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Articles on this Page
- 08/03/15--14:00: _How to: Build a Cla...
- 08/04/15--07:00: _You Actually Do Hav...
- 08/04/15--08:00: _Finally: Here's How...
- 08/04/15--11:00: _5 Simple Car Repair...
- 08/05/15--08:00: _Skill Builder: How ...
- 08/05/15--10:00: _Military-Inspired M...
- 08/05/15--12:00: _How to: Make an Ind...
- 08/06/15--09:00: _A Note to Self...
- 08/10/15--07:15: _How to: Build a Hom...
- 08/10/15--11:00: _ManMade Essential T...
- 08/10/15--12:00: _How to: Make a DIY ...
- 08/11/15--09:00: _New Features in Ado...
- 08/11/15--14:00: _How to: Make a Simp...
- 08/11/15--15:00: _5 Easy Ways to Impr...
- 08/12/15--10:00: _The Best Steak Gril...
- 08/12/15--12:00: _Mosquitos Bugging Y...
- 08/12/15--13:00: _How to Stencil with...
- 08/13/15--07:00: _How to: Print Profe...
- 08/13/15--12:00: _Yes, You Can Shave ...
- 08/13/15--13:00: _8 Men's Essentials ...
- 08/03/15--14:00: How to: Build a Classic Wood-Handled Straight Razor from Scratch
- 08/04/15--07:00: You Actually Do Have Room For A Pool
- 08/04/15--08:00: Finally: Here's How To Pay Friends with Your Smartphone
- 08/04/15--11:00: 5 Simple Car Repairs Every Man Can Do
- 08/05/15--08:00: Skill Builder: How to Lay Out a Woodworking Project in SketchUp
- 08/06/15--09:00: A Note to Self...
- 08/10/15--07:15: How to: Build a Homemade Wood Lathe
- Needlenose pliers
- Marking Tools (fine tip sharpie)
- Awl or screwdriver (to wrap thread around and pull tight, smooth down edges, etc.)
- 08/10/15--12:00: How to: Make a DIY Wooden Slat Bath Mat
- 08/11/15--09:00: New Features in Adobe Elements 13 - Win a Copy Of Your Own!
- 08/11/15--14:00: How to: Make a Simple and Rustic DIY Desk Organizer or Tool Holder
- 08/11/15--15:00: 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Inner DIYer
- 08/12/15--10:00: The Best Steak Grilling Trick You Haven't Heard Of
- 08/12/15--12:00: Mosquitos Bugging You? Get a Bat House
- 08/13/15--07:00: How to: Print Professional-Grade Photos
- 08/13/15--12:00: Yes, You Can Shave with an Axe. Here's How to Do It.
- 08/13/15--13:00: 8 Men's Essentials under $25 to Help You Finish Up Summer with Style
Maker and designer Nick provides this awesomely detailed tutorial to create a custom, traditional straight razor from scratch. And by from scratch, we mean from. scratch. This build process includes everything from grinding shaping, and sharpening the blade, crafting the wood handle, and even creating custom hardware that allows the razor to pivot while staying balanced.
Something of this quality would cost in the hundreds of dollars, so Nick decided he'd have a go at making his own. He says,
A couple of years back a neighbour of mine told me he had bought a cut-throat razor. At the time I was busy making knives so it sparked my interest...I asked to look at the razor and if he could tell me all he knew about it... The razor was quite nice. I marveled at its simplicity and beauty. I thought to myself I have to make one!
I joined a razor forum and asked a few questions but was met with basically 'It's not an easy road and involves a fair bit of research.' I didn't think it would be very hard to make one, so I came across a little arrogant in my response even though it was not my intent. 'I don't think it would be that hard to grind one!' They knew a bit about razors, I did not...
But, he eventually figured everything out, and the results are simple and spectacular.
