Thursday, October 31, 2013

Design a laser-cut Spirograph-like toy

The number of teeth on the outer ring and the inner gear determine the number of "points" on the resulting full drawing. When setting out to design a spirograph, I first fiddled around with a few different size rings and gears.  I found that, for a given ring and gear size, the number of "points" can be determined by dividing the least common multiple (LCM) of the number of teeth on each of the two elements (ring and gear), divided by the number of teeth on the gear.*  

Using this equation you can make a spreadsheet with columns as ring sizes and rows as gear sizes to help you choose the numbers of teeth for the elements of your toy.

Excel has a function for least common multiple, and thus it's easy to write a formula this purpose:


where B1 contains the number of teeth in the outer ring and A2 contains the number of teeth on the gear; see the screenshot.  

...Or just download the Excel file below.

As you might expect, for rings with a prime number of teeth, the number of points is always that number.  For gears which have a prime number of teeth, they result in designs with a number of points equal to the number of teeth in the ring.

* Perhaps this value has another name, but I'm no mathematician; please let me know if there's a more simple name.

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AirAudio Makes Your Android Device Airplay Compatible

AirAudio Makes Your Android Device Airplay Compatible

Android (Rooted): AirAudio is a utility that lets you Android phone or tablet play nicely with your AppleTV, Airport Extreme/Express, or any other AirPlay compatible device in your home entertainment system. Best of all, it's free.

Your Android phone needs to be rooted for AirAudio to work, but if it is, you'll be able to push any audio from your Android phone—whether it's a streaming music or pre-recorded audio, to a set of AirPlay compatible speakers or audio devices. Once installed, all you have to do is select the available AirPlay devices on your network, set the output volume, and listen while your music comes out of the big speakers instead of the small ones. You can even play your Android's audio through multiple Airport receivers at the same time.

The app doesn't technically require Ice Cream Sandwich, but ICS users will get the most benefit. There are two audio output modes: "system audio" and "microphone." Microphone is great if you want to speak into your phone and hear it through the speakers, but "system audio" is what you really want to use. On pre-ICS devices, "microphone" is the only option, and it essentially plays your audio on your phone and uses microphone mode to pass that audio to your AirPlay speakers. It's a little echo-y, but it works, even on unsupported devices.

AirAudio is free, and it's a great option if you're rooted and running ICS. If you're not, it's still worth a try if you can't find another app that bridges the gap between your Android phone and your AirPlay speakers. Hit the link below to grab it.

AirAudio (Free) | Google Play

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Twig Candle holder

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Semi-Restore Restores Your iPhone without Losing Your Jailbreak

Windows/Mac: SemiRestore is a new app for jailbroken devices that makes restoring your iOS device to a stock-like version as easy as a click of the button.

With SemiRestore installed, you just need to run the app with your device connected to your computer. SemiRestore will go through and clean everything up while retaining both your jailbreak and you current iOS firmware. This means it deletes all your apps, settings, jailbreak tweaks, and everything else. You won't need SemiRestore often, but it's good if you need to troubleshoot some problems, or if you've just installed too many tweaks and want to start from scratch.


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A4 Suspension Filing Drawer

This is an Ikea "SNACK" box hack. A perfect upgrade from that tiny filing box with a flimsy handle that you used as a student; this filing drawer rolls along the ground and can sit unobtrusively under a bench or shelf.

I recently decided that I would transfer all my files to a hanging/suspension system. However, I didn't want a tall 4 drawer filing cabinet, and despite much searching - I found nothing in the UK that fitted my requirements of being low profile, modular and expandable. I discovered several (expensive) "Filing Benches" in the US that looked good, but despite toying with the idea of making something similar - I thought I would leave it to someone with superior woodworking skills.

So this is what I settled on - A very sturdy, mobile filing system made with simple techniques that require very little DIY skill.

Have fun playing with the design - I welcome improvements and suggestions. If you make something similar - I'd be really interested to see your take on it.

Enjoy my first instructable!

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Egg Fried Rice

P1020457.JPGEgg fried rice is an easy to make quick and tasty Indian cuisine. It takes just about 10 minutes to make this delicacy when you are in a hurry, provided you have the cooked rice ready.P1020441.JPGThe following ingredients are required to make the Fried egg rice: About two cups of cooked rice Two eggs Two medium sized onions, chopped Four green chilies A bunch of Curry leaves One tablespoon of cumin powder and turmeric powder mixed Black mustard seeds Salt to taste About one tablespoon of cooking oil

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Delicious Promeal Recipe: Protein + Oatmeal

High-protein oatmeal is a delicious healthy meal option - and will keep you feeling full, while giving you energy to make it through the day!

