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    Stately Tables

    Check out these amazing coffee tables you can have customized to your home state!

    Stately Tables offers a variety of wood, stain and leg options to capture the deeply-held love for your home state. Each table includes a silver star inlay in a location of your choosing! The thickness of each piece is astounding too. It could give your living room the statement piece it's needed.

    Stately Tables

    This Mississippi table has a small compartment to hold things.

    This one puts two states next to one another. Brilliant! 

    I wonder if they've had the easy order of a state like Colorado. It's just a square!

    Want to grab one for yourself? Head on over to their website to learn more.


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    There are a couple standard household items where their never seems to be a reasonably attractive option. Tissue boxes are a big one; there, it's always about choosing the least of the evils. I'd also throw paper towel roll holders in that category. Head into any big box or discount store, and you'll be hard pressed to find anything that matches a style other than "I buy all my home decor items at big box discount stores."

    So, in that case: you should make one instead. It might seem a little overboard, but, truthfully, its the little details like this that really contribute to a space's overall sense of style.

    This tutorial comes from the team at MarthaStewart.com, and it uses some pre-cut leather straps and a 1" dowel rod. Loops are riveted to hold the dowel, then attached to the wall. The slack in the leather allows the paper towels to move relative to the thickness of the roll, so it'll always rest against the wall. Pretty clever.

    Get the simple, but classy, tutorial: Leather Paper Towel Holder [MarthaStewart.com]

     

     


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    Coco Channel is credited with a famous quote concerning women's style and accessories: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." It's good advice, really, and easy to incorporate into many aspects of your life. But most men's style tends towards the more simple, and for many of us, "taking one thing off" actually means we'd be short an item of clothing.  

    So then, what are some good style maxims that the average guy can commit to memory to look his best?      

    Men's lifestyle site Airows has assembled a pretty solid collection of quotes, ranging from the theoretical to the aspirational to the practical. We're not saying you should Stuart Smalley it and tape these to the mirror, but there's some solid advice here, and a few worth copying down. They'll certainly make you want to dress better. See them all at Airows.


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    Hammock StandOne of the best parts of a long summer weekend is snoozing in the hammock. This exceptional hammock stand is a great looking addition to the patio, and will definitely host plenty of lazy summer naps.   I've always loved to nap. Most of us agree that a well timed nap is one of the most refreshing weekend activities. When I was in college, we had a tattered old hammock that supported me through many restful study breaks, and that lazy rocking motion still brings back fond memories of a life before I had to grow up. This project from my indecisive life brings a bit of class to the backyard with a sturdy support that looks great and is bound to get a lot of use around my house this summer. Setting Up the Footing

    The top support is key to this design, as well as a strong footing to give it a sturdy base.  Head over to their site for a complete walk through the process, and stay tuned for a project post once I find a place to throw one up at my place!Posts in the ground


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    created at: 03/31/2015

    There's nothing like being able to walk out your own door and grab a big handful of fresh vegetables and herbs and make a tasty meal. This vertical planter project allows you to grow a lot of produce in a small amount of space, so there's always a fresh batch of lettuce or mint ready to go when you need it.     

    If you want to learn how to make your own vertical planter, you can sign for this free DIY Workshop at your local Home Depot. It's available at Home Depot locations all across the U.S., and it doesn't cost a cent to learn.

    The DIY Workshop will cover the basics of building this modern and modular planter project, provide measured instructions, and offer basic tips on plant selection and care in your natural climate. It's also a great option to learn about basic and safe power tool use. The whole thing is constructed with easy-to-find and affordable dimensional lumber, so you whip this guy up over a weekend, and be ready for spring. 

    The Vertical Gardening Workshop takes place on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 10:00 - 11:30AM. You can find more details and register at the Home Depot Workshops page. Next week, I'll be building a customized version on this project for my own home, and sharing the process with you. Stay tuned.

    Oh, and get this: If you live near Portland, Oregon, I, Chris Gardner from ManMade, will be teaching the workshop at the Beaverton Home Depot (Store #4018 4401 SW 110th Ave). If you're in the area, this is an awesome opportunity for me to meet  and collaborate with ManMade readers, and I've love to hang out with you and use some power tools for a day.

    So, head to the Home Depot DIY Workshops page to sign up, and we'll see you on Saturday. 

    SIGN UP HERE!

