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 »

Gravity Catapult

I have long been enamored of catapults. Invented around 400 B.C., they were used until nearly A.D. 1300. So for 1,700 years, catapults were arguably the largest, most expensive, and most powerful machines on the planet. Today, people build catapults for fun: Scout troops, historical reenactors, fathers and daughters, beer-stoked... Read more »

Headboard Made with 2 Doors

This project will walk you through every step of making a modern, sleek wooden headboard with accent lighting from two hollow-core wood doors. (Two parts of this project require an assistant or one very coordinated and strong person.) Time: 4-5 days (it rained so I let the stain and polyurethane... Read more »

Thumb Piano

The thumb piano, known as a kalimba, mbira, and by many other names, is a lamellaphone that uses prongs called tongues, keys, or tines that you pluck to generate acoustic vibrations. The length of the tine determines the pitch. Generally, the thumb piano uses some kind of mechanism as an... Read more »

Pinhole Panoramic Camera

I bought a new scanner recently, and soon found myself spelunking through drawers of old photos from my many misspent years in photography. Some of the most interesting shots were the pinhole camera experiments I had done as a teenager. With ghostly outlines from multi-minute exposures, and shapes warped into... Read more »

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