I started doing a tough fitness program called P90x two years ago - and it changed my life. I had gained 15-18 pounds prior due to being ill with carbon monoxide poisoning - and P90x helped me get my metabolism going and become super fit. I decided to try something even more challenging - Insanity! The program came with a meal plan and the first recipe in it was for "Promeal." I made it - and was weary of tasting it at first - because it had a scoop of protein powder in it and I didn't know how that would taste. But, it was so delicious that my son wanted to eat it too! So this Instructable will teach you how to make it! It's easy and really makes me feel great - I can eat it and workout shortly after without any problems and it keeps me full so much longer than anything else I normally eat for breakfast! It only takes 5 minutes to make!  I'll also give you the nutritional information with the recipe.

So, I hope you enjoy this - feel free to modify it to suit your taste!

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Smoggy Displays Your Current Air Quality at a Glance

Smoggy Displays Your Current Air Quality at a Glance

iPhone: If you're particularly sensitive to particulates in the air, it's important to monitor the air quality in your city when you make your weekend plans. Though it's not packed with tons of features, Smoggy is a great way to get this information at a glance.

The app includes air quality data for over 500 US cities, and you can add multiple locations to your favorites if you're traveling. Each city displays the AQI (Air Quality Index) in a large typeface, and also provides particulate matter (the size of the particles in the air), and Ozone pollution if you want some more specifics. Though it's not a weather app by any stretch, it will also provide you with some basic info like the current temperature, chance of precipitation, and wind direction so you don't have to open another weather app for this basic information. Finally, each city includes an air quality forecast for the following day to help you plan, though it's scant on the details. For a bit of fun, the app also lists the ten current cleanest and dirtiest cities in the US (Washington state has amazing air, for what it's worth).

Smoggy is great if you remember to open it when you wake up, but automatic push notifications every morning would really take it to the next level. Still, at only $.99, Smoggy is worth checking out if you have a sensitive respiratory system, or live in a heavily polluted city.

Smoggy ($.99) | App Store via Beautiful Pixels

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Desktop owners — do you ever put your computer to sleep?

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Desktop owners — do you ever put your computer to sleep?

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Fabric Belts (Stiff Enough to Hang Things From)

Fabric belts are pretty easy to make, and I'll show you how to make them stiff enough to support bags, knives, mugs, or whatever else you can think of.  Want to make interchangeable bags to hang from your belt?  I've got you covered:

You will need:

Fabric for the shell of the belt (can be two different colours; then it's reversible!)
Fabric for interlining (you may omit this if your shell fabric is heavy and stiff)
Ultra-stiff sew-in interfacing/stabilizer (you may omit this if you don't need your belt to bear weight)
Something to secure your belt - a clasp, a large D-ring, etc.
Optional: 1-inch D-rings

If you are going to use a normal belt buckle, you will also need:
A leather punch
A belt buckle of the appropriate width

Note: If you buy things from Jo-Ann Fabrics, always use the coupons!  I never pay full price there.

Plus normal sewing things: thread, scissors, pins, measuring tape or ruler, pen/pencil/chalk, etc.

For inserting the interfacing, you will also need a hand-sewing needle and a cork, rubber eraser, or similar item.

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Five Best Airlines for Frequent Fliers

Whether you love to fly or you do it often for work or school, you probably have a preferred airline. You don't even need to fly often to have a favorite that treats you well, offers great frequent flyer perks, or is affordable and available where you live. This week, we're going to look at five of the best airlines for frequent travelers, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week, we asked you which airlines were the best for people who fly often. You weighed in with a variety of suggestions—some surprising, others not so much, but we tallied up those nominations to find out which airlines were your favorites. Here's what you said, in no particular order:

Five Best Airlines for Frequent Fliers

JetBlue is a low-cost airline based out of JFK International Airport in New York City, but that operates across the United States and also serves destinations in Central and South America (a total of 78 destinations). Although the company only started flying in 1998, it's earned a large and loyal following among passengers that prefer it (myself included) both for its generous TrueBlue frequent flyer program but also for its approach to passenger comfort, on-board technology, and customer service. Those of you who nominated the airline pointed out that they listen to consumer feedback on their frequent flyer program, their frequent flyer points never expire, service a number of regional and smaller airports (and offer lower ticket prices at those airports, which can save you money), and hey—unlimited snacks and in-flight entertainment on every flight don't hurt either.