You can read through the entire process at Nick's Instructable, and watch more in the video below:
When the weather turns hot, it's always nice to find some water to take a dip. The most convenient way to cool off, is to have a pool right outside that slider but most of the time there just isn't enough space for our own personal oasis, or is there? It's summer, so my mind is on the water most of the time right now, and so it's no surprise this post caught my eye. These small pools are generally called plunge pools as they are mostly deeper than they are wide, but as long as it get me wet and cooled off, you can feel free to call it whatever you want.
So go take a look at your backyard with fresh eyes and figure out where to put that little concrete-cast plunge pool, it's too hot to not have a little piece of water out there.
Is it just me, or has the future turned out to be a bit of a disappointment? Hoverboards and jetpacks aside, I still can't beam anybody up, or down, or cook steak in my microwave, or have a sassy robot maid clean my house. But Square Cash is one area in which the future seems to have delivered, and I've been telling everyone about it for almost a year now. But, let me back up a bit and talk about the suckiness of non-future-money: paper currency.
Do you know what happens every third time I visit the drive-through ATM to get cash? I lose my card in the machine. Do you know how many armpits, waist bands, and god-knows-what-other sweaty places every dollar bill you touch has been in? Do you know why the world looks slightly askew and your back gets bent out of alignment every time you settle back into the driver's seat with a cash-stuffed wallet in your back pocket?
Cash, my friends. Stupid cash. And don't even get me started on checks.
Paying for things is a fact of life. Paying back friends and family members is too. And for those of us who don't like carrying cash and checks, getting our money into other people's bank accounts used to be annoyingly hard. But Square Cash is the future of cash, so now it's easy.
Your friend Josh paid for pizza but you didn't bring any of those sweaty simoleons along? No worries. Just open up the Square Cash app and type "$10 to Josh". Done.
And you know that friend who always "forgets" to pay you back, forcing you to have to nag and hound him for months about a measly $25, until you actually feel like the scumbag? Now they have no excuse: just ask them to install the Square Cash app, and bam, you can work it out right there ... no nagging or awkward follow-ups.
Square Cash is easy (really: you just have to type in your debit card number and you're on your way), fast (transactions usually post instantly), and safe (you can lock the app down with a passcode or Apple's TouchID, and set daily transaction limits).
We're not saying never carry cash. In fact, you should carry a little cash; a guy needs some small bills on hand to pay for unexpected things – service tips, street vendors or independent businesses, and emergencies. But don't waste it on splitting take-out with your buddies or getting your sister back half of your mom's birthday present. Keep that $20 in your wallet for when you actually need it. Send money to people you know with Square Cash. No bank trips required.
This post is sponsored by Square, but all opinions are, obviously, mine alone. My opinion is that Square Cash is great. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make ManMade possible.
…With a little help from some quality process videos of course. I’ve spent enough years with less-than-cherry cars that need constant TLC to keep them moving along, and I wish I’d actually taken the time to learn some of the easier maintenance processes that I could’ve done myself.
Popular Mechanics recently put out this article of five videos walking you through some of the more basic repairs every guy is able to perform. Maybe you’re beyond these in proficiency and ready for a full engine rebuild, but for those just starting out who are interested in getting in touch with their vehicle (or simply looking to save some cash) these videos are a good place to start. Get a taste below and check out the full article.
SketchUp is a great program for getting a project started. From the 3D visualization, all the way down to generating cut lists here's an overview on how it works for us woodworkers. I've been working hard on planning out my workshop upgrades over here. It's been a long time coming and I'm so happy to be started. SketchUp has been essential to making my shop at least a virtual reality at this point. I've laid out each component in it's own model and now I've been able to measure, adjust, and generate a material list and cut sheet for each part of the project. I just finished building my carcasses for the hanging wall cabinets and can say I had almost no adjustments to do in the shop that weren't already laid out well in the model.
For the basics of the program, take a look at my previous post first on Getting Started With SketchUp For Woodworkers and Makers.
