Awesome Hacks

Ford Festiva Lawnmower

Ford Festiva Lawnmower

The Ford Festiva was a popular subcompact car sold from 1986 to 2002. You don’t see many on the road anymore. We like what Ginger Billy did with this old Festiva – converting it into a tiny pickup truck, then outfitting it with a powerful lawnmower. Now, Billy can cover more ground in less time and stay in the shade while he’s at it.

The Pogo Bicycle

The Pogo Bicycle

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.

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Widebody Lada Conversion

Widebody Lada Conversion

The guys from Russian car hacking channel Garage 54 have outdone themselves with this crazy build. After cutting the driver’s side off one Lada and the passenger side off another, they tinkered with the mechanicals and welded them together. The result is a ridiculous extra-wide Lada that needs two drivers to steer. Part 2 here.

Shapeshifter Bicycle

Shapeshifter Bicycle

When you say the words “bicycle” and “shifter” together you’re probably talking about gearing. But Colin Furze’s latest whacked-out bicycle shifts in a whole different way. Its frame is made out of hydraulic rams, which can be adjusted in length so the bicycle can stretch, shrink, and grow while riding it.

Ferrofluid Display Bluetooth Speaker

Ferrofluid Display Bluetooth Speaker

Ferrofluid is a special kind of liquid that’s attracted to magnetic poles. DAKD Jung shows off an awesome custom-built speaker that takes advantage of this property to propel and direct ferrofluid to the beat of the music. A second video shows off how it works. It’s basically the Lava Lamp 2.0… and we want one.

World’s Horniest Truck

World’s Horniest Truck

The yellow machine you’re looking at is “Le Mécanophone,” otherwise known as a 1935 Citroën truck, equipped with 42 different car horns. But this thing doesn’t just beep, it’s basically a calliope on wheels. We want one of these just so we can honk at traffic all day long.

Piano with Real Hammers

Piano with Real Hammers

Those little felt-covered things that strike the strings in piano are known as hammers, but they definitely couldn’t drive a nail. Musician Mattias Krantz wanted to see what would happen if he replaced all 88 of the piano hammers with real metal hand tools. The resulting sound is surprisingly pleasant and melodic.

Self-erasing Sand Machine

Self-erasing Sand Machine

Using parts from a 3D printer, custom laser-cut components, and LED lighting RCLifeOn created this mechanical table that uses a magnet and a ball bearing to draw complex patterns in sand, only to erase everything it doodles. On the plus side, as soon as it wipes out an image, it gets to work on another.

Smartphone Steering Rig

Smartphone Steering Rig

Smartphone racing games often require tilting the screen to steer. While it’s not a bad control method, we prefer this clever design, which places the phone in a cradle that’s been rigged up to a metal frame and steering wheel. Though if your game requires acceleration or braking, that’s another problem.

One Punch Gun

One Punch Gun

Inspired by LockPickingLawyers‘ videos showing how to use a gunpowder-loaded nail gun to break padlocks, The Backyard Scientist wanted to build something a bit more powerful. His goal? Build a weapon that can punch and smash through bricks. It’s also way better at breaking locks, and works as a demolition tool.

The Smile Mirror

The Smile Mirror

Unless you’re a vampire, a mirror will reflect your face when you look at it. But The Action Lab’s unique mirror is a bit different. It uses a liquid crystal panel to block out the mirror and an expression recognition app that detects if its user isn’t smiling. We like the creative approach he came up with for the triggering system.

Robot Pool Cue

Robot Pool Cue

“I don’t have skill, but I do have technology!” Shane of Stuff Made Here adds to his collection of robotic sporting goods by engineering a pool cue that automatically lines up the best shot. We love how Shane shares his failures and troubleshooting process along the way. Also, we learned a cool new word: fiducial.

The LADA Catapult

The LADA Catapult

The guys at Russia’s Garage 54 have done some pretty insane things by hacking apart cheap cars. In this experiment, they wanted to see if they could harness the torque generated by the axle of a LADA and fling objects with a lever attached to its rear wheel. We bet it would be more fun to launch the car.

