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- 11/16/15--15:00: _Build A $50,000 DIY...
- 11/16/15--15:30: _How to: Start a Cam...
- 11/12/15--15:00: _Try This Simple Tri...
- 11/17/15--07:00: _How Manholes Are Ma...
- 11/17/15--11:00: _ManMade Essential T...
- 11/18/15--07:00: _ManMade Giveaway: E...
- 11/18/15--12:00: _Finally, Pour Over ...
- 11/18/15--12:30: _Blow My Mindsday: N...
- 11/18/15--13:00: _Holiday Gift Guide:...
- 11/19/15--07:00: _Get the "Mad Men" L...
- 11/19/15--09:00: _You Can Make This: ...
- 11/19/15--13:00: _How to: Make Your O...
- 11/20/15--07:00: _50 Stocking Stuffer...
- 11/23/15--07:00: _The Man Behind The ...
- 11/23/15--12:00: _ManMade Essential T...
- 11/23/15--13:00: _Amazon's 8-Day Blac...
- 11/23/15--14:00: _How to: Build a Min...
- 11/24/15--06:00: _How to: Make Your O...
- 11/24/15--07:00: _Holiday Gift Guide:...
- 11/24/15--13:00: _Best Value in Booze...
- 11/16/15--15:00: Build A $50,000 DIY Mobile Home of Luxury
- 11/16/15--15:30: How to: Start a Campfire with Whiskey
- 11/17/15--07:00: How Manholes Are Made (It's Not What You'd Think)
- Lenox Tools High-Tension Hacksaw - $25
- Klein Tool 702-12 Hacksaw with 12" Blade & 6" Reciprocating Blade - $21
- Lenox Tools Hacksaw Blade, 12-inch, 32 TPI, 2-Pack - $3.15
- Milwaukee 48-22-0012 Compact Hack Saw 10-Inch - $18
- 11/18/15--07:00: ManMade Giveaway: Enter to Win a BioLite CampStove!
- 11/18/15--12:00: Finally, Pour Over Coffee for Backpacking and Camping
- 11/18/15--12:30: Blow My Mindsday: November 18, 2015
- 11/19/15--09:00: You Can Make This: Modern DIY Internet Radio Player
- 11/19/15--13:00: How to: Make Your Own Headphone Organizer
- 11/20/15--07:00: 50 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men
- 11/23/15--07:00: The Man Behind The Brand: 10 Things You Never Knew About Eddie Bauer
- 11/23/15--12:00: ManMade Essential Toolbox: The Almighty Socket Wrench Set
- Stanley STMT71654 201-Piece Mechanics Tool Set - $60
- Husky H111MTS 111-Piece Mechanics Tool Set - $50
- Kobalt 85179 93-Piece Mechanic's Tool Set with Hard Case - $50
- Crescent CTK170CMP2 Mechanics Tool Set, 170-Piece - $100
- Tekton 3-piece socket organizer set - $21
- Ernst 8451 Socket Boss 3-Rail Universal Socket Tray - $27
- Northern Tool and Equipment Toolbox Socket Organizer - $14
- Save $50 on Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit
- Save up to $200 on select Dyson vacuums
- Save 40% on Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle
- $25 off with select DEWALT purchases of $100 or more
- $20 off select orders of $100 or more in Porter-Cable tools
- DEWALT 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit with Two Batteries, $89
- More than 45% off Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra LED Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit
- Up to 60% off select products from FoodSaver, Oster, Krups, Nespresso, T-fal, Wilton, and more
- More than 55% off select Imprint Cumulus Comfort Mats
- More than 50% off select Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cookers
- Save up to 40% on select cookware from Circulon and Rachael Ray
- More than 40% off Rabbit 6-Piece Wine Tool Kit
- Save 20% on Soma Sustainable Carafe and Plant-Based Water Filter, available through the new Amazon Launchpad program for startups
- 34% off Skywalker 15-Feet Jump N’ Dunk Trampolines
- Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump - Queen, $87.99
- BARSKA Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope, $49.50
- 30% off Reebok Professional Deck Workout Bench
- 25% off Nautilus T614 Treadmill
- STIGA Triumph Table Tennis Table, $299.99
- 25% off select Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bags
- 25% off select Under Armour fleece
- adidas Originals Men’s Sport Essentials Tee, $19.99
- Save up to 50% on select adidas footwear for men, women, and kids
- Save 70% or more on Samsonite Two-Piece Spinner Sets
- Up to 45% off RV and camping supplies, including select products from Camco and Valterra
- Up to 55% off select Automotive D-I-Y items
- Up to 70% off select clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and watches for men, women, and kids