For this article, we'll assume you have a working project with all dimensions properly entered and all pieces grouped into components. Also, something very important for generating a cutlist, make sure each component is named appropriately for identifying it, and if it is a sheet good, add that into the name (such as MDF or plywood cabinet side). This naming ensures the program will properly identify and lay it out on sheet materials.
The first tool to use for getting accurate measurements is the tape (T) this virtual tape measure lets you get on-screen measurements of each component. To put labels on the pieces, use the dimension tool. This tool adds a visual measurement to the side of the piece for easy identification. This is useful for laying out outside dimensions of pieces for a piece (such as my cabinet) for when printed pictures will be included in the plan drawings.
The program I use within SketchUp is an extension called CutList. It's available via the extension warehouse at "Window > Extension Warehouse" within the program. This add-on generates a cutlist for whatever components are selected, with plenty of options to customize the dimensions and output files.
Another useful tool, are the scenes. These allow for the user to create customized "exploded" drawings that let you see each piece of an assembly using scenes and layers. I will point you in the direction of Mattias Wandel for a thorough overview:
So what are you waiting for? Go here for your completely free program and start creating today.
Everything has history, and some of our daily accessories have stories you wouldn't believe. From the evolution of the world’s first t-shirt to the desert boots you probably own, this little ditty from Jack Threads breaks down the stories behind some of our most commonplace clothing items.
For example, the Blutcher shoe design (seen above) was first brought about by a Prussian officer named Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher, Furst von Wahlstatt who noticed what a hassle it was for his men to take their combat boots on and off after a hard day’s march. With Blutcher’s new design, the two leather flaps allowed for speedy battle prep and could be easily adjusted on the go, making life easier on all of his soldier troop. A troop I might add that was later very influential at the Battle of Waterloo.
There's an awful lot of DIY posts around the web for building amazing industrial shelving with a raid of pipes from the local hardware store. This project takes it to the next level with some solid concrete shelves!
If you've never done a concrete project before, this would be an easy way to try it out. Not to mention, you build several molds for shelves, so you could multiply this project and sell a few to recoup some of your costs.
Head on over to the Home Depot's Apron blog for the entire Community DIY project. Not to mention, check out several other projects they have on their site.
Note to Self: August 6, 2015
Don't forget: there are imperceivable benefits to vacation. Not just taking in new sites, not just get great Instagram shots, not just trying new restaurants. But - not working is good for you. Especially when you've been going non-stop and don't have traditional weekends and work days and paid time off and you're job is fun and exciting and challenging all the time. There are things that happen when you see some place new and get the *&@# away from your computer.
By the time this goes live, I'll be away for the rest of the week. Today, I'm taking on a 101-mile bike ride (doing this out and back), and over the weekend, I'm going backpacking in Olympic National Park. We're trying to get this route in as best we can, inspired by this article in Backpacker.
I'll see you on Monday.
[Photo by Joel W. Rogers for Backpacker Magazine]
What began as a simple conversation turned into a dare, which turned into a very long quest to design and build one man's very own lathe for his woodworking shop. Mike (the woodworker and designer of woodshopmike.com) was short in cash for the tool department and his machinist buddy convinced him that building a lathe would be relatively easy, so with a little research and a lot of hard work, they were off.
Mike documented his entire process building "Big Blue" - his nickname for the lathe. His design seems pretty solid as it stood up to turning a 17" x 6" hunk of hickory weighing over 50 lbs.
Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day.
Love the thought of making useful and beautiful pieces out of leather? Here are the first few steps to get started down the path of making your own essential carry pieces and everyday items from that timeless and durable material.
I've always loved the feel of leather. It's strong and longlasting, but still has the supple texture of natural materials. And my favorite part, it ages well. I love to look at pieces I own and feel the years and experiences that softly made their mark on my life. As a maker, leatherwork is one area that I hadn't done much with, mostly because I just didn't know where to start. But I've been embracing the craft, and put together a getting-started sized tool kit that'll have you turning out goods in no time.
