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    0 0

    Concrete and Rope Door Stopper

    There are plenty of door stoppers out there, but most are made of rubber or cheap plastic. While the stoppers serve a purpose, they just don't belong in a manmade home these burly cement stoppers are are much better way to go.

    A few of the doors in my house tend to swing about half closed when the weather turns cold outside. It must be from the humidity in my area, but for a handy guy, a half-closed door is a pain in my neck. These solid doorstops just look awesome, and for the rest of the year when the doors stay put on their own, I can throw them on the mantle as awesome decorative pieces. The materials used for the project are simply just a piece of rope, some concrete, and a few supporting items, so it's a fair bet most of them are already in your shop right now. Take a look at the project over at HOMEmade here.

    Cement and Rope Door Stop


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  • 10/20/14--08:45: Make Your Own Bow and Arrow
  • created at: 10/12/2014

    As a kid, I had my own tiny bow and arrow set I would use to shoot elusive paper deer on a foam block. There was something satisfying about the manual skill it took to shoot an object one-hundred feet across the yard. Now that I'm older I can further that fascination by making my own bow to hunt down real dear.   

    Hunting tools like the bow and arrow are as old as civilization itself. That being said, there's a lot of opinions on the craft. This three part series on bow making does a great job of focusing on the basics and getting you to a final product while leaving out the centuries of method and craft. That being said, don't expect to be the next Robin Hood with a gilded weapon, but definitely expect to impress your friends with the bearskin coat you will inadvertently have on over your shoulders after finishing this project.

    Make your own bow and arrow

    How to Make a Bow and Arrow from Survival Mastery 


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    Sparrow Uncuff Links

    Sparrows Uncuff Links – $59

    You know how it goes: you're at the opera, meet a fancy lady, say something witty, one thing leads to another and before you know it you've both been abducted by the Ukrainian mafia and handcuffed in the basement of a Viennese cigar shop.   You don't want to be unprepared now, do you? Thankfully Sparrows Lock Picks is famous for their specialty lock picking tools, and their one-of-a-kind Uncuff links come with a key that can open almost all standard handcuffs, so you'll be out and fighting bad guys in no time. 

     

    USB Cufflinks

    USB Flash Drive Cufflinks – $100

    I think it's a general, semi-aspirational rule that a man should have a flash drive on him at all times. These in particular have multiple uses ranging from stealing the blueprints for casino you're about to rob to dropping a sick playlist at the opportune moment. The ones in the picture above are silver and hold 4GB of space, and they can also be engraved for a couple extra bucks. That said, there are actually numerous variations from many different sellers on the internet worth checking out. 

     

    Bullet Cufflinks

    Bullet Cufflinks – $35

    Next we have these rough-and-tumble cufflinks designed by Michael "Artie" Keinard. Touted as the perfect groomsmen gift for any southern gentleman, these hand-crafted originals are made from "genuine fired bullet casings" and still send the right message to international drug cartels. The caliber tends to vary from pair to pair, and they're available on bourbonandboots.com. 

     

    created at: 10/12/2014

    Vintage Mini Leather WORKING Lighter Cufflinks - $90

    Who needs a light? These vintage design cufflinks measure under an inch total and yet are completely functional. With a vintage starter design and your choice of a hand-crafted leather or chrome finish, you'll be able to burn through ropes or light the way to freedom in a flash. The bottoms even unscrew for easy refueling. 

     

    Bottle Opener Cufflinks

    Bottle Opener Cufflinks – $50

    Bottle openers can be a bulk accessory and you definitely don't want anything extra in your pockets to throw off the sleek look of that suit you're sporting. These stainless steel cufflinks are a simple solution that won't draw too much attention to themselves, but also offer a fun/convenient trick when need be. Sure they don't neutralize assassins, but Q is allowed to get a little Home Ec when he feels like it.  

     

    Butterfly Knife Cufflinks 

    Butterfly Knife Cufflinks - $60

    These pretty much speak for themselves, but I'll add that they operate just like actual butterfly knives with a locking safety mechanism, and they each come with a mini sharpener so they'll always stay as sharp as you'll look. Perfect for miniature knife fights or cutting loose threads. 

     

    HONORABLE MENTION: 

    Stadium Seat Cufflinks

    Authentic Stadium Seat Cufflinks $170-200

    These don't have a secret function, but they're awesome. Created by designers Ward Wallau and Bill Hartel of St. Louis, each pair of cufflinks are uniquely made from a seat taken from your stadium of choice. The seat pieces are laid into sterling silver and each set comes with a certificate of authenticity. They're perfect for that time when you're invited to enjoy a game from the comfort of the opposing team's box suite, but still want to covertly (or brazenly) rep your home team. Now you can do it in style. 

     

    That's it! Tell us about some of your favorite cufflinks.


    0 0

    Earl Grey Foglifter With Pumpkin Spice

    Most mornings call for an early jolt of java to get me going. Black coffee warms me up, and I've grown to love the bitter-sweet taste. But on the slower days when I just don't feel like a bitter cuppa joe I turn to something a bit smoother - The Foglifter.I was told to recipe a few years ago by a good friend of mine from Australia. I've heard it called a London fog, or an Earl Grey latte; but honestly Foglifter just sounds better rolling off my tongue.

