Sunday, June 30, 2013

Does It Matter What Kind of Deodorant I Buy?

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Antique-Inspired Drawing Table w/ Built-In Lightbox

I wanted a bigger, perhaps even fancier, drawing table than what I've been using for a few years; and I had a pile of wood left over from other projects, so! I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

The instructions here are different from what I did in a couple places, because I realized after the fact a better/more efficient/etc way of doing it.

Hi-Res Blueprint

What You Need
Wood: I used mostly mahogany and poplar; but the pegs are oak dowels, the roll guard (not the real term, but I don't know what it's actually called) is pine; the lightbox, pivot plates and angle rings are plywood (obviously would be fancier with real wood); the bottom of the lightbox is pressboard
Glass or Plastic Sheet: 24x36" piece; glass is cheaper, but plastic--plexiglass, acrylic, etc--would be sturdier; if you do go plexiglass, you'll need a thicker piece than with glass, as it's not as stiff, and so will need to route out more of the top to make it flush
Light(s): I used a set of under-cabinet lights; might get more even illumination with a flourescent bar-type light
Spray-On Glass Frost: in addition to diffusing the light in the lightbox, this also gives the glass a decent enough texture to keep stuff from sliding around on the desk
Stain 1: a light color; this will be your base; I went with a "sunbleached" shade; you just need a small can of this and your other stain color
Stain: a darker color; I went with a burgandy; again, just need a small can
Shellac: I used an amber shellac, as it imparts a warm, aged look to the wood; you could substitute lacquer or polyurethane; you'll need enough for at least 2 coats, more if using a more porous wood (mahogant, oak, etc.) and wanting a very smooth finish
12 Small L-Braces: these are used to strengthen the pivot plates and angle rings
2 Wooden Knobs: these will be fixed to the angle rings' pegs
2 Small Chains, 6" each: these are fixed to the pivot plates' pegs
Wood Glue

View the original article here

Create Your Own Solar Powered Mason Jar Nightlight from Junk

IMG_1105 -1NightLight2.jpgIt's spring which of course means two things:
- Rain, snow and snow-shovels have left wornout, damaged and broken solar garden lights in the yard.
- Garden centers are running specials on new solar lights (I found several stores selling them for $1 each)

I managed to avoid throwing out several broken solar lights by using them to create some neat "Mason jar nightlights"...just charge them up during the day and they light the way at night.
I liked the results and noticed pre-made "Solar Mason Jars" are selling for $24.00 on Amazon and even "Solar Lid Lights" (just the lids) are $12. So I tried a few more variations with a few of the $1 solar lights and put together this Instructable so we can make our own!

This Instructable describes how to create either style of Solar Mason Jar Nightlight (from salvaged or new solar lights)  
We'll start with the "new light" variation, it's a pretty easy project!

What's Needed for this Instructable:
Solar Garden Lights - either salvaged or new - you know the type, typically a cylinder on a stick with the solar panel on top Mason Jar, Band and Lid  - I used small Half Pint (8oz) Kerr brand decorative jelly jars, but any canning jar will work. Frosted Glass spray paint - I used Rust-Oleum brand. NiCad batteries - the damaged lights generally have rusty worn-out batteries, typically AA. Even new budget lights occasionally need new batteries. (found these at Harbor Freight store). If you have a charger you can try re-freshening old batteries with that. Something to cut with - I used a Dremmel, X-Acto, Tin snips and even a bench-grinder depending on how well a particular light fit into the jar.  Glue or Hot Glue gun Screwdriver - often required to access dead batteries Optional: Soldering Iron and Solder - damaged lights will likely need some repair, however new lights shouldn't require soldering Vice or clamps Colored Spray Paint - I had some sparkly blue auto paint around so added a light coat of blue to a few,
I like the blue color a lot!  Just go light on the paint, I made one that is really just too dark.
Let's make some!IMG_1075NewLight.JPGBargain solar lights are either:
- larger than the 2.25" opening of the Mason jar
- smaller than the opening in the Mason Jar

Larger: The first style I tried was (on clearance from 4th of July) just a touch larger than the opening. Easy enough to detach the blue top section from it's plastic post (not shown here).  Next to make things fit I simply had to cut the sides of the light off using the dremmel and a tin snips.
This particular size light worked really well because no rewiring, cutting of the lid or even gluing of the lid was needed. I found these at Menards for $1 ...think I better go back for some more!

Smaller - Here because the solar panel itself is so small it would slip through the jar "band". I had to cut a hole in the lid, and then glue the light to the lid.
(another solution might be to copy the size of the lid out of something easier to cut, plastic (like the top of a Skippy jar maybe) or wood. I haven't tried this technique yet)

I cut the lid hole 2 different ways:
- Marked a square on the lid and used the Dremmel to cut the opening.
- I also used a hole-saw to create a round hole. The hole-saw technique is easier, but partially blocks the solar panel.

Another problem with the smaller size light: the battery inside was a 1/2 AA...looked like a AA only half the length. I couldn't find a replacement so I made my own battery holder from spare cardboard and used the AA size...see the images below.

View the original article here

Make Facebook More Searchable with Email Notifications

Make Facebook More Searchable with Email Notifications

Facebook's email notifications are usually just annoying, and we often recommend turning them off. Weblog MakeUseOf discovers a good reason to keep them on: it makes your entire Facebook archive searchable.

