A tribute to kludges

A tribute to kludges

Like many makers, I find it easy to get wrapped up in trying to perfect everything that I work on (and consequentially not get anything done). That’s probably why Robots & Dinosaurs post ‘A Tribue to the Kludge‘ struck such a chord with me- sometimes, it’s more important to just get something going than to create a perfect solution. As examples, they provided three recent kludges: A replacement heater controller for a Makerbot built from the relay on an electronics learning board (above),


an improvised headlamp to allow a member to get home in the dark,


and a tape-based method for powering on a lost phone, to see if it’s owner could be identified.

Of course, you probably shouldn’t rely on these kludges to last for too long, however tempting it is to do so. Actually, my family has a special way to refer to ones that clearly aren’t going to be taken down any time soon- we call them ‘just temporary’. The name comes from my great uncle, who ran the family farm. Growing up, there were a number of hack jobs like this that he swore were ‘just temporary’. When he later passed away, many of these ‘just temporary’ constructs proved themselves to be anything but, and the name stuck!

4 thoughts on “A tribute to kludges

  1. mgspeed says:

    Whatever gets the job done! Gotta love the “just temporary” saying. Around our house we have “useless tools”,these are any 15 in one combo tool gadget that is actually useful. It comes from a derisive comment I made about a screwdriver bit tool that my brother brought home ~15 years ago, one that I still use fairly regularly.

  2. Tim says:

    That’s my old 200 in one electronics board there! I had _so_ much fun with it! Ah the memories.

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