    Ingredients:

    Boiled Hot Water

    1 Bag Earl Grey Tea

    1 oz Vanilla Syrup or Homemade Vanilla Extract and Simple Syrup (50/50)

    2 oz Cream or Whole Milk

    Steps:

    Boil 12oz of water

    In a large mug, let hot water and earl grey tea steep for 5 minutes. Then combine vanilla and cream, mix well. For an added fall taste, dust with cinnamon or nutmeg.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    A few notes:

    First off, a bit about tea. The best type of tea is loose leaf, which is a loose variety that has to be contained in a small filter. The loose leaf teas are the first pick of a harvest, while the tea contained in most normal tea bags are the powdery leftovers. Loose teas requires more preparation, but they generally comes out as a cleaner taste with more body and less bitterness. If that's just too much work, check out Mightyleaf teas, they have higher quality leaves in single use straining bags for the best of both methods.

    Next, it's important to use hot water, and let the tea steep for about 5 minutes. This gives enough time for the tannins in the tea to open up and transfer the flavor to the water. More steep time means more of a strong tea, but with that strength comes bitter flavor so keep that in mind. I used this Strainer from Teavana Teas.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Finally, don't assume that tea has less caffeine than coffee. A strong blend black tea can have up to 80mg of Caffeine which is just about as much as a standard cup of coffee. 

    So go ahead and warm up to get that day in gear with a smooth change-up to your caffeinated routine.


    0 0
  • 10/22/14--09:00: DIY: Electric Camp Lantern
  • created at: 10/19/2014

    Autumn is the perfect time of year for camping, pumpkins, crunchy leaves and hurricane lamps. Ok, maybe it's just me, but I love these lamps. They bring a certain sense of camp-like nostalgia to my heart and I have a couple around the house.    There's nothing new about using oil lamps in your home. However, it didn't seem like the safest option these days. So, I recently had the idea to retrofit one with a cool Edison vintage bulb. Here's a fairly easy tutorial on turning your own oil lamp into a beautiful electric lamp.   

    I originally set out to build this project thinking it would take me forever. To my surprise and your benefit, this entire task, from start to finish will take you less than an hour and cost less than $30 (if you buy a brand new lamp). 

    Here's what you'll need:

    • A Hurricane Lamp. I got this one from Amazon.
    • Vintage-style T-6 Bulb Get it here.
    • Tin snips or a Dremel with a metal cutting bit
    • Candelabra socket with a threaded bushing and wires attached
    • 6 feet of electric wire (or however long you might want)
    • Electrical tape
    • Wire cutters and strippers
    • Male plug kit
    • 2 wire twist caps
    • Pliers
    • Drill and drill bits
    • Phillips screwdriver

    If you plan on using an old hurricane lamp, please make sure there is no fuel residue inside the tank. I recommend avoiding used lamps all together. Electricity and fuel fumes don't mix. I used a brand new lantern for this project to avoid a surprise fire in my shop.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    First, remove the cap that holds the wick above the oil well. This particular brand has one that removes with a twist.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Using pliers, remove the shaft in the middle of the bracket. This removes the wick dial. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Using a Dremel with a cutting bit or tin snips, remove the cross bar to create an opening to house the socket. Sand and bend any protruding pieces that might cut you.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Slip the socket through the hole and twist on the threaded bushing. I had to wrap some electrical tape around the socket to help it with tighter in the opening.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Insert the socket back over the well and place the glass base back on top. Using a marker, make a line where the wick guard should be cut to reveal the socket and free up space for the bulb. Use tin snips or a Dremel to cut at the line. Be sure to sand and smooth out the cut so you don't hurt yourself.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    created at: 10/19/2014

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Now you can drill a hole with a bit that's large enough to fit a wire through. I would love to have found a rubber bushing to go in the opening. If you are really crafty, I'd recommend putting one over the opening. Doing so will prolong the life of the wire.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Fish your line through and tie a knot to keep it from slipping back out. Then, strip the ends with wire strippers.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Twist the two sets of wires together and stuff everything back into the oil well. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    I grabbed an easy plug kit at the store and followed the instructions for attaching the wires.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    What's a good lamp without an on/off switch. I picked up this switch at the store too. You have to cut one of the lines and fit it snuggly in this space. There are vampire teeth (technical term) that bite into the cut line and the switch uses that feature to cut the circuit. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Screw in your lightbulb of choice and place the glass back on and you're finished! Now all you're missing is a tent! 


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    created at: 10/19/2014

    John Neeman Tools began when Latvian carpenter Jacob asked a local village bladesmith to craft three timber framing tools for his timber framed homestead project. The two quickly realized how well they - and their craftsmanship - paired together, and so they recruited a young local blacksmith from another nearby village along with a couple other friends to form John Neeman Tools.   created at: 10/19/2014Each tool is hand-crafted in the local tradition handed down by the craftsmen's forefathers and delicately forged in their small traditional workshops. With a focus on quality crafting methods, their company rose to prominence a few years ago when Jacob partnered with his brother to produce a few short films documenting their process. So settle in, lean back, and prepare yourself for the impulse to move to a cabin in Latvia. I honestly can't say how many times I've watched this video over the past two years...