Essential Tools: As with any pursuit, the tools can make the process faster and more precise, and greatly impact the final product. But don't think that skill can't be built with the basics. Start with a small set of the essential tools, and move up to better, more specialized pieces as the need arises. This is the best way to avoid spending money on tools that you never use.
1. Knife - A sharp and precise knife is important for accurately slicing those pieces to size. Have a medium #2 X-Acto knife for the small cuts, and a larger moredurable break-away razor utility knife for more comfortable cutting on the bulk of the pattern.
2. Needles and Thread - The needles used for leather stitching are large, with a triangle shape to push easily through the animal skin, and have a large opening to accommodate thick thread. Thread comes in such a variety, it's hard to know where to start, but get a medium strength Waxed Black and Brown for some variety.
3. Hole Punch - This is a must to cleanly cut holes of different sizes in the leather. Bump up in quality a bit here for less hand fatigue and cleaner holes. Also in this category is the flat chisel. This tool punches small holes in a line for stitching, ensuring evenly spaced holes for a clean finished look. Get a set to make the punching go faster but also be precise in the corners.
4. Work Surface - A clean, flat, and forgiving surface is great to make sure everything laysout right. Cork is a soft, grippy, and natural surface that works great, but can get torn up rather easily. If your workspace is used for more then just leather work, go for a pvc cutting pad so you can move and store it easily. Not as soft or grippy, but it is self healing and will survive some abuse.
5. Leather - Getting the actual materials can be a bit daunting. How do you know what you want and how much of it? Start with enough for a small project like a book cover, which is about 1-2 sqft with plenty of leftover scraps. Pick cow hide to start as it is soft enough but still has plenty of structure.
In addition to these tools, expect to grab a few from your workshop:
Did you find this list helpful? Did I miss anything? We'd love to hear from you on what tools you think are indispensable when getting started.
We'll be making a few started leather pieces in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for great ways to use your new starter set!
Wood in the bathroom? Sure, if you do it right. It's a great way to add a warm, rustic tone to all that tile and glass and porcelain and other hard surfaces. This simple project from the Home Free blog uses affordable cedar 1x stock from the home center to create a simple parallel slat design that helps keep the moisture under control, while providing a comfortable, non-slippery surface to rest your freshly washed feet.
The design is simple, and built from a single 10' long 1x6. As long as you keep up with the finish, it'll last for years while looking sharp.
Get the full rundown at Fox.com: DIY Cedar Bath Mat
PS - Check out the ManMade take on the wooden welcome mat, created for use outdoors:
For the last few months, we've been teaming up with Adobe Photoshop Elements for a series of creative tutorials: a cool block-printed poster, a tin-type effect photography project, a customized 'Ex-Libris' stamp, and a fun, photographic DIY headboard. Today we're giving you another chance to win your own copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. Read on to find out how to enter.
At ManMade, we believe in process, craft, and creativity. Our goal is to help guys bring the art of 'making stuff' into their everyday life. And having the ability to digitally edit and compose photos is a huge part of that. Here are some of the new features in Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 that will help you in your creative projects (digital and otherwise):
Photomerge Compose: Compose easily removes an object from one photo and places it into another, blending light and color into the final composition.
You could use the Photomerge Compose tool to create something similar to our Block Printed Dog Poster DIY Project:
Crop Suggestions: Cropping is a huge part of composition! Photoshop Elements analyses your photo and suggests four crop options.
Refine Selection Brush: an improved way to fine-tune selections by nudging out to expand and nudging in to reduce the selection.
We used this tool in our DIY Ex Libris Stamp tutorial to make this:
Effects Variations: Five new effects variations for each of the ten effect categories offered in Quick mode.
We used the Effects Variations Tool in our Travel Photography Tips post:
Facebook Cover: Custom Facebook Cover integrates your profile photo with your cover photo to make your page unique.
Guided Edits: three easy ways to customize a photo - black & white, black & white selection, and black & white color pop.