- 30% off select clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and watches with promotional code 30BLACKFRI
- Up to 70% off select diamond jewelry gifts
- Up to 50% off select luxury watches for women
- Select Levi’s Jeans for men, $39.99 or less
- 45% off select New Balance shoes for men, women, and kids
- 50% off select Steve Madden shoes for men
- 50% off select Steve Madden and Madden Girl shoes for women and kids
- 50% off select Stride Rite shoes and more for kids
- Select baby and kids’ coats, fleece, hats, and more, $14.99 or less
- Save up to $30 on Oral Care, including Oral-B electric toothbrushes
- Up to 25% off select skin care products, including Dove, Olay, and more
- 11/23/15--14:00: How to: Build a Minimal and Versatile Wardrobe
- 11/24/15--06:00: How to: Make Your Own Copper Pipe Bike Basket
- 11/24/15--07:00: Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Awesome Gift Ideas for the Outdoors Guy
- 11/24/15--13:00: Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Bourbon under $25?
We've seen a couple of these incredibly designed tiny houses popping up over the last year and they never cease to amaze me. The stories people have about living in them and the desire to simplify one's lifestyle has great appeal to my nomadic bones, but I particularly wanted to point out this one for both its charming aesthetic and its use of space. This 236-square-foot home is called the Woody by the couple that built it in an attempt to capture the warmth of winter cabin with the charm of a summer home on wheels. What impressed me most is their sacrifice of storage space in exchange for more inviting open spaces (I've written copy for a couple major motorhome companies and this is somewhat taboo). Not to mention that their entire dream home was made for under $50,000.
Read more about the couple and how they actual designed/built the Woody on Dwell.com.
If you camp anything like we do, you always pack a bottle or flask of something to sip alongside your first aid kit and headlamp ever time you spend a night under the trees or stars. And if you're careful, you can use it to help start a fire. And if you're in a bind, it might even help save your life.
The team at Backpacking magazine put this video together, and it's worth a watch.
Over the weekend, I was working in the garage when I found myself in a familiar position. I needed to transfer a pencil line from one face of a piece of stock to the one around its corner. Sounds simple enough to do with a square, but I've had this problem before. Sighting the line isn't accurate enough, and a traditional try or combination square isn't of much help here. Here's why:
Layout and measuring squares all have two faces that are set 90° to the blade. This is great because it allows you to flip the tool and butt it up against any edge, and it allows you to use the inside corner of the tool to check for square. But it means that the square doesn't have a single, straight line that can turn a corner. The fence of the square obscures the mark you need to transfer the line.
Check your combination square case. In it, you'll find the center finder attachment, which I'll admit to having used exactly 0 times since I bought this square seven years ago. (I have a special Robert Larson center finder plate I use all the time. It is amazing and only costs $7.00.) But, unattached to the rule, the center finder attachment is the perfect tool for transferring marks from face to face. A perfectly square inside edge, and two co-planer outside edges to register your mark.
So, scribe your line, place the center finder against it, and boom - a fence to guide your pencil exactly 90° around the corner. Done and done.
I've recently become fascinated by the artistry that goes into objects that I interact with on a daily basis but normally consider too quotidian to think about. And manhole covers definitely fall into that category. They're an essential part of any city's infrastructure and their design and manufacture isn't something that should be overlooked. And now, thanks to this National Geographic short, you can pull back the curtain and see how the majority of manhole covers in the US are made... in India.