    Check out their shop at Neemantools.com.

    John Neeman Tools - Axe


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    Han Solo Blaster

    Watch Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame create exact replica models of some of your favorite historical icons and cinematic props with the Tested team. Let's be clear, these aren't replicas in the sense of things that look exactly like other things. Instead these are things painstakingly researched and reconstructed before your eyes out of original materials using original machining methods. 

    In this video, Adam and Norm Chan take on one of the most iconic props of roguish swagger: Han Solo's DL-44 Blaster. Thanks to over two years of tireless efforts from members of the Replica Prop Forum, the requisite knowledge to embark on such a reconstruction (an unparalleled level of "esoterica and specificity") is at last complete. It's like watching a Bob Ross painting, except with machining and obscure history and Star Wars.   

    View the video here

     


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    Wooden Handle

    Credit:Prestonmade.com

    I've been out perfecting my cast quite a few times in the last few months as the weather turned cool. It's quite a cathartic moment throwing the delicate fly out to be struck by a hungry trout. While the majority of fly fishing gear is intensely complicated and time consuming to construct, a sturdy landing net can be constructed with moderate skills in a weekend and will stand up to years of abuse. Construct it of high quality materials, and it can turn into a generational gift for decades of treasured use. The folks at Prestonmade believe that a picture can tell a thousand words, so they left out the description completely on their tutorial for building a heirloom fly fishing net. 

    Fly fishing landing net

    Basically, the frame of the net is made up of strips of wood cut and bent around a template to laminate a strong and durable body. It is then fit with a strong handle and then shaped, slotted, drilled and fit for a net. The most difficult part of this project is constructing a template that is balanced and sized appropriately, and laminating the wood without splintering it.

    It's important to keep in mind the type of fish you plan to use this for and build accordingly. Be careful not to build a net that you won't use because it's too small for the fish, or too big to keep close when out slinging line. My favorite type of net material is the poly clearview netting because it significantly reduces the stress on the fish compared to nylon netting, and also is clear in the water to reduce spooking and makes release a lot less of a traumatic experience for the fish. 

    Landing net fishing, fly fishing

    Credit: Prestonmade.com


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     When I think back on some of the gifts I've received in my life, the best gifts are very often the things I would never purchase for myself, yet the ones that I end up being very glad to have. And speaking for myself, I'm not the sort of guy who really spends extra cash to get something personalized, so whenever I receive a gift with a personalized inscription or something relating to me in particular, that gift tends to hold a special significance. With that in mind, I decided I'd compile a list of some personalized gift ideas for men - be that man a work acquaintance, best bud, husband, father, or son. 

    Personalized Money Clip1. Personalized MoneyClip

    I figured I'd start this list off with something practical, and since every man carries a wallet of some sort, a personalized money clip or wallet ends up being up there on the chart. The one pictured above is available through Personal Creations, although a simple google search will show you numerous purveyors. Usually it's best to stick to a monogram or initials, although some wallets may have room to write more. Every time it's taken out, the owner will get a nice boost of confidence knowing that, even if his wallet is empty, he still can do poverty in style. Or give it to your son and sneak in a conversation about managing finances before he can make it to that stage.

    Personalized Flask

    2. Engraved or Personalized Flask

    A lot of men have a lot of good friendships that were forged over some good whiskey. What better way to commemorate those friendships than with a personalized flask? It's a masculine gift that says you value your friend and that he also can handle his alcohol. Or if he can't, feel free to write about it on the side. There also many great places online to buy flasks – the one above is available on Etsy, but flasks.com is also a good place to start. A good engraved flask tends to run between $20-30, but you can certainly go more expensive if you wish. 

    Hunting Knife3. The Personalized Pocket Knife

    I had a neighbor growing up who had a monogramed pocketknife given to him by a buddy he had fought with in the Gulf War, which was about as cool as it got for me as a boy. Every man needs a good knife, and a quality pocket knife is the sort of item that can be given as a token of remembrance like my neighbor's buddy did or even as a gift to be passed down to a growing child. The one pictured above is a hunting knife with a rosewood handle from Remember Me Gifts, although I quite like Swiss Army Hardwood Spartan Pocket Knife from Things Remembered. 

    Vintage Map Cufflinks 4. Vintage Map Cufflinks

    Following on our recent cufflink theme, these Bespoke cufflinks are handcrafted by Ohio artist Anne Holman. Simply specify a desired location – a father's hometown perhaps, or maybe your place of engagement – and Anne will pore through old maps and vintage atlases until she finds a satisfactory antique map featuring your location to create these one-of-a-kind cufflinks. These feel like a fantastic retirement gift or going-away present since they automatically have a sense of nostalgia attached to them. 

    Brass Compass5. Custom Brass Compass

    I feel like every movie featuring a man who's given a compass as a gift ends up with that man crash-landing on an island and/or being stranded for the majority of the film, so while I highly recommend this gift, there's a slight caveat that it might cause your pal to disappear for a couple years. That said, why not give a man who has helped or changed the course of your life a little literal direction? Stanley London offers a wide variety of brass compasses in all sizes and ages of distress, and most can be customized with up to 20 lines of text. This gift is high on my list because of its natural connotations of adventure and exploration.

