Cosplay Foams

"This is just... This is just soft foam and duct tape. It can't harm anyone."Role Models (2008) Choosing the right foam for your costume/prop is probably the first big choice you'll make in the process. It's important to know what you want your piece to look like and how you want it to behave when worn/used. If your foam is too thick, you lose that super important flexibility that most armor pieces need. If it's too thin, it just looks like lame painted foam. Luckily, there is a plethora of different kinds of foam available to cosplayers. Most of them come in various sizes, colors,…

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Stuff a Fully-Functional Nintendo Wii Into an Altoids Tin

Before we even get started, be warned: this project is time-consuming, nerve-wracking, and ultimately unnecessary... but boy is it cool! Firstly, it should be noted that this is NOT an emulator. This is a fully-functioning Nintendo Wii circuit board that was cut down and modified to fit into a mint tin. A modder by the name of Shank took it upon himself to make the smallest working Wii. It was over a year in the making, and by his own admission it was one of the more frustrating projects he'd ever worked on. He even named it the Kill Mii. Luckily, he shared the entire…

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Reading Bolt Heads

"Do you think I'm a fool? That the Commander doesn't know every bolt- every weld- in his ship?"Galaxy Quest (1999) Did you know you can get a general idea of how strong a bolt it just by looking at the head? It may not apply to every bolt, but it does apply to most. Depending on whether you go by American or metric standards, the process can range from arbitrarily complicated (American) to actually pretty straight forward (metric). SAE The Society of Automotive Engineers created a standard called SAE J429 Mechanical And Material Requirements for Mechanical Fasteners. This applies certain rules and regulations to the…

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Build Your Own Hops Trellis In Your Backyard

If you're not familiar with hops, they are the flowers of the plant species Humulus lupulus. Hops have been used to make beer since as far back as the year 736. Depending on the variety of hops used, they can add floral, fruity, or citrus flavor to your brew. They are also responsible for beer's signature bitterness (although bitterness can be controlled during the cooking process). Hops can also be used medicinally. They have been shown to have a relaxing effect and can be brewed into various teas and other drinks. Some hops can even be eaten as is. It's very important to note that…

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A Guide To Buying Used Tools

"They're secondhand weapons, but they're still okay."Lord of War (2005) Buying anything used can be a hassle. Unless you are one of those people who loves buying and flipping other peoples' junk, you probably aren't looking forward to the process. But, then you remember how much money you'll probably save and the hunt begins. Before you jump into the wild world of secondhand tools, let's take a crash course is buying used! Planning, Planning, Planning The first and most important step before buying a used tool is knowing its value. Research prices- brand new retail prices, used prices on eBay, knock-off brand prices on Amazon,…

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Space-Saving, Folding Sawhorses You Can Make At Home

Sawhorses are an essential part of any woodworker's shop. Actually, sawhorses are an essential part of any shop, period. The major downside to them is that they can take up a pretty large footprint of space, and as we all know, space is one of the most crucial commodities in a shop. Sawhorses themselves are nothing new. They date back to at least the mid 16th century. Since that time, very little has been altered about their design, with one huge exception- portability. Folding sawhorses are largely the same as their non-folding kindred in design and reliability, but can be quickly broken down to save…

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Reading Axial Resistors

"Resistance is useless."Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Resistors are a necessary part of any electrical system. They provide the ability to limit current and signal flow, among many other uses. There are numerous different types of resistors, all varying in size and power, but we're going to take a closer look at arguably the most common type- axial resistors. Axial resistors are pretty easily recognizable, even to people who know little about electronics. Chances are you've seen these tiny little dumbbell-shaped components around. You may have also noticed a lot of them have different colored bands going around them. These colors actually indicate just how…

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In-Ground Scissor Lift Workbench

This project is cool. It's just cool. It's also involved. Very involved. The results speak for themselves, however. Member TomBuilder at HomemadeTool.net built this pneumatic-powered scissor lift table right in his garage. He even dug out a section of the concrete and installed the table in the ground so it sat flush with the floor when not in use. Genius. TomBuilder | YouTube As you can see the build requires a fair bit of metalworking. Made mostly of angle iron and steel plating, the frame was constructed before any digging was done. The lift functions on pneumatic actuators and can be operated via a remote…

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Know What Wood is Right For Your Project

"A guy who came to Fight Club for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood." Fight Club (1999) Woodworking is one of the oldest skilled trades in human history. Along with stone, clay, and animal renderings, wood was one of the most important materials for developing homo erectus. Of course, they didn't have the benefits of world trade and large-scale transportation back then, so most early human ancestors just used what was available. Today, we have access to any type of wood we please, delivered to our door. Since we have…

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Cast Your Own Vinyl Records

Before we even get into this one, we do NOT condone the copying and selling of another artists work. This project is for fun, not a way to illegally copy music. It seems like vinyl, despite being older than cassette tapes and CDs, is the one physical music storage system that will never go out of style. Some audiophiles swear by vinyl's quality (though empirical evidence may sometimes disagree), but like most things it all comes down to personal preference. It may not be "better" sound, but there is something distinctly unique about a vinyl recording. One thing a lot of vinyl records are not…

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