Guided Edits helped us make our Fun Photographic Headboard DIY:
We're thrilled to be giving away three copies of Adobe Photoshop Elements! Here how you can enter to win:
Good luck! We hope you win!
This post is sponsored by Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Here's a simple way to add some functionality to a log from the the firewood pile or a score of driftwood you snagged by the local river. It's a easy project, but a sharp way to add a little outdoor texture and warmth to your computer desk or work area. And it couldn't be more basic to execute. Find wood, drill, sand, done.
If you're not much for colored pencils, you could easily use a large bit to make holes for hand tools, shop shears, leatherwork tools, or whatever you use to stay creative. Get the full tutorial at Strawberry Chic - DIY Tuesday: Rustic Pencil Holder
When you're new to the world of DIY, starting even the smallest of projects can be a daunting task. How much money will it cost me? How much time will I waste? Do I even know what I'm doing? Questions like these can easily deflate a well planned weekend of hard work when you're not comfortable with yourself and your abilities.
The secret to the rising popularity of DIY-ing lies within the drug-like reward factor of a finished project. Once you get started, you'll find that you cannot get enough of that "job well done" feeling. But getting to the reward requires a lot of self motivation and discipline. When you can conquer your fears of screwing up and wasting your precious time, you will find that making things for yourself doesn't take much effort at all. Joy has a way of making challenges a heck of a lot of fun!
Next time you find yourself in a challenging spot and you're close to calling it quits, remember 5 DIY Zen Tips to help get you back on track.
1. Fail Faster You may have heard this before, and a lot, but failing is the biggest catalyst for growth. Every time you mess up, it's an opportunity to challenge yourself to do better the next time. Did you get the wrong pipe size for the kitchen drain? You'll learn to double check your measurements before head out for supplies. Thought you didn't need that one tool to fix your problem? Now you own three of them. The faster you give into failure, see it as great opportunity, the faster you grow.
2. Wear a Uniform You've probably heard stories of authors who like to eat the same thing everyday for lunch or an artist that can only paint when listening to a specific kind of music. These "quirks" are a person's uniform; they help to get into the working mindset. If you find that you can't seem to focus on a project as long as you'd like because of non-work distractions, try on a uniform of some sort. Maybe your uniform is a favorite song, familiar reading glasses or a well-used pair of work pants. For me, it's my work apron. I don't always need it but it kicks my brain in gear to get stuff done. Plus, there are no pockets for a distracting phone in my apron!
3. Break Things Whenever someone asks me how I know so much about so many random things, I usually reply with, "I love to break stuff." And it's totally true. I love to pull things apart, to dig and inspect every little thing–even if I have no idea what the heck I'm looking at. Do I break some really expensive stuff? Absolutely. It's certainly not fun to do that, but you can bet I won't do that again! Every broken thing is a lesson learned and a step further away from risk aversion. When you are comfortable with breaking things then you're comfortable with taking risks and trying new things. You can't drive a car or wash dishes without the risk of breaking something–so you've come that far–keep going! Maybe dissemble your stereo or try to replace your breaks and rotors on your car. Take it all apart and put it back, just to see what happens. You'll be surprised to see how so many unrelated things are all built the same way! Pretty soon you'll be tuning engines and programming computers at the same time! The true secret to success in doing anything yourself is eliminating the fear of breaking things.
4. Time Boxes Letting time slip away from you on a weekend project is easy to do. Sometimes, estimating the time a project could take is enough to keep you from starting it at all. So, if you ever cannot stop obsessing over a new project you have in mind give yourself a set amount of time to at least get started on it. Want to build a new bookshelf? Give yourself an hour to mark and cut the boards you need then give yourself another hour tomorrow. Avoiding a project because it will take too long is a great way to never get anything done.
5. Ask for Help This one should go without saying. Go ahead and get yourself comfortable with asking for help from experts, the internet or people who are just barely more familiar with something than you are. If anything, you create a climate for brainstorming and collaboration that will ultimately yield better results. Find a stack of books you trust on the subjects you like or a YouTube channel that provides steady instruction. Sometimes a phone number of a wise, close friend can be the most valuable tool in your box.