It's shocking to see such an icon of modern American infrastructure created in such antique methods in a world that feels like it stands at such a remove from our own. Nevertheless it's a fascinating two minutes from filmmaker Natasha Raheja's documentary, Cast in India.
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.
The hacksaw, like many of our favorite tools, has gone virtually unchanged for nearly 150 years, and its basic design dates to a couple centuries before that. Its structure is simple, its purpose is clear, and it does what it's designed to do.
Which is, of course: cut stuff. Namely metal, but also wood and plastic/PVC. For the money, it's incredibly versatile, and a must-have for woodworkers and general DIYers who occasionally have a need to cut metal for projects. Which, of course, if you make stuff, you're gonna need to. Trimming bolts and other hardware to length, cutting aluminum angle or l-stock to size, cutting PVC or metal pipes, sizing sheet goods, etc, etc, etc.
I prefer them to a tool like an angle grinder and cutting disc for crosscutting metal, as they allow for much straighter, precision cuts, and despite the physical work involved, actually end up being a lot faster than setting up a powered tool, donning safety gear, etc. Not that metal cut-off saws aren't great, but for quick, portable cuts that allow you to get back to work, nothing beats a solid $20 hacksaw. I'm not lugging anything with a power cord up a ladder or under a cabinet unless I absolutely have to.
A hacksaw is a basic C-shaped frame, usually designed with a pistol-style grip at one end. Modern hacksaws have screw adjusted pins that make quick work of installing and removing blades, which are a standard length of 12". Tightening the screw and closing the handle puts the blade under tension, allowing it to cut quickly with only the desired amount of flexing.
The real trick to using a hacksaw well: the bi-metal blade. These use a soft but high-speed steel to create a fine tooth pitch that will last against hard materials, but isn't as brittle as harder steels, preventing breakage and allowing the blade to last a great deal longer. These blades also have a gentle wave pattern rather than teeth set side-to-side. This creates the right amount of clearance for the small teeth, allowing them to stay on the line.
In short: a bi-metal blade can cut, basically, any material soft enough to cut with a saw.
When looking for a hacksaw, your best bet is to simply buy one from a name you trust. They're not $8.00 tools, but they're not $40.00 ones either. Anything made from mostly metal in the $15.00-$25.00 range will work. Smaller saws, often called "junior hacksaws" work well in tighter spaces (say, under a sink), but if you want something small, just go for a knife-style grip "mini" or "compact" saw.
Don't skimp here. The difference between a buy-it-for-life tool and a intro model is only a few bucks. $25 will get you a heavy-duty model that can support a variety of blades and won't tire you out. Get the one you need, and never need another.
There's no better way to say it: we're big fans of the Biolite stove technology. We like the wide variety of local, found fuel sources it can accept, and we really love the mission to bring efficient, clean combustion cooking options to homes in developing countries where smoky indoor fires are the norm. And, it can charge your portable electronics while boiling your water or grilling your dinner? Done!
So, we're excited to team up with BioLite to host a ManMade giveaway. Together, we're giving away a BioLite CampStove, which allows you to use found fuel sources like branches and twigs, and burns so efficiently that you can cook on it and charge your phone at the same time (yep - it generates electricity)! Perfect for your next adventure. The BioLite is available at Lowe's. Read on to find out how to win one!
From the website description:
Burning only wood, the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and flames are hyperefficient with performance on par with white gas stoves.
And the specs for all the engineers among us:
Cool, right? Want to win one? Okay, here's how:
Oh, all these great pics are directly from the BioLite Instagram handle. Follow them there for all kinds of inspiration.
This is a sponsored giveaway in partnership with BioLite. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade and continue to allow us to give away content for free.