     

    created at: 03/31/2015
    Thanks to Home Depot for sponsoring this post and making ManMade a partner for the 2015 DIY Workshop series. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ManMade possible.

     


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    I've said this many times on ManMade, but, just to confirm: I'm really into bicycles. I use them for transport, and for exercise, and for recreation, and, hopefully soon, for travel. (Let's go bike touring!) And in order to get more time on the bike, I've been trying to streamline the process for prepping for rides.

    created at: 03/31/2015

    Because when you're out in the middle of nowhere, there's actually a lot of stuff you gotta carry and prep so you can get home safely. So, I'll take anything to speed up the shorts - jersey - HR monitor - sunscreen - socks - shoes - food - water bottle - spare tube and patch kit - tire levers - pump - multitool - computer - grease the chain - fill the tires - and GO! - process for a standard 35 mile ride. So, I've vowed to stop carrying my full set of keys and wallet (driver's license, credit cards) for safety. Getting an extra house and garage key was easy, and I have Road ID for identification, so that just leave's the question of cash for emergencies. I wanted to come up with a solution to keep it on the bike so it wasn't another thing I had to worry about when getting ready, but would be a little more secure than just throwing some cash in my saddle bag among the tubes and tire levers.

    created at: 03/31/2015

    So, when I looked in my pack and saw the old tube of lip balm that I keep in the zipped pocket, I figured that was probably a great way to go. Sure, it's still not totally locked, but it's certainly a theft deterrent, and helps to protect the cash from the weather.

    Plus, it's free. So let's make one. 

    created at: 03/31/2015

    Tools and Materials:

    • Lip balm tube
    • Small screwdriver or other levering device
    • Clipping pliers, nippers, or scissors
    • Cash money

     

    created at: 03/31/2015

    1. Use up or remove any extra lip balm, then insert a small screwdriver or other lever between the twisty knob and the bottom and the rest of the tube. (A craft knife might also work, and it will cut as well [just be careful].) 

     

    created at: 03/31/2015

    2. Then, separate the tube into each of its component parts. The little carriage thing at the top should come off pretty easily with the bottom removed. If not, you can use pliers to pull it free.

     

    created at: 03/31/2015

    3. Then, cut the threaded shaft free from the knob above the the little raised ridge that helps it stay in the tube.

     

    created at: 03/31/2015

    4. Lastly, snap the knob back in place, and you're done!

    See? Easy. 

    created at: 03/31/2015

    You could use this anywhere you want to keep some emergency cash on hand without advertising it: your car's glove compartment, your purse, brief case, or daily carry bag, your desk at work, etc. It makes a great solution when you're traveling or camping, and since it uses a recycled materials that most of us have lying around in drawers and pockets all over the house, you can make as many as you want. 

     

     


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    created at: 04/01/2015

    Imagine stoking a fire you've made with your own hands with your very own homemade bellows. Or, don't imagine, and just find out for yourself with this stellar tutorial...   

    BellowsBellows are always a welcome decoration around a hearth, not to mention a useful tool. The tutorial here simply used scrap and it looks incredible, and features intricate design options that you could easily personalize to make as a familial heirloom or gift. 

    Watch the build process in the video below, then check out the full tutorial at Instructables.com.

    Check out the full tutorial at Instructables.com.


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    Pizza NightIt's time for some spring grilling!  Here's an easy (and delish) weeknight meal the whole family will love. Oh, and it works real well on a Friday or Saturday, too. It's a weekly tradition around here to bake pizza and drink well fortified drinks with friends. One of the best things about this meal is the ability to prep it well ahead of time so no babysitting of the grill is necessary. The kids love to make their own custom pizzas, and with a few extra crusts, some garlic strips are a great appetizer. Here are the recipes for a great afternoon with friends:

    Grilling Crusts

    1. Grilled Pizza Crust:

    Ingredients:

    • 5 cups flour
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 3/4 cup warm water

    Combine the warm water and yeast in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes. After that, combine all ingredients in a mixer with a bread hook. Mix for about 6-10 minutes until the dough forms a ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Add a bit of flour if the mixture is too sticky, and a bit of oil if it is too dry. Once it is done, take out and knead slightly on a floured cutting board then put into an oiled bowl to rise for at least an hour and a half on the counter covered with a towel (it can be left in the fridge overnight). Once the dough has risen, separate into about 8-10 equal balls, and roll out into personal crusts.

