Build your own bagpipes out of a trash bag and record and learn to play in quarantine

Instructables.com has some new instructions on how to build your own bagpipes, and all you need is:

1 Garbage Bag or large plastic bag 2 Recorders (or 2 PVC Recorders:https://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Recorder/) 2 Pens (You can also use a decent sized straw or a piece of hose) Scissors Tape

It sounds a little ridiculous, but when you break it down, bagpipes are basically just a recorder with a drone with an attached airbag. As long as you're social distancing, you can imagine yourself standing atop the grassy peaks of the Highlands, where your DIY Garbage Bagpipes can be heard all across the land, undoubtedly pleasing your neighbors to no end.

I know what I'm doing this weekend.

How to Make Bagpipes Out of a Garbage Bag and Recorders [Instructables.com]

Image: Public Domain via PxFuel Read the rest

Dad transforms cat-carrier into pod to protect baby from coronavirus, design inspired by 'Death Stranding' game

This dad in China created a 'baby pod' suit to protect his child from coronavirus. His ingenious DIY design was reportedly based on the action game "Death Stranding." Read the rest

Enjoy the pandemic by building an electric guitar at home

I have always wanted to do this.

My good friend Dan Olson shares this video he made while building his Warmoth Telecaster. Read the rest

3D printer maker, Prusa Research, retools its factory to manufacture hand sanitizer

Today I got a message from my friend and former Make: colleague, Matt Stultz. Matt now works for Prusa Research, the award-winning Czech 3D printer company created by force-of-nature, Josef Prusa. Matt forwarded me this tweet from Josef:

And Matt writes:

We have converted over some of the equipment we use to make 3D Printers into the production of hand sanitizer for our employees and the office. Kind of an interesting sign of the times and a show of what a flexible company who cares can do.

As Josef's tweet links to, the WHO has instructions [PDF] on how to DIY brew hand-sanitizer in large batches. Of course, you need to make sure you know what you're doing and that you have the right concentrations of ingredients. Also, a humectant (moisturizer) must be in the formulation as a skin care agent. Glycerol is used for this purpose in the WHO recipe. As is all things: Attempt at your own risk and use common sense.

It goes without saying that hand sanitizer is no substitute for 20 seconds of washing with soap. But if you don't have access to soap and water, it beats doing nothing. Read the rest

Aquascape railroad is a very cool aquarium design project

This imaginative aquarium and train fanatic aquascaped a railroad for fishies.

Very cool aquascaping, dude. Read the rest

Making your own hand sanitizer is a cinch

Since the latest coronavirus broke cover and started scaring the bejaysus out of everyone, you may have noticed that the supplies that folks think they’ll need in the event of a pandemic are becoming hard to find.

I'm paranoid about potential pandemics, but I come by it honestly enough.

In my old life, I worked in law enforcement while SARS was scaring the shit out of everyone in Toronto. Years later, I was charged with coming up with a Swine Flu action plan for the company I worked for in Vancouver. This time around, at the first sign of things going sideways in China, I stocked up on hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and, in case anyone in my household gets sick, N95 masks.

Not everyone's as uptight about hygiene in a time of plague as I am though. If you can’t lay hands on a bottle of hand sanitizer to save your life (hopefully not literally), you'll be happy to know that making your own at home is crazy easy.

The fine folks from ThoughtCo have an easy-to-follow recipe that’ll have you sanitizing your meat-hooks without soap or water, in no time. They explain, at length, how to make the gooey magic happen, but here’s the short version:

Take 2/3 of a cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol and mix it with 1/3 of a cup of aloe vera gel. Mix them together. Dump the resulting goo into a dispenser of one sort or another. That’s it.

Like all good recipes, this one should be shared with your friends, family and community: being able to create an unobtainable safety product on your own can go a long way towards reliving stress. Read the rest

DIY electromechanical sequin clock inspired by the popular kids t-shirts

My daughter loves the flip sequin shirts that are all the rage for kids these days. Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi's daughter digs them too and she inspired his fantastic Sequino clock that "writes and rewrites" the time by flipping the sequins. Kalsi posted his build notes over at Hackaday.

Sequino: A Clock Which Rewrites Time Again and Again

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Cool retro console lets you play Conway's Game of Life

Love Hultén, who makes retrofuturistic game consoles, built this thing called an EvoBoxx, which lets you play mathematician John Horton Conway's Game of Life, a cellular automaton he devised in 1970. "The game is a zero-player game," writes Hultén, "meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves, or, for advanced players, by creating patterns with particular properties."

If you don't have an EvoBoxx, you can play The Game of Life here.