There's nothing wrong with expecting a properly made cup of coffee, even in the backcountry. Well, maybe especially in the backcountry, when you've spent a long night trying to stay warm on a minimal mattress and a crumpled up fleece as a pillow.
There are a variety of brewing methods available, from press pots that integrate with your backpacking stove to classic cowboy coffee, which involves putting the grounds in a kettle boiled over a campfire, and just filtering out the solids with you teeth. Right.
Kuju coffee offers a new twist on camp coffee: a pourover system that combines beans and filter in one. The whole thing takes a twist on the teabag structure by adding foldable, cardboard wings that allow you to suspend the filter on the cups rim, ready to accept your hot water at will. Of course, having a cookpot with a pour spout would help, but as anyone who adds boiling water to a meal packet knows, you can get pretty accurate results with a pot grabber and a slow pour.
Each serving weighs less than .5 oz. Kuju's Kickstarter has been fully funded, and they start shipping in early 2016. Learn more at Sunset's Westphoria blog.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
Artist Ray Cicin had had enough of his designer friends talking smack about the humble ball point pen. So he gathered up all their discarded and leftover pens and set about to create this huge, wall-sized piece.
Every citizen of planet earth (who can) should watch and try to understand this:
You can tell whether or not an avocado is ripe at the market. The Kitchn has the technique breakdown.
David wrote up that outdoor gift guide. Was thinking I could publish today. is that okay, or too much crossover?
It's been a long time since I've been this excited by a movie trailer. #zomg
I want to eat these every day from now until New Year's Eve.
We all have a few of them in our lives, that person who prefers the woods to just about anything. Here are 10 stocking stuffers they'll definitely take on the next adventure. I know, outdoor guys are a hard group to shop for. We seem so happy to wander out into the woods and sleep on the ground, shedding creature comforts for the thrill of the wild. So what do you get the guy who is willing to brush his teeth with pine needles to shave off a couple pounds? How about a few simple pieces of gear that make life a bit more enjoyable on the trail.
Some of these are priced a little above the "stuffer" price range, but all are lightweight and will fit easily inside a sock. And one of them actually is socks... cause backpackers actually like getting those things for Christmas.1. Stanley Stainless Steel Shot Glass Set $20 - After a long day on the trail, these nesting shot glasses will get the campfire conversations off to a good start. Stainless steel and built as rugged as your grandfather's lunchpail, they are not only trail worthy, but just about a trail necessity.
2. Ultimate Survival Blast Match $25 - This one-handed flint sparked works when you really need to get a fire started because it uses a flint striking system to throw hot sparks on the tinder. Compact and durable, it's a must to ensure you can fend off the elements out there.
3. Hydro Photon SteriPEN $90 - For it's size, the price is a bit surprising. But it's hard to put a price on clean water and a function gut. This stashable pen uses UV light to sterilize water so you can dip right out of the stream without worrying about getting sick along the way. Just swirl the pen around your bottle for about a minute and you go from sketchy to sanitary.
4. Yeti Rambler Coaster $30 - From the makers of the most durable cooler I have ever seen, comes an over-the-top beer cookie that will keep your can or bottle frosty for hours. Yes hours. We personally tested a few and they kept our brews amazingly cold hours from the trailhead.
5. Leatherman Freestyle Multi-Tool $50 - It's always a good idea to carry around a few tools. Leatherman is known for durability, usefulness, and I'm always amazed how many tools can fit in one tiny little package. This gift will come along on every adventure, and probably used every other day as well.
6. Goal Zero Flip 10 Recharger $30 - A bit of extra juice is useful in just about every moment of our modern tethered lives. This becomes even more true when we leave the outlets behind at the trailhead. Give the gift of juice to your power-hungry friend with this small USB charging pod about the size of a candy bar. With 2600mAh of power, it should give a cell phone at least 75% more life so there will be plenty of power for a few selfie on the summit.
7. Sun Bum SPF 50 Sun Protection $10 - Even though we tend to forget, the sun is brutal and a bit of protection goes a long way to making an outdoor jaunt enjoyable. This 1oz container stuffs just about anywhere for on-the-go protection from the elements.
