Fetch-O-Matic: Automatic Ball Launcher


Several years ago I watched a viral YouTube video that starred Jerry the Dachshund, whose engineer owner had built him his very own automated ball launcher. I had two dogs at the time, and was also unemployed with some time on my hands, so I decided to try my hand... Read more »

Make: Compressed Air Rockets Kit


Building this rocket launcher is a breeze, and folks are always amazed at how it shoots reusable paper rockets 200–300 feet high. The launcher is made from PVC pipe. You pressurize its chamber to 75psi with about 18 strokes of a bicycle pump, then release all the pressure in a... Read more »

Elephant Block Puzzle


Anyone who’s ever taken on an ambitious home-improvement project knows what it’s like to have spare wood lying around – and to want nothing more than to get rid of it. This DIY project is a great way to turn scrap 4″x4″ lumber into a kid-friendly puzzle featuring their favorite... Read more »

Marshmallow Shooter


Here’s how to make a pair of Marshmallow Shooters. You’ll be ready for combat in minutes! They’re made of standard ½” PVC pipe and pipe fittings, which just happen to be a perfect fit for mini marshmallows from the grocery store. Just fit the pieces together, bring a bag of... Read more »

Stationary Drumcycle


A recent toe injury kept me from running for a few weeks, and I bought a stationary bike to keep in shape while recovering. The exercise bike has a lot to recommend it: it’s low-impact, safe, easy to scale up for harder workouts, and indoors out of the weather. It’s... Read more »

Better Nerf Gun


Like most geek-filled offices, at my workplace we have several Nerf guns and similar toy weapons floating about. Not impressed with the performance of my colleague Lester’s Nerf Maverick, a mainstay of Nerf’s suction-cup-dart-firing “N-Strike” series, I decided to build a better Nerf gun myself. Here’s the result: a simple... Read more »