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Awesome Hacks

Bi-directional Bike Chain

Bi-directional Bike Chain

On a normal bicycle, the drivetrain only engages when you pedal forward. Move your feet backward, and the rear axle freewheels. But BigWR likes to build unusual bike mods, and created a unique gear and chain configuration that moves the bike forward whether pedaling forward or backward.

Putting Tracked Wheels on a Car

Putting Tracked Wheels on a Car

We’ve had the pleasure of driving a customized Nissan Altima with snow tracks. This build from Garage 54 is the low-budget equivalent of that, using a janky old Lada and fitting it with dual rear tires wrapped in metal tracks. It’s definitely not the most agile vehicle in the snow, but it is able to drive on some sloppy powder.

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One-Handed Mini Chainsaw

One-Handed Mini Chainsaw

Because of their size and weight, chainsaws typically require both hands for safe operation. Make It Extreme shows how it’s possible to engineer and construct a compact chainsaw small enough to be held with one hand, yet capable of sawing through thick branches and making very rough cuts of lumber.

Roller Coaster Bicycle

Roller Coaster Bicycle

Scotty Cranmer and his pals hacked together this ridiculous bicycle with an oversize hoop that surrounds its rider. The design lets the bike and its rider perform rolling flips when going down staircases or on flat surfaces with enough momentum.

Turning a Dremel Tool into a Helicopter

Turning a Dremel Tool into a Helicopter

Using a Dremel rotary tool to power an R/C helicopter seems like a really stupid idea. But Peter Sripol is the guy who built an airplane out of an angle grinder, and a gas-powered NERF blaster, so if anyone can pull it off, it’s him. But there’s much more to engineering a helicopter than just slapping a rotor onto the Dremel.

The Trash Train

The Trash Train

Sometimes we forget to put our trash cans out until the garbage truck is already outside. What we need is Max Maker’s Trash Train running on a schedule. Max built this automated railway for his cans when he had to start storing them on the other side of his house. Engineering and fabricating it was more complicated than it looks.

High Speed Kayak Paddle

High Speed Kayak Paddle

Paddling a kayak can take a lot of strength and isn’t very fast. In the interest of decreasing effort and increasing speed, inventor Colin Furze made a custom kayak paddle with a powerful motor and propellers to give things an extra boost. But is Colin’s idea a breakthrough or a bust?

Building a Lada Helicopter

Building a Lada Helicopter

The guys from Garage 54 have done all kinds of stupid things to Lada cars. For this experiment, they wanted to see if they could turn one of the old Russian jalopies into an improvised helicopter by connecting its drivetrain to a propeller on its roof. Place your bets now on whether this thing will ever get off the ground.

Building a Fan-Powered Tandem Bike

Building a Fan-Powered Tandem Bike

Freestyle mountain bike rider Sam Pilgrim got his hands on a beat-up side-by-side tandem bicycle and thought it could use an upgrade. So he and his pal Louie outfitted it with a powerful 80cc paramotor fan. The resulting vehicle is insanely loud and squirrely as hell. We’re impressed they didn’t roll it.

Hands-free Bicycle

Hands-free Bicycle

This bike without handlebars is neither a bicycle nor a unicycle. It should officially be called a tricycle because it’s got two tiny skate wheels in front and a single large bike wheel in the back. Whatever you call it, BigWR’s custom ride sure is unique, and it balances surprisingly well.

Taking Photos with Oranges

Taking Photos with Oranges

It’s not difficult to make your own pinhole camera. But we would have never thought to make one inside of an orange. While you could use any enclosed container, the idea of snapping pictures with citrus fruit is a novelty. We’re going to get to work on a canteloupe camera next.

The Right Way to Use a Backup Camera

The Right Way to Use a Backup Camera

Backup cameras have been a great addition to modern cars, improving rear visibility and reducing fender benders. But they don’t all do a good job telling you how far you are from objects. This guy came up with a clever hack to ensure he always parks just the right distance from the wall in his garage.

World’s Fastest Roomba

World’s Fastest Roomba

A Roomba has a top speed of about 1.1 mph. Electrosync knew he could do better. After cleaning out the dirt and dust from a Roomba’s vacuuming duties, gutted the robotic vacuum and installed two high-performance RC car motors. The two-wheeler can spin incredibly quickly, but how fast is it in a straight line?