    That's it! What are some of your favorite personalized gifts or manly items?

     


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    created at: 10/19/2014

    Craft beer is growing out here on the West Coast like a wildfire in the wind. While visiting local breweries in the area, I've always been impressed by well made flight sets, so I decided to make my own. This project actually turned into a set for my brother-in-law to celebrate his recent police academy graduation. I had some lumber in my shop from a local sawmill which was perfect for this rugged project. Here's what I used:

    1. 3-4 Pieces Rough-cut Lumber (I used my planer to get final thickness, and a table saw for width/length).

    2. 1 1/4" hole cut bit (This large forstner-style bit needs a drill press to use safely. Take your time and feed slowly).

    3. Multiple Grit Sandpaper (80 - 220 grit sandpaper for a smooth finish).

    4. Finish (I used Minwax stain and finish with a secondary rub-on wax finish).

    5. 4 oz. Cups (I found mine on Amazon here).

    How To Make It:

    1. The first step is dimensioning the wood, using a table saw or miter saw. For the thickness, using a planer makes fast work of smoothing and dimensioning rough-cut lumber. If you don't have one at your disposal, break out the sander and get it smooth the hard way. Cut all of the pieces to roughly the same size, large enough to comfortably fit the flight glasses (standard sets have four, but follow your heart if you want your set to have more).

    Thickness dimensioning of wood

    2. After the wood is cut to size and smooth, lay out the glasses for drilling the holes. I set them out with a ruler used as a spacer behind the glasses to make sure each set had a consistent position so they matched up well. Keep them centered and evenly spaced for a clean look.

    Beer Flight Layout Tools

    3. After all the centerline of the glasses were marked out on the wood, I set up my drill press to drill the recesses. It's important to use a press on this due to the large holes, so that the wood can be held down securely to the table. Such a large bit takes a huge amount of cutting pressure and a handheld drill is incredibly dangerous to wrists, shins, and anyone else who happens to be in your shop. The bit was matched up to the bottom of the glasses, so it was 1 1/4" for my project. While there are plenty of hole cutting bits, the best type have a perimeter cutting edge, and a horizontal blade to clear out the center for a flat bottom (A forstner style bit, usually about $30-$60). Cut each of the holes about 1/4" -1/2" deep to securely hold the glasses.

    Drilling Flight Glass Holes

    4. After a considerable amount of hole cutting, head back to sanding the wood to prep for sanding. Sand with the grain to avoid marring the surface because that will stand out when finishing the wood. Sand up to 220 grit, and then wipe down to get all sawdust off of surfaces.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    5. Finish the wood with a stain layer and let dry for at least 12 hours. Add additional stain until the desired color has been achieved. Let the finish dry for another 12 hours then add a polyurethane or oil rubbed wax layer to protect that surface from years of craft brew abuse.

    Minwax Finish

    The final product was an exceptional gift that was exceptionally fun to make, and will be easy to duplicate for additional sets (like one for me) in the future. Here's a picture of the final product:

    Beer Flight Gift Set

    Now get out there are enjoy the shop, or a few craft brews for the weekend. Cheers!


    0 0

    Earl Grey Foglifter With Pumpkin Spice

    Most mornings call for an early jolt of java to get me going. Black coffee warms me up, and I've grown to love the bitter-sweet taste. But on the slower days when I just don't feel like a bitter cuppa joe I turn to something a bit smoother - The Foglifter.I was told to recipe a few years ago by a good friend of mine from Australia. I've heard it called a London fog, or an Earl Grey latte; but honestly Foglifter just sounds better rolling off my tongue.

    Ingredients:

    • Boiled Hot Water
    • 1 Bag Earl Grey Tea
    • 1 oz Vanilla Syrup or Homemade Vanilla Extract and Simple Syrup (50/50)
    • 2 oz Cream or Whole Milk

    Steps:

    Boil 12oz of water

    In a large mug, let hot water and earl grey tea steep for 5 minutes. Then combine vanilla and cream, mix well. For an added fall taste, dust with cinnamon or nutmeg.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    A few notes:

    First off, a bit about tea. The best type of tea is loose leaf, which is a loose variety that has to be contained in a small filter. The loose leaf teas are the first pick of a harvest, while the tea contained in most normal tea bags are the powdery leftovers. Loose teas requires more preparation, but they generally comes out as a cleaner taste with more body and less bitterness. If that's just too much work, check out Mightyleaf teas, they have higher quality leaves in single use straining bags for the best of both methods.

    Next, it's important to use hot water, and let the tea steep for about 5 minutes. This gives enough time for the tannins in the tea to open up and transfer the flavor to the water. More steep time means more of a strong tea, but with that strength comes bitter flavor so keep that in mind. I used this Strainer from Teavana Teas.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Finally, don't assume that tea has less caffeine than coffee. A strong blend black tea can have up to 80mg of Caffeine which is just about as much as a standard cup of coffee. 

    So go ahead and warm up to get that day in gear with a smooth change-up to your caffeinated routine.