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Leaf Blower Hovercraft

Leaf Blower Hovercraft

The guys from Fowler’s Makery and Mischief dropped by the Home Depot and spent over $1200 on cordless leaf blowers, lumber, and hardware to build a fun and totally ridiculous craft. The finished hovercraft uses six leaf blowers to hover, and another four for thrust and steering. See it in action at the 38-minute mark.

DIY Air Horn Gun

DIY Air Horn Gun

If you want a loud noisemaker, you could always buy one of those compressed air horns, but if you prefer something that you can reuse over and over, check out HABU’s build – which uses a modded cordless power drill and a small compressor pump to blow air through a pair of horns.

The Flying Roomba

The Flying Roomba

One of the big problems with Roombas and other robot vacuum cleaners is that they can’t go up or down stairs. Leave it to builder Peter Sripol and his pals to come up with a solution. They attached three ducted fans to a cheap Roomba knock-off, so it can fly like a drone between floors.

Thumb Mouse Game Controller

Thumb Mouse Game Controller

Joystick-based controllers are great for casual gamers, but hardcore players prefer a mouse and keyboard for precise control. Tech Yesterday shows off a custom-made gamepad with a thumb-driven optical sensor to bring mouse-like precision to a handheld controller thanks to a miniature optical circuit. (Thanks, Lambert!)

PC Fan Model Airplane

PC Fan Model Airplane

Airplane enthusiast Peter Sripol’s followers gave him a challenge: Could he build an airplane that’s entirely propelled by PC cooling fans? After testing a few different fans and configurations, he came up with a lightweight design he was satisfied with. We wonder if it could be scaled up with more fans and batteries.

Self-Playing Circle Guitar

Self-Playing Circle Guitar

Wonder World shows us an unusual guitar that uses a motorized wheel to strum its strings, so the person playing it only needs to worry about the frets. Anthony Dickens‘ unique instrument has a other interesting innovations like the ability to output sounds one string at a time with the push of a button.

RadioGlobe

RadioGlobe

Product designer and engineer Jude Pullen created this internet-connected globe that doubles as an international radio tuner. By rotating it to a location beneath its pointer, you can listen to streaming audio from over 2,000 stations around the world. Find the build guide on Instructables and read more on DesignSpark.

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Saw Blade Bicycle on Ice

Saw Blade Bicycle on Ice

We already know that using saw blades as wheels can provide traction on ice. With this in mind, The Q replaced the wheels on his bicycle with gigantic circular saw blades, then took it for a little spin on a frozen lake. We know it looks cool, but it seems like this could end very badly.

Wiiboy Color Handheld

Wiiboy Color Handheld

GingerofMods shows off an amazing portable game system that he built using parts from a Nintendo Wii. The trick to building the handheld was cutting up the Wii’s original circuit board and wiring them together with a mix of custom boards and circuits designed by Ginger and others in the modding community.

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.

Power Wheels Jeep Gets Snow Tracks

Power Wheels Jeep Gets Snow Tracks

Grind Hard Plumbing Co. continues to upgrade and retrofit their insane 100hp Power Wheels Jeep. For extra winter fun, they swapped out its tires and replaced them with Camso UTV tracks that can tear through snow like it’s nothing. Though they don’t seem to be the most durable things.

Jet-powered Snowboard 2.0

Jet-powered Snowboard 2.0

Now that Hacksmith Industries is done playing around with their jet-powered canoe, they’re ready for something better suited to winter sports. Rather than start from scratch, they swiped one of the jet engines from the boat and attached it to the rear end of a snowboard. If the idea seems familiar, it’s because it’s a remake.

Giant SD Card

Giant SD Card

The whole idea behind SD and MicroSD cards is that they’re small enough to carry around in your pocket. But that also means they’re easy to lose. Useless Mod solved this problem by building a 10x size scale replica of a SanDisk SDXC memory card that’s guaranteed not to get lost, and actually works as a storage device.

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