So maybe you have a decently well-equipped shop for some things, but your bike-repair tools are a little lacking? Also, lets assume that you’re either very cheap, or just really like to see if something can be done. If so, this “bike stand” could be for you. Made out of only a 2×4 and meant to attach to a shop vise, it can be made for less than $1 worth of materials if you have the tools available.
On the other hand, in it’s current iteration it may scuff your paint job. I can think of a few solutions to the scuffing problem, like stretching an old tube and modifying the clamping system, but as of now I haven’t tried it. Additionally, the bike can possily slide around some, but the solution may be the same as for the scuffing problem. Because of this, I’d call the 2×4 stand only a marginal success so far. Maybe it’ll give someone inspiration to make a proper stand in a similar manner (see the pictures after the “read more”).
As for the tools/materials that you’ll need to make this stand: Read more »
After making my light nunchucks, at some point I realized that although they were super fun to play with, there was an easier way to make light paintings using Fireflys wheel lights (my review). Just hook them to a string! This may be obvious to some, but after this realization, I drilled a hole through the part that is supposed to thread onto a Schraeder valve. Then I tied a string to it.
That’s pretty much all there is to it! You can get a set of wheel lights off of Amazon for around $1 as of this writing, and you’ll have a spare if you break the first one. They turn off when not slinging around, which is pretty excellent for this application. Check out the photos after the “more” thing to see some photos of how I constructed this device and more of the results. Read more »
Sure, sewing cardboard is fun and all, but why not do something useful with your awl? I originally bought an awl (this one from Amazon) to repair some loops that were torn out on my Prindle (Hobie-Cat style) sailboat’s “trampoline.” Finally here’s an article about it. After cutting some strips of material off of a ratchet strap and looping them over, they were sewn onto this larger piece of material called a trampoline.
Sure, a ratchet strap isn’t really a cost-effective source for a nylon strap, but it was longer than I needed and available, so why not? Everything was sewn as shown below using the awl. To begin with, I tried to use the space that the first loops were attached to. This worked, but was difficult to get the needle through. For some, I installed the loops beside the original placement. It helped to use a 2×4 with a hole cut in it (recycled from this robot attempt) to poke everything and stop it before it pierced the sailboat’s hull.
The straps were all around 5 inches long, but this can vary depending on your application. How this was stitched was pretty simple, and should be illustrated in the pictures below. Optionally, you should burn the edges of the cut straps so they don’t fray. As for how to actually use this awl, Read more »
Months ago I mentioned starting a new Reddit page called Amateur Engineering. It now has almost 650 readers, which is awesome, since it’s so far mostly about this site.
I put a lot of stuff from here up there as well as anything else that seems appropriate – the Shocker Drone Huffington post article for instance. For those of you that don’t know, Reddit is a site that lists other interesting articles, so you might find some other good stuff besides from me there.
For other ways to keep track of what I’m doing, feel free to follow me on Twitter, or even Facebook. I’m not a huge fan of FB these days, but it automatically updates with new posts, so use it if you like! You can also subscribe using email, as seen to the right on your screen, or via feedburner if you use that.
PVC hexapod – not Python powered… Yet.
In case you’d though I’d given up on leaning Python, here’s my thoughts on LPTHW lessons 1-20!
Lessons 1-20 were all about copying the text that Zed gives you in Learn Python the Hard Way and running it. Lessons 21-30 is where you finally have to start thinking for yourself somewhat. The important thing is not to give up, even though the lessons may take you much longer than they did in lessons 1-10, or even lessons 11-20!
Lesson 21 is a “look and hand copy” lesson teaching you about functions that can return a value. Lessons 22 and 23 are a bit more ambiguous as the first invites you to go through all the previous lessons and copy down every word and symbol that you’ve used. Lesson 23 invites you to simply read some code. Excercises 24 and 25 go into the copy mode again, this time practicing defining functions more.
Exercise 26 is where people may get tripped up. Zed gives a program that he’s written sloppily, and you’re expected to fix it. It didn’t take me that long to do this, but I do similar troubleshooting in my job as an engineer, so it took about an hour. The key seems to be Read more »