    Grilling Up Pizzas

    Grill the crusts on a fully heated grill for a few minutes, so they become crisp but not burnt. They will be grilled again with ingredients on them, so don't cook too much at this point. Add toppings (I'm partial to ranch dressing, cucumber, olives and garlic salt, but the girls generally do the more traditional red sauce and pepperoni), then toss back on the grill for a few minutes. At this point, the goal is to have a very hot grill and lower the heat so the topping get melted well without burning the bottom. For an appetizer, toss a few on with olive oil and garlic, or with butter and cinnamon sugar for a great after-dinner treat.

    Mango Margarita

    2. Mango Margaritas (based off of The Pioneer Woman Recipe)

    This afternoon margarita is the perfect blend of cold, smooth, and sweet for a summer day outside. Blend it up and pass around the frosty drink. We took out a bit of the liquor to make it more smooth, and left out some of the lime to curb the tartness.

    Ingredients:

    • Juice from 1 lime
    • 24oz frozen mango chunks
    • 1 Cup Silver Tequila
    • 1/2 Cup Triple Sec
    • 1/3 Cup Sugar
    • Sugar (or Salt) for the rim

    In a large blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, divy it up into sugar (or salt) rimmed glasses and enjoy.

     

    What do you like to grill for a simple tasty meal in springtime? Let us know in the comments below. 

     


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    They say the best camera is the one you have on you. I apply the same logic to bottle openers: the most desirable is the one you can find when you need it. Between wine keys and can openers and dedicated tools, I probably own seven or eight different levers that can snap off a bottle cap, and they all seem to be completely AWOL when their services are required.

    So, I've always been a big fan of wall-mounted openers - the kind you'd find on the side of an old soda machine. You can screw them directly to the wall, but Reddit user  ComradeNorgren came up with this magnetic option, which mounts the bottle opener to a block of hardwood, and recesses magnetics inside to 1) catch the bottle caps and 2) attach it to your fridge or other surface without need for hardware. 

    Check out his Imgur tutorial on Reddit: Here's a How to on Making a Bottle Opener with a Magnetic Cap Catch

     


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    created at: 04/02/2015

    Hi ManMakers - I shared this pic of the scrap pile from my current project on Instagram last night, accompanied by this little meditation.

    Remember, adages and abstract pieces of advice only get you so far. While when designing projects, I try to make the mistakes so that readers don't have to, but nothing is really handmade with some trial and error, repeated steps, and a curse word or two.

    Making things is really all about experimentation. And messes. 

    Follow us on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes glimpses at ManMade and the creative process...and, you know, whatever else I'm up to.


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    One day you will be tearing down a plaster and lathe ceiling, or cutting up some wood pallets in the back yard, or cleaning up a gutted bathroom, and you will bring your foot down on a two- or three-inch long nail. The metal will pierce the skin, cruise through the soft abductor hallucis muscle that forms the arch of your foot, and, if you step down hard enough, take out a tiny chip of bone from one of your metatarsal. I'll let you imagine the sound of that for a minute.

    OR!

    You could take the advice of a guy who's speaking from experience (I stepped off a ladder onto a nail sticking out of piece of lathe while wearing, of all things, old Ben Sherman tennis shoes), and get yourself a decent pair of work boots. Thus, the subject of today's ManMade Essential Toolbox post: GET YOURSELF SOME SOLID, COMFORTABLE WORKBOOTS!

    created at: 04/02/2015Here's the thing - you see lots of guys walking around these days sporting Red Wings, Wolverines, Chippewas and the like. Look! There's even a blog to make fun of them/us: http://www.hipstersinworkboots.com/. Hah! I can take a joke.

    And also? ManMade has covered the subject pretty well here (boots for any budget roundup). Yes! Work boots are a legitimate fashion statement, and, mocking blogs aside, I highly recommend them for that purpose.

    But that's not what I'm talking about here. Today, I'm telling you, you need a pair of good, not-too-expensive-but-still-comfortable-and-protective boots that you can wear into the ground. These should never see the inside of a coffee shop, night club, or, god forbid, art gallery. 

    My Duluth Trading Co. boots

    I have a pair of Duluth Trading Co. 8" Contractor's Boots that I love. At $199, they may or may not suit your definition of expensive, but I think they're a good deal (they'll last me five years ... that's $40 a year). They're super comfortable, and I like the extra ankle support I get with the 8" version.

