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Ryan writes in about several Madison, WI Makers (including Ryan) that were featured in this story in 77 Square, a weekly arts/entertainment section in the Capital Times. Local DIYers reclaim old junk and turn it into functional, useful stuff

When Ryan Bollig got frustrated with the short battery life of his wife’s battery-powered Swiffer Vac, he didn’t take the inconvenience in stride by throwing out the appliance and buying a newer, more powerful model.

Instead, the Madison-area handyman took out the old battery pack and replaced it with a newer, stronger battery pack. The result: a hot rod Swiffer Vac that runs three times longer than it used to.

“If you’re not able to change it in whatever way you think is appropriate for your life, you’re not really invested in it. You’re just paying to use it,” said Bollig, a Sun Prairie resident who recently launched madcitymakers.com to unify the scattered assortment of locals who fix, invent and re-invent.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. pharnsworth says:

    let me just say that I took great pains to explain to both reporter & photographer that I did NOT invent the Brain Machine, just assembled a kit. Otherwise, I was very happy with the article.

  2. Matt says:

    Any details on your swiffer upgrade. The battery in mine died and I was just about to start ripping it apart. It’s really handy for quickly running to pick up the dog hair on my hardwoods from my two fur factories.

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