All you need to do is turn on Facebook's email notifications, then set up a Gmail filter that automatically marks them as read, archives them, and labels them. That way, you never have to deal with them cluttering up your inbox, but if you ever want to find an old post, you can just search your email inbox for a direct link. It isn't for everyone, but if you find that you get annoyed at not being able to find old Facebook posts, it's a pretty clever solution. Hit the link for the step-by-step.

Facebook Search Sucks - Use Facebook Email Notifications as a Workaround | MakeUseOf

View the original article here

Laser-cut leather keyring

IMGP5103.JPGThese cute heart keyrings could be made in the traditional way, cutting the leather by hand, but a laser cutter slices through leather like a knife through butter and does the job quickly and super-accurately.  That means you can use the shapes cut from one heart to inlay into a different coloured heart.  A Zing 16 would be perfect for small projects like this and if I win the Epilog challenge I'll be trying more ambitious leather inlays.

The heart measures 1.5" x 1.5".  It's a good size for a keyring to use around the house, eg for a window key or a cupboard key.  It would also make a neat handbag charm. The contrasting inlay is in the front only, the back is plain.

You will need (for 4 keyrings)

A 4" x 4" piece of leather in each of 2 colours
Four 1/2" diameter split rings
Rubber cement or other glue suitable for leather (the glue from a puncture repair kit will do)
A craft knife or Stanley knife
A metal straight edge
A bulldog clip or clothes peg (clothespin)

The thickness of the leather doesn't matter much, but the 2 colours should be of approximately the same weight.

You can use my design of a heart with a little star cut out of it, or create your own.  Step 1 explains how to make a design of your own suitable for laser cutting. 

Screenshot 1.jpgIf you want to use this small heart design, just download the PDF onto a memory stick and take it along to your local FabLab or wherever else you can borrow a laser cutter.  The lines on it are 0.01mm wide to suit the laser cutter I used, but you should check that this line thickness is right for vector cutting on your machine too.  The file format needs to be correct as well - PDF files might not work for all machines. 

For anyone who wants to create their own design, here is how I did it. 

Open up Inkscape (which is open source and free) and explore the shapes that can be created within it, like circles, ovals, stars and polygons.  If you find something there that you like, fine, go ahead and draw it. The shape needs to be one that will work as a keyfob with a hanging loop, so an oval, circle or hexagon would be good, a star less good. If you want a more complicated shape like a heart or a flower, it's easier to find a suitable image on the internet or draw one using other software like Gimp or even Word - try Insert, Shapes in Word.  Copy the image (click on it and then Control-C, or else right click and choose Copy), then open up Inkscape and paste the image (Control-V). Add a smaller cut-out shape in the middle of the first shape.  Do this either within Inkscape or by pasting a new image on top. When you have it the size you want it and in the right position, group the 2 shapes by clicking to select the larger shape first, then hold down Shift while clicking to select the smaller shape.  With both selected, click Object, Group.  Test it has worked by dragging the shapes and checking they move together. Recolourise to make the outer shape one colour and the inner shape white, like the background.  Now you need to convert the image to a vector that the laser beam can follow. With the image selected, click Path, Trace Bitmap.  In the Mode tab, tick Brightness Cutoff and then OK.  Nothing will seem to have happened, but drag the new image off the old one, delete the old one and then drag the new one back again. In Object, Fill and Stroke, set Fill to no paint, Stroke paint to black and solid colour, Stroke Style width to 0.01mm. Copy the larger shape as many times as you need it, with and without the smaller insert, and fit them together to make efficient use of the leather.  Change the size to suit the leather you have available and the size of keyring you want to make. Save as a PDF file, or print to a PDF. 

View the original article here

How to make a feather corset

Foto0.JPGToday I wanna show you how to make a feather corset.  Foto1.JPGMaterials List:

- corset - If you would like to make it by yourself, see "How to make a corset (quick +easy)" 
- hot glue
- feathers (very soft)
- bias tape
- satin tape

View the original article here

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Textdown is a Powerful Markdown Text Editor that Runs in a Browser Tab

Textdown is a Powerful Markdown Text Editor that Runs in a Browser Tab

Chrome: If you love keeping your workflow within the browser, Textdown is a surprisingly powerful text editor that runs completely inside a Chrome tab.

Textdown is a plain text editor by trade, but it supports the Markdown markup language to create links, lists, and rich text. If you aren't up to speed on Markdown, we have a great guide to get you started. Just open a new tab in Chrome, and click the Textdown icon to open a new document. You can name it what you want, then start typing immediately.

You can write out your Markdown syntax by hand, but the app also includes a lot of standard keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow, or help you along if you can't remember how to format something correctly. CMD (Mac) or CTRL (Windows) + D will open up a handy cheat sheet of keyboard shortcuts, and CMD/CTRL + > lets you configure a ton of settings like the font, or even custom text expander macros.

The concept is similar to previously-mentioned Hashify, but with a lot more options, including the ability to use the app offline and save files locally to your desktop, either as plain text or as HTML. Unfortunately, Textdown doesn't autosave, and doesn't have any cloud storage, so be sure you save locally before closing the tab (if you screw up, File > Reopen Closed Tab will reload your work). If you want to start working on the same document later, Textdown can import any text file from your hard drive with ease. For a webapp, Textdown holds its own against native Mac and Windows Markdown editors, and it's definitely worth a look if you like to live inside the browser.

