Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

Latest from Sean Michael Ragan

For a limited time, Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is offering a free download of an eighteen page booklet by famed automata-maker Paul Spooner. This is a great resource for the mechanically-curious and must have for automata-makers. Read more »

I've been looking for an excuse to build one of these clever tamper-detecting switches for a long time. When a mystery critter recently started raiding the fresh catnip I grow outside as a treat for my indoors-only cat, I saw my opportunity. Sure, I could've bought or borrowed a commercial... Read more »

...with equally meticulous build notes, by Bradley W. Lewis, who, among other bits of impressive handiwork, turned, milled, bored, and blued his own custom metal fittings for the handle. Shown also is the interesting "LED ladder" he soldered to illuminate the blade. [via Hack a Day] Read more »

This is understandable, really, because the chemical composition of many crayons, even if you ignore the wax binder and just focus on the coloring, is extraordinarily complicated, containing many different pigments carefully blended to achieve just the right color. Even if the formulations weren't trade secrets, it'd be doubtful if... Read more »

In 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt committed the U.S. economy to the production of 60,000 warplanes that year, and suggested that as many as 185,000 aircraft might be produced by the end of 1943. He turned out to be almost correct. In June 1944, TIME reported 171,257 aircraft produced... Read more »

Interesting concept from Peter over at the RepRap: Builders blog, who has successfully made some cuts in a CD case using an experimental 1W laser cutter with a Z-axis control that allows the laser diode itself to reciprocate up and down, kinda like a saber saw. This action moves the... Read more »

Xavier of My Heap put together this delightful homebrew engraver’s vise by attaching a PanaVise to a bowling ball that pivots in a PVC pipe coupling. No word on how well it works, but ya gotta give it up for that kind of ingenuity. More: PanaVise crank mod Lie-Nielsen chain-drive... Read more »

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