Southwest is the world's largest low-cost airline, one of the US's largest airlines overall, and services over 85 destinations in the continental US and Puerto Rico. Based out of Dallas, Southwest is well known for keeping its costs down (largely by only flying Boeing 737s and by pre-buying their fuel to avoid expensive fluctuations in fuel prices) and for passing those savings along to the customer. The airline has a number of programs designed for frequent travelers, from their Rapid Rewards miles program to the Rapid Rewards credit card, which is widely regarded as one of the best for travel rewards. Southwest also recently acquired AirTran (for those of you who nominated AirTran who might not know) to expand their portfolio. Those of you who nominated Southwest praised the company's egalitarian approach to seating (love it or hate it, Southwest has no reserved seating, first come-first serve), flexible flights and approach to rescheduling, and the fact that their frequent flyer rewards are based on dollars spent, not miles traveled, making the A+ level easier to reach. Are they the most luxurious airline? Not at all—but they're affordable, available, and flexible.

Alaska Airlines, despite its name, services over 91 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. It's responsible for almost all air travel to Alaska from the contiguous United States, and is based in Seattle. It's sister carrier is Horizon Air (for those of you who nominated Horizon), and the airline is fairly independent—it's not part of any other airline alliance. It's frequent flyer program, simply called "MIleage Plan," racks up the miles pretty quickly (especially if you're flying to Alaska), and is fairly generous. Your points never expire, and the list of partner airlines where flying gets you qualifying miles with Alaska is ridiculously long. Some of you who nominated Alaska pointed this out specifically—that even when you're not flying Alaska, you're earning miles and points you can eventually use when you do fly Alaska. Wi-Fi on all flights doesn't hurt either.

British Airways, the largest airline in the UK and a major international airline. While a number of our top five are domestic airlines with destinations in the United States, British Airways is based in London and is a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance of airlines, and after its 2011 merge with Iberia, it became one of the world's largest air carriers. BA and its subsidiaries service over 150 destinations on all six inhabited continents. BA has two frequent flyer programs: the Executive Club for BA flights proper, and the Diamond Club for British Midland International flights(which has since been rolled into the Executive Club). Membership in both programs is free, and you get qualifying points (called Avios) by flying any Oneworld partner airline (along with a few others, including Alaska Airlines!) Those of you who nominated BA praised the frequent flyer program for their exceptional redemption rate of Avios to dollars, which can make long, expensive trips extremely affordable, and for their exceptional, world-class customer service and on-board amenities for all passengers: something that many domestic carriers skimp on.

Delta is probably one of the more surprising entrants in the top five. Based on Atlanta, it's the world's largest airline if you're counting fleet size or passengers flown. Like BA, it services all six inhabited continents, a total of 247 destinations both foreign and domestic. It's also one of the founding members of the SkyTeam alliance. Many passengers have a love-hate relationship with Delta (some of you voiced as much in the call for contenders thread) but its massive size means you'll probably have to fly with them at some point. Delta's frequent flyer program is called SkyMiles, and you can earn points by flying any SkyTeam member airline along with a few others (including Alaska!), or through any Delta branded credit cards. MIles with SkyMiles never expire, and can be used for tickets, upgrades, and more. Their redemption miles/points to rewards aren't that great, but if you fly a lot, you'll probably rake them up pretty quickly. Those of you who nominated Delta praised their fleet, the fact that they're extremely convenient, and that when you are a frequent flyer, you really are treated differently. One of you highlighted the fact that they have Biscoff cookies—which weighs pretty heavily in their favor in my opinion.

There you have it, your top five airlines. Now it's time to put them to a vote and determine the all out winner:

Honorable mentions this week go out to Virgin America/Virgin Atlantic. I was personally hoping Virgin would make it into the top five, because they seem to be the last airline in the world (or at least in the United States) that actually takes the comfort and customer service of its passengers seriously. Everything from the comfort of the flight to the attention paid to your itinerary and their superior customer service are all high-points in my book, and a number of you felt the same way. Virgin walks the careful line between efficiency and efficacy. If you have the opportunity to fly with them, do it.