Textdown (Free) | Chrome Web Store via MakeUseOf

cheater thin mints

for cookies:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi or bitter sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

You can use white sugar for these, but they won't taste as amazing. The brown sugar really gives them extra oomph. :D

You'll also need an oven preheated to 350 F and a baking sheet with parchment paper lining it.

View the original article here

Keep Track of Delicate Laundry Items with a Dry Erase Marker

Keep Track of Delicate Laundry Items with a Dry Erase MarkerNot all laundry is created equal: some needs to get hung to dry, or go in a separate cycle. Keep track of which "special" items are in the wash with a dry erase marker.

Just mark which items are in that load on top of the washer, and you'll never throw them in the dryer by accident with the rest of the load.

Dry Erase Marker on the Washer | My Home Lookbook via BuzzFeed

Desktop Printing Press

now_epic_picture.jpg      In my history class, I recently learned about Johannes Gutenberg and the role he played in the foundations for the Renaissance. I found myself captivated by his invention of the printing press, a revolutionary technology utilizing movable, inked type that could produce hundreds of Identical prints. I found myself asking "What would a modern re-imagining of this classic invention look like?" Before long, I had developed the idea for a desktop-based, "mini" printing press that used flash cards. Combine this with the abilities of 3D printing and laser-cutting technology, and its boundaries are expanded with the introduction of type with different fonts, sizes, and effects, as well as possible decals. Alas, I lack either a 3D-printer or a laser-cutter, forcing me to make improvisations. However, after seeing the Epilog V challenge, I decided to submit this instructible, and hopefully acquire a laser-printer to make this project what it was truly meant to be. DSC_0047.jpgFor this project, you will need:


-Masking tape
-Strips of adhesive velcro (more than is pictured)
-Ink pad (used in stamping)
-foam letters (if you have a laser cutter or 3D printer, these are not necessary)
-1/2 inch bolt (approx. 5 inches)
-1/2 inch nut 

-5/8 inch
-1/4 inch

-12 wood screws approx. 1/2 inch long


-Wood saw (unnecessary if you have a laser-cutter)
-Handheld drill
-Hot glue gun

-1/2 inch
-1 inch

-Drill bit for 1/2 inch long wood screws

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Learn a Little Beer Lingo For Easier Ordering

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homemade pork won ton - 2 different ways of preparing

for the won ton:

- 1 package of frozen won ton leaves (you could also make them yourself, but the frozen ones are nice and so much less work)
- 200 g of ground pork
- 1 garlic clove
- slice of ginger, about 2 cm long
- chives
- 1 teasponn sesame oil (forgot it on the picture)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine / sake
- 1 egg
- salt & pepper

if you'll going to make the fried won ton you will also need:

- neutral oil for frying

  for the chilli dip sauce:
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chilli oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or neutral wine vinegar if you have no rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground sichuan pepper
- 1 small peeled and chopped garlic clove
- some chopped chives

if you'll going to make the won ton noodle soup you will also need:

- chicken or vegetable broth (instant or homemade)
- thin chinese noodles
- 1 carrot
- a handfull of fresh spinach leaves
- sesame oil
- some chopped chives

View the original article here

Realistic Chocolate Heads from 3D Prints

u,gui.jpegThis instructable describes the workflow used to create chocolate faces. The workflow uses 3D scanning, data manipulation, 3D printing, vacuum forming and chocolate. If your interested in using this workflow or would like some more information send use an email.  IMG_5969.JPGThe 3D scanning was done using a Mephisto scanning system. The systems very accurate. All the data was aligned and re-meshed in meshlab.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Build an Apartment-Sized Bike Rack out of PVC

Build an Apartment-Sized Bike Rack out of PVC

If you own a bike, but no suitable space outside to store it, keeping it against a wall in your home is the only real option. If you find yourself in this situation, a portable DIY bike rack is a perfect solution to keep the bike in its place.

Fuego316 shares his process on Instructables. The tutorial is pretty self-explanatory; all you'll need is about 20 feet of PVC and some L and T connectors. Just arrange them according to the instructions, and you'll be finished in no time. Considering that a similar commercial products cost in the neighborhood of $20, you can definitely save a few bucks by doing it yourself.

If storage for one bike won't cut it, check out another previously-mentioned PVC bike rack that can keep 10 or more bikes upright at the same time.

Apartment PVC Bike Rack | Instructables

How to Bring a 1970s AM/FM Flip Clock Back to Life

Would it be cool to find an old flip clock to steampunk? 

Good News and Bad News:

Good News: My chance came a few days ago and I bought a 70s Lloyds Solid State clock in an antiques flea market for a whopping $5.00 …could not pass it up.

Here comes the bad news - we brought it home and ended up falling in love with the clock radio so steampunking the item was out of the question and restoration became the priority.

The clock radio had a few issues:

     1. Missing two knobs (possibly a future instructable): 
a. Small timer knob on top of the case. I can live without it because
I can move the nub with my fingers and I won't need that option for
where it is going.
b. Knob for setting the time on the side of the case.  I can live without
this one too for awhile because I can set the time without it.  
2. Small scratches in the 100% pure fake plastic wood grain case
3. But most importantly a broken Flip Clock (that is what I will be working on)

The radio and alarm works.

For the mechanics, this Instructable will read like a diary.  I feel that I can write a how-to on just the steps that I took to solve the clock issue and ignore the discovery phase or I can tell the painful truths with all of my embarrassing hits and misses as I work my way to a final solution or call me long winded.


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Bike Kayak Trailer

I built this kayak hauler for a friend.