    Recommended:

    Wedge Sole:

    $199: Duluth Trading Co. Contractor's Boot (8")

    Duluth Trading Co. Contractor's Boot
    Chris & I both have these, and absolutely love them.

    $65-$70: Golden Fox Moc Toe Light Weight Work Boot

    Golden Fox Moc Toe Wedge Sole Boot
    These come well-reviewed (on Amazon and a few other places I checked), so they look like a reasonable option if you want to spend a lot less).

    Steel-toe:

    $109-$140: Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 

    Timberland PRO Pitboss
    These are the best sellers in their category. Tons of good reviews (4.5 stars with 1,200 reviews!). 

    For work and play:

    $70: Golden Fox Men's Chukka Boot

    Golden Fox Chukka
    These look like a great combination of a tough work boot, and a shoe that you could actually wear out of the house. Full grain leather and a pig skin lining, and plenty of solid reviews. This might be good for you if you're looking for more of an all-around piece of footwear.

     

     

     


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    created at: 04/03/2015

    This great project keeps all the basic grilling supplies close at hand, but out of the weather when the fun is done. With a large preparation space and room for the essentials it’s a great upgrade for the outdoor chef.   With spring weather in full bloom, we’re starting to cook outside more often again. From pizzas to burgers, there is always a great reason to fire up that grill Like most of you out there, the built-in flat surfaces on my grill are limited and require me to balance plates, cutting boards, spices, and utensils on the little shelf.   BBQ Cabinet Table

    With that in mind, I wanted to create a surface that could be pulled out when needed, then stowed out of the way after the fire was out. I also wanted to keep spices, tools, and essentials close at hand to limit the trips into the house. This project combines a cabinet, and folding table, allowing for the entire piece to be mounted on the wall.

    Cabinet Box

    Step 1: Build The Box

    The size of the box depends on a few key details. First, how much stuff do you plan to store outside? Don’t store liquor or other items that are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. Second, how large a table space will fit where you plan to mount the cabinet, and how high off the ground will it be. The box should be as high off the ground as the front/support is tall. This ensures the table is level when it is down because the front becomes the support. I made mine tall, planning on standing height for the table. Table size is the inside dimension of the box, as it must nest inside the cabinet when it is folded away. I built the box with simple pine, adding a few shelves and gluing/nailing it all together (be sure the shelves are set back far enough that the table top can fit inside the box flush, so if the table is ¾” thick, be sure to leave at least that much space when cutting the shelves). The corner joints can be mitered 90 degrees, or joined in any way you feel comfortable. Make a 1/8” rabbet in the back for a flush fit, or just cut the back to fit as necessary. Keep in mind that the back will support the box when mounted to the wall, so make sure it is solidly connected to the box, or add a few supports for strength.

    Mounted Cabinet

    Step 2: Build The Table

    The table is designed to fit flush in the middle of the box, so dimensions should reflect the inside measurements, and be sure to leave room at top and bottom for piano hinge clearance. I crafted my table from a ¾” sheet of plywood, with a 2” strip of wood around the outside for durability and looks.

    Mounted Box

    Step 3: Build The Front/Support

    The front of the box is what is seen on the wall so feel free to dress it up a bit. I build the panel out of simple ¼” plywood with beadboard texture and a 3” wooden border for support. I then put another board around that so the front would mate up well with the box. Make sure the panel is strong enough to support the weight, because this panel will hold all the weight of the table.Open Box

    Step 4: Assemble with Piano Hinges

    With the table and panel complete, it’s time to match it all up with hinges. I used piano hinges because of their overall strength, low profile, and general easy installation. If the inside panel doesn’t fit right, simple trim a bit more off until the panels open and close easily. I put a hook closure on each side of the front panel to keep it all secured up on the wall.

    Closed Box With Bottle Opener

    Step 5: Finish and Mount

    I threw a dark finish and outdoor protection on the outside of the cabinet, but left the inside light and clean to make it easier to see what’s in there during late evening grills. The cabinet should be mounted out of the weather, or protected with an outside layer that can stand up to the elements (that also means making the top somehow shed the water without letting it in). Mounting the box takes a bit of adjustment to make sure the table is level. I used sawhorses with a few boards shimmed underneath to get it perfectly lined up against the wall.