We should also point out that many of you nominated airlines that may not be available where everyone lives (eg, they're regional, international only, etc), and at least one of you rightfully pointed out that depending on where you live, the best airline for you is the one that has a hub closest to your home. You'll get the most perks, have the most opportunity to fly with that airline, and inevitably get the best service since the airline is based there (presumably, anyway). If you do fly often, check which airlines are closest to you, or pick an airline alliance or partner group, sign up with them, and try to stick to the airlines in that alliance—you'll rake in the miles and perks just by virtue of being a member.

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!

Photos by potowizard (Shutterstock), Aero Icarus, James, Aero Icarus, Aero Icarus, and Aero Icarus.

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Extract Clean, Drinkable Water From Plants

IMG_6471.JPGWater is the most important thing if you are stuck in the wilderness. Sure, food is important too, but you can live for a while without it; you can't survive more than a few days without water. Unfortunately, in many environments there is either a lack of water, or the water is unsafe to drink. Fortunately, there are often plants. When plants absorb water from the ground they filter out many impurities, and you can extract this clean water from them. Plants transpire water, meaning that water vapor evaporates from the leaves, and this water can be collected. The great thing is, this process doesn't harm the plant and can be repeated over and over again on different branches, and works relatively quickly.IMG_6462.jpg- A plastic bag, preferably clear (check the bag beforehand to make sure it is free of holes. If not, seal them with tape.)
- String
- A plant (I will go over what types of plants work best in the next step)

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fix Your Couch

The level of destruction exerted on your couch is will determine how much must be replaced. In this case, only the tops of the cushions were... eaten.

First, remove the cover from the cushions.

Next, using a seam ripper, remove the damaged portions of the cushions. Set the removed portions aside, you will use these as a pattern for the replacement fabric.

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Balsamic Garlic and Goat's Cheese Tart

20130618_000758.jpgThis is a delicious garlic tart that has the amazing flavors of carmelized garlic, reduced balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, and goat's cheese.  It does take a while to cook, but if you're planning to have guests over, can be made ahead of time and enjoyed piping hot or at room temperature.  Even if you're cooking for two, this dish has enough to give you wonderful leftovers.  20130617_202544.jpg13 oz puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup of water
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few sprigs for garnish
4 1/2 oz soft, creamy goat cheese
4 1/2 oz hard goat cheese (goat cheddar or goat gouda is okay)
2 eggs 
6 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
6 1/2 tbsp creme fraiche
black pepper

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Build Fake Batteries to Run Electronics On AC Power

Build Fake Batteries to Run Electronics On AC Power

If you have any gadgets that only use batteries, and don't accept AC power, you can convert them to run on the grid by building a fake battery pack and hooking it up to a power adapter.

Jason Poel Smith wanted to run his electronic baby swing off a wall outlet, but it lacked a standard barrel jack. This hack isn't for the faint of heart, so if you aren't comfortable with electronics, it might be better to sit this one out. Basically you'll need to convert an off-the-shelf power adapter to wire directly into the fake battery pack, which will involve soldering on resistors to match your target voltage. Once your power supply is ready, you can cut your fake batteries out of dowel rods, then add some screws to each end to act as the contacts. Finally, wire up the screws to your power supply, and pop the battery pack into your desired gadget. For complete instructions (you'll need them), check out the source link.

Convert Battery Powered Electronics to Run on AC | Instructables via Hackaday

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Cooking - Pot & Pan Lid Holder

20130407_141112.jpgAndrea and I were having a hard time putting down the covers to our pots and pans while cooking. The one pictured is 13" in diameter and not only was it heavy, it was difficult to put down due to a lack of space or burning your forearm. So.... I looked at Walmart for a holder of some kind in the clearance aisle. There were many different shelving brackets that may have worked for our smaller lids but not for this giant glass beast. Eventually I found a bike hanger for the garage... its padded, strong, and long enough for this large lid. After installing the new holder, I placed a couple nails in the back (see last picture) to hold the lid if it got bumped or was too front heavy. Since the holder has been installed, cooking has been much easier especially with multiple things cooking. Just lift, place, stir, and continue cooking.