I spent a good bit of time thinking about the hitch.  My favorite part is using a short piece of automotive heater hose to wrap around the bike seat post.  It flexes a little, absorbs small shocks, and attaches and removes quickly with no tools.  I like it.

The trailer has a wooden frame with low-speed low-pressure wheels, slightly smaller than wheelbarrow wheels.  They roll nicely and absorb minor shocks.

It's all connected by a long piece of black iron pipe, bent to the contours of the rear bike wheel and the bow of the kayak.  And the pipe swivels in the frame so everything moves.

Main components:
- Non-swivel pneumatic casters, 10 inch diameter wheels:
- Black iron gas pipe, 10 ft length, 3/4 inch diameter:
- Automotive heater hose
- Misc timbers, metal, nuts, bolts, nails, fittings, etc.

- A hydraulic pipe bender was helpful:
- Generic handyman tools:  Drills, saws, wrenches, files, etc.

View the original article here

Five Best External Battery Packs

When you're on the go and need a little extra power for a dying phone, a fading laptop, or a weary camera, carrying extra batteries is prudent, but it takes up space and you need one battery for every device. An external battery pack lets you carry one gadget that can charge up anything you plug it into. This week, we're checking out five of the best, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week, we asked you which external battery packs were best for charging your phone and other portable devices. You offered some great nominations—more than we could feature—but we only have room for the top five:

Anker's line of external batteries hold a ton of juice (the 3E sports 10000mAh, the E4 13000mAh, and the Pro a whopping 14400mAH. The new Pro2 has 20000mAh!) and depending on the model you get, you get a slim, pocket-sized external battery pack that can go anywhere, charge multiple devices at once, and keep them both powered for hours on end even if their own batteries are dead. Many of you who nominated Anker's various external batteries praised them for portability, high capacity and small size, price point, and while not all of them can be charged via USB on their own (they require a separate charging cable), some of them do sport a flashlight and can charge even high-powered devices like netbooks and small laptops as well as phones and tablets. If you're interested, the Anker Astro3E is $40 at Amazon, the AstroE4 is $47 at Amazon, and the Astro Pro is $60 at Amazon.

New Trent started off making portable battery packs for iPhones and iPads, and they've only grown since then. The iCarrier packs 12000mAh in a portable (albeit not pocket-sized) package, and the iGeek has a 9900mAh battery inside. Both models are capable of charing your iPhone or iPad, Android phone, or any other device that charges over microUSB or USB. Those of you who praised the iCarrier and the iGeek noted that it holds a charge forever, and the easy-to-read indicator lights on the top of the device never leave you doubting how much charge your unit has left. Plus, you mentioned it's perfectly capable of charging a phone several times before it needs to be recharged itself. Both models will automatically shut itself off when the connected device is charged, can charge two devices at once. Reader weendex even took it up Mount Kilimanjaro with him, and it kept his iPhone alive and logging the whole trip via GPS the entire time-a whopping seven days. now that's impressive. Both models retail for $70 direct from New Trent, but they're both also available at Amazon: the iCarrier is $70, but the iGeek comes in three capacities, the highest of which being an 11200mAH model that's actually available for $60, less than its 9900mAh counterpart.

Energizer is a huge name in batteries, so it makes sense they would get into the world of portable power packs and chargers. Their power packs are widely available in electronics stores and on the internet, and come with far more tips and cables you could ever need to charge your devices. If you have an old old cell phone that needs a little juice, an Energizer power pack probably includes the tip to charge it, and they're all modular so you can swap them out whenever you need another. Energizer's power packs come in a variety of flavors and capacities. At the bottom is the simple, pocket-sized XP1000, a 1000mAh model that can top off or add a few extra hours to your cell phone, Bluetooth headset, or media player. At the top on the other hand is a the XP18000A, an 18000mAh model that can power your smartphone for days, your netbook for the bulk of a workday, or a portable camcorder or camera for hours on end. Plus it doesn't just charge via USB, it can also power devices via a 9-12V or a 16-20V port. Prices vary between models, and there are plenty between the XP1000 at the bottom and the XP180000A at the top. Since you guys nominated the XP18000 specifically, it's available for $140 at Amazon. By contrast, the XP1000 at the bottom is only $20.

Many of you were fans of Monoprice's external battery packs because they're lightweight, portable, and while few of the ones nominated carry a specifically high charge, they're enough to keep any phone or tablet (or multiple phones or tablets) juiced up in case of emergency, all for remarkably low prices. Monoprice does away with the need for brand names and keeps the costs low, but don't think that with low price comes low power or crappy design. All of the models are small enough to fit in a pocket, and the 5000mAh 9283 (shown above) packs enough juice to keep your device on for a few extra hours, and even has two USB ports to power two devices at the same time. Best of all, it's only $29. The lightweight 1400mAh 6915 will give you a 2-4 hour lifeline for your device via microUSB, and it's only $8. The 1900mAh 7663 sports a slide-out wall plug so you can plug it right into the wall to charge, and an extendable microUSB cable and connector plug to charge your devices that stores neatly in the battery pack's body when not in use. It's only $16. Monoprice has a number of products in the category in all sorts of shapes and sizes—from simple battery packs that plug into the bottom or side of your smartphone or tablet to more complicated units that have multiple tips and detachable cables. Browse the category to find one you like—there's likely one available, and at a steep discount.