    Loaded with Pizza!

    We had this table decked out with grilled pizzas the very night I installed it, and the different an entire space made was night and day. Fewer trips to the kitchen, a stable space, and I still managed to dump one of the fully cooked pizzas on the concrete! As spring comes into season, what projects are you doing to make the patio ready for some outdoor fun?


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    Hanging Pendant Light

    Have some old glass Insulators sitting around? This DIY project turns them into a great hanging pendant light for a stylish second life.   I've always liked the look of those old glass insulators, but generally the only use I've ever seen for them is authentic country decoration on the shelf behind a bartender. This awesome tutorial goes through the steps of turning three of the insulators into some really sharp looking pendant lights. Drilled Lights

    This project requires a few tools, and please take the time to bone up a bit on safety while working with glass (especially drilling it). But overall, the directions are good and the concept is nice and straightforward.

    Finished Lights


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    Little known fact: in addition to preserving our wildlife and preventing forest fires, the US Forest Service is surprisingly chock full of cocktail experts. Cool Material recently discovered this 1974 Cocktail Construction Chart detailing their favorite cocktails and how to make them.    

    created at: 04/05/2015The entire guide is coded by liquor according to patterns as seen above, and includes handy little notes on how to craft the perfect mixed drink. And seeing as the chart was drafted by engineers you know it'll be precise. 

    created at: 04/05/2015

    Check out the Cocktail Construction Chart in the National Archives.


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    It's never too early to look toward some summer grilling or some savory cast iron skill-ing. For those of you who love steak as passionately as I do, here are 10 unique steak rubs you can apply to up your steak game. They don't even require instructions - just proportions and marinating.   

    Steak Rub

    Chef Frank DeLoach at FOODBEASTpresents these awesome ways to season steak without adding fat. Flavors range from all over the world with recipes such as the English Pub and the Malaysian, not to mention the KalbiTex Mex, or Kung Pao. Check out the tantalizing video below or click the link for more mouth-watering recipes


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    created at: 04/07/2015

    Looking for something to watch this weekend? Why not try some time-tested, black-and-white films that are in turns romantic, comedic, and all-around enjoyable?   

    Before we start this list I just want to mention: if you've never seen Casablanca, stop wasting everyone's precious time and go do that. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking, and stirring black-and-white film that every man should know as a matter of cultural relevance. I would include it in this list but I think it's a given that most people have already seen it, but if you haven't, go do it, and feel free to tell me what you think. Ok, here we go...

     

    City Lights

    City Lights

    City Lights is considered to be one of Charlie Chaplin's most influential movies and is ranked #11 on AFI's 100 Years.. 100 Movies. The story follows the Tramp through a series of misadventures as he falls madly in love with a blind girl while befriending a comically mercurial alcoholic millionaire. The film is considered the first romantic comedy in cinematic history, and features one of the most iconic shots of Chaplin hiding part of his face behind a flower while waiting to hear if his love is reciprocated. Currently streaming on Hulu Plus.

     

     

    His Girl Friday

    His Girl Friday

    One of the all-time great screwball comedies, His Girl Friday tells the story of a hard-edged newspaper editor (Cary Grant) who convinces his star reporter/ex-wife (Rosalind Russell) to cover one last story before she takes off for another man. Featuring some of the wittiest rapid-fire dialogue, this story set the stage for all newspaper dramas to come. In filmmaking, one page of a script roughly equals a minute of screen time; His Girl Friday was a 180 page screenplay with a running time of 92 minutes. Currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. 

     

     

    It Happened One Night

    It Happened One Night

    A spoiled socialite (Claudette Colbert) escapes from her father's meddling gaze to marry a fortune-hunter, only to fall in love with the rakishly down-on-his-luck reporter (Clark Gable) who agrees to help her in exchange for the exclusive story. Brilliant banter abounds in a way that feels SO modern – you don't have to appreciate old movies to love this one. It Happened One Night was also the first film to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay). Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

     

     

    Some Like It Hot

    Some Like It Hot

    This classic film tells the story of two comically misfit musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) on the run from mobsters who elect to disguise themselves as women in an all-female band. Meantime, they both fall for the illustrious Marilyn Monroe in a performance so stellar that both male and female viewers will be smitten to her. It's a joyous movie all around and ends with one of cinema's most famous final lines, "Well, nobody's perfect." Currently streaming on HBO Go.