Oh yeah, the steam on the lids does not drip off of the lids pictured because they have lips or ridges on them. However, make sure to shake off the flatter pot and pan lids before placing so moisture or sauces don't drip behind your stove.

"If it ain't broke, make it better!" - Chris W.

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How to Make a Smart Baby

As many projects start, I found random parts that were laying around my room, and bought a couple additional things.

The parts are listed in the photo, but here are a few notes to help explain things:

I used an Arduino Duemilanove. You can use any Arduino as long as there are 7 digital (3 of them PWM), and 1 analog I/O ports. 

The control knob I used fits the 1/4" shaft of the potentiometer. Make sure you buy a knob that has a set screw so that the baby can't easily pull it off the toy.

The resistors you need depend on what LEDs you use, what brightness you want, and desired buzzer loudness, etc. For the red 3mm LED (used for on/off status) I used a 390 ohm resistor. I used a 330 ohm resistor in the buzzer circuit so that the 'buzz' wouldn't be extremely loud. I used a 10k ohm resistor for the pushbutton switch and the rocker switch. For the yellow LED I used a 300 ohm resistor, and for the RGB LED I used 770 ohm resistors because the LED was super super bright. 

I used 3 screws to attach the Arduino board to the case, 2 screws to attach the buzzer and 4 screws to attach the back plate. Screws work nicely because the threads are big and grab into the plastic case. Use whatever sizes fit your components. 

Everything should be available for purchase at RadioShack, although they're also available at higher quality stores.

For tools you will need a soldering iron and 3D printer. If you don't have a 3D printer you can mount the switches into a box or send your file to a company that can print the case for you. You'll also need odds and ends like a screwdriver, wire cutters, solder...

Here are links to the parts I used:
Momentary pushbutton switch
Rocker switch
Control knob
3mm red LED
Arduino Duemilanove
Rotary potentiometer
Yellow LED 5mm
9v battery connector
Toggle switch
Heat shrink
Replicator 2 3D printer
Solder station

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The Cat Launcher - Energetic Cat's Workout Toy or Just a Lazy Owner

Here I'm glad to present to you my next invention!!! - The Cat Launcher

This toy is for your cat or dog or other lovely friend that is going absolutely CRAZY to chase a moving object! 

With this crazy machine you pull the string away from it ... place the string with the SHINY object at its end in front of the cat ... back off ... and ... press the launch button!

And then what you see is an animal desperate to catch the attractive bow!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Roadtrippers Helps You Find Great Attractions Between Points A and B

We mentioned an early version of Roadtrippers about a year ago, but the attraction-finding service has since added a ton of new content and features, and it's worth taking another look.

As before, you just enter the starting point and destination for your upcoming road trip, and Roadtrippers will prepare a Google Maps route to get you from A to B. From here, you can specify how far off the beaten path you're willing to go, and which types of attractions, historical sites, restaurants, and more that you're interested in seeing along the way. The map will then populate with pins to point out great places to check out during your drive.

The level of granularity available is impressive. Only interested in seeing amusement parks and microbreweries? You can filter the map down to just these options. Every point of interest also includes a place page with a crowdsourced "Rad-O-Meter reflecting the views of the Roadtrippers community. If you're just interested in browsing, the site also includes some handpicked guides that curate points of interest into unique tours. Want to visit the shooting locations of every American-filmed James Bond scene? RoadTrippers has you covered.

When you're ready to hit the road, you can even save your itinerary and pull it up on Roadtripper's iPhone app. Unfortunately, you can't plan new routes on the app, but you can check out attractions nearby, and pull up the directions you found on the web.


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Make Compact Potholders out of Sugru

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How to make an Ergonomic USB Mouse (Ergo Mouse) - made from Styrofoam


I'm a product designer from the UK. I have learned loads from this site and so, I am keen to contribute some of the things I've picked up from my 4 years as a professional. As well as making products to a high resolution for production, it's interesting to share how some of the ideas have humble beginnings in simple materials and in this case - can be pieced together from existing technology and scraps of materials. This project involves a degree of 'Frankenstein-style' Electronics; to cut a PCB from a USB Mouse up into pieces and reposition them in an (ergonomically shaped) block of Foam (styrofoam) - resulting an a fully-functioning USB Mouse, but with all the controls exactly as you want them.