    0 0

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Autumn is the perfect time of year for camping, pumpkins, crunchy leaves and hurricane lamps. Ok, maybe it's just me, but I love these lamps. They bring a certain sense of camp-like nostalgia to my heart and I have a couple around the house.    There's nothing new about using oil lamps in your home. However, it didn't seem like the safest option these days. So, I recently had the idea to retrofit one with a cool Edison vintage bulb. Here's a fairly easy tutorial on turning your own oil lamp into a beautiful electric lamp.   

    I originally set out to build this project thinking it would take me forever. To my surprise and your benefit, this entire task, from start to finish will take you less than an hour and cost less than $30 (if you buy a brand new lamp). 

    Here's what you'll need:

    • Outdoor Hurricane Lamp. I got this one from Amazon.
    • Vintage-style T-6 Bulb Get it here.
    • Tin snips or a Dremel with a metal cutting bit
    • Candelabra socket with a threaded bushing and wires attached
    • 6 feet of electric wire (or however long you might want)
    • Electrical tape
    • Wire cutters and strippers
    • Male plug kit
    • 2 wire twist caps
    • Pliers
    • Drill and drill bits
    • Phillips screwdriver

    If you plan on using an old hurricane lamp, please make sure there is no fuel residue inside the tank. I recommend avoiding used lamps all together. Electricity and fuel fumes don't mix. I used a brand new lantern for this project to avoid a surprise fire in my shop.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    First, remove the cap that holds the wick above the oil well. This particular brand has one that removes with a twist.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Using pliers, remove the shaft in the middle of the bracket. This removes the wick dial. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Using a Dremel with a cutting bit or tin snips, remove the cross bar to create an opening to house the socket. Sand and bend any protruding pieces that might cut you.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Slip the socket through the hole and twist on the threaded bushing. I had to wrap some electrical tape around the socket to help it with tighter in the opening.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Insert the socket back over the well and place the glass base back on top. Using a marker, make a line where the wick guard should be cut to reveal the socket and free up space for the bulb. Use tin snips or a Dremel to cut at the line. Be sure to sand and smooth out the cut so you don't hurt yourself.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    created at: 10/19/2014

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Now you can drill a hole with a bit that's large enough to fit a wire through. I would love to have found a rubber bushing to go in the opening. If you are really crafty, I'd recommend putting one over the opening. Doing so will prolong the life of the wire.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Fish your line through and tie a knot to keep it from slipping back out. Then, strip the ends with wire strippers.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Twist the two sets of wires together and stuff everything back into the oil well. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    I grabbed an easy plug kit at the store and followed the instructions for attaching the wires.

    created at: 10/19/2014

    What's a good lamp without an on/off switch. I picked up this switch at the store too. You have to cut one of the lines and fit it snuggly in this space. There are vampire teeth (technical term) that bite into the cut line and the switch uses that feature to cut the circuit. 

    created at: 10/19/2014

    Screw in your lightbulb of choice and place the glass back on and you're finished! Now all you're missing is a tent! 


    0 0

    Hendo HoverboardAlright we gotta talk about hoverboards for a second. They're awesome, we'd all use one if they functioned like Marty McFly's, and for the most part they've been a dream of the future. In fact, every couple years there's some tiny innovation that doesn't amount to much or there's a viral hoax to let us down like Tony Hawk's HUVr prank earlier this year. No more.   Hendo HoverboardPresenting the Hendo Hoverboard, a proof of concept Kickstarter by Arx Pax based on the groundbreaking work of Greg Henderson. Henderson pioneered his new technology – dubbed Magnetic Field Architecture, or MFA – in an attempt to change the way we think about how communities are designed and built. He desired "to build structures in such a way that, with almost of a flip of switch, they can be literally lifted out of harm’s way, so that the potential ravages of earthquakes and floods and rising sea levels will no longer hold sway over the inhabitants and occupants." In the meantime, he gave us a hoverboard. 

    The battery currently only lasts about 15 minutes and you can only hover above metallic surfaces, so there are some things to be desired. You may also notice the lackluster boarding by the scientist testing out the hoverboard, but I'm guessing a skating a pro might be able to do a little more. Check out the Hendo Hover's website and Kickstarter campaign, or if you're more interested in how the hoverboard actually works, check out this informative article on Wired.com. 


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    created at: 10/13/2014The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping, and yet most men don't feel they have the availability to take the time and experience it in full. But that doesn't have to be the case. Here's an article written by Alastair Humphreys– famed adventurer, author, motivational speaker, and National Geographic's 2013 Explorer of the Year – championing the concept of the 'microadventure.'   

    Described as "a refresh button for everyday lives," a microadventure holds the adventurous spirit of an extreme endeavor or long camping trip but only takes the time of a day or weekend. Take advantage of the little things this fall.

    Read the article on Huckberry.com


    0 0

    Nothing beats a good DIY lighting project, especially one made from easy-to-find hardware store materials and the finished product comes out looking as sharp as this guy.   Vienna-based DIYer Sarah created this cool tabletop lamp project with a simple lamp kit, a bit of concrete and an ice cream carton, and some copper plumping pipes. The light concrete and the warm, shiny copper combine for an attractive, rustic contrast, and it'd work on a desk, side table, nightstand, or any flat surface.

