Monthly Archives: December 2010

Draftsight Review – Like AutoCAD, but free!

draftsight logoAs I took a free class on Solidworks two summers ago, I was on the Dassault Systemes mailing list.  Dassault Systemes most famously makes CATIA and Solidworks and now apparently make something resembling AutoCAD for free.  As I no longer have a copy AutoCAD at home from college, I decided this would be worth a try.  As with GIMP, the price for  “DraftSight” was very attractive at zero dollars. Read more »

Very simple cornhole toss construction project

finished cornhole toss board with bagsSo being Christmas time, I heard that someone close to me wanted a cornhole toss game.  This person thought that I could easily build one in my constantly-expanding shop, and casually mentioned to me that it might make a nice present.  Not being one to turn down a challenge (at least not a mechanical one) I decided I was going to make a set.  Looking around on the internet, I didn’t find any very complete plans that were simple to make, so I made my own instructions.  Here they are in a step-by-step format.  Also, if you’re looking for a tailgate game and are truly lazy or hard-up for cash, you should consider making a ladder toss game instead (really fun too).  Regardless, here are the steps to make your own cornhole toss game.

STEP1: GET YOUR Read more »

Illustrate and dimension your projects with GIMP

For those of you that don’t know, GIMP stands for GNU image manipulation program.  It’s free to download and could be compared to Photoshop or an extremely advanced version of paint.  For someone interested in showing off his or her project, it can be a very valuable tool.  In this post, we’ll be going over the best ways to put dimensions on your drawing.  In other words,  you’ll be describing in inches/feet/centimeters or whatever units you desire (parsecs?) how big certain elements of an object are.

gimp toolbar with letters and pencil highlighedThe simplest way to do this is to first open an existing picture of the object you wish to illustrate using GIMP.  Use the pencil and text icon (outlined in pink) to draw the lines and letters with arrows on the ends (like the blue “24″ on the right).  This works fine, and will work for simple drawings that you are never going to modify.  Save it as a new .jpg or .gif and you’re done.

The problem with this method comes when Read more »