Image: Love Hultén Read the rest

Man hacks his prosthetic arm to control music synthesizer with his thoughts

Bertolt Meyer wears a myoelectric prosthetic arm and hand controlled by electrodes attached to his residual limb that pick up impulses generated when he consciously contracts that muscle. Those impulses are then translated into control signals for the prosthetic hand. An electronic musician, Meyer had the idea to swap out the prosthetic hand for a DIY controller for his modular synthesizers so he can play music just by thinking about it. This is the SynLimb. Meyer writes:

Together with Chrisi from KOMA Elektronik and my husband Daniel, I am in the process of building a device (the "SynLimb") that attaches to my arm prosthesis instead of the prosthetic hand. The SynLimb converts the electrode signals that my prosthesis picks up from my residual limb into control voltages (CV) for controlling my modular synthesizer. The SynLimb thus allows me to plug my prosthesis directly into my snythesizer so that I can control its parameters with the signals from my body that normally control the hand. For me, this feels like controlling the synth with my thoughts.

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'My hobby is designing and building unique arcade games from scratch.'

This is a really cool homebuilt arcade game project. Read the rest

Interested in hand-lettering? Here's a book for you

I love old paperbacks, especially their great hand-lettered titles. I grabbed a few from my shelf to show you what I mean:

Not many books feature hand-lettering, but there are still a number of people who keep the tradition alive. Ivan Castro, a graphic designer in Barcelona, Spain, is one such craftsman. He teaches lettering in design schools, and his book, The ABC of Custom Lettering is a beautiful and practical guide for the aspiring letterer.

Here are some sample spreads:

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Classical guitarist built a microtonal guitar from LEGO and it sounds beautiful

Most Western music is based on a twelve-tone octave with the smallest interval being a half step (or half tone, or "semitone") up or down. Microtonal music contains intervals smaller than a semitone. (Imagine playing notes between the keys on a traditional piano.) You can hear microtonal music compositions in the work of modernist and experimental composers, from Charles Ives and Claude Debussy to Wendy Carlos and Aphex Twin.

Tolgahan Coğulu is a Turkish musician known for designing an adjustable microtonal guitar and performing unique arrangements of Anatolian folk music and Ottoman maqam music. Most recently though, he took a cue from his young son and built a fantastic microtonal guitar from LEGO! Read the rest

Watch Adam Savage get zapped by electricity

A fun video from 2011 Maker Faire. Read the rest

Adam Savage's favorite tools: Handheld Sheet Metal Brake

I'm loving these 'my favorite tools' videos from the all-new ADAM SAVAGE's TESTED. Read the rest

DIY method for transmitting audio in large spaces directly to people's hearing aids

IEEE Spectrum's David Schneider participates in Quaker meetings where there are many elderly people who, even though they are wearing hearing aids, have a hard time catching comments from others around the room. One common solution to this problem is to provide headphones with FM receivers to pick up the sounds of the microphones. That approach isn't ideal, Schneider writes, because "a little awkward, in part because it makes you stand out. So Schneider and a friend bought a 1,000 feet (304 meters) roll of two-conductor, 20-gauge wire $125 and homebrewed an audio frequency induction loop that transmits the sound so it can picked up directly by hearing aids that contain a telecoil (T-coil). From IEEE Spectrum:

These hearing aids can be switched to a mode whereby they pick up audio-frequency signals electronically instead of using their built-in microphones. This system for passing the signal wirelessly doesn’t involve radio transmissions—it just uses magnetic induction. Suitable audio induction loops for energizing T-coils are found in all sorts of places, including museums and theaters; even some taxicabs are equipped with them...(S

I constructed an induction coil from a six-turn square loop of magnet wire that was about a half meter on a side (I taped the wire to a flattened cardboard box), using wire of the right diameter to make the loop resistance 8 ohms. I then attached it to the speaker terminals of an ordinary stereo receiver, one that was collecting dust in the back of my garage....

(Encouraged by initial tests and further refinements of the , another friend and I recently placed a similar wire loop in the attic of the building—which was a lot harder than laying it on the floor because we had to snake the wire around an obstacle course of roof trusses and HVAC ducting.

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This suture practice kit would be a great birthday present

This suture practice kit, which lets you stitch rubber wounds, comes with training videos created by a board-certified surgeon. What a fun gift idea. You can buy them on Amazon.

This suture kit that allows you to practice stitches: from r/Damnthatsinteresting

Image: Reddit video screenshot Read the rest

Truck has 480,000 lumen light panel installed on it

RCtestflight on YouTube was dissastisfied with only being able to light up entire mountainsides from four kilometers away, so replaced the enormous array of LED lamps atop his truck with ones including parabolic reflectors.

I initially built a 4kW LED array using 40 100W emitters with 60 degree glass lenses, but the beam was a bit to wide to be practical for use on a vehicle. After that I built a 1.8kW array using 18 100W emitters with parabolic reflectors. It had much better long distance throw and was way more practical.

It requires more than 5kw of power to operate. Read the rest

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