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Turning a Washing Machine Into an Aquarium

Turning a Washing Machine Into an Aquarium

Washing machines can hold dozens of gallons of water without leaking, so it seems only natural that they’d be a good starting point for a fish tank. Aquarium Info shows us how transforming the home appliance into a habitable environment for fish is more involved than you might think.

Making the Worst Inventions

Making the Worst Inventions

YouTuber I Did a Thing has made more than his share of dumb and dangerous things. For this video, he took on a couple of his viewers’ bad ideas and attempted to build them. First up is a bidet powered by a pressure washer, followed by a ceiling fan with machete blades, a jackhammer pogo stick, and solar panel sunglasses.

Angle Grinder R/C Airplane

Angle Grinder R/C Airplane

We already know that it’s possible to turn angle grinders into a drone. Now aviation enthusiast and maker Peter Sripol has proven it’s possible to fly an R/C airplane propelled by the fast-spinning power tool. That propeller could do some serious damage once it gets up to speed.

Building a Guitar from IKEA Furniture

Building a Guitar from IKEA Furniture

You can find all sorts of great household items and furniture at IKEA. But if you ignore the assembly instructions and make up your own, it’s possible to hack together stuff that’s not in their catalog. Tchiks guitars shows us how he used wood from various things from IKEA and turned them into a great-sounding electric guitar.

Riding on Wooden Mountain Bike Wheels

Riding on Wooden Mountain Bike Wheels

We already know it’s possible to build an entire bicycle out of wood. But how durable are wood wheels when pushed to their limits? Mountain biker Sam Pilgrim fitted his bike with some custom wood wheels and put them to the test on a forest trail, a pump track, and even a staircase. They held up way better than we expected.

Mowing a Lawn with a Laser

Mowing a Lawn with a Laser

There are a number of robotic lawnmowers on the market, but rctestflight wanted something more modern than spinning blades to cut his grass. So he set out to build a lawnmower robot with a 40-watt cutting laser in place of a blade. It works quite slowly though, and his drone motor lawnmower seems more effective.

The Ultimate Donut Machine

The Ultimate Donut Machine

The guys from Garage 54 are in the business of doing stupid things to cars. Recently, they chopped off the rear axle and one wheel from another old Lada then reconnected it directly to the drive shaft. It’s now a vomit-inducing donut machine – though it can never drive in a straight line again.

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Building a 3-Story Bicycle

Building a 3-Story Bicycle

Remember that time Colin Furze built a ridiculously tall bicycle? Well, The Real Life Guys have outdone that by some measure. After being set loose in the Urban-Drivestyle bike factory, they fabricated a 16-foot-tall bicycle with seating for six. The video is in German, but insane builds are a universal language.

Building the Ultimate Bokeh Camera

Building the Ultimate Bokeh Camera

DIY Perks takes a break from building awesome computer and video game systems to focus on a photography project. At the core of his custom large-format camera is a lens from a vintage opaque projector. When used to capture images, it gulps in a huge amount of light, resulting in a dreamy depth-of-field bokeh effect.

Making a Double-bladed Saw

Making a Double-bladed Saw

The Q typically spends his time building things that aren’t particularly useful. But this time out, he came up with a design for a saw that can cut through tree limbs twice as fast as usual. The saw uses a pair of blades and a spring to clamp down against the wood to double cutting speed.

Split-Wheel Bicycle v2.0

Split-Wheel Bicycle v2.0

After showing us it was possible to ride a bike with its rear wheel split in half, Sergii from The Q came up with an even more radical build. Starting with the split rear wheel, he modified the front of a bicycle with an extension arm and split the wheel into thirds. He had to experiment with configurations to make it work, though.

Angle Grinder Drone

Angle Grinder Drone

This video from AHHAA Science answers the question: “Can you turn four angle grinders into a drone?” From the looks of things, the answer is “Yes.” But the reality is that real power tools would likely be too heavy to lift themselves, and it’s much more likely that they put drone motors on some fake Makita shells to make this work.

Quad-Gear Speed Bike

Quad-Gear Speed Bike

We recently saw how to create a very fast bicycle by dramatically increasing the size of its drive gear. YouTuber BigWR took a different approach by arranging multiple sets of gears to up this bike’s gear ratio. He was able to pedal up to speeds as high as 33 mph on flat ground.

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