    Need a different scale? No prob - just swap out the mold, change the length of the pipe, and light things up!

    Get the full how-to at Look What I Made: Turn Me On!

     


    0 0

    Amazing Ring Box

    Reddit user curtisabrina pulled out all the stops when he wanted to give his girlfriend a ring. He built the entire thing from milling the wood to machining the metal parts. This is one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen. Someone should tell Tiffany and Co. about this fella.    

    First he designed everything

    Amazing Ring Box

    Then, using a CNC machine, he milled the wood and metalAmazing Ring Box He even milled a custom key to trigger the opening mechanism.

    Amazing Ring Box

    There's even a custom made ring box!

    Amazing ring box

     

    I'm totally floored.

    Curtisabrina said he spent over 200 hours on this project, 36 of that was machining. That's some serious dedication! I'd say it's well worth it. Now where can I get my own CNC machine...

    See the entire process over on Reddit


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    1920's-90's H&B Louisville Slugger Store Model Bats w/ DiMaggio, Maris, Aaron, Berra & More- Lot of 21

    From Roy Hobbs' “Wonderboy” in The Natural to Tom Cruise’ thinking bat in A Few Good Men, baseball bats hold a special place in the American masculine consciousness. A versatile weapon on the field, the baseball bat embodies an element of the American dream wherever it goes. The lone batter, a man himself against an entire team, hoping to hit it big.   

    Here at ManMade, we’ve taken the time to examine the history of the baseball bat and to trace some of its manufacturing history over the years.  

    The Early Years

    As a new pastime born out of ancient games in new lands, both the game of baseball and the requisite equipment were constantly evolving. The rules shifted from region to region with players looking to exploit the continual changes as the game’s advantages vacillated between pitcher and batter.

    Town Ball

    Prior to 1887, batters were allowed to request a high or low pitch. But as this practice became outlawed, pitchers began experimenting with all sorts of new pitching methods to throw off the batter in the attempt to be a moment misunderstood. Curveballs, knuckleball, and even spitballs (for a time) became staples of the pitcher’s arsenal and batters responded in kind by experimenting with a variety of baseball bat shapes, sizes, and materials. At this point, nearly anything was fair game.

    In fact, there were no singular baseball bat manufacturers. As a game popularized by farmers and rural Americans, the first baseball bats were fashioned out of axe handles and wagon tongues and usually carved with simple hand-tools. Every player tried his best to craft the perfect, mystical bat that would rebuff the pitcher’s misleading pitches and get a man on base.

    The only restriction on baseball bats at this time wasthe result of an 1859 Professional National Association of Baseball Players Governing Committee decision that bats could be no larger that 2 ½ inches in diameter. Length restrictions (no longer than 42”) were not put in place until after the Civil War, although they are still the length restrictions to this day.  

     

    Innovations and Evolution

    As Ben Walker points out, it’s important to understand early batters’ strategies as they relate to the origins of the game. Developments in baseball bats significantly out-paced the adoption of baseball gloves (considered effeminate by early baseball pioneers). As a result, fielders were much more likely to make simple mistakes, and a batter’s effort was better focused on making calculated contact that would steer the ball where he wished, rather than betting it all and swinging for the fences.

    created at: 10/26/2014The Mushroom Bat

    A number of early batters like Ty Cobb employed a split-hand approach, which made for greater control when batting. Many of these split-hand batters used mushroom bats knowing that the added weight in the handle might also increase their control in the same way that the split-hand approach worked. The mushroom bat pictured above was made in 1905 by Spaulding and was recently auctioned off by the Sports Memorabilia Museum.

    Lajoie Baseball BatThe Lajoie Bat

    In a similar attempt to gain greater bat control, second baseman (and long-time Ty Cobb rival) Napoléon “Nap” Lajoie designed what quickly became known as the Lajoie bat (pictured above). The bat featured a ring of wood known as the “shoulder” around which batters were supposed to wrap their hands. This again was believed to grant greater control and many early players adopted the bat in the hope that they could emulate Lajoie’s outstanding batting stats.

    Banana Bat

    The “Banana” Bat

    Perhaps one of the most unique bats ever fathomed was this design, first patented by Emile Kinst in June 1890. Kinst’s patent states that the objective of his bat was “to provide a ball-bat which shall produce a rotary or spinning motion of the ball in its flight 'to a higher degree than is possible with any present known form of ball-bat, and thus to make it more difficult to catch the ball, or, if caught, to hold it, and thus further to modify the conditions of the game…”Banana Bat

    Kinst had plans to create and distribute as many as 400 of these “banana bats” as the design became known, however very few seem to ever have been made. The one pictured above belonged to White Sox catcher, Billy Sullivan Sr. (pictured below with the same bat) and the bat itself was traced down from obscurity by David Stalker (pun?).

    Billy Sullivan Sr.By 1893 however, the Major League Rules Committee had increased the limitations on bat designs and Kinst’s model was rejected from major league play. Not long after, baseball gloves became the standard equipment of the game and batters had to again adapt their style of play.

    Enter Babe Ruth. A new kind of hitter, Babe Ruth swung for the fences every chance he got. The crowds loved this style and baseball attendance grew rapidly in the wake of the First World War. And when the Sultan of Swat wanted a little extra batting power, where did he turn…?

