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    Pop quiz: how many crayons do you think the Crayola factory produces each day? I'd have said something like: 500,000. 

    Turns out, I was way, way wrong. The answer?             12,000,000. That's twelve million little colorful wax sticks. A day. 

    Wired magazine recently visited the factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, and captured some excellent footage of the process. 

    Check out the video below

    Process Crayola from WIRED on Vimeo.

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    The brown paper sack is iconic, and pretty cool looking, and waxed canvas is an incredibly durable material. Put them together and what do you got? This great DIY project from Anna Makes.    The process is simple: get some brown canvas, sew a couple seams to turn it into a bag, then coat it with wax. This is actually a great intro to wax canvas in general - a technique you can use on your clothes, travel and outdoor gear, a baseball cap, your go bag, etc. 


    Anna says, "I became intrigued with the waxed canvas process and decided to try it over the weekend. I loved the end result so much that I made an extra dinner last night just so that I could bring lunch to work this morning!

    This DIY is a great way to to replace your brown paper bag with a re-usable, durable waxed canvas version. Waxing canvas makes the fabric water resistant and stain-proof to protect your snacks on-the-go. Plus, you can't really argue with using less paper and bringing lunch instead of eating out!" 

    Cool, right? Get the full how-to instructions at Anna's instructable: DIY Brown Bag and see more of her creations at Anna Makes

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    created at: 09/05/2014

    For the past few weeks, The New Yorker magazine's music critic, Sasha Frere-Jones, has between tweeting the names of (seemingly) random-but-awesome song names and images, all tagged #perfectrecordings. Then, this week, he shared links to a series of free Spotify playlists, Vol. 1-5, of what he considers, well, perfect recordings. The Guardian followed up, asking about the project. "It’s an obviously ridiculous idea. About a year ago, in a meeting, the word ‘perfect’ came up, and I thought it was so idiotic that it sort of tickled me. But for some reason, perfect bothers me a lot less than ‘best’.”

    Frere-Jones' list is thankfully diverse, including plenty of modern indie rock and top 40 hits in addition to New Wave boundary-pushers, jukebox country, and my personal favorite, and hyper minimalist,  Elvis track. 

    He says, "There’s a play between the personal and the general here,There were a few rules [to making my selection]. It had to be something that I played a lot and was a part of my life. Ideally it was a record that I got when it came out, and I saw its impact. Also, it has to be a song that is always better than your memory of the song. It’s all very idiosyncratic."

    Each playlist contains 40 songs, and there's some real gems here from artists you love, and plenty from many you've never heard of.

    Makes a pretty fine weekend playlist. Find the interview with the Guardian here, and the playlists at Spotify: vol 1vol 2vol 3vol 4,  and vol 5.




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    created at: 09/05/2014

    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. 

    Here are few details about the Mountain Ranger Camp Stove: 

    • Named in honor of the U.S. Army Rangers. (I'm a veteran and served with some of these men.)
    • Tested and proven by veterans during a 30-day mountain wilderness adventure at 7,000+ ft.
    • Burned 4 times per day on average, and up to 10 times in a single day (150+ burns total!) - no signs of degredation aside from normal wear and tear.
    • 30 minute burn times from found fuel are common.
    • Boils 2 cups of water in a canteen cup in 7 1/2 minutes (depending on altitude) and will pasteurize a full canteen of water on a single load of fuel.
    • 1 cup of wood pellets will burn for 90 minutes and provide heat for at least another 90 minutes.
    • Can quickly and easily be converted into a heater.
    • Designed to be protected from the wind - no windscreen necessary. (natural windbreaks are recommended)
    • Easy to relight if blown out, simply throw a spark at the top of the stove.
    • Once up to full temperature (less than 2 minutes) will re-light itself if blown out under normal conditions.
    • Smokeless, hot, bluish flame from found fuel - the ONLY DIY wood burner that truly gasifies.
    • Perfect for hunters, campers, hikers, bikers and, of course, emergency preparedness.

    The team behind Mountain Ranger - a group of veterans - were kind enough to share the plans in full with ManMade readers. In the free download below, you'll note the simple materials list: a tuna can, a soup can, a quart paint can, a single screw, and a plumber's pipe strap, which you can get at any hardware store.

