Turning a leaf blower into an R/C plane

In this video, amateur mad scientist and maker Peter Sripol turns an unmodified leaf blower and some foam board into an R/C-controlled plane. This is part of a series of him turning drills, gaming chairs, Roombas, bottles of Coke, and R/C cars into planes.

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Video about making blacker-than-Vantablack pigment in a home lab

I always like seeing what Ben Krasnow is up to in his garage, whether it's making astronaut ice cream or a refrigerator that works by stretching rubber bands. (Ben was a guest on my Cool Tools podcast a few years back). In the latest episode of his excellent Applied Science YouTube channel, Ben describes the process of making pigment that absorbs even more light than Vantablack, which absorbs 99.965% of visible light.

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I have an Arduino and Intro to Making class on Skillshare and here's a great deal on a subscription

I've been a paying member of Skillshare for a few years. It's $10 a month and I'm able to watch unlimited instructional videos on a wide range of topics - programming, data science, Photoshop, photography, and tons of others.

The Adobe After Effects instructional classes were very helpful in teaching me how to make my first animated video (about blockchain technology). I'm not only a Skillshare student -- I also created two popular video courses on Skillshare. One is an introduction to the Arduino electronic prototyping platform and the other is a course on how to design and make things.

Skillshare asked me to share this link that will get you 3 months of full access to Skillshare for 99 cents. This is a great deal and a good way for you to sample everything they have to offer. Read the rest

Reinvented, a new magazine about women in STEM written by women in STEM

Yesterday, Sherry Huss, former Maker-in-Chief of Maker Media, did a Facebook post about a new magazine, Reinvented, which has just released its second issue. The magazine, available in both print and digital formats, is written about women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) by women in STEM. Read the rest

Secret history of the screwdriver

From old-school bOING bOING editor Gareth Branwyn's must-read e-newsletter "Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales":

I love The History Guy on YouTube. In this episode, he examines the history of the screwdriver and how world events shaped the development of the Phillips head and Robertson head drivers and screws. Even if you know something about the history of this ancient technology, you will likely learn some cool things from this video.

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Harvesting eyeballs from discarded doll heads for a stop-motion film

"I got all these doll heads from a scrap market in Cairo," says artist Dinaa Amin, "collected by sellers who collect them from garbage bins." She took out the eyes to make a stop motion movie.

[via Make:] Read the rest

Watch these cool sphericons roll across a table

From our friends at Futility Closet:

Fit two identical 90-degrees cones base to base, slice the resulting shape in half vertically, and give one of the halves a quarter turn. The result is a sphericon, a solid that rolls with a bemusing meander: Where the original double cone rolls only in circles, the sphericon puts first one conical sector and then the other in contact with a flat surface beneath it, giving it a smooth but undulating trajectory sustained by a fixed center of mass.

And that’s just the start. “Two sphericons placed next to each other can roll on each other’s surfaces,” writes David Darling in The Universal Book of Mathematics. “Four sphericons arranged in a square block can all roll around one another simultaneously. And eight sphericons can fit on the surface of one sphericon so that any one of the outer solids can roll on the surface of the central one.”

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Great price on a set of precision screwdrivers

If you like to repair your own electronics, this set of screwdrivers probably has what you need. It comes with the following drivers: Phillips (PH000, PH00, PH0, PH1), Torx (T5, T6, T7), Torx Security (T8H, T9H, T10H), Pentalobe (P2, P5, P6), Triwing 3.0, and Slot 2.5. It also comes with a number of other useful tools: spudgers, tweezers, and scissors. It comes with a pouch and Amazon is selling it for Read the rest

Fantastic Homer Simpson embroidery

Embroidery master Rayna created this exquisite hand embroidery of Homer Simpson disappearing into the bushes. This follows on her Lisa Simpson "true crime" embroidery and other fine Simpsons stitchery available at her Etsy shop HermitGirlCreations.

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Volunteer "stick library" is a hit with neighborhood dogs

Andrew Taylor lives in Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island; when he grew frustrated with the local park's lack of good throwing sticks with which to amuse his dog, he created a "stick library" -- a engraved box with a dozen throwing sticks pruned from his home trees, smoothed down and readied for throwing. Read the rest

Bunnie Huang's classic "Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen" is now free online

Bunnie Huang (previously) is a legendary hardware hacker, and one of his claims to fame are his annual trips to Shenzhen -- China's electronics manufacturing hub -- with groups of MIT students to show them how electronic production actually works in the field, both so they can design projects with that reality in mind, and so that they can get an appreciation of what's happening behind the scenes when they order parts, tool up a line, or otherwise interact with the factories -- tiny and massive -- of the Pearl River Delta. Read the rest

My top ten maker tips for 2019

In the spring of this year, I started a weekly tips newsletter, Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales. I had released a book of tips in 2018, called Tips and Tales from the Workshop, and couldn't shake the habit of tips-collecting. So, I decided to launch a newsletter to share what I was rounding up each week.

The newsletter has been a big success and I am thrilled with the response I've gotten. I decided it would be fun to go through the last seven months content and share ten of my favorite tips with Boing Boing readers. Here they are, in no particular order.

 

Details Layer Scott of Essential Craftsman shared this pearl of wisdom on an episode about using construction string: “Details layer. The more accurate you can get in your details, even with something as mundane as how you tie your knot – it all accumulates to acceptable accuracy.” This is a maker’s truth. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because I am the king of cutting corners, lazy work habits, and fudging the details. So, I know exactly what he means. I think understanding and applying this concept is the difference between a master craftsperson and an amateur. As I work, I don’t put tools back, I don’t stop and sharpen or change blades when I should, I don’t read instructions, I try and rush things, and I try and skip doing things the way I know they should be done. Read the rest

See the magic of a Tesla Valve

In 1920, the great Nikola Tesla patented this ingenious valve that allows fluid or gas to flow in one direction but not the other. And it does it based entirely on its geometry without any moving parts. Here is the US patent, number 1,329,559.

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Video tutorial on how to play retro video games with a Raspberry Pi

In this video from Pi My Life Up you'll learn how to install and use software called RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi. RetroPie lets you emulate a bunch of different game platforms, like Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and so on.

By the way, I co-wrote a book with Ryan Bates called Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming: Build Consoles and Arcade Cabinets to Play Your Favorite Classic Games, which has instructions for building a tabletop arcade machine. Read the rest

Tesla Cybertruck in LEGO

BrickinNick created this LEGO model of the new Tesla Cybertruck. BrickinNick posted it to the LEGO Ideas site. If enough people like the design, it could become an actual LEGO product. From the LEGO Ideas specs:

While its design may not be for everyone, many different elements and functions of the Cybertruck lend themselves well to an electrifying LEGO build. At this time, only the frunk (front trunk) and tailgate function. Opening passenger doors, a full interior, fold or slide out ramp, opening charging ports, steering, suspension, the Tesla ATV, and more could all be integrated (and are being worked on for future project updates) making for an incredibly fun building experience. LEGO motorization could even turn this into a truly all-electric vehicle in brick form!

Dimensions: 35.6 cm L x 15.2 cm W x 12.7 cm H (14" L x 6" W x 5" H)

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An inexpensive home sewing kit for repairing clothes

Costing just on Amazon, this small sewing kit contains everything you need to make minor repairs to clothing. The only other thing you'll need is access to YouTube, so you can learn how to sew on a button, mend a tear, or repair a small hole. Read the rest

Video: a simple guide to electronic components

I enjoyed watching this video by a fellow, who goes by the name of Big Clive, which explains what basic electronic components (resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors) do and how they do it.

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