8. Smartwool Socks $20 - How about putting a set of stockings in the stocking this year? Adventuring is tough on the peds, but we seem to neglect them until they're sore, sweaty, and just worn out. Comfort for your feet starts with a quality sock, and it's hard to find one better than Smartwool's Merino Wool offering. The materials naturally wick moisture away from the feet and hold up well to trail abuse.
9. Freeze Dried Ice Cream $2.50 - Treats on the trail are the silver lining in our adventures. No matter how tough a day in the woods, this astronaut food just seems to make it amazing, and since it's dehydrated, there's really no extra weight for the indulgence.
10. Hydro Flask 40oz. Wide Mouth Water Bottle $35 - This gift is great for everyday use, because who really drinks enough water these days? Hydrate well with this insulated bottle that keeps contents hot or cold for a ridiculously long time. Made from stainless steel, the bottle is built to last in even the toughest hands.
With a few of these pieces hung on the mantle, the outdoor guy in your life is sure to be a happy camper.
I'm personally a big fan of the mid-century modern decor that has had such a resurgence as a result of Mad Men's influence. That said, I think it's easy in the men's blogosphere to preach its virtues as the be-all-end-all of masculine home decor and go a little overboard. However, I found all of the advice from this interview with set decorator Amy Wells to actually be incredibly helpful in thinking about the feeling you want to evoke with your home decor, and also how best to implement that on a budget.
Wells gives some great color palette options that men tend to under-use while talking about key design concepts, such as choosing a focal piece (artwork, a color or theme) for a room and working your design out from there. She also makes the observation that men's homes tend to be on the colder side of the cozy-to-cold spectrum and benefit from an eye toward making a place more inviting and warm through the use of rugs and throw blankets.
Check out the full article on Primer Magazine and let us know your thoughts.
I'm a big fan of internet radio. It's customizable, high quality, and increasingly easy to use. Here's a project for those with a bit of tech savvy mixed in with your DIY prowess. I've got a collection of old smartphones that serve as my digital jukeboxes around the house and shop. They are dotted throughout the rooms and serve up Pandora and Amazon Music as the situation needs. But the interface and audio quality leaves me pretty disappointed, and it's just not the most convenient way to consume my tunes.
One of the hurdles that I've had integrating my music hubs is the lack of technical knowledge on how it all works. That's why I was excited to find this in-depth project tutorial on making a fully independent internet radio with all components and speaker built right in.
The laser machine is a bit hard to find at the moment, but that won't stop a guy like me from making a case to house the components, and with the tech knowledge provided I'm just about brave enough to tackle this project.
Here's a like to the full instructions and materials list. It's a big project and will likely take some time. But it looks possible, and that's the first step, right? Let us know if you take it on and how the project ends up!
Ahh...the pocket earbud tangle nest. You've seen it, you hate it, and you promise yourself not to do it again next. We say, this weekend, do something about it. And unless your gonna put it it under glass and give it to someone as a housewarming present, we say: make an organizer for it.
Instructable-r Amalkhan has a collection of tutorials that are designed to help you keep those cables tangle free. My favorite the the keychain design above, but she's a few simpler "taco" style designs that'll work equally well. Plus, you can choose your materials - leather, felt, brass, stainless - to customize the exact look that'll fit your personality.