    Download the plans here: How to Build a Mountain Ranger

    For some more details, check out:

    Questions, Comments:


    Very cool. Thanks for sharing, Karl. 

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    Woodworker and film maker Frank Horvath maintains an excellent YouTube channel discussing some of the details, tools, and design aspects that goes into his craft. 

    Over the last year, he's released two of these stunning stop-motion animated videos telling the story of furniture being milled, cut, shaped, and assembled, without dialogue...or human hands.   I love the walnut bookcase above, with its interplay of case parts and the books being shelved. The lawn chair project below was inspired by a striped beach towel hanging over a chair. 


    What ManMade reader couldn't appreciate that? See all of Frank's videos on his YouTube channel. 

    [via Colossal]

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    Here's a clever DIY project that solves a need, looks sharp, and can be completed in under 30 minutes with just a few tools. It's a leather frame strap, designed to attach a six pack to your bike's top tube for easy transport. The project is simple: take two belts, cut them to length, punch some new holes, and attach.

    Of course, you'll want to be careful here; a pre-chilled six-pack could condensate and sacrifice the integrity of the cardboard. And, of course, the requisite - no drinking and biking. 

    But, the idea is solid, and works well for all sorts of things. See?

    See the full how-to at Instructables. And be sure to check the comments section for more tips: 6-Pack Beer Holder for Bicycle



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    Any guy who's visited a thrift store or a secondhand shop can attest to the ties. Some are hideous, but some are great - unique, but subtle patterns, or an lived-in color combo that can bring your getup together.

    There is, of course, the problem of size and the insane widths that used to pass for stylish. But! Snag that vintage necktie anyway, cause its easy to adjust. offers this straightforward tutorial for transitioning a fat tie to a sleek skinny one, requiring only a pair of scissors and a needle and thread to do the deed. 

    Check the full how-to at - Skinny Tie DIY: How to Turn Your Standard Tie into a Skinny Tie






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    created at: 09/09/2014

    There is bar food and there is drinking food. Bar food tends to center around the deep fryer and the reheating of frozen goods within, and it can certainly be delicious, and also horrible.

    Drinking food, on the other hand, is designed to be a foil against your beverage, a complement. The beverage enhances the food, the food the beverage, and everyone has a good time. 

    This is not a recipe for chicken wings, or for putting pretzels in a bowl. But it is an amazing, and unbelievably simple, snack that you certainly need to make the next time you bust out the bottle opener. 

    created at: 09/09/2014The recipe is called Kai Saam Yang, and I first learned about it at the Whiskey Soda Lounge, a member of the Pok Pok empire, and I wanted to eat nine portions all by myself. The name translates to "Chicken Three Ways," - but, though there is no chicken involved - and while it consists of Thai flavors, what amazes me most is its versatility. The snack tastes equally awesome with beer, a highball or cocktail, or even a neat dram of whiskey.

    It's important to note the simplicity here. This is, in its most basic form, a bowl of bar peanuts. But coupling that standard with a few aromatics really takes it somewhere else entirely, providing a flavorful, salty backbone to any libation.

    created at: 09/09/2014

    Here's how to make it.

    • 2 stalks of lemongrass, tender inner layers only
    • 1 purple shallot, finely diced
    • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

    Remove the woody outer layers and green parts of the lemongrass, then split it in half and chop finely. Mix with the peanuts and shallots in a bowl, and enjoy. 

    What's your favorite snack to enjoy with a drink? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

    Inside a dry lakebed in Death Valley National Park a set of rocks seem to move themselves "across the flat dirt in the heart of the hottest, driest place on earth." Many of the rocks are over 600 pounds, but leave trails as if they've snaked themselves across the dry lake bed.   

    The theories "have included sporadic hurricane-force winds when the surface is covered with rain water, or rocks carried across the mud by small rafts of ice, or UFOs." Turns out, like most things geology, it comes down to water and time.  

    I love this kind of stuff. Read the full explanation at The LA Times: Mystery of how rocks move across Death Valley lake bed solved


    Well, that's one way to fix a regrettable tattoo...


    Yes, i will be making some of this this weekend. Nam Phrig Noom - Thai Pounded Roasted Chili Dip



    A modern tree house built around an amazing oak tree.


