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DIY Rivets from Plain Ole’ Nails

Have you ever wanted to rivet a project, but didn’t have a riveter, or the right sized rivets on hand? Another drawback to rivets is their look – on a lot of projects, the modern cheap sheet metal look just won’t do. This great article tells how to make your own heavy-duty rivets from ordinary nails that look great and work well for many projects.

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DIY Lotion Bits – melt in your hands

I thought this idea was really clever. Have you ever needed to keep some lotion on hand while you are out? Instead of dealing with a messy liquid container, these easy to make lotion bits are great to have on hand when you need them. They just melt in your hand.

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DIY Docking Station for Cell Phone

Here’s a simple how-to for making your own cell phone charging station. The author takes a flat plastic bottle and hacks it so that it hangs from a wall outlet. It has a nice appearance and is tidy.

I have been thinking about DIY charging docks for awhile now, and I think this one can be improved by fashioning an actual docking base from Sculpy. Then glue the charging plug into it, and you can then just drop your phone into the holder.

Any other ideas out there?

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Making a Color Television Set

When I was a young man, I badly wanted to design and build my own stuff – even my own color television. One of my primary motives was a means to save money, of which I was sorely lacking. I was told by my elders that such thinking was incorrect. There was no way I could design my own television – that took a team of experts and that, in any case, I could not save any money in the process. I was better off to get a good paying job and just buy a television.

As I look back on that conversation, I have learned that the first statement was false, the second one true, and the third false you can try these out. Let’s look at each assertion in more detail.

Building Your Own

In some ways I was ahead of my time. Designing and building a color television set was a daunting proposition back in the 1970s and 80s. Not impossible, but certainly difficult. Even with an electrical engineering degree the resources regarding color television design were slim to say the least. There was also no support from others for such a project when problems were … Read the rest

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DIY Camping Tent

This great instructable – The Near-Perfect Tent provides exquisite detail on how to make your own camping tent.

Its author also gives a good summation of why we prefer to do things ourselves – to obtain something that meets our needs; something we can’t get from corporations. The reason for DIY is should not be to save money. Mass production and the division of labor is what gives us the abundance we have as Matt Ridley in his book posits.

What it doesn’t give us sometimes is something that meets our needs. Mass produced goods are only half-suitable for everyone and rarely ideally suited for anyone. Before you go camping again, be sure to check out this article first.

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Novel Ideas for LED Lighting

This article describes some wonderful new applications envisioned for LED lighting. While many of the links don’t work, it still contains some great photos of LEDs being used for decorating buildings, night-time gardens and more.

I can’t help commenting on the article’s main premise – that LEDs will lead to greater energy use than incandescent lights. This is absolutely true, but it is not a bad thing. As pointed out in their excellent book any time energy efficiencies are achieved, greater energy use is the result. The main reason for this effect is because of new applications found for the new technology. LEDs are a perfect example.

Some might be saying, “but we are in an energy crisis, don’t we need to conserve energy?” The answer is that the energy situation might be in a state of flux right now, we are in no way in a shortage. The US is on the verge of developing massive petroleum deposits which will make it a leading producer in a few years, and the price of solar is dropping to the point where powering our lights and appliances is now at the point that almost everyone can afford it – even the … Read the rest

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