Mophie is well known for its Juice Pack battery cases for smartphones, but in this case we're looking for purely external batteries that can charge any kind of device. Thankfully many of you came through with nominations for the Powerstation series of products, from the mainstream, sleek, and portable $80 4000mAh Powerstation shown above to the smaller, more lightweight $60 2500 mAh Powerstation mini, to the more powerful $100 6000 mAh Powerstation Duo. It wasn't universal though, and there were a few Mophie dissenters as well as fans in the mix. Those of you who nominated them praised their size-to-power ratio, offering powerful battery packs in small form factors, all of which fit nicely in a pocket, and can charge pretty much any device over USB, including smartphones, tablets, and netbooks. Mophie themselves are an established brand in the mobile battery space, all of their chargers are about the size of a deck of cards, and eschew the usual plastic shells of other chargers for something metal and sturdy. You can buy all of the Mophie models mentioned here direct, but you can save a few bucks on the 4000mAh Powerstation by grabbing it for $58 (black) or $45 (red) at Amazon.

Now that you've seen the top five, it's time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the community favorite:

Honorable mentions this week go out to the HyperJuice Plug, which despite their attempt to stack the nominations, still represents a great external battery pack that holds a massive charge and can power up multiple devices at one time. Plus, instead of needing an extra cable to plug it into a wall, the body of the battery pack has a slide-out wall plug you so you can just plug it into an outlet directly. You can even charge your devices while it's plugged in.

Beyond that, one of the best things about the other nominees this week were that many of you found and mentioned generic versions of some of the branded chargers and battery packs on the market that are available from third parties and independent sellers. Make sure to check the original call for contenders for more options!

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at!

Laser-Cut Lead Bender

Skip this step if you are happy with the two lead spacings provided (0.4” and 0.5”), and don't want to personalize the bender with your name or logo.  (If you are using a print driver other than Epilog, you may need to modify the artwork in order to differentiate raster vs. vector.)

Load the SVG file in Inkscape (or the PDF in another program like Corel Draw) and add your own logo, name, or enhancements.  The notches and spaces work well for 1/4W and similar-sized axial components.

Note that unless you get fancy with advanced print driver settings like Color Mapping, any text or logo you add will be engraved fairly deeply, since we're using the raster setting to cut a pocket for the component to sit in.  If you want to cut a ton of these out, you can optimize things so any logos are engraved quickly at a high speed setting, and the pockets are cut at the slower speed (hence, deeper).

If you add or modify any paths that should be cut, remember that the Epilog print driver requires vector cuts be indicated by thin lines (e.g., 0.002”).

View the original article here

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wooden branch trivet

sottopentola01.jpgIf you live in a wood cottage in the middle of a forest, or maybe it's enough you like country style, you would like this trivet too. It's made cutting some disks from a little wood branch, and linking them together with short cord segments. You can arrange the disks in variuos shapes, in this instructable I show you some choices, but there are infinite, also you can start from a bigger branch, and make a kitchen carpet instead of a trivet ;-)sottopentola02.jpgAs material it's better choose a seasoned wood, so it will not cracks with time, and it will not expel humidity exposed to the heat of the pots. You can also let it seasoning after the end of the making process. I've started from a branch with a regular circular section, but you can obtain good results, and maybe better ones, with a more rough shape (it depends on how much deep you live in the forest...) You have also the opportunity to leave the bark or to remove it, I've left it in some of my trivet, as you can see in the first picture, but I removed it with sand paper in this bigger disks.

View the original article here

Filter Out Cereal Dust with a Colander

Filter Out Cereal Dust with a Colander

When you're pouring your morning bowl of cereal, you might not want the dust that collects at the bottom of the box to mix in with your milk. If you only want full pieces in your bowl, just use a colander.

This tip is pretty obvious in hindsight, but it's something you might not think of when you're groggy early in the morning. Just empty out your cereal box into the colander, and let the dust fall into the sink. Personally, I enjoy "drinking" the cereal dust once a box is empty (I really hope I'm not the only one), so I might filter it into a bowl to enjoy separately, and save the full pieces for a proper bowl of milk.

LPT: use a colander to prepare the last bowl of cereal from a box/bag. | Reddit

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NES Controller Night Light in Resin


1.  NES Controller. 
The one that I used didn't work anymore.  You can purchase these from Ebay

2.  3 AAA rechargeable batteries

3.  5.5v solar panel -  Ebay

4.  Clear 5mm LED lights -  Ebay

5.  Mercury switch - Ebay

6.  Rear bike light. 
I found this one on the ground!  You can buy them though from Ebay for dirt cheap.  The one that I have linked to is a 9 LED, the one I used had 7.

7.  Computer wire.  Pulled from an old PC

8.  Casting Resin.  purchased from my local hardware store

9.  Mould.  - Ebay

10. Diode


1.  Soldering Iron

2.  Solder

3.  Pliers

4.  Hot Glue

6.  Drill

7.  Stanlley knife.

8.  Dremmel

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Take Some Time to Relax or Make Something Awesome on Your Day Off

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Tekiki Finds Great Deals on iOS Apps, Can't Get Shut Down

Tekiki Finds Great Deals on iOS Apps, Can't Get Shut Down

Apple is cracking down on app discovery services like AppGratis, but Tekiki is a new HTML5 app that circumvents the App Store to help you find popular apps that are temporarily free.