    A cool DIY wooden ring project, built from a fall tree branch


    Why slurping is the best way to eat your ramen: 

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    If your kitchen needs more storage space, and you cupboards are full and can't stand countertop clutter, it's time to hit the walls.    You may have seen plumbing pipe furniture DIY projects floating about the net - table legs, curtain rods, bookshelves, etc. But I like this approach for a couple of reasons. First - the use of copper instead of galvanized or black pipe gives this a totally different look, and would look awesome with everything from stainless steel to dark pans like anodized or cast iron. Secondly, the stacking of shorter pipes, rather than one large one, gives this a finished yet rustic look that makes it look more "yeah, I chose to use plumbing fittings" rather than "I got a pipe from the home improvement store cause it was cheap."

    To make one, you'd need a length of 1/2" rigid copper tubing, used for water lines. Pick up some 90° elbows and some flange plates, and have your pipe cut to length or snag a pipe cutter. Install the flanges with screws and anchors, then build your rack. If you know how to solder pipe, that's a strong way to go. You could also try compression fittings or a strong metal adhesive to attach.

    If you're worried about the pipe getting bent or dinged, you could fill it with an appropriately sized dowel rod to avoid a hollow tube.

    See more ideas and photo inspiration for adding a pot rail to your small kitchen at Apartment Therapy. 

    Image credit:

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    Conde Nast Traveler teamed up with Project Bly, "a travel and design website built on the philosophy that to know a city you must wander its streets" to create a new photo essay called "Fresh Cuts." There, they've shared candid shots of a cross-culture social hub: the barbershop. After all, basically everyone has hair, and most people need it cut.    

    What I like most about these images is that there's always at least three people in the photos - the barber, the hair-haver, and the other dude...the guy waiting in line, the friend who's reading the paper, the fellow who just hangs out at the barber shop. 

    I like the high contrast in these images, and how it captures the textures that these places have. A quick, but worthwhile, slideshow. I hope they do more of these.

    Fresh Cuts: A Look at Barbershops Around the World [Conde Nast Traveler, all photos by Project Bly]



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    created at: 09/11/2014

    An authentic Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) set by Herman Miller is, to me, the most iconic piece of furniture, ever. And, vintage models and new issues are - while amazing - super duper expensive. There have been a few companies who have produced copies - namely Plycraft and Frank Doerner from Canada - and they can be a bit easier to find. Though, due to their knockoff status, they haven't always been as well cared for.    Reddit user moekkii recently share his experience with restoring a vintage Plycraft model, which he found in the trash and looked as above when he got it. He cleaned up the wood and hardware, and replaced the worn tan leather with a closer-to-authentic black. 

    The results? 

    He says about his find "Rusted chrome base, torn/stained/dirty leather, missing buttons, scratched and discolored shell. I can see why someone threw it away. I used white vinegar and steel wool to get the rust off the chrome legs (suprisingly effective). I bougth some brasso but it didn't work much better than the vinegar did."

    Check out the full restoration process on his Reddit thread: Reupholstered, Refurbished and Rebuilt a 70s Era Plycraft 'Eames' Lounge Chair & Ottoman

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    These days, the word "tailgate" conjures up images of cooler and pavement, jerseys and face paint, grills and foldable chairs. But, despite its current association with parking lots and sporting events, it's actually got quite a rich history. Like, older than you think. Like... 1861?   So, it turns out, according to this piece by Huckberry, that the idea of bring food and drinks to watch a competition dates back to the Civil War, to the Battle of Bull Run. And the opposing sides? The Confederate and the Union Army. They ate snacks and watched war. Seriously. 

    And then, only a couple of years later, tailgating became associated with sports as well. Huckberry reports,

    The first time tailgating and sporting events were merged was in 1869, at the inaugural football game between Princeton and Rutgers. This was back when football more closely resembled rugby, with 25 players per team, and absolutely zero discussion whatsoever about concussion safety (or helmets for that matter). Before the game began, Rutgers fans gathered to eat food together while wearing scarlet scarves they had tied into turbans and set about creating a ruckus.

    It's a richer history than I would have expected, and a fascinating read. Check it out in full:

    A Brief History of the Tailgate[]




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    Burgers. They're a little bit art, a little bit science, and 100% iconic. There are plenty of styles, and most conversations on the topic talk about proper cooking technique, choosing a balanced collection of toppings, texture, etc.    But, don't forget: the thing that makes the burger is the burger, and that best burger you've ever had? It's probably the patty.

