Monthly Archives: September 2012

Cheapest Mountain Bike Stand Ever?

stand-vise-rotateSo 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 »

Easy Spiral Light Painting with LEDs

spiral circle bending offAfter 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 »

How to Repair Catamaran Trampoline Loops Using an Awl

sailboat-trampoline-loops-fixedSure, 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 »