Hopefully, these five things will inspire you to keep going and improving yourself and your work. Pretty soon, you'll see every need in your home, card (or your life, really) as a new challenge that's yet to be conquered.
What are some things you wish someone else told you as you got started?
Food writer Sherry Rujikarn calls this technique for getting tender, well-seasoned meat "the best steak grilling trick you haven't heard of." It's simple, takes about twenty extra seconds, and looks to be pretty promising. The process involves scoring the meat, or making little crisscross hatches along the surface. It's common on hams, big holiday roasts, and duck breasts, and can do wonders for your steak.
Why? Well, three reasons: 1) it helps for more uniform cooking, allowing the outsides to cook quicker while not overcooking the middle. These leads to 2) better browning and creations of the crispy bits, and there's more surface area to get all charred and tasty. And 3) spices, seasonings, and salt can get deeper inside the protein and distribute quicker. Sherry explains,
If you like rubbing your steaks down with spices, garlic, or herbs, this trick makes sure the flavor sets in because you can really cram the seasoning into the cuts. The shallow cuts also give the heat from your grill easier access, thereby minimizing that dreaded, dry, gray line that can sometimes appear around the perfectly juicy, medium-rare band in the center of your steak. I also like using this method because I'm a texture-freak and my favorite parts of any grilled protein are the crusty edges and ends. So by making these cuts all over your steak, you maximize the crusty-edge quotient of your steak.
Get more info and the full how-to at Good Housekeeping: The Best Steak Grilling Trick You Haven't Heard Of
It may seem a bit strange to encourage bats to nestle down by your house, but if mosquitoes are cutting your evenings short, it's a natural resource worth considering.
Like most of human history, I've always seen bats as strange creatures. They come out at dusk with the squeaking and head off into the sky to search for dinner. Apparently, these dudes can eat up to 1000 mosquito sized bugs per night, and once I heard that, I'm seriously considering encouraging bats to live around my place.
Building a bat house looks like a pretty easy project for the weekend, here are a few sites to find plans to make your own:
There is also a simple house available on Amazon Here:
Cedar Bat House $45
So head out this weekend and build a home for your new backyard guardians.
Oh... we know you can imagine the possibilities. Giving a hunk of hardwood that classic "branded" Western look. Creating an original poster or piece of wall art with a natural woodgrain background. A sidewalk sign or marquee for a local store or event.
There are plenty of reasons you'd want to make a wooden sign with a burnt design. Here's how to do it: Giritberen, a maker and visual arts graduate from Istanbul, Turkey, came up with this technique to create a large scale wooden sign stenciled with a blow torch. The lines are crisp and the results look amazing.
See all that black type on the OSB front? That's burned in there and varnished over. Nice, right?
The process involves cutting a large stencil from Forex, a PVC-based sign material. If you have access to a CNC machine or laser cutter at a local community workspace, that's one way to go, or you can contact a local signmaker. Do note that you're burning plastic here, which is quite toxic, so you'll need to take extra steps and precautions.
Of course, you could also use 1/8" plywood or MDF as a stencil material, either having it cut or trying it yourself with a jigsaw or coping saw. This should work just fine for simple shapes, and still produce awesome results.
Check out the full process at Instructables: Stencil for Wood Burning
Living in the age of social media as we do, it almost seems preemptively nostalgic to talk about a love for physical things, but I think we'd agree that there is beauty in the tactile. Hanging a physically framed photo shows intention and an eye toward design, so printing the best photos (and having a good frame) is key. Which is why Popular Mechanics took the time to put together this great how-to guide to help you print the best photos whether at home or online.
If you opt for the home printer method, there are some great options to consider that the guide takes you through, although you'll of course have to keep on top of stocking your ink and supplies. On the other hand, if you're not flush with cash for a new printer, there are a couple different options online that are great (such as Adoramapix, Mpix, Shutterfly, Snapfish, and CanvasPop) and the article compares and contrasts them so you can decide accordingly.