    I recently came across two pieces featuring men who know their meat - chef Tim Love of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, and butcher Tom Mylan of The Meat Hook. Both are convinced that with the right meat blend, a burger needs little else to shine. 

    created at: 09/12/2014

    Love says go for at least 50% brisket while Mylan provides plenty of recipes. But the main point here is: this isn't pre-ground plastic wrapped package from the grocery aisle.

    Play around with it this weekend. If you don't have access to a meat grinder - I like the attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer - you can actually chop it up with a knife...or two, drull-roll style. Oh, and be sure to check out the tip about a patty shaper

    Check out Tim Love's suggestions on Valet: Build a Better Burger

    and view Tom Mylan's recipes on First We Feast: The Complete Guide to Burger Blends

    Photos by Liz Barclay.


    Also, check out the ManMade guide in our Skillset entries: The Five Commandments of Making Great Burgers at Home



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    created at: 09/15/2014

    Cool Material recently used a clever rubric to assemble a collection of films, and created a new take of "must-see" movies guys will enjoy. Rather than opting for the same ten films that have been postered on college dorm room walls with each new freshman class, they looked at Rotten Tomatoes scores - an amalgamation of critic reviews - and took at look at those who scored a 99 or 100%. Then, they created a recommended list from that proven list. They say, "it’s that illustrious group we call ‘The 99% Club’—the select group of movies that scored either 99% or 100% approval ratings—that we turn to time and time again. To give you an idea of how hard it is to achieve that kind of approval rating, consider the following that didn’t make the cut: The Shawshank RedemptionE.T.Saving Private Ryan. Of the elite group, these are our favorites."

    There's a pretty good variety here, including some older films, which can be difficult for films released before the era of Rotten Tomatoes. So, the list does skew towards those from the last few years, but that's okay here, I think: it's a list of stuff you haven't seen yet, or classics you missed that are definitely worth investing in.

    Check out the list at Cool Material: The 99%: Rotten Tomatoes' Highest Rated Movies Every Guy Should See



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    Made from an affordable 55-gallon steel drum and some easy-to-find parts from the home improvement store, this DIY smoker can produce excellent results, and unlike many DIY grilling projects you'll find online, doesn't require a welder or advanced metal working skills.   

    The process involves creating some air intakes to control the oxygen, and therefore the temperature, then created a firebox for the fuel, and outfitting it with food grates and a thermometer. It doesn't take up any more room than a store-bought vertical smoker, but it seems like it could have a great capacity, so you can smoke quite a bit for a small amount of fuel. has the full build process and lots of great images: Build Your Own Smoker From a 55-Gallon Drum



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    Dr. Jeff Wilson, professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, has been living in a 36-square-foot dumpster. It's part research, part social experiment, and part to learn how to "to gradually transform the dumpster into 'the most thoughtfully-designed, tiniest home ever constructed.' "   

    "Professor Dumpster" began his experiment with the most bare bones - a guy in a [clean] dumpster - and has slowly gone through several phases, adding storage, paint, furniture, a water supply, and an AC unit to handle the tough Austin summers. 

    The Atlantic piece by James Hamblin quotes the project's web site: " 'What does home look like in a world of 10 billion people?' the project’s site implores, referring to the projected 40 percent increase in the human population by the end of the century. 'How do we equip current and future generations with the tools they need for sustainable living practices?' "

    created at: 09/16/2014

    I'm always a sucker for a tiny house experiment, and I'm interested by the academic spin of monitoring and sharing the environment and resource concerns. I don't know if this 'data' is anymore legit than the well-publicized anecdotal evidence we've seen before, but it seems like the results could lead to something pretty special. 

    Check out the full piece on Living Simply in a Dumpster - One professor left his home for a 36-square-foot open-air box, and he is happier for it. How much does a person really need?



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    created at: 09/16/2014

    I'm a total sucker for stuff like this. We've all seen that old television from the post-atomic, retro-future design era with an awesome case, but less than stellar image quality by today's HD standards. So, Instructable-r MisterM came up with a technique to utilize the retro product design, but upgrade with a modern LCD flat screen, an integrated DVD player, and even a web cam. 