     

     

    The Apartment

    The Apartment

    I recently saw a double feature of this and It Happened One Night and was blown away by The Apartment's ability to bring you to the depth of sadness (attempted suicide and its ramifications) and back to heights of joy by watching to lonely human beings connect in a lonely 1950's New York City. Hot on the heels of Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, The Apartment features Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in this poignant story about a career-oriented bachelor who rents his apartment to his co-workers for their extramarital liaisons. Kevin Spacey dedicated his Academy Award for American Beauty to Lemmon's performance in the film. Currently Streaming on Netflix.

     

     

    Manhattan

     Manhattan

    Woody Allen's Manhattan isn't a classic black and white film (it was made in 1979), but it is a classic and it is black-and-white and it'll definitely give you two something to talk about. The movie follows a 40-something, twice-divorced comedy writer who is dating a 17 year old, but then falls in love with his best friend's mistress. The film stars Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, and Meryl Streep, and with its incredible George Gershwin score its arguably a better way to experience Manhattan than Manhattan itself.

     

    The Philadelphia Story

    The Philadelphia Story

    Three men vie for the love of a beautiful and independent socialite (Katherine Hepburn) – her ex-husband (Cary Grant), a tabloid magazine reporter (James Stewart), and her actual fiancé (John Howard). Hilarity ensues when they all arrive for the weeding weekend in the manner of the best of Shakespeare's farces. The film was nominate for six Academy Awards and revitalized Hepburn's career. 

    If you still have winter (or are just missing winter) try checking out our Winter Themed Movies for Men.
    7 Must-See Winter Movies for Men

     


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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.

    Amazing news for anyone who was ever a seven-year-old boy: the brontosaurus is once again a real thing.    For a hundred years, scholars have been saying we should really be considering these guys an apatosaurus. But a new taxonomic study notes:

    Researchers from Portugal and the United Kingdom have evaluated eighty-one diplodocid fossils—including specimens of Apatosaurus ajax (the first described apatosaurus) and Apatosaurus excelsus (the dinosaur formerly known as brontosaurus)—for a total of four hundred and seventy-seven morphological characteristics. “The differences we found between Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus were at least as numerous as the ones between other closely related genera, and much more than what you normally find between species,” Roger Benson, a professor of paleobiology at Oxford University, said.

    Read more at the NewYorker.com: Brontosaurus Rising

    created at: 04/08/2015
    This leather bracelet doubles as a ruler or tape measure for taking dimensions while you're out and about. Now if you can only remember to put on the bracelet...

     

    Sometimes, you just need some poutine on the quick. Here's how to whip some up easily, at home. 

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Need some awesome legs for your next DIY table project. Here's a great list of sources. 

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Starbucks is no longer selling CDs, which is fine, cause you don't buy CDs and don't go to Starbucks. But here's what the decision actually means. 

     


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    created at: 04/08/2015

    You know all those helpful menswear articles that say "this is the kind of beard you should wear if your face is shaped like ______," or "if your face shape is ______, try these sunglasses." And you say, "Great, that's super helpful... except I have no idea which one of these is my actual face shape. Cause that one is my forehead, and that's my chin, and that one's my jaw line."    

    Well, somebody finally is offering a technique to help you determine your actual face shape, so you can apply all those helpful tips to look your best. Birchbox Man has a walkthrough that uses only a flexible measuring tape and mirror to figure out if you're round, square, oval, diamond, and the like. 

    Find out yours at Birchbox Man: How to Determine Your Face Shape

     

     


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    Earl Grey Brulee

    Dessert is one our favorite parts of dinner, and this exceptional Brûlée recipe is the perfect end to a great meal.   One of the main reasons I work out on a (mostly) regular basis is so I can eat dessert. The sweet temptation is too much for me to resist, so I work extra hard to make sure when the time comes I'm all set to indulge. This Earl Grey Brûlée is capped with a caramelized sugar shell and gooey custard center, and the satisfying crunch is guaranteed to impress your dinner guests. Plus, you get to use a blow torch.

    Earl Grey Brulee

    The layered flavors of Earl Grey tea add a great layer of complexity, and overall the recipe is easy follow, decadent and it's definitely on the menu for our next Friday get-together. So grab a few ingredients you probably already have in the cupboards, and get ready to step up that dinner party.