     

    The Legend of The Louisville Slugger

    Unquestionably the most recognizable of all bat designs, the Louisville Slugger has a famed and storied past. The legend begins in the 1880’s with John A. “Bud” Hillerich (pictured below in the doorway with his father), a seventeen-year-old woodworker who had recently begun working in his father’s woodshop in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Bud Hillerich Bud himself was an avid baseball player who slipped away from work one afternoon in 1884 to watch his favorite major league team, the Louisville Eclipse, play ball. It was during this game that the Eclipse’ star player, Pete “The Old Gladiator” Browning, broke his bat in the midst of a merciless batting slump. After the game, Bud invited Browning to his dad’s woodshop to try and craft a new bat. The two worked side-by-side late into the night, with Bud carving and Browning offering advice and taking practice swings. The next day Browning hit three for three and a legend was born.

    Hillerich & BradsbyThe Hillerich shop was quickly overrun with Eclipse players seeking their own version of the “Falls City Slugger” as it was originally dubbed. In the beginning, Bud’s father didn’t see a future in the baseball bat business and even started turning players away. Eventually, he changed his mind as the flood of demand from players of opposing teams came pouring in.

    Around this time a number of other independent bat-making companies arose, but none could compete with the Hillerich’s. Each “Slugger” was different, crafted to suit the specific desires of the individual players and utilizing the Hillerichs’ knowledge of baseball and materials. Their bats were constructed out of top quality wagon tongues, white ash, and hickory, although hickory was quickly abandoned due to its density and weight.

    Louisville SluggerBud registered the “Louisville Slugger” with the US Patent Office in 1894 after taking over the family business, but the company continued to innovate with different bat varieties. Since bats were originally constructed on an individual basis, players had begun the practice of carving their names into their bats or giving them personalized names.

    Honus Wagner Signature BatIn 1905 Hillerich & Bradsby (as the company is now known) hatched a game-changing marketing plan by signing a contract to have Hall of Famer shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates Honus Wagner’s signature burned into his Louisville Slugger. This practice has since been followed by nearly every major sports franchise to this day.

    As baseball became the nation’s favorite pastime and form of entertainment in the wake of the First World War, the Louisville Slugger took off. It became the preferred bat of major hitters Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig, and in 1923 the Louisville Slugger was the number one bat in the league. Over the years, there have been a number of competing bat manufacturers but few of these have posed a serious threat to the Slugger’s corner on the market. Recently however, Hillerich & Bradsby has admitted that the company has been slowly ceding ground to Marucci Sports, which was founded out of a backyard shed in 2002 by LSU athletic trainer Jack Marucci. Today, Hillerich & Bradsby claim that over 60% of major league bats are still Louisville Sluggers, although Marucci hotly contests this statistic.

    Louisville Slugger

    Did you know?

    Almost every bat you purchase will have the manufacturer’s trademark engraved or printed on the bat. Following in the tradition set by Hillerich & Bradsby, the trademark is placed at a ninety-degree angle from the natural grain of the wood, which is regarded as the strongest part of a wooden bat. Therefore, you should practice your swing (since every player’s is different) and determine where you should hold the bat so that the trademark faces up at the full extant of your swing. This will ensure your bat lasts longer and it’s been believed to give you greater hitting power.

     

    Modern Materials

    White Ash

    On the fateful night of the Louisville Slugger’s construction, Bud Hillerich chose to make his new design out of northern white ash – which has stayed the preferred material to this day. White ash is used for its combination of hardiness, strength, weight, and the general “feel” of the wood. Hillerich & Bradsby currently selects its white ash from trees over 50 years old in their specialty forests in New York and Pennsylvania. The wood is then dried to a specific moisture level for a period of six to eight months before being passed on to the crafting process. Ten percent of the best quality wood is selected out for professional bats and the rest goes on to be made for consumer markets.

    Auminum 

    In talking about the history of baseball bats, there has to be some mention of metal bats. Metal bats have been around since William Shroyer first filed his patent in 1924, but didn’t come into common use until the 1970’s when Worth Sports produced a one-piece aluminum bat for amateur and little league play. A couple years later, Easton came out with an improved model that greatly increased their popularity. Originally constructed for their incredible durability, it’s become apparent that they offer many aerodynamic advantages over wood. The hitting power that can come from properly using a metal bat is so high in fact that the major league has not allowed their use since a pitcher literally might not have time to duck a line drive coming his way.

    Maple Bats

    Like the Slugger craze that followed Pete Browning’s three for three, the 2001 MLB season saw Barry Bonds hit a record 73 home runs in a single season. When it was revealed he had used a maple bat (something no one had done in the major leagues prior to 1996), players became rabid to try some new maple. In fact, in 2010 about half of major league players were using maple bats. Maple bats tend to last longer and have been shown to increase hitting distances. Maple bats are naturally denser and bend less with the impact of a baseball, and some batters have commented that they prefer not having to compensate for the slight bend they encounter with a bat made from white ash.

