Gareth says: “As you read this, mail carriers on scooters, skateboards, recumbents, and go-karts are rushing MAKE Volume 26 to subscribers. OK, they’re in trucks and on foot – we have vivid imaginations. But you’ll be climbing onto such conveyances after reading “Karts and Wheels.” We have 19 projects, including building a drill-powered kart, a simple longboard, a motorized bike, and a little wind vehicle that defies logic. And there are oodles of other non-kart projects, too! Subscribe here. On newsstands April 26.”
Here is a photo of the skateboard I made and painted (being held by my 13-year-old, who rides it). The instructions for making it are on page 46. The photo was taken by Linda Nguyen.
John Coster-Mullen is “a truck-driver with minimal college education, Coster-Mullen taught himself how to build the most detailed replica of an A-bomb ever made. “The secret of the atomic bomb is how easy they are to make.”
Last year, Motherboard visited Coster-Mullen to talk with him about his life project: reverse engineering the atomic bombs America dropped on Japan. His findings are available in a book he continuously updates and publishes himself called Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man, which has received rave reviews from the National Resource Defense Council: “nothing else in the Manhattan Project literature comes close to his exacting breakdown of the bomb’s parts.”
My wife and I just returned from NYC where we saw “Infinite Variety,” an exhibition of 650 red and white quilts. As the husband of a quilter I’m used to going to craft-related events, but this was absolutely breathtaking in scope and presentation. It was nothing short of magical, and I say that with the seriousness of an Amish heart attack. So if you’re in NYC today, (the last day of the exhibit) do yourself a favor and check it out–oh, the event is also totally and completely free.
Wired asked me to write about some of the cool tools that are becoming increasingly available to DIYers. I described inexpensive computer-aided design software, 3-D printers, computer numerical control machines, rapid-prototyping services, and the Arduino microcontroller. (The piece is below the profile of Limor Fried.)
This $30 open source device allows designers and artists to make interactive objects. Want a box that dispenses a gumball when you give it a secret knock? How about a fully automated yogurt maker or a wireless backyard weather station? An Arduino board can help you realize these projects in a fraction of the time it would take with discrete components. You connect things to its input pins (sensors, say, or buttons) and output pins (LEDs, motors, sirens, servos, and more). Then use the free Arduino software (Mac, Windows, and Linux compatible) to write a program that tells the outputs what to do with the input signals. Arduino isn’t the only microcontroller platform out there, but its simplicity and versatility have made it the leader. A huge community of developers have published thousands of code examples you can download and incorporate into your own projects.
Sean Michael Ragan of Make: Online shows how to make this cool “doortop stash” out of an aluminum cigar tube. I’m going to make one and use it to hide my Tweezerman Slant Tweezers (the best tool I know of to remove slivers) so that my wife and kids won’t swipe them.
I love the look of Rafael Atijas’ 3-string Loog guitar kits. He is seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter to fund the project. If you kick in $150 or more, you’ll get a Loog of your own.
I am a Boing Boing junkie and everyday I feel inspired by the posts you share with us. Today I have a project I would like to share with you. I launched it yesterday via Kickstarter and I couldn’t be more excited.
It is a line of guitars for kids that have three strings instead of six, and come unassembled for kids and parents to build together. Kind of a cigarbox guitar (which i LOVE) but specially designed for kids. I would really really love to know what you think about them:
Our pals at Backyard Brains (makers of the terrific SpikerBox kit, which allows you to study the electrical impulses of insect neurons) are developing circuitry to control which direction a cockroach walks.
By modifying the HEXBug toy “Inchworm” circuitry to deliver pulses, we stimulated the antenna nerves of the discoid cockroach to “trick” the cockroach into turning upon command. Stay tuned! as we make the preparation easier, more reliable, and lighter!