Just head to Tekiki's website from your iPhone or iPad to get started. The interface isn't particularly beautiful; it doesn't even support the iPhone 5's screen size, but it does its job. The homepage shows you the most popular discounted apps, but you can also filter them by rating and genre to hone in on what you're looking for. Apps are roughly sorted by popularity within each category too, so it's easy to find the good stuff without digging through a ton of pages. Once you find something you want, click the download link and you'll get shot right over to the App Store.

If you like Tekiki, you can add it as a bookmark to your home screen to get rid of Safari's address bar, and make it feel more like a real app.


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Solar Plane

Solar Plane Competition 090.JPGIntroduction: 
This instructable will show you how to create a solar powered plane. This project was done at Newman Smith HS in Carrollton, Texas and was sponsored by the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Department. We received most of the needed parts from Texas A&M and built the plane for the High School Solar Plane Competition on May 25, 2013. The project is not for the beginner as it gets a bit complicated. Skills that you will need include soldering skills, plane building skills, monokoting skills, and general R/C plane knowledge. Our team ended up with the Most Creative award and 2nd place in Endurance. 

Special Thanks to Texas A&M, NSHS Teachers & the DIY Drones Community (

Below are some pictures of the completed project. The next step will be the list of materials needed. 
Also included below is the link for build basics and aircraft aerodynamics- there are two PowerPoints included by Texas A&M.  If you are going to do the project, printing out these two PowerPoints will help you immensely. However, please take note that all the cells must be in series, not in parallel as one of the PowerPoint presentations describes.

Want to see more photos? PM me and I'll give you a link. 

Solarplane 008.JPGMaterials Needed: 
Glider (we used the Gentle Lady) 
Monokote (We ended up using about 3 rolls- two for the 8 foot wing [bottom] & body of the plane and another clear roll for the panels)
3x6 Solar Panels
Tabbing Wire
Bus Wire
Normal Wire
Micro Servos 
Push Rods 
Nylon Control Horns 
Li-Po Battery
ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) 
Connectors (for Wires) 
Electric Motor 
CA Glue 
Heat Shrink Tubing 
Sewing String 
Pairing Connector (depends on your transmitter/receiver) 
Nuts (for balancing wing) 
Balsa Wood Sheets (optional- depends on how big your wing is) 

Soldering Iron
Hobby Knife and extra blades 
Heat Gun 
Sealing Iron 
Large Table 
Sand Paper 
Wire Cutter 
Digital Multi-Meter
First Aid Kit 

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Round pillbox hat

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ask About Repositioning Flights and Cruises to Get a Better Deal

Ask About Repositioning Flights and Cruises to Get a Better Deal

When searching for a vacation online, you might not get the best deal. Susan Johnston, writing for US News, reports that asking about repositioning flights and cruises can save you a lot.

Airlines use repositioning flights to move aircrafts from one airport to another, and the same applies to cruise lines, which typically reposition ships twice a year. These flights or cruises tend to be cheaper but provide services similar to traditional offerings, according to Greenberg. He suggests asking about these options on the phone.

Next time you're taking a vacation and the cost seems a bit high, call your airline(s) of choice and ask about repositioning flights. You might just save some hard-earned cash.

5 Budget Travel Tips You Haven't Heard Before | US News

Image by file404 (Shutterstock).

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Tardis Bookshelf with Sound and Lights

Here's the list of parts I used:


2 - 2"x6"x 6'
2 - 2"x4"x 6'
2 - 3/4"x 4'x 8' Sheets of plywood (AB or AC (depends on the wood grain you want to see and how much money you have))
1 - 1/2"x 4'x 8' Sheet of plywood (AB or AC (depends on the wood grain you want to see and how much money you have))
8 - 1/2"x 3"x 6' Pieces of lumber (or something that can be made to that size of wood (eg. 1/2 Plywood))
1 lb box of 8x2" Screws
16 gallon wet/dry craftsman shopvac cage float (image later) this was an easy way to make the light on top since we had one laying around from an old shopvac.
Plastic Water Bottle
Acrylic sheets(got custom cut at a shop in Topeka KS)
Black spray paint(must be made for plastics)
BEHR Premium Plus Sapphire Lace Paint in Eggshell (1 Gallon)
Valspar Signature Golden Flame in Semi-Gloss (1 quart)
Clear Gloss Defthane Spray (for protection of PULL TO OPEN sign)
3" c/c Wire Pull (small handle)
Black Pull Handle
1/2" Lock
2 - Malamine edge ironon 3/4 x 8 White
1 - Malamine 3/4" Sheet 4'x 8'
1 - Door catch (metal hook type)
1 - Magnetic Door Catch
1 can of Spray adhesive
1 can of fixative
6 - Blum 95 Degree Thick Door Clip Top Frameless Inset Hinges
2 - Small hinges
1"x18 gauge Brad nails
A small Metal Bowl or some other rounded object to use as the top of the top light


2 - MicroSwitches with lever
6 - Terminal connectors (depends on switch size (used to hook up the switch without solder)) 
Arduino Uno or Other Compatible system (I used the Iduino Uno)
ElecHouse MP3 Shield (Image Later)
1 GB SD Card
5 Meter roll of cutable LED Strip
16' Extension Cord (for Power)
1 Outlet Box and Outlet
2 Adapters (12V 120 - 300 Ma and an arduino compatible Power cord (look At Arduino website)
4 or more 1/2"x2 gauge brass screws (to hold the switches)
Two NPN Transistors (pn2222 or other small one that can handle more than or equal to 12V)
A small BreadBoard 300 or more points of connection
20 ft. of telephone wire (approximately)

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Arduino Air Cap-Sense Piano

oie_FjzfHXVZyE3V.jpgI recently got my shipment of 10 buzzers I ordered about a month ago, so as soon as I got them I was eager to make something fun with them, so I looked around a bit and searched for what to do with them, and by spending some time on www.arduino,cc and posting lots of questions on the forums, I figured out what I am going to make.