    He's pretty gifted with the electronic and wiring scheme stuff, so MisterM was actually able to keep the old controls for that dial-it-in experience. If that's beyond your skill set, adding the facade will still bring lots of vintage style to a small office, workshop, or kitchen TV. 

    Check out the full how-to at Instructables: Retro-Future TV Conversion



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    created at: 09/16/2014

    This is the time of year when no one's ever quite sure what's best to wear on any given day. The nights are cool, but the days are still warm, especially in the sun, but then a breeze or the clouds hit and everything changes. Multiple layers are usually overkill, but the sandals are gone, and some flexibility is certainly required to not only look the season, but the feel prepared for the day.

    Make it happen with these five summer-to-fall transition essentials.    

    1. Heavy-duty cotton chinos - These fall (get it?) between your workaday denim and a full on pair of wool trousers. When its cool, they're warm, and when it's warm, they'll still breathe. The cotton twill doesn't help much in a fall drizzle, but either do your jeans (they're made of cotton too), and the warm, earth-y colors match the season. These are basically what have been colloquially come to be known as "khakis" but the color options extend much beyond desert explorer. 

    Pictured:Bonobos Slim Tailored Bonobos Washed Chinos

    2. A denim jacket - I'll admit that I've never been able to pull one of these off, but I still want to try. The weight and rugged texture here is perfect for fall. If you, like me, tend to give off a Vinnie Barbarino vibe, a canvas or duck cloth coat in the same cut and styling serves the same texture. Check out this ManMade guest post for ideas for getups that work: 5 Ways to Wear and Layer Denim Jackets for Fall

    Pictured: Gap 1969 heritage denim jacket (dark tint wash)

    created at: 09/16/2014

    3. Long-sleeve henley - The shirt of fall Saturdays. It is, basically, a polo without a collar, so treat it as such. Wear it on its own with jeans, and push the sleeves up if you get too warm. Try placing the front behind your belt buckle for a semi-tucked in look, which can really dress things up. Or, build it into your layering system, try one over or under an oxford cloth button down for a little collegiate sporting look, which works well for bigger guys or athletic builds. 

    Pictured: Target Merona Lightweight Henley

    created at: 09/16/2014

    4. Leather shoes or boots - No, don't jump from canvas sneakers or boat shoes to snow boots, but do realize that fall often brings unexpected weather, and you want your feet to stay warm and dry without overheating. Try heavier leather brogues, dessert boots, or work-style boots and wear with jeans or chinos. And to treat them for the season, check out our ManMade guide to Care for and Protect Your Leather Boots and ShoesFor a great boot option at several price points, check out the ManMade's Fall Boot Roundup: 5 Stylish Pairs for Any Budget

    Pictured: Frye Logan Cap Toe

    created at: 09/16/2014

    5. Plaid button-down - It's not that plaid goes away in the spring and summer, but fall is the time for embracing the full-on Scottish Tartans, not just the small checks of warmer weather. Whether you go flannel, twill, or poplin depends on the day, but we say every fall should start with a new plaid shirt. Or three. 

    Pictured: J. Crew Herringbone in River Valley Plaid



    [Top photo: J. Crew Broadmoor Quilted Jacket]

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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

    Burger King has launched a "black burger" in their Japanese markets.The cheese and bun have been mixed with bamboo charcoal, and the black-pepper patty is topped with an onion and garlic sauce mixed with squid ink. BoingBoing calls is a Gothburger...and while it likely has nothing to do with Halloween, it's a striking fall image. I wonder what it does to your mouth. 


    JunkCulture reports, "stylists Isla Bell Murray and Jessica Saia took to the streets to create a series of photos that poke fun at blogs promoting street fashion and trends. Using clothing and accessories strategically placed in public spaces the stylists created a series of subtle but effective urban interventions to highlight the permanent fixtures of pavement life that are out there looking good 24/7."


    Voice Hero: The Inventor of Karaoke Speaks


    Shinseungback Kimyonghun's "Cloud Face" - On their own, each is cool, but they're incredible seen as a group. 


    "Behind Every Good Whisky Is A Trusty Distillery Cat"It started with mice, but became a tradition. 






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