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When I first started building homemade instruments, I used a piezoelectric buzzer from RadioShack as a pickup (see for details). But while it’s cheap and simple, the piezo transducer has downsides: it has a low signal output, it picks up a lot of handling noise and can go into... Read more »

Etherwave Theremin

Due to its hands-free interface (your body’s interference with its electromagnetic field controls the sound), the theremin is famed for both its novelty and its importance in 20th-century music. When I started building this kit, I had little soldering experience, but the straightforward instructions made for a great introduction to the... Read more »

YurtDome Kits

I’ve thought of building a dome for years, and when I was looking for a quick and relatively inexpensive place to put my workshop for the winter, this kit from Shelter Systems seemed like just the ticket. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Shelter Systems is still using the same non-puncturing... Read more »