Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Backyard Rocketry (2013)

The backyard is where all the cool projects happen. Projects where things might start on fire, move at high speed, make loud noises, or otherwise jeopardize the safety of grandma’s heirloom crystal collection are some of the most fun builds you can do. But they have to be done outside, and ideally near a first-aid kit. Which is why, for me, the backyard has always been a place where  large (and occasionally dangerous) projects get their time to shine.

In Backyard Rocketry, we celebrate the courage, skill, and ingenuity that comes with firing projectiles into the air without an advanced degree in aeronautical engineering. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to try out any of the DIY rocketry projects in this book, but we won’t hold it against you if you are. 

Professionals, amateurs, students, and just plain pyromaniacs have all contributed projects to Instructables.com, and we’ve made this collection of the best rocket projects on the site. You’ll find simple projects to get started in your backyard, and we’ve included a few that you might consider trying a few miles outside of town.

We've curated the projects in this book to get you started with beginner rocket projects like stomp-rockets (PAGE?), all the way to more complex projects like a solid fuel staged rockets with an in-fight camera (PAGE?). Whether you’re looking for a low-tech project for a weekend kids birthday party or a big build using all kinds of components, Backyard Rocketry has a project for you.

What are you waiting for? Get making, and transform your quiet yard from a place to relax to a live testing field where rockets can blast off and reach for the sky. No matter what your technical level you're sure to find a fun project here to satiate your rocket appetite, just remember to bring a fire extinguisher in case there's an accident and you need to scrub the launch.

Mike Warren
Editor, Instructables.com

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Resaw wood on the bandsaw and table saw - Made at Techshop

resaw - bookmatch.jpgResawing is a very useful skill to have in the wood shop, it's a fundamental type of cut, just like ripping or cross-cutting, but instead of cutting a board to length or width, resawing is cutting a board to thickness. This allows one to get multiple thin boards out of one larger, thicker piece of wood. This can be used to stretch money and materials further, or to create interesting effects using patterns in the wood grain.

In this instructable I'll be comparing three methods of resawing that I've learned and observed working at Techshop, San Francisco: resawing on the bandsaw with a tall fence, resawing freehand on the bandsaw, and resawing on the table saw.

Just for good measure, I also found a walkthough on how to resaw a board with a handsaw. I'll stick to power tools for this task since I have access to them, but I always admire those who work with hand tools.

As always, I'm still a relative newcomer to woodworking - if anyone has any corrections or additional information, please share it in the comments. Just keep the criticism constructive.

resawing - box.jpgResawing is one of the fundamental ways to cut wood. For any given board, there are three possible types of cuts - rip cuts, cross cuts and resaw cuts. The difference between these cuts is the direction the grain is facing during the cut (see first picture below).
Rip cuts are the most common cuts on the table saw, and involve cutting along the length of the board with the grain of the wood, splitting a larger board into narrower sections. Cross cuts are also very common, and just like the name implies they involve cutting across the grain of the wood, shortening the length of the board. Re-sawing is a bit less common, but very useful for certain applications. It's like a rip cut, with a twist - it involves ripping straight through the center of a board the thick way, producing two thinner boards.
Imagine I have a bunch of 1" thick boards, but my project only calls for 3/8" thick lumber. I could go out and buy some pre-milled thin lumber (which is expensive) or I could sacrifice 5/8" of my current boards by milling them down to size (turning good wood into sawdust). Neither is a good option, but by resawing my wood I can go ahead and use my rough-cut lumber, and end up with twice as much 3/8" wood. That's a good deal!
Have you ever seen nice furniture where all the front panels have matching or complementary grain patterns? How about a nice guitar top with perfectly symmetrical sides? Or a wooden box where the wood grain lines wrap completely around all four sides? Resawing is one way you can create those effects. When you cut a board down the middle, you will have 2 pieces that are almost mirror images of each other.
There's no need to stop at cutting a board in half. When you slice off very thin sections (1/8" or less) you are basically creating your own veneers. This can be quite useful for creating interesting grain patterns, like I mentioned above. But it can also be useful for stretching the usefulness of very rare or expensive pieces of lumber.

Also, with store-bought veneers, you only have 1/32" of wood to work with, and if you're not careful you can burn straight through them while sanding, scraping or planing. By making your own veneers, you can start by making them extra thick, then plane or sand them down as thin as you want.

So that's why you should learn how to resaw. Next I'll show you how I 've done it.

Bandsaws are the most common tools for re-sawing. They are useful because they can handle almost any standard size board, and can even be used to resaw whole logs. Bandsaw resawing can be difficult for beginners to master, but a properly tuned bandsaw can greatly improve the process. Table saws are useful for resawing narrow boards. The biggest advantage of table saws is that they produce very clean, repeatable cuts. It's easy for beginners to get started, because resawing is just like rip cutting, but with thicker wood. However, as always, table saws are one of the most dangerous tools in the shop - and resawing is no exception. Resawing carries a higher risk of kickback than rip cutting, if the board tips away from the blade or falls into the blade after finishing the cut. Photos found through google image search

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Do You Use Retail Stores for Showrooming?

Do You Use Retail Stores for Showrooming?

A recent survey showed that Best Buy and Wal-Mart are the top two targets for showrooming customers. Are you among them?

For the uninitiated, "showrooming" refers to browsing a physical retail store to get your hands on devices or an in-person demo before going home to purchase the product online. Sites like Amazon can often provide a better price than brick-and-mortar stores, but the downside is you can't get a feel for your gadget before you spend money on it. Showrooming allows you the best of both world (although, it can be a huge pain for retailers).

Do you take part in the practice? If you do, what can a retailer do while you're in their store to convince you to buy right then and there instead of purchasing online? Most importantly, is it worth it?

Survey: Best Buy And Walmart Are Most Popular Stores For Showrooming | Consumerist

Photo by Mack Male.

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The amazing Plasma Binary Clock, Steampunk style.

001.jpgA couple of month ago Mr. Longwinters  send me some plasma (NEON) bulbs wit European E-27 windings.
Mr Junophor offered me a big peace of mahagony wood. So I had the basic material for a steampunked binary clock.
The clock is driven by a CControl micro controller and some solid state relais.
A small Basic program reads the internal clock (controlled by a DCF signal), converts the values to binary format and sets the bulbs.
A 5V relay is used to simulate the ticking of a clock.
009.jpgHere are the materials and the parts for mounting the NEON bulbs to the clock.

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halo energy sword

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Make a Toothbrush Holder with Sugru

Make a Toothbrush Holder with Sugru

Multi-purpose, all-wonderful Sugru can hack just about anything. Add to that list your toothbrush, by mounting it to the inside of your cabinet or anywhere else in a cinch.

One little package of Sugru can make a custom holder for two toothbrushes, as shown above. So as long as you usually buy the same brand of toothbrush (or similarly shaped ones), you can get rid of that toothbrush cup and declutter your sink.

Sugru toothbrush holder | Instructables

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