Get the full how-to here: Earbud Wire Organizer [Instructables.com]
Let's dispense with the formalities, shall we? You're here for stocking stuffer gift ideas, and we are here to give them to you. Here are all the things you should put in your stockings this year:
2. Oyster Knife, $13.99
3. Military Compass, $8.00
4. Multi-Tool, $4.97
5. Stanley Traveling Flask and Shot Set, $39.95
6. Painter's Pyramids, $7.97: These small triangles make paint and stain projects so much easier.
7. Phillip's Bit Tip, $6.18
8. Magnesium Fire Starter, $5.46
9. Wall Mounted Bottle Opener, $8.49
10. Shotshell Thermos, $42.95
11. Marking Gauge, $19.99
12. Gamma Ray Cheaters Glasses, $9.95
13. Paracord Survival Pod, $27.50
14. Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap, $7.19
15. Military First Aid Kit, $29.95
16. Tovolo Ice Molds, $8.99 (for a set of 2)
17. Sliding T-Bevel Gauge, $12.49
18. Burzoff, $10.95
19. Beechwood Mallet, $19.14
20. Pellet Smoker, $31.25
21. Heavy-Duty Leather Hole Punch, $8.99
22. Badger Shaving Brush, $12.95
23. Razor and Brush Stand, $16.95
24. Fire Hose Hold Everything, $24.95
25. Black Diamond Head Lamp, $31.93
26. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, $16.83
27. Silk Twill Pocket Square, $11.99
28. Denim Kitchen Apron, $27.95
29. Carbon Pocket Knife, $12.95
30. Screwdriver Set, $39.99
31. Buck Naked Boxers, $22.50
32. Space Bullet Pen, $13.42
33. Fiebing's Saddle Soap, $9.49
34. Thymes Frasier Fir Candle, $27.95
35. Field Notes Memo Books, $9.95 (for a 3-pack)
36. Moscow Mules, $36.97 (for a set of 4)
37. Stainless Steel Straws, $32 (for a set of 10): These are the only straws you'll need to enjoy hot beverages.
38. Fire Hose Bi-fold Wallet, $44.50
39. Subscription to the Sunday edition of the New York Times, $20: A Sunday subscription will cost roughly $20 a month depending on your location.
40. Pendleton National Park Beanie, $19.50
41. Dritz Sweater Stone, $6.99 (Pills begone!)
42. Free Swingin' Flannel Shirt, $44.50
43. Panasonic Headphones, $10.90
44. Bike-Mounted Growler and Holder, $90
45. Herschel Supply Co. Travel Pouch, $25
46. Wigwam Socks, $9.78: Get literal, with good stockings for the stocking.
47. Wooden iPhone Case, $12.99
48. Oiled Leather Wild Boar Boots, $89.50
49. Bench Dog Work Grippers, $9.99
50. Rubs of the States BBQ Gift Set, $18.50
Baaaah! I couldn't resist. Here are two more!
51. FUUT Desk Hammock for your feet!, $14.99
52. HD Camera Lens Kit for iPhone/Android, $24.99
This gift guide is sponsored by Duluth Trading Company. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade.
You've probably heard of Eddie Bauer's outdoor gear, but do you know about the man behind those outdoor products? The company put together 10 little known facts about the founder, and they're as impressive as you would expect. I don't think that Eddie expected his outdoor company to become one of the most established in the country, but after reading about the many aspects of his life I'm sure not surprised.
Read all about this amazing man's life on their website here.
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.
An adjustable wrench is great for quickly tightening a loose bolt or taking a hex head measurement, but if you've got a lot of hardware to fasten and would prefer not to smash, scrape, and bang your hands and knuckles, only the ratcheting socket wrench will do.
What's a Socket Wrench?
The socket is, well, a socket, that fits flush around the head of a fastener. Most modern hardware that requires a wrench (all manner of bolts, hex-headed screws) have a hexagonal head, and most modern sockets have points to match and grip the fastener tightly for lots of torque.
The socket is attached to a socket wrench via a snap on drive fitting. With the ratcheting drive mechanism engaged, the socket wrench will tighten or loosen the hardware when turned in the proper direction. When pushed or pulled in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise in tightening mode) the handle does not loosen the bolt but allows it to be repositioned for additional turns. The tell-tale "ratcheting" sound indicates that the ratcheting device (the thing that allows the handle to move in both directions while only engaging in one) is working via its gear and pawl mechanism.
Of course, the ability to drive hardware with less effort and in much tighter spaces without having to reposition the wrench is obvious.
