The typical cordless drill operates on battery electric power. But in the hands of builder TimWelds, this everyday tool runs on nitromethane, methanol, and oil. Tim took one of Toyan’s working miniature V8 engines and retrofitted it to drive drill bits. The result is the loudest and most satisfying power drill we’ve seen.
In 1994, Sony and Nintendo collaborated on an unreleased video game console that birthed the PlayStation name. While there is a rare prototype of the system, James Channel thought it would be fun to build his own. His Frankenstein’s monster of a console has the body of a Super Famicom, the brains of a PlayStation, and a sketchy exposed CD-ROM drive.
If you can believe it, Chrysler once made a car with a record player. But skipped records while driving meant it didn’t last long. Nik from Supercar Blondie brought back the idea. Only this time, he turned the oversized wheel on a Mercedes Brabus G-Wagon into the turntable and hung an arm and stylus out the window to play some Beethoven.
Electric vehicles are gradually getting less expensive, but they’re still not exactly cheap. That didn’t stop Joel Creates from owning an EV. Only for his hacked-together “world’s cheapest Tesla,” he put a 1991 VW Golf on top of wheel dollies and four self-balancing hoverboards. Then, he doubled down and turned it into an all-wheel drive with 2x more motors.
Other than bank statements and bills, we don’t find ourselves shredding too much paper these days. Artist Japhy Riddle took a paper shredder and turned it into a vehicle of sorts. Rather than applying power to its wheels, the shredder car moves as it pulls a roll of tractor-feed paper through its shredding teeth.
Handy Geng wanted to know what it was like to feel weightless. But since he’s not planning on heading to space any time soon, he decided to build a machine that approximates that sensation on Earth. The vomit-inducing car has a cylindrical passenger compartment that can flip 360º. The faster it’s driven, the quicker it spins.
Tightening lug nuts on a wheel typically involves turning five nuts sequentially to make sure they’re tightened evenly. This video shows off a homebrew invention that can loosen or tighten them all at once. It’s a cool idea, but in the real world, you’ll need metal gears and something more powerful than a Makita cordless drill to get the job done.
IKEA furniture is perfectly functional but basic by design. Dave from Make Something shows us how he took a $150 IKEA KOLBJÖRN metal cabinet and transformed it into a high-end piece of designer furniture by wrapping and embellishing it with wood. He also improved its versatility by adding a top shelf and a removable serving tray.
Digital assistants like Alexa are impressive, but they’re built into boring-looking devices. The AI we encounter in science fiction is more relatable because it has a face. Workshop Nation gave Alexa more personality by connecting an Amazon Echo to a vintage CRT screen that displays audio waveforms and topped it off with eye-tracking animatronic eyeballs.
If you’ve got kids, you can bet LEGO bricks will be scattered all over the floor at some point. Inspired by David Wallace’s idea on The Office, Matty Benedetto of Unnecessary Inventions built a shop vacuum attachment that sucks up all of the loose LEGO bricks and automatically sorts them by size.
Known for their ridiculous mods of crappy little cars, Carmagheddon is the Italian equivalent of Russia’s Garage54. Perhaps their greatest achievement to date is this junkyard FIAT Panda hatchback that they turned into the lowest drivable vehicle ever. And yes, there is a driver inside. You can watch the full build process Part One and Two.
After building a bicycle that rides on square wheels using tank-like tracks, The Q applied his creativity and engineering skills to create a bike that has no wheels at all. Instead, it rolls around on skinny, angular tracks with a very small contact point with the ground. We’re impressed he can balance on this thing.
Has playing on your old foosball table gotten boring? These guys figured out how to breathe fresh life into the game by attaching a bunch of Ryobi cordless power drills to its spinners. It makes it a lot harder to follow the action, though, and there’s a much better chance of the ball flying off the table and into the neighbor’s yard.
Sam Pilgrim loves to ride unusual bikes. This time, he was joined by his little brother Lewi on a crazy two-wheeler called the Buddy Bike. This modified bicycle seats two in a side-by-side configuration, and each rider has their own pedals and set of handlebars to hang onto. Only the right-hand rider gets to steer and control the brakes, though.
RCLifeOn built a unique drawing machine that creates geometric illustrations on an acrylic sheet using a computer-controlled fluorescent marker. Bright LED lights help the images glow brilliantly. For now, images must be manually erased between drawings, but he plans to add an eraser mechanism.
We’ve seen a bicycle that can walk, and another that can ride on ice, but this is the first time we’ve ever seen a bike that can jump. Scotty and Matty Cranmer of Can’t Slow Down show off their crazy creation, which has a pair of curved, spring-loaded pogo sticks in place of wheels.
There are lots of ways to learn to play the piano. Joel Creates and his friend Eric came up with the cruelest method. Their electric piano keyboard uses negative reinforcement, zapping students with high-voltage electricity if they mess up. It has electrodes on every key, so it shocks the same finger that played the wrong note.
There are many projectors that use a laser diode to display big images. But they generally have a very short range. Ben Makes Everything used a bright green laser to project images that can be seen from a much greater distance. His design relies on an old hard drive to create a persistence of vision illusion and can only display primitive text and numbers.
Maker The Q has a thing for modifying bicycles. For this unusual bike mod, he took an ordinary 2-wheeler and chopped its frame into a series of links with cables that hold them together. The idea is that its segments can be loosened and wrapped around a pole like a cable lock, then tightened to form a stiff frame for riding.
An electric guitar sends vibrations to an external, electrically-powered amplifier. Instrument hacker Mattias Krantz thought it would be a good idea to build one that runs on gasoline instead. Rather than install the tiny 4-stroke engine into the amp cabinet, he built the rig into the guitar itself, which looks so much cooler.
Artist Bond Truluv is known for creating vibrant street art with impressive dimensionality. He has lots of tricks up his paint-covered sleeves, but one of his more ingenious hacks is this multiple nozzle rig, which can spray five lines of paint at the same time. He made an alternate version for calligraphy.
Most gas-powered cars use a large, 12-volt battery to start their engines. The guys from Garage 54 previously figured out it was possible to start a car with 1000 AA batteries, but this time they conducted a little experiment to see how few of the 1.5-volt batteries you could get away with. They should try it again with rechargeables.