Check out the full article hereand hang those photos or make your significant other a physical scrapbook they'll admire.
You've seen it. Old movies, Looney Tunes cartoons, vintage black and white photos that at least look real. An axe is, after all, a sharp blade, and apparently, you can shave with it. Mike Warren set out to see how it all works.
Of course, an axe and a razor are two very different types of tools, and first, he need to grind an entirely new bevel on the axe, from about 40° to 10°.
This renders the axe to fragile for splitting tasks, and you'd have to apply the original angle again before using it for its intended purpose.
After that, it's all about pulling the skin as tight as possible, and staying careful. Mike says it definitely worked...But.
Though it's a little nerve-racking wielding a sharp edge around your face, there's a zone you get into mentally that is actually quite relaxing. Shaving with my conventional razor (a standard 3 blade razor with disposable heads) normally takes less than 5 minutes, whereas axe shaving took an 1 hour and 20 minutes. Extra care needs to be made with such a large blade, as I cut myself on my jawline and on the chin. Both cuts were small but could have been avoided by taking a little extra time, and by ensuring the skin was stretched very tight. I'm glad to have experienced the rugged technique of shaving with an axe, but don't think it's a method I'd try again anytime soon.
Read all about it and bust our your grindstones (and bandages): How to shave with an axe [Instructables.com]
Don't let all the back-to-school sales fool you. We've still got weeks of summer left, and plenty of late evenings and warm weather to embrace. Keep the spirit going well into early autumn with these picks to prolong the season.
1. Gamma Ray Cheater Sunglasses: $10.95 Props to Andrew from Primer for finding this steal - $12 polarized sunglasses in classic Wayfarer style, with free Prime shipping. The "Cheater" logo on the side is a little annoying... but for $12, you can get a black and a tortoise pair for less than two movie tickets (or three for $20). I've been wearing mine exclusively for the last two weeks, and I'm sold.
2. Courtney Barnett - "sometimes i sit and think and sometimes i just sit" - $6.92 or Free with Amazon Prime Streaming. Every summer needs a soundtrack. This one's a real rocker, and nearly all of them work as standalone as tracks, but manage to still come together as a great album. Good stuff. Give it a listen.
3. Camarena Tequila Blanco - $17.87 (at my local store) Tequila is amazing any time of year, but it most certainly tastes best in warm weather. Camarena Blanco is not only a great tequila, it gets my vote for the best bottle under $20 by far. Sip it neat, chilled, or mixed up with some lime and grapefruit soda in a Paloma, this is good, affordable summer.
4. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen - $6.69 Replace your summer stockup now while it's still easy to find and affordable. This stuff is 70 SPF, broad spectrum resistant, and water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. Yeah, the spray stuff is more expensive, but for guys with beards and arm and leg hair, it brings a lot of ease and saves a lot of hassle. Using the spray makes it easy enough to use every time I go out; that's worth the extra dollar or two for me.
5. OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs - $14.95 The essential grilling tool, and the extended size and stainless steel heads allows you to move hot coals or logs with ease. Get two.
6. Tovolo King Cube - $9.00 The easiest way to make big, cold, heavy ice for cocktails and mixed drinks at home. Improves even your ice tea. It takes a day or so to freeze fully, so you might want to double up here, as well.
7. Mansbasic No Shoe Socks - Three pair for $9.95: Necessary for shorts, without getting your sweaty summer feet all swampy. Get the same color so they're easy to match. No one's gonna see them anyway.
8. Kershaw 1555TI Cryo SpeedSafe Folding Knife - $24.99 Whether you're headed for an end-of-summer camping trip or just looking to upgrade your daily carry items, this guy is strong, sleek, and easy-to-pocket. It's been with me every day for six months, and it's become my favorite pocketknife by far. Also - it makes a great beer opener in a pinch.