This is about you controlling the materials to get the design you want, and is a great precursor to CAD work, where you might not be able to 'feel' the true experience of a highly ergonomic item like this. Of course, the process could be applied to a variety of projects - electronic or otherwise (though I would not recommend mains electricity, unless you are trained to do so).

This project builds on an earlier Instructable using Plastic Sheet to create a Solder Buddy, but can be done by anyone up for a challenge! For any other tips, I do make reference to Design Modelling as required, but try to keep the main info here on Instructables.

So, if you are ready - let's take a look at how we will do this....

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Cook Almost Anything Outdoors by Using Your Grill as an Oven

Cook Almost Anything Outdoors by Using Your Grill as an Oven

Maybe you're tailgating, or it's a just a beautiful day and you want to spend it outdoors. When it comes time to cook, your grill doesn't have to be limited to meats and vegetables. With a little practice, you can actually use your covered grill as a makeshift oven for more flexible meals.

Obviously, your grill wasn't designed to cook a meatloaf, but that doesn't mean it can't get the job done if you're careful. The trickiest part, according to commenters on Chow, is temperature regulation. You'll need a good thermometer inside the grill, and you'll need to keep a close eye on it until you get a better idea of how hot it gets at certain settings. A cheap dutch oven is also essential for most recipes, since it's really hard to burn food in them. It may take a few tries to get right, but once you have the hang of it, you can amaze everyone at your next family reunion by baking spaghetti in the backyard. Be sure to check out the source link for more tips to get you started.

How to Use Your Gas Grill Like an Oven | Chow

Photo by Semmick Photo (Shutterstock).

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Hang Headphones Off the Side of Your Desk with this Metal Stand

Hang Headphones Off the Side of Your Desk with this Metal Stand

A good pair of headphones can help you focus while you're working, but they can take up valuable desk space, and even fall and get run over by your chair. This DIY headphone stand makes sure they're out of the way, but still safe and easy to reach.

Ramadanrenan shared this walkthrough on Instructables. The stand is actually made from bent sheet metal, so this might require a trip to the hardware store, but it looks really good when it's finished. Basically, you have to bend the metal into a staircase shape to hang off the side of the desk, then use a hacksaw to cut a strip out of the middle to act as a wedge to keep it in place on the side of your table. The finished product is simple, elegant, and will work on most desks. For detailed instructions, be sure to go check out the Instructable.

Upcycled clip-on headphone stand/rest made from a printer frame | Instructables

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How to make an entire drone and camera gimbal using laser cut parts

NEXT STEP, Photos of all the frames.
This step : design

When designing anything, you need a rough idea of how you want it to turn out, I usually have an idea in my mind but for some i recommend sketching and possibly taking measurements to figure out how you want the final model to look.

In this case, i took inspiration from the basic design of quadcopters, a simple x, but i felt that was too bland and so took parts from various frame designs and fashioned it into my frame.

I wanted something unique, that stood out not simply because of the material it was made from, but because of its design
In this case i wanted a dome to house the electronics and i wanted a unique looking set of arms that werent simply to hold the motors apart.

So i came up with this design.
(image 1)

I had made it to be relatively lightweight by removing large amounts of material (the helix design which is lots of squares cut out), but  still needed it to be strong so i made a honeycomb design that was the many little squares cut out.
This halved the weight of the model, but it also hugely increase the cutting time, which i has to pay for , the longer the time to cut, the higher the price tag.
Which meant i had to compromise, so for larger parts i cut large pieces out.

so i had a few things that needed to be factored into the design to make it a viable frame.

Airflow (the props had some of their thrust lost when blowing onto the arms, so i had to make them thin or i ha to allow air flow)

Length (the props lose efficiency when close to other props, so i needed the arms to be long but not ridiculous)

weight (the copter loses flight time with weight, so i had to make it as light as possible)

Time Cost (because i pay for time used on the cutter, i had to make the design relatively simple)

Material strength (i could not design outside of the materials strengths, it could not be ultra thin as it could snap, or oscilate causing bad flight performance)

With the above factored in, The design can go ahead.

the trick is to design part by part, rather than design it all in one go, in this case, i designed the sides of the arms before i designed the top/bottom or plates, the arm was designed to be two x the length of the propellor i would use, this ensures the props would not be too close to each other or the board.

