Your Comments

Computers & Mobile


And we’re back with our second installment of Your Comments, the weekly feature where we share our favorite comments from Make: Online, our Facebook page, and Twitter. We hope you will find these little snippets informative, inspiring, and entertaining. So, without further ado… Your Comments!


Simon regaled us with this anecdote after seeing the Beautiful overengineered tape dispenser:

I once over-engineered a rubber stamp in a similar way. It was all machined from aluminum bar stock on a lathe. I used to buy hot chocolates from the coffee shop in the lobby of the building I worked in. They used to have loyalty cards the girls would cross off each visit until you had enough for a free drink. At first they’d use a felt marker to cross them off. I said that was inefficient so bought them a rubber stamp. The kind with a spring you press onto a pad then down onto the page. Unfortunately that didn’t last long as they kept knocking it off the counter and breaking it. So I machined a new one for them from solid aluminum. They never broke that one! It was indestructible. I always got preferential treatment from the girls after that. It amused me I could turn up behind a huge queue of people and they’d always make my usual and hand it to me over the top of all those waiting.


On Facebook, John Boston has an interesting tip about Recycling plastic bags into plastic blocks:

I’ve used them, along with dry cleaning bags, to make handles for knives. Just tie the end of a bag around the tang of a handle-less knife, then twist the knife as you hold it over an open flame, melting the plastic bag. Wearing a leather glove, you can squeeze the handle before it cools completely to form an ergonomic handle that fits your hand …

Chet Gray gets around to reading the How-To: Build a bicycle sidecar article:

My bad; should’ve read the build notes more closely. Those Shimano Nexus internal-geared hubs are ace.

My statements about dual-pull brake levers still stand. With a sidecar they might be useful to stop the rear and side wheels together, but there ehn’t much point with the coaster and front brake on this one.

On Facebook, James Slater points out a strange coincidence about the Amazing Sonic the Hedgehog cross stitch:

It gets better: Sonic’s original codename was Mr. Needlemouse. Needle. Mouse. I mean, that’s just too good to be a coincidence, amirite?

Also on Facebook, Dave Everhart noted that the LuminAR lamp was reminiscent of a certain movie character:

This reminds me of the robot arm in ‘Ironman’… “…and if you try to put me out one more time, when I’m NOT on fire, I’m donating you to a community college!”

RocketGuy had some tips to supplement the Circuit building skill: cable lacing article:

If doing this for a project that will be facing either vibration (i.e. aircraft install, or other motor vehicle) or future expansion/modification you may wish to consider service loops. (And the right connectors of course). Sometimes people get things really nicely laid in with no or uneven slack, and connection failures result. Don’t ask me how I know. Ahem.

Basically a service loop can be just a loop in the opposite direction of cable travel of reasonable length, say an inch or two, which then u-turns back to where you’re actually going after. Doesn’t need to be big, and if planned out, the install can still be totally aesthetically pleasing. This helps when you need to change a connection (oops) or to resist vibration. The loop allows the connector to be less stressed, and is therefore more robust in a vibrating or thermally cycled environment. Of course proper support and strain relief also helps, but this is one approach that is simple, cheap, and proven effective.
All that said, the time you spend on this sort of thing is ideally determined by A) how important it is and B)the builder’s enjoyment of detail execution.

Over on twitter, tbeauchamp came up with an excellent plan:

Done reading @make magazine. Now I have to go into the garage and tinker.

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.

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