Great. I already knew what a socket wrench does. Now what?
Cool. Me, too. Now let's get what we need so that we can have the right tools on hand, aaaaaaaaaand know where they are. Because it is the sockets, more than any other tool I own, that I struggle to keep organized so that I can easily find the right driver when I need it. Which means it not only takes forever to find the right tool, it takes that same length of time to find the next size down because you guessed wrong the first time. And unless you're an established mechanic, I suspect the same is true in your workshop.
So, first, if you don't already have one, you're going to want a full set in both standard (SAE) and metric drivers. The reason is: the hardware you buy at the store for new projects is most likely going to be standard sizes, but the items you own and work on will most often be in metric. So, a set of each. And don't get these one by one. Just save up to get the standard full-sized set at once. You'll save a lot of money over buying individual sockets.
Then, start gathering your accessories. There are a variety of wrenches, such as breaker bars and swivel headed ratchet wrenches, that will help reach hard to access or very tight fasteners. There are adapters to go from the standard 1/2" square ball-indent heads to the smaller 1/4", swiveling adapters to change drive angles, and special tools such as the spark plug wrench, which is hexagonal on both sides and turned via a T-wrench.
Oh, and a 1/2" extender bar is an absolute must. It helps you get the clearance you need and saves much headaches and bloody knuckles.
Now... to keep things organized. There are variety of methods, from removable rails, to custom foam inserts to special trays that fit inside a rolling tool chest. The best solution for you will depend on your setup. If you have a classic standing mechanics toolbox with its pull out shelves, then an organizing tray made for those standard drawers will work best. If you throw yours in a box, a drawer, or portable tool box, a spring loaded clip holder is a good option to keep them ordered. If you store your tools on pegboard, a set of sized storage trays and a custom shelf would be great.
Or, if you buy a new set, just get one that comes with a molded case and a spot for each size. Built-in organization. Done.
The Black Friday arms race isn't good for humanity, but it can help the price-conscious consumer. Amazon is gearing up for an 8 day Black Friday sale and here are all of the deals you may want to check out from electronics to home renovation equipment to outdoor gear.
Home & Kitchen:
Sports & Travel:
Most of us want to look good and don't like excessive things that just take up space. Hence the pull to simplify one's wardrobe and put an emphasis on curating limited goods that offer quality and versatility. Thankfully, we're not the only ones feeling that. Below is a great roundup of two Art of Manliness posts touching on that very subject.
The first is a video from Art of Manliness creator Brett McKay taking you into his closet/podcasting space to discuss his limited wardrobe and the items that he finds offer the most versatility.
The second resource is an article by AoM's resident style adviser, Antonio Centeno on How to Build an Interchangeable Wardrobe. Both are quite practical and offer some good suggestions on what to look for in an article of clothing and what exactly constitutes versatility.
The bicycle basket is a long standing accessory that's great for carrying anything from picturesque picnic supplies to laptops to bulldogs apparently. The copper piping makes for a slightly antique or hipstered look and could be all the makeover your bike needs. Alternately, just build the basket and keep it around the house, fill it with plants, fill it with dogs, etc.
We all have that guy in our lives, the one that can't resist the call of the wild and spends all his spare time chasing trails and posting nature selfies. Or, for many ManMade readers, it's us. Get him (or you) something he'll bring along on the journey.
1. Cotopaxi Luzon Backpack $35 - When you're heading out for a day hike, light and small is what keeps it comfortable out there. This durable pack has enough room for a few layers, snacks, and extras on the trail.
2. MiniPresso Portable Espresso Kit $50 - Just because you're out of range doesn't mean you can't have your daily jolt. This hand pumped espresso maker serves up enough pressure to give you a delicious shot of java no matter where you find yourself waking up.
3. Zippo Hand Warmer $15 ($30/pair) - These pocket hand warmers make a frigid day much more enjoyable. Small and light, they are easy to stow when not in use. Grab a set for you while you're at it, because once you try them out the temptation to keep them is pretty compelling.
4. Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen $50 - Having a clean space to prepare food is an often overlooked part of camping. This simple kit comes with two knives, a cutting board surface, and integrated ceramic sharpener. Because you shouldn't have to leave all your comforts at home.
5. Timebuk2 Rogue Backpack $60 - A commuter pack that serves double duty as a high quality day pack? Yep, this pack is equipped with plenty of pockets, gear loops, and a flip top to fend off the elements and allow for easy access. The stealth black is a great choice for everyday use.
6. Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System $80 - The ability to make hot water is invaluable when out camping. This personal cooking system collapses down small enough to be packed easily, but still boils water in a matter of minutes.
7. Komono Magnus Watch $75 - It's easy to lose track out there of the hours during a day in the woods. As good as that can be, sometimes it's important to keep an eye on the time. This simple, understated watch is large enough to read at a glance and stylish enough to be worn as a daily timepiece.
8. Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens System $80 - Getting great pictures in the wild is a fickle thing. Trying to cut down on the weight while keeping quality up is a delicate balance. But this clip-on lens kit will upgrade that cell phone camera with versatile, high quality results.
9. Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro Bluetooth Speaker $80 - Just because you aren't near an outlet doesn't mean your music can't tag along. This small Bluetooth speaker has an integrated flashlight and mounts to a backpack strap or bike handle. So it serves double duty out there.
10. Orvis Scrimshaw Knife Kit $100 - This is a combination gift, both useful and DIY customizable. The kit comes with everything you need to make a custom knife handle that will stay close for years to come.
Somehow I ended up with an extra one in here, just had to mention my favorite winter shoes!
11. Adidas Outdoor CW Zappan II Winter Mid Boot $130 - Keeping those feet warm is almost as important as making them look good right? These shoes feature a suede upper, felt sockliner, and plenty of insulation to keep you warm on the trail or wherever else the day takes you
With these gift ideas, you're bound to find something they'll not only love, but use often in the wild. Who knows, you may end up out on an adventure right there with them, so don't be afraid to grab a little something for yourself, just in case.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.
Throughout the next few months, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party. Now that we're deep into the cold months of whiskey season, we've turned on sights on the true American whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon.
The good news here is: there are lots of great options under $25. A whole lot. Step up from the bottom shelf of $12 and $15 bottles - none of which to me, when drunk neat, taste like much of anything, like they've been pre-mixed with water; I guess that's why people drink them over ice or with cola - and your options really open up.
There's also a wide variety of price. I got spoiled growing up in Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River from Kentucky and Bourbon country, where, frankly, bourbon is quite cheap. Here on the west coast, far from the corn and rye fields of Kentucky, it's a little pricier. Most bourbons are a good 25-30% more here; so our pick, at my local shop, is $22.95, but in other parts of the country, comes in at $18-19.
Okay, so what's the pick? Boom: Old Forrester Signature 100 proof. Not quite barrel strength, but definitely packs a punch. And that's exactly why we're recommending it - more flavor to the sip without burning out your palate. And, it's very widely available all across the U.S.
Old Forrester is now owned by Brown Foreman, makers of Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve, and shares a mashbill with (less expensive) Early Times. And here's what I love about it: it doesn't taste like vanilla extract. It's bourbon, sure, and definitely tastes of corn. But the balance with the rye and barley is spot-on, which makes it versatile. If you want it sweet, mix it with something sweet. You want it cold, mix it with something cold. But served neat, it really holds its own, and does not get lost in any standard cocktail. Its finish is nice and oily, and stays on the palate.
There's a standard blue label Old Forrester at 80 proof which might suit you well, but I think the $3.00 upgrade is worth it. You can always add a little water.
Give it shot. If its not for you, here's a few other equally good bottles that are more expensive (over $25) but solid choices: WL Weller 12, Four Roses Small Batch, Jim Beam Single Barrel, and the Knob Creek 9 Year.