     

    Make Your Own

    As you can see, baseball bats come in all shapes and sizes, and one player may use many bats in a single game. But even with a steep manufacturing history of endless variations, there is still plenty of room for the rogue designer.Turning a Bat

    Carlbass of Instructables.com has this very informative, step-by-step guide that looks much easier than you might initially think. So get on out there and stake your claim on this great American tradition.Turning a Bat

    Or if you’re too exhausted from all this reading, at least reward yourself by watching this.

     

    Further Reading:

    Baseball Bats


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    Drilling Sunglasses Line Hole

    Nice accessories can really bring together an outfit, be it a watch, cufflinks, or a classic set of sunglasses. But keeping all these classy pieces organized and in good condition can be a huge task as they begin to pile up on a closet shelf. Take a look at these projects to tame that clutter and class up your closet.

    1. DIY Watch Case  Handmade Watch Case

    A quality watch is more than a timepiece. It is a statement of class that blends well with life. But soon enough, one watch turns into five and they start to pile up on the dresser or get lost on the kitchen counter. The folks over at Ray and Day have a great tutorial that converts a cigar box into a six watch case that keeps shiny watches safe and always in their place.

    2. Handmade Leather Sunglasses HolderReclaimed Wood Sunglass Line Credit: Ecosalon [Ecosalon.com]

    Sunglasses are bulky, fragile, and hard to find when you need them. This easy to make wall unit from Ecosalon makes it a cinch to avoid scratched lenses. Pick out a nice piece of wood and finish to match your design, then a few drilled holes, a length of bungee, and you've got a finished product worthy of protecting those sweet shades. One of the greatest parts of this project is the ability to customize the cord and wood to fit the style of the room.

    Part 2 of this series will look at upgrading the shoes care kit and building in a charging station to tame all those cables so stay tuned for more.


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  • 10/30/14--10:00: Meet Perfection
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    Absolut bottle

    These high quality ingredients, in conjunction with the care and attention of a village that has been crafting vodka since 1879, results in a smooth, rich vodka that transforms any cocktail.
    To learn more about how Absolut is crafted please visit: meetperfection.com.


    Absolut logoThis post sponsored by Absolut.


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    created at: 10/26/2014

    We recently procured a salt shaker for our dining table. It looks like an owl. My wife likes it. However, it seems that the sea salt we put in it never actually comes out of the little holes. Taking from the kitchen salt cellars you scoop and pinch from as you cook, I thought I'd create a communal cellar to place on your table that's perfect for a party of one or a party of many. No more clogged shakers!    

    Here's what you'l need:

    • Router with a flat cutting bit. I use a 1/2" bit.
    • Router guide bushing kit that fits your bit of choice
    • Large piece of wood. I used a large oak beam from a barn.
    • A piece of scrap plywood
    • Sander or Sandpaper
    • Cutting Board sealant. I used watco.

    I used a rather large barnwood beam for this project. I honestly didn't think it through and had to work a little harder to cut everything since my blades weren't large enough to cut through. I did a lot of rotating and passing over the saw to cut the other side.

    created at: 10/26/2014First, I cross cut the beam 8" long. In total the block measures 8"x6"x4" after the cut. The next step is to rip cut the block. The side grain of my block is going to be the top (I want to keep the lid looking like barnwood.) The cut, for my block, is about 4" wide. Always remember to cut way more than you need when you build things like this. 

    created at: 10/26/2014

    Now you can cut the lid and the base out of your 8"x4"x4" block. In total, I want the salt box to measure 2" high. The base is 1.5" and the lid is 0.5" so there will be a lot of waste from the original 4" cut I made. Feel free to use that waste as the base of another box!

    created at: 10/26/2014

    Next, it's time to remove the inside of the base block so you can fill it with salt. I used a router with a template guide and a plywood template. You could also use a chisel or a drill press and forstner bit. 

    created at: 10/26/2014

    The final cellar will measure 5x4 with a 4x3" salt-holding cavity, this leaves a 1/2" lip around the opening. I made a 5.25"x4.25" template from a scrap piece of plywood. The .25" is to accommodate for the brass template guide. I cut it with my jigsaw. (The blue tape is where I broke it and put it back together) The extra wood on the block–and the template– is for attaching the template with screws to the block. I then clamped the block to the table.created at: 10/26/2014

    Set the depth you want to cut (about 3/4") and make shallow passes around the template. Be prepared for a dusty mess! I decided to keep it shallow so I didn't have to pour tons of salt in. You can definitely cut deeper if you'd like.

    created at: 10/26/2014

    When you've finished routing out the cavity, use a chisel to square up the corners.

    created at: 10/26/2014

    Cut off the extra piece from the block so the overall width of your cellar measures 5" wide. Pass the lid through to make sure they are both the same size. Now you're ready to sand! Be mindful, as you sand, to keep everything level and apply even pressure so everything finished flat and square.

    created at: 10/26/2014

    After everything is sanded, seal it all up with some butcher block oil. I went with a pre-made one from Watco instead of using something natural like mineral oil. Since you'll be putting salt in this, I wanted to make sure the salt and the wood wouldn't interact and dry out the block over time.

    created at: 10/26/2014

    Once everything is dry, add your favorite salt or other spice mix  and you're ready to go! 

     


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