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.
THE BEST Making
HomeMadeModern wanted to find a cool use for glass blocks, so he set about making an outdoor LED-lit glass deck. It’s definitely not a project for everyone – it takes a lot of expertise and work – and not everyone has a freakin’ mountain, but the setup is pretty sweet.
Scrap wood City wanted to make a sword out of wood. But rather than just build a weapon, he created a funky musical instrument instead. The three-stringed electric lap guitar features brass and copper hardware, and can be played with a slide like a steel guitar.
Back in the 1960s through the 1980s, the Soviet Union developed a low-flying aircraft that could skim like a hovercraft over the water. R/C flying enthusiast Peter Sripol decided to see if he could build a working miniature replica of the so-called “Caspian Sea Monster,” and attempted to keep it flying just inches off the ground and water.
Woodworker Adam Zawalich crafted a truly unique electric guitar using concrete and anchoring cement. He started with a burled walnut body which he used to create a silicone mold, and then cast the concrete for the heavyweight guitar. He got a two-for-one deal by using the wood to make a second guitar.
Modustrial Maker shows off how he built a sweet coffee table from concrete, wood, epoxy resin, and LED strips. The design is inspired by the lighting patterns found inside of the Death Star. Unlike the pure white lights of the movies, these ones can be change colors synced to music.
Wood Workshop shows off an interesting technique for making a vase with a unique design. The trick is to stack perpendicular layers of dowels, bathe them in resin to hold them together, then turn and carve them as a single unit on a lathe. You’d never know that pattern was there while it’s spinning.
There are professional card throwers out there who can land a playing card on its edge every time. But if you don’t possess those skills, you could always build a mechanical solution, like The Practical Engineer did. His motorized launcher can fire playing cards at speeds nearing 200km/h (or about 124 mph).
Bitluni’s Lab follows up his sweet LED video wall with a much bigger and more spectacular version. This time, the light grid is made up of 1200 RGB LEDs, set into a punched sheet of aluminum, each capped with a ping pong ball to diffuse the light. This one can also stream live video.
Maker Ivan Miranda recently completed his largest build to date, a working R/C model of a tank made using lots of 3D printed parts. Its motors and tracks are powerful enough to negotiate rough terrain, and it’s even got room for a driver inside. Check out the full series of build videos here.
Inspired in part by a scene in The Dark Knight, maker Coltography decided he wanted a fully-illuminated drop-tile ceiling. While he could have gone with old school fluorescent tubes, he built his system using lots of LED light strips. Those touch-based wall controls he made are really slick.
Electronics geeks would love to have a table like the one that New Yorkshire Workshop made. Watch as the artist painstakingly applies gold leaf to produce jumbo metal circuit board traces on a dyed-blue maple veneer, then gives it a nice shiny clear coat. Watch how he made the twisted “wire” copper legs here.
As we’ve moved away from print and towards digital reading, highlighters aren’t as popular as they once were. But these fluorescent pens are still pretty cool for making art. Science Channel’s How It’s Made shows the process of molding the plastic bodies, filling their nibs with ink, and testing them for smooth flow.
When you pop open a bottle of wine, it’s easy to forget that its stopper comes from a tree. This footage captured by oenophile Jamie Goode at Portugal’s Cork Supply shows us the labor that goes into cutting pieces of cork tree bark, and punching out individual pieces. We wonder what they do with the leftover bark.
A few years back, we watched an artist craft a beautiful replica of an 8-ball from wood. Now, watch as Oregon woodworker Carl Jacobsen creates a shell for a Magic 8-ball toy, with a cool basketweave pattern on its exterior. Also, we always thought the whole toy was filled with liquid, not just a cylinder in its middle.
Most furniture is made primarily from wood or metal, but HomeMadeModern’s funky, angular chair is crafted from steel-reinforced concrete. He made the chair’s mold using strips of melamine, hot-glued, and sealed with silicone caulk. By filling the inner core with foam insulation, he was able to dramatically reduce its weight.
Fordite, also known as “Motor City agate” is made from layers of baked-on paint that piled up along automotive assembly lines. Its abstract patterns are revealed as its cut and polished. Watch as jewlery maker Patrick Adair combines the material with rose gold and black diamonds to make a spectacular piece of wearable art.
Usually when you build furniture, it requires the use of screws, nails, or other fasteners. But maker Laura Kampf decided to challenge herself to craft a platform bed using only wood, and no other parts. The only other materials she used were wood sealer, paint, and glue.
Ever since seeing The Sword of Exact Zero in The LEGO Movie, swordsmith Michael Cthulhu has contemplated making a larger-than-life X-Acto knife blade. With a sponsor in hand for his video, he finally took the time to make his cutting tool for giants a reality. He’s auctioning it off for charity to help save animals from Australia’s fires.
It might not be strong enough to stop an actual bear, but this pointy-toothed trap made from cardboard, a ruler, skewers, and rubber bands can definitely bust some balloons. Mr. Hot Glue’s Family walks us through the build of his silly contraption with an equally silly video clip.
One of the cooler LEGO parts out there is the stud shooter, a tiny weapon for minifigs that fires a single round stud. LEGO fan agepbiz decided to see if he could supersize the plaything into something humans could wield, and managed to pull it off with aplomb. He previously made a human-scale LEGO space blaster.
Modustrial Maker shows us how to build a sweet looking ceiling pendant lamp that looks like it came from an expensive modern lighting store. The trickiest part was getting the wood pliable enough to bend in two directions without cracking, but the finished piece looks like it was worth the effort.
Popular Mechanics presents the best kind of factory video – one without narration or commentary. This clip will get your sweet tooth buzzing as workers at Hammond’s Candies plant make candy canes, marshmallows, and other goodies the old-fashioned way. The Denver-based company has been creating sweet treats since 1920.