I decided to make an air piano which is based upon cap-sense and the arduino.

    Aluminum tape or aluminum foil     Some wires     8 10M Ohm resistors     Piezo buzzer     Arduino     9V battery or USB cable

Basically, there are square pieces of aluminum tape stuck onto a thick card which is attached to a jumper cable and a resistor, 8 replicas of this are made, then all the other ends of the resistors are attached together and to pin3 of the arduino, this will act as the common base pin for all the sensors. The resistor values can be 2M or 10M or 40M Ohm. 2M Ohm will make it so that it only senses when you press on the aluminum tape, 10M Ohm resistor makes it so that your hand can be sensed at a little height of 2-4cm or so and 40M Ohm will sense quite a bit further, but it gets a little messy as if the aluminum tape pieces are too close together then at that height interference occurs therefore other keys might get pressed. If you want to use this 40M Ohm version then you have to make sure to place the aluminum tape pieces a little far away from each other.
I used 10M Ohm for my device and it works perfectly when I wave my hand over the note I want to use.

titre_web20.pngThe principle behind this is that the aluminum tape detects the difference between human body capacitance and the capacitance of air, or in other words the aluminum tape is given a small voltage by the arduino which creates an electrical field in that area, and when our finger(being a conductor) touches it or moves close to it so as to disturb the electric field, we form a capacitor. This change is detected by the aluminum tape and therefore sends a signal to the arduino with which we can tell it to send a signal to the buzzer.

(I have heard that we can also use resistive sensing instead of capacitive but I'm not exactly sure how it works.)

For more information:

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Easy stitch and glue monkey hand puppet

First of all, thanks for checking out my first instructable!  I've been a lover of designing and making things for many years and since becoming a primary school teacher (currently Year 2, 6-7 year olds) I've begun designing DT projects to teach my kids new things.

Our topic at the moment is Africa, and what better to design and make with textiles than a hand puppet?  So, here goes!

Tools you'll need
- Printer
- Sharp scissors (especially important if you're doing this with children)
- A large needle (helps with drawing thread through holes)
- Permanent marker pen (bullet tip sharpie works well)

Materials you'll need
- 1 piece of dark brown felt (50cm x 30cm)
- 1 piece of light brown felt (20cm x 30xm)
- ~1m Dark brown embroidery thread
- Tacky glue (I found Bostik All Purpose glue worked very well)

Now you've got your tools and materials, let's get started!

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HowLongToBeat Helps You Schedule Your Gaming Sessions

HowLongToBeat Helps You Schedule Your Gaming Sessions

There are so many great video games out there, and so little time to play them. HowLongToBeat is a community-based site that predicts how long you'll need to get through various video games to help you better plan which one to play next.

Once you navigate to the site and create an account, you can browse through a list of thousands of video games. Click the one you're interested in, and the site will tell you how long it should take you to complete the game if you're only interested in the main quest, if you want to complete the side objectives, and if you want to truly discover every nook and cranny the game has to offer. The times are all based on community members' reports, so popular games probably have more accurate data, but I couldn't find a game that wasn't at least listed.

For the curious among you, you can dive deeper into each game's page to find discussions and user reviews, see what platforms people are playing it on, and time yourself against the fastest-reported speedrun. Once you complete a game yourself, you can add your own time to the database to keep improving the service. If HowLongToBeat taught me anything, it's that I own far more games than I have time to play, but it at least helped me prioritize which ones I might get through during this long weekend.

HowLongToBeat via MakeUseOf

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Custom 3d printed car parts

The ability of 3d printing to form any shape is quite remarkable. To be able to imagine a part, design it and then simply place an order online and have it arrive in the mailbox is amazing. Especially when the part in question could not realistically be made any other way.

Take for example these lock levers from my 1962 Valiant. The originals are a diecast aluminium and feature a very fine spline. I doubt they would be able to be manufactured any other way. Even with CNC machining I imagine the part would have to be made in two pieces if it was possible at all.

The replacements were needed due to an oversight on my part. I had made some lovely new door trims for my the Valiant. The fronts turned out so well i went ahead and made the rears to match. However in my enthusiasm I did not take into account the lock levers which only feature on the rears. Show here is the locking lever spline protruding through the trim baseboard before trim, and after I had finished the trim with the padding. No spline protrudes and therefore the original lock levers do not fit. So how to fix this without remaking the whole door trims?

3D printing to the rescue!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm a dog groomer. If anyone has questions, I'd love to help.

I'm a dog groomer. If anyone has questions, I'd love to help. LifehackerHackerspaceDeadspinGawkerGizmodoio9JalopnikJezebelKotakuLifehackerSSearch LifehackerSeIILogin(function(d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) return;js = d.createElement(s); = id;js.src = "//";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
BackstoryWhere Are You Looking? Right Here! At This Week's Open Threadask the commenters roundupI have an idea for an Arduino project, but I don't have experience.Does anyone know a good way to learn how to use power tools safely?Can anyone recommend any android games for tablets?"I'm going to buy some craft beers. Any suggestions?"I need a creative way to propose to the love of my life. Any ideas?ask the commenters rounduphive mindShep McAllister5/26/13 2:00pmYesterday 2:00pmg 3,340L 1EditI'm a dog groomer. If anyone has questions, I'd love to help.Shep McAllisterPFollowOUnfollow5/26/13 2:00pmYesterday 2:00pmg 3,340L 1EditI'm a dog groomer. If anyone has questions, I'd love to help.