I tried to make the design as unified as possible which meant as few joints as possible thus as few weaknesses as possible.
so now i had to make it 3d, which meant in between the two side plates i had to put somthing that spaced them.
I could have printed out lots of side plates and stuck them together, but it would have used huge amounts of material and would have been heavy, instead i used spacer plates that slotter in with finger joints.
There were just slightly wider than the motor mounts and were 3mm thick, one thing to note when designing how they fit together is make sure you know the thickness of the material you are using.

In this case i used 3mm MDF so the finger joints were 10mm long and 3mm wide.
I tried to make the spacers as long as possible to make assembly easier and reduce cutting time .
I also had to make the plate the motor would mount onto.
I used dedicated spacers for this and used two samwidged together for extra strength.
at the time i did not know where the motor mount holes would be, so i cut generic equally spaced holes.

I now had to make the holes in the side plate that the spacers would fit into, so i made a line of boxes 100mm ling, 3mm tll and spaced 5mm apart like the fingers on the spacer plates, i then took the template and placed it on top of the side plate in the position needed..
It was very simple to do and the end result was a clean design.
i did make sure that the holes where the spacer plate slid into, would not compromise other parts of the frame making it weaker.
, i now had he arm designed, but i need to think how i would fit 4 of them together, so i h to make two plates that would clamp to the bottom and top of the arms, to hold them in place securely, this was ver simple, i measured the space i had available on the top arm and make a square that was double the size.
I then put two "fingers" that poked out of the arm that would slot into the top plate.
, i then had to put holes in the top plate that would allow those fingers to slot in, as you can see in the photo i did just that but i forgot the arm was actually in 3d and at the time only put in one set of holes for each arm.

So i had to correct this which was simple. i just copied the holes and spaced them the correct distance apart..
Now that i had a top plate, i decided i would simply cut out two and stick one to the bottom in the same manner.

I now had to design the holes for fitting the flight controller, this was difficult as again i did not have the measurements of controller at the time, so i made a generic design that would supports lots of mounting points.
I also put in lots of holes for any extra wiring that would need to be slotted through.

I now had to think about the dome,  it would be too weak on its own, so i made a simple spacer that all the arms slotted into and make it far stronger.
the frame was now finished.

when i later cut it out and tried it, i found i had not completely thought out all the design, it was still a bit too heavy, the motor mount plate was a bit too weak and the dome needed strengthening.

So i took these ideas and proceeded to design many different frames, somewhere for fun and some were for practicality, you will see them all in the photos.

As you can see i have had a lot of fun designing the different frames, i have tried all sorts of designs, some for strength, some for practicality some for looks, some for nostalgia.

I have also included the image where i designed the frame and the image where i space it for the laser cutter bed.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Berry Crostata with Cornmeal Crust

IMG_1027.JPGOne of my favorites to make when I don't have enough berries for a whole pie. I got the idea for the crust from an old Bon Appetit magazine.The cornmeal and orange zest in the crust add texture and flavor that makes for an exciting twist. I used olallieberries from my garden. They are similar to blackberries, but are sweeter and have smaller seeds. You can use any type of berry for this recipe. Sometimes I like to mix a few different types.


1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour 
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp (packed) orange zest
3/4 tsp salt
14 tbs (1 and 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
1/3 cup (or more) ice water

1 cup sugar
3 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

IMG_1014.JPGFor my crust, I used a pastry cutter to mix together my ingredients. However, if you do not have a pastry cutter (or don't feel like using one) you can also use a food processor. 

Mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, orange zest, and salt in a large bowl. If you're using a food processor, blend the ingredients. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add it to the mixture. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients or blend until the butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add 1/3 cup ice water and use a large spoon (I used an ice cream paddle) to mix the dough until it clumps together into one mass. You can also just continue to blend it in the food processor until it clumps. If the dough is not clumping, add an additional 1 teaspoon of ice water. Gather the dough into a ball then flatten it into a disk. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least one hour before baking. The dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a day before baking.

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Make Chocolate Dessert Bowls - The Easy Way!

