With enough shop skills and patience, you can turn ordinary sheets of plywood into beautiful patterned works of art. Woodworker Michael Alm takes us through his process as he transforms thin strips of ply into chevron, diamond, basketweave, and other patterns by cutting them at different angles and intervals.
We’ve seen footage of pencils being made before, but the guys at Faber-Castell want us to know that their process is the best. Watch as they make black leads from graphite and clay, and colorful ones from powders and wax, then sandwich them into wooden shells, and paint them to match.
Make It Extreme is always building crazy stuff, and this build certainly fits that spec. This crazy wheelie vehicle features a tank tread, driven by a 2-stroke, 100cc scooter engine. Its driver sits atop a seat that floats above its moving tread, which tears along just inches below the rider’s junk, upping the danger factor.
Exceptional Engineering takes us on an in-depth tour of the massive BMW motorcycle factory in Spandau, Germany, where it takes humans and robots working in concert just two hours to crank out one of their S1000RR superbikes from start to finish. Each motorcycle’s 4-cylinder engine is also hand-built in the same facility.
The Japanese craft of Kumiko requires the cutting and assembly of thousands of tiny, carefully cut sticks of wood, each individually placed to form intricate lattice panels. This video from Japan’s Shiroishi Woodworks gives us an idea of the level of effort that goes into each piece, as woodworker Tatsuo Kurozu plies his craft.
A while back, Tom Stanton built a cool working trebuchet, but even though it was much smaller than the ones used in battle, it still wasn’t exactly portable. So, Tom set about building a pint-size version that can be used like a slingshot. We’re thinking it would be perfect for flinging wadded up paper at officemates.
Like James Bond’s Q, YouTube’s The Q has an obsession with building amazing things. Though in the case of the latter, his builds have serious budget constraints. Watch as he turns some PVC pipe and fabric into a set of articulated wings that Bruce Wayne might have stored in the Batcave.
While the metal helmets worn by soldiers in ancient times weren’t exactly cushioned like today’s foam-filled models, they did save lots of heads. In this clip from metalsmith Andrey Yumanov, he takes us through the process of heating, forming, and finishing sheet metal to form one of those old-style military helmets.
The beautiful patterns of damascus steel make for some of our favorite tools and knives, and the thicker the tool, the more dramatic the look. In this clip from metalsmith Hassan “Habu” Abu-Izmero, watch as he welds together, forges, and twists multiple layers of steel to create a truly special pair of pliers.
We’ve seen how cymbals are made, now find out how the drumsticks that are used to play them are born. Vic Firth shares footage from inside their factory, where they transform sticks of freshly-cut wood into their premium 5A American Classic sticks, then precision matches them for weight and pitch to ensure perfect pairs.
The Q decided that ordinary matches weren’t big enough for him, so he went ahead and made five giant-sized matches out of wood, rope, and a homemade mix of incendiary chemicals like the ones on a real match head. To complete the set, he built a wooden matchbox with a sandpaper striker on its side.
Go on a fascinating journey through Zildjian’s Norwell, MA factory, home of the world’s most sought after cymbals. Watch as metal castings are flattened, trimmed, hammered, milled, and gradually worked into the ideal shape for producing the perfect sound. We love that they didn’t cover up the factory sounds with music.
What starts out as a few styrofoam spheres, aluminum foil, and some hunks of clay serves as the casting form for an incredibly detailed monster sculpture, courtesy of artist Nick Brown of LoreCraft. The finished piece has even got spikes and teeth that glow under black light.
Ollari’s shows us how to take slats of wood from a rickety old door and pallets to create a nifty new piece of outdoor furniture. If you put your mind to it, it’s amazing what you can achieve with a saw, some screws, and glue. We dig the burnt look of the finished piece.
The Hamster Miniature Studio 2 aka “HMS2” specializes in making really tiny objects. Recently they decided to try their hand at crafting a pair of eyeglasses. They have see-through lenses, and are hinged so they can fold. If our action figures ever have a vision problem, we know where to turn.
Take a tour of the Matco Tools factory for a look at how they make their incredibly durable ratcheting wrenches. As part of the assembly process, they incorporate high-tech processes like friction spin welding and induction heating to increase the durability of their hand tools.
Jackman Works loves to make things by recycling old wooden shipping pallets. In this video, he takes a bunch of the beat up old wood, slices it into sheets, laminates them, and trims them into some sweet looking, street-style skateboards. It’s interesting to see how he shapes the wood with the vacuum bag.
Science Channel’s How It’s Made takes us inside of the Kenda tire factory for a look at the fascinating and complex process of transforming various rubber compounds into knobby, rugged mountain bike tires. The machine that applies the texture really is like a giant waffle iron.
After reading Adam Savage’s book Every Tool’s a Hammer, maker Peter Brown was inspired to try and use the book itself as a hammer. To turn it into a useful tool, he had to coat each and every page of the book with resin to harden it into a sturdy laminate known as Micarta – often used for knife scales.
If you’ve played badminton, you’re familiar with these feathered playing pieces, also known as “birdies.” In this clip from Science Channel’s How It’s Made, you’ll go inside a factory where they still make them with actual duck feathers. The process is surprisingly hands-on, given the volume of birdies they churn out.