I'm a dog groomer. If anyone has questions regarding the topic I'd love to help.Does anyone care to share a strategy of dealing with new favorite albums?Does anybody know how in the world Amazon discounts work?So I have a decent laptop to play games with, but I dont know what I should play.I sometimes plug my Laptop into my TV with a HDMI cable. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes it takes a lot of unplugging and replugging. What gives?I need an Android app that can search through my tablet, find all of a particular file type (mp4, jpg, what have you) and move them all to a folder I specify.Does Google have any replacement for iGoogle yet?Is it worth replacing the motherboard in an old laptop?My parents are starting a company and my mom wants a logo created. Where could I crowdsource it?1jFacebookiTwitterkTumblrLDiscuss discussions displayed because an author is participating or following a participant.
additional replies awaiting review.KShow all discussionsSubmitted discussions can be approved by the author or users followed by this blog.Show moreLoad More Stories Loading more stories…AboutHelpTerms of UsePrivacyContent GuidelinesRSSJobs© Gawker Media 2013

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Rubber Band Powered Aeroplane

The first picture is really the last of this step but I put it first for easy identification of parts.

Start with the main fuselage beam, its purpose is to hold the elastic and be a bridge between the propeller and wings, as well as to the tail. It is very simple when cut from balsa, just a long rectangle strong enough to not snap when the elastic you will be using is put around it longitudinally. It can be any size, depending on how big you want your completed aeroplane to be. The fuselage beam on this one is 185mm x 1.6mm x 7mm.

Next is the basic construction of the drive system. Start this with the three new parts in the third picture, a small piece of wood (on my model about 6 x 8mm), wire/pin/straightened paperclip and a tube for it to fit into. Bend one end of the wire into a small hook just big enough to hold the elastic you will use later. To support this wire shaft, first glue the small rectangular piece of wood under the fuselage beam at the front end of it. Then glue the section of small tube under the block of wood. Slide the wire part into it to check that it can turn easily. Use picture 4 for reference to the placement of these parts.

After the above construction is complete, bend a rectangular piece of aluminium can into a tall "U" shape and glue it over the parts you just added. This will provide more strength.

For the tailhook assembly, I bent another piece of aluminium from a RedBull can in half and glued it around the aft end of the fuselage beam. You can do it like this or if you prefer, you can bend a piece of wire into a hook shape and glue it on underneath the fuselage in the same place.

To make the wing support, cut another piece of wood to 3 quarters the length of the main beam as shown in the second last picture. Divide this piece as shown in half, and then the one half in half again. Cut the 2 places you just marked and glue them in shape as shown in the last picture. Add small triangular pieces of wood at the two joins. Then glue this onto the fuselage beam about halfway along it. See the first picture for reference.

After I made the first test flight, I discovered that extra support at the base of the wing supports need reinforcing. Glue small rectangular pieces of wood on both sides of both joins to stop the wings from breaking off in-flight.

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Back Up Your Evernote Notebooks (and Keep That Important Data Safe)

Back Up Your Evernote Notebooks (and Keep That Important Data Safe)

We're all pretty big fans of Evernote, but we shouldn't let our trust in the service blind us from taking control of our own data. How-To Geek came through with a great guide for backing up and saving your notebooks, just in case.

First off, why would you want to do this? How-To Geek explains:

There are several reasons why you would want to (and should) backup your Evernote notebooks. The principle reason is because the current Evernote arrangement isn't actually a backup system, it's a syncing system. Your data is synced, rather efficiently at that, between your local devices and the Evernote servers. Syncing isn't backup though and, despite the fact that there are safeguards built into the Evernote software against this, in the absolutely worst case scenario that can befall any synchronized system, the remote file store can be wiped and the local file store can follow. The only way you can ever be absolutely beyond-a-doubt certain that your Evernote notebooks are really safe is if you back them up yourself.

Now, if even you're not worried about Evernote causing you a headache (and they certainly have a good record for data reliability and security), you should worry about yourself. There is no system in place powerful enough to protect you from accidentally or misguidedly deleting your own stuff. Once you drop the hammer on your own data, Evernote (like any other automated synchronization tool) isn't going to judge you, it's just going to carry out your orders and wipe your data. Without a backup, there's no restoring a notebook you trashed last week.

Luckily, the process of safeguarding your data isn't too complicated, and you have a few different options at your disposal. You can export your notes as Evernote ENEX files or HTML files right from the desktop app, which offers you a lot of flexibility if you accidentally delete just one note that you want to restore. Another option is to export your notes and metadata by finding the appropriate files in Windows Explorer or Finder and backing it up manually. This will preserve your tags and Notebook structure, but you can't pick and choose which data to restore; it's all or nothing. If you use Evernote primarily for file storage and syncing, you can also create a Dropbox backup of your imported attachments.

This may seem pretty paranoid, but if you're like me, you'd be completely lost if your Evernote data went kaput. It's not that much work to create redundant backups, and as always, better safe than sorry. Be sure to hit up the source link for complete walkthroughs for all of How-To Geek's tactics.

How to Backup Your Evernote Notebooks (Just in Case) | How-To Geek