Make Chocolate Dessert Bowls - The Easy Way! head.feature("loggedin", false);InstructablesExplore Create Contests Community 3 Simple Ways to Share What You Make

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#community-menu .btn {width:123px}#community-menu .bg-icon.groups {margin-top:0} Groups » Forums » Answers » Featured Groups Bare Conductive Drawing and Art Sustainability 123D Fenix Intl, Ready Set Off The Grid Featured Authors let's makeLogin Sign UpLog InLogin with Facebookshare what you make >#one23d-promo-tab {width:44px; height:30px; background:url(/files/orig/FAC/AR9X/HEI4FPWK/FACAR9XHEI4FPWK.png) no-repeat 0 -80px}#one23d-promo-tab:hover {background-position:0 0}#radioshack-promo-tab {width:98px; height:30px; background:url(/files/orig/F8R/DBYW/HHJO6SS3/F8RDBYWHHJO6SS3.png) no-repeat 0 -40px}#radioshack-promo-tab:hover {background-position:0 0}#hub3dp-promo-tab {width:117px; height:30px; background:url(/files/orig/FVG/9TM9/HHJO6SS4/FVG9TM9HHJO6SS4.png) no-repeat 0 -40px}#hub3dp-promo-tab:hover {background-position:0 0}body.topic,, {background-color:#d44400 !important}div#propricing label {vertical-align:top}3D PrintingRadioShack123D Make Chocolate Dessert Bowls - The Easy Way! by StuffStephMakes rated 5 stars based on 18 ratings Featured+ Collection  Favorite video Make Chocolate Dessert Bowls - The Easy Way!If you have ever been to my house for dinner, chances are I served you dessert in one of these tasty little indulgent treats. The method that I *might have* created, allows you to be artistic in your design and particular with adding toppings to your chocolate bowls which can really enhance the overall appearance and taste. In this Video I will show you how to make 5 different styles of chocolate dessert bowls! Thanks for watching! xo Steph :) Flag this comment as:Not NiceInappropriateSpamPreview Your Commentuploadyour library

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updating61M.C. Langer says: Jun 23, 2013. 10:30 AMReplyWOW!!! looks absolutely delicious!!!! :-)58marcellahella says: Apr 24, 2013. 2:03 PMReplythey look so pretty and good! and you make it seems easy too8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to marcellahellaMay 3, 2013. 11:05 AMReplyThanks!! It is SUPER easy! Seriously, even if you make mistakes they seem to always turn out looking like you planned it! :)psy_goblin says: Feb 17, 2013. 9:15 AMReplyThese are brilliant! I have seen and tried a few different techniques for making chocolate bowls but this is without a doubt the best! really regretting giving up chocolate for lent now! cant wait to try them when lent is over!
8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to psy_goblinMay 3, 2013. 11:05 AMReplyThank you so much! You have incredible will power, eating chocolate to me is like breating air... I just got to! ;) 66lmnopeas says: Sep 30, 2012. 4:25 PMReplyThese are amazing! Thanks for the great tutorial! 8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to lmnopeasMay 3, 2013. 11:04 AMReplyThank you!!! :D6cookery says: Nov 28, 2012. 6:39 AMReplyBeautiful! I love your creativity.8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to cookeryMay 3, 2013. 11:03 AMReplyThank you so much!! :)3We Lived Happily Ever After says: Sep 25, 2012. 1:30 PMReplyLOVE This!8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to We Lived Happily Ever AfterSep 28, 2012. 2:09 PMReplyThanks!! :)28janw says: Aug 23, 2012. 11:13 AMReplyThey look amazing and so tasty.

Just one little remark: As Baker's and Chipit (or whatever they are called) aren't available worldwide (I've never seen them on mainland Europe), it might be better to discribe the ingredients as what they are. And in the case of chocolate, it's always good to mention the percentage cacao.

Other than that, great instructable!6Monster Muncher says: Aug 18, 2012. 1:35 PMReplyAmazing so yummy8StuffStephMakes (author) in reply to Monster MuncherAug 19, 2012. 3:13 PMReply... you don't even want to know how many of these I devoured when the camera was off!! ;) About This Instructable823 views

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Aug 14, 2012


StuffStephMakesStephanie Prentice  Follow84Bio:I love to create, up-cycle and re-purpose. I always have a dozen projects on the go, am always on the cusp of becoming a hoarder and spend a lot of my time staring into space, slightly cross eyed, more »More by StuffStephMakesTags:dessertchocolatecloseStatsTotal Views823Views Today14Comments14Favorites18RelatedDecadent Chocolate Truffle Dessert ShellsDecadent Chocolate Truffle Dessert Shells
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