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    created at: 04/08/2015

    This modern, modular garden project works well in any space. Because it uses wood containers, you don't have to worry about the quality of your existing soil, and they can sit on any surface: grass, concrete, gravel or even a wooden deck. The garden's vertical orientation lets you grow a whole bunch of veggies, herbs, and flowers in a tiny footprint.The boxes are customizable to fit your space - all you need is solid wall or fence to attach the structure to, and you can put this guy anywhere.

    Oh! And get this

    If you want to learn to make your own, you can sign for this free DIY Workshop at your local Home Depot. It's available at Home Depot locations all across the U.S., and it doesn't cost a cent to learn. 

    The Vertical Gardening Workshop takes place this Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 10:00 - 11:30AM. You can find more details and register at the Home Depot Workshops page. I, Chris Gardner from ManMade, will be teaching the workshop at the Beaverton Home Depot (Store #4018 4401 SW 110th Ave). If you're in the area, this is an awesome opportunity for me to meet  and collaborate with ManMade readers, and I've love to hang out with you and use some power tools for a day.

    SIGN UP HERE!

     

    Tools and Materials: 

    • Miter or circular saw
    • Cordless drill and 1⁄8 inch drill bit
    • Staple gun and 1/2 electric cord staples
    • Hammer
    • Tape measure
    • Gloves
    • Safety glasses and dust mask
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Tin snips or cutting pliers
    • 3x  8' long cedar  1x8s
    • 4x 8' long cedar 1x3s
    • 8x 8' long cedar 1x2s
    • 1 roll of wire hardware cloth, 1/2" gap
    • 1 roll weed blocker fabric

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Building the Boxes:

    I built my project out of "one-by" cedar material. Since my garden was going to be outside, I knew it would have lots of contact with water and direct sunlight, so I selected cedar for its natural decay-resistant properties. I would never use pressure-treated lumber for this, as it contains chemicals that will leach into the soil where my edibles are growing.

    created at: 04/08/2015

    The main boxes measure 10" high by 23" long and 7 1/4" wide. The sides are made from cedar 1x8s, cut to 10". Two cedar 1x3s make up the base, 21 1/2" in length, to give the bottom strength. Note that this is not a solid bottom, so that the soil can have proper drainage. The 1x3s are spaced evenly across the bottom. 

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    The slats on the sides are made from cedar 1x2 material, cut to 23". This size allows you to use an 8' 1x2 to cut 4 slats for the front, while allowing for waste from the saw kerf. Be sure sure to place them flush with the top and bottom of the box, hiding the 1x3" base when viewed from the front. Just space them evenly by eye, about 1 to 1 1/2" apart. Attach them with 1 1/2" long #8 decking screws. Because you're screwing so close to the edge of the wood, you'll definitely want to drill pilot holes to prevent splitting the wood. 

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    To give the covered boxes a little more space, the center boxes are 12 3/4" tall, and use five slats to make up the front and back.

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Once your boxes are assembled, cut 1/2" mesh hardware cloth using snips or cutting pliers, and staple it to the 1x3" base to make up the bottom of the boxes.

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Then, line the sides and the bottom with weed barrier cloth. This is, admittedly, the hardest part, as the cloth is stretchy and can be a bit unwieldy. Start by cutting the weed barrier to length, leaving an extra inch or so on each side. Then, to figure out the length, wrap it around the outside of the two sides and the bottom, like you would when wrapping a gift. Cut to size, then staple to the top slat of one side, and work your way down the bottom, across, and up the other side, using lots of staples to keep things taut. 

    Assembling the Structure:

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Begin by placing two of the shorter boxes on the ground, and add a taller box to span the gap. Once you're happy with their placement, screw them to the backing material (the fence, wall, or what have you).

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    The boxes are supported with a simple L-shaped riser. It's cut to the same height as the taller boxes - 12 3/4" - and is a piece of 1x8" with a 1x2" screwed perpendicularly to the back. This gives is a face to screw into the wall. Line it up carefully with the bottom box, and attach.

     

    created at: 04/08/2015

    Continue to build your structure until all the boxes and risers are attached and secure. Then, fill them with potting soil, and add your plants.

      created at: 04/08/2015

     Remember, if you want to learn to build your own, head to the Home Depot DIY Workshops page to sign up. If you're in Portland, I'll see you on Saturday!

     

    SIGN UP HERE!

     

     

     


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