters come in.  

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Mar 24, 2016

Good Deal of the Day: Shop Apron and Safety Glasses Combo from Hand-Eye Supply

created at: 03/24/2016

We're huge fans of workwear, gear, and tool purveyors Hand-Eye Supply, and we regularly cruise their online shop whenever we're in the market for some new goodies. (And if you're ever in Portland, OR, their brick-and-mortar shop is full of inspiration. Also, if you're ever in Portland, OR, come say hi to me!)

From now until the end of March (or while supplies last), Hand-Eye Supply is offering a great bundle deal on their signature shop aprons and classic safety glasses combo.    

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Feb 22, 2016

How to: Safely Land a 737 (If You Have No Prior Training)

created at: 02/21/2016Tim Morgan, a veteran commercial pilot and regular Quora contributor took it upon himself to answer the (oddly) popular question, "What should I do if the pilot passes out and I (with no flight training) have to land the plane?" If you want to really be prepared for anything an action hero might face, this post is for you.    

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Jul 07, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Protect Yo'Self - The Best Gear for Staying Safe in the Workshop

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.  

created at: 07/07/2015

My shop is a very useful place, it's full of tools to cut, shape, smooth and attach all manners of wood and metal together to create an endless line of projects. But with so many tools, come plenty of dangers. While these are not technically tools, and they're definitely not as fun as a big spinning sawblade, I consider them essential to the toolbox. I mean, name one other item you're going to use on every project. Not even a tape measure sees as much action as a pair of safety glasses.  

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Feb 06, 2012

That One Time When I Injured Myself with the Table Saw...

created at: 02/06/2012

So...if I had my preference, I would never admit this to anyone that hadn't seen me in bandages. I'd keep it as my own little secret, and try to come off as a professional, and never have to be vulnerable online. Cause that's what you do with embarrassing information, right? Curate it out of your internet identity, and only take photos of your house when its clean and full of interesting items and cups of tea?

Except...I don't really believe that. I believe in authenticity, and telling the whole story, and being willing to geek out over something amazing and admitting you're not too cool to get obsessed with new ideas, and all that stu

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Sep 06, 2011

Why Men Die Before Women... (14 Photos)

I know, I know...this is a little email forward-y. But, I've made a lot of mistakes when DIYing and making stuff, and have had to start over from silly errors, or being underly cautious. I guess it makes me feel better to know that at least I didn't do this:

   

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Mar 07, 2011

Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie

created at: 03/07/2011

You, like any sane person, hate the gym. Of course, you feel great when its done, but the getting there and your presence can be...tough. "The mindless repetitions on the weight machines, halfhearted crunches, daytime TV during the treadmill. Such a sad, unimaginative excuse for a life," when you could be outside or at home, doing the things you love.

"Gym machines are boring, CrossFit is sadistic, and dieting sucks. Luckily, none of them is essential to being truly fit." With a bit of trial and error, and simply thinking smart about what you do and put into your body, its possible to create real health.

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Jun 14, 2010

Innovative Tactics of Bike-Friendly Cities

created at: 06/02/2010

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/106/294760615_04a842f5b6.jpg

As more turn to bicycling for more than just recreation, city and regional planners are rethinking roadways to accomodate all those using bikes to get to work, shopping, and to each other.

The best cycling cities (see here for Bicycle mag's top fifty list - my city came in at #34, but the ManMade/Curbly HQ in Minneapolis/St. Paul scored #1) have already been implementing lots of choice options. AOL's Rented Spaces has assembled a cool list of innovative tactics, including bike lane and sharing programs, and my favorite, the bike box, cycle triggerable traffic light programs already established in Portland.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/cycling_impact/2008/03/bike-box-portland.jpg

Bike-Friendly Cities'

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Jun 02, 2010

Welcome to Bicycle Month! How To: Make a Mini Bike Light

created at: 06/02/2010

Greetings, ManMakers! June 2010 is Bicycle Month on ManMadeDIY.com. We're passionate about two-wheeled transportation - both for its impact on the environment and your health, as well as the infinite number of bike crafts and hacks that one can do to totally take a DIY approach to cycling.

miniBikeLight-2f.jpg

One of the key aspects of cycing is safety, especially when sharing roads with other vehicles. So, to kick things off, here's a great mini bike light how-to that makes everything completely from scratch. This version is housed in a hose-to-faucet adapter, and uses three LEDS powered by triple-a batteries. A rocker switch is added to the back to control on/off functions.

miniBikeLight-1.jpg  

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Mar 05, 2010

Building a Better Hot Dog

"If you were to take the best engineers in the world and asked them to design a perfect plug for a child's airway, you couldn't do better than a hot dog."

http://www.popsci.com/files/imagecache/article_image_large/articles/4390071985_98d2595ed5.jpg

So, the American Academy of Pediatricians have called for the redesign of the hot dog. And since its an entirely processed product, any shape is game. The folks at Fast Company set off to redo the hot dog, with these criteria:

  • Esophagus-sized cylinders and spheres = bad, very bad
  • Fit within existing buns for "authentic"-ish experience
  • Look for opportunities [to] increase sense of play
  • Enhance condiment-to-hot dog engagement

After thinking through the designs below, they came up with the spiral dog above, and did a mock-up in green Play-doh.

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