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tips of the week: workbench saddle bags, safety pin slings, and the value of a portable stick

tips of the week is our weekly peek at some of the best making tips, tricks, and recommendations we’ve discovered in our travels. check in every friday to see what we’ve discovered. and we want to hear from you. please share your tips, shortcuts, best practices, and tall shop tales in the comments below and we might use your tip in a future column.***try a workbench saddle bagvia donald bell’s twitter feed comes this simple improvement to your workshop: adding “saddle bags” to your bench by attaching an unused tool belt along one of the edges. donald comments: “i’m not sure i’m into it yet.” i can see where this could be helpful in the right spot and a pain if installed in the wrong place.making a pvc soldering iron casecal...




maker spotlight: aidan leitch | make:

name: aidan leitchhome: westchester, new yorkday job: high school studentyoutube | instagram | twitterhow did you get started making?i’ve always enjoyed building things in one way or another, which when i was younger meant legos. about 6 years ago, though, i started learning to create 3d games with unity engine. i was much more drawn to the 3d modeling side of game design than the programming, and in an effort to learn more about 3d and cad, i came across both of the 3d printing and maker communities. 3d printers immediately struck my interest, and i obtained my own printer not long after. since then, it’s mostly been the amazing feeling of making your ideas into reality that has me hooked on making.what type of maker would you classify ...




these stones come to life with clever sculptural effects

josé manuel castro lópez accomplishes the seemingly impossible: sculpting stone to look like soft putty. his artwork is stunning. there’s no evidence that any of the stones have actually been worked on by tools.it’s almost a little unnerving. the stones look like they must have once been molten rock and lópez was simply lucky enough to find these beautiful creations. however, lópez points out that heat would destroy most of these rocks’ internal structure.read articles from the magazine right here on make:. don’t have a subscription yet? get one today.“my stones don’t endure any physical or chemical process,” lópez says. “behind every work there’s a lot of drawing and modeling, that is to say, genuinely sculptural work...




what's going to happen to techshop's equipment?

this single question has come up in our comments and on social media more than any other during the past day. with techshop closing it’s doors and filing bankruptcy, there are many incredible pieces of equipment sitting around not being used (and some people’s projects as well if i’m following comments correctly).we don’t know the exact answer to that question. thanks to commenter david cardinal, we do know that there is a form out there for groups to fill out if they’re interested.from the form:this form is intended to allow individuals, organizations, municipalities, or instit...




we built a bluetooth-enabled porch light and we're giving it away

i haven’t had an art class since 8th grade. i guess that would put me at roughly 13 years old. most of my projects tend to fall more on the functional side of things, even if they are creative. i really wanted to challenge myself to make something that fits more into what i typically think of as art. i realize art is a super general term, but in this case, i was hoping for people to look at it, and simply appreciate it for its beauty.my initial thoughts were that i would combine cnc cut wood with glass to create something that was almost leaded glass, but more organic. the image of the sun setting through the woods kept bubbling up to the front of my mind as i visualized this, so that ended up being my inspiration.(if you just want to ente...




mourning the loss of techshop

earlier today, i was stunned to hear that techshop was filing for bankruptcy. my heart goes out to everyone involved and impacted, from visionary founder jim newton and his team, to every investor, employee, instructor, member, vendor, and landlord, and the many communities that hosted techshop locations. makerspaces inspire us to try working with our hands, collaborating with strangers, solving problems for others. these are humble but incredibly important actions that are fading from much of modern life. i’m sure that everyone involved with techshop felt the importance of this, passionately, and i hope they carry that passion forward into future successes.photos courtesy of nextfabsince january of 2010, when nextfab first opened its door...




what's going to happen to techshop's equipment?

this single question has come up in our comments and on social media more than any other during the past day. with techshop closing it’s doors and filing bankruptcy, there are many incredible pieces of equipment sitting around not being used (and some people’s projects as well if i’m following comments correctly).we don’t know the exact answer to that question. thanks to commenter david cardinal, we do know that there is a form out there for groups to fill out if they’re interested.from the form:this form is intended to allow individuals, organizations, municipalities, or ins...




we built a bluetooth-enabled porch light and we're giving it away

i haven’t had an art class since 8th grade. i guess that would put me at roughly 13 years old. most of my projects tend to fall more on the functional side of things, even if they are creative. i really wanted to challenge myself to make something that fits more into what i typically think of as art. i realize art is a super general term, but in this case, i was hoping for people to look at it, and simply appreciate it for its beauty.my initial thoughts were that i would combine cnc cut wood with glass to create something that was almost leaded glass, but more organic. the image of the sun setting through the woods kept bubbling up to the front of my mind as i visualized this, so that ended up being my inspiration.(if you just want to ente...




looking under the hood of a spy "implant"

this story had me at “espionage implant” and “trickle down espionage” via cory at boing boing comes this fascinating tech teardown of an s8 data line locator, a gsm-based listening device hidden inside of a standard usb cable. a while back joe fitz tweeted about the s8 data line locator. he referred to it as “trickle down espionage” due to its reminiscence of nsa spying equipment.the s8 data line locator is a gsm listening and location device hidden inside the plug of a standard usb data/charging cable. it supports the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 mhz gsm frequencies.its core idea is very similar to the cottonmouth product line by the nsa/css in which an rf device is hidden inside a usb plug. those hidden devices are referred to as im...




arcade games, theme park rides, and toothpick sculptures at rochester mini maker faire

in upstate new york, the rochester mini maker faire will be kicking off their fourth event this saturday. thanks to an incredibly supportive maker community, the faire has grown to over 125 makers with more hands-on activities than ever before. this year, we wanted to share a preview of the faire to get everyone warmed up.be sure to get your tickets today!the arcaderochester’s game industry has exploded over the past 4 years. this year, we decided to hold our own arcade filled with over a dozen video games and board games. there is even a game for delivering garbage plates (a rochester delicacy) throughout the city’s streets! no quarters are needed for this section of the faire.theme park enthusiasts: ritchie’s coaster kingdomthe rit t...




building a batman electric skateboard

james bruton, the brilliant uk maker who wields cad software and his 3d printer like a magic wand and a summoning circle, is working that magic again with a series in which he’s building an electric skateboard inspired by batman’s bat tumbler vehicle.there are two videos in the series ...




the forest awakens with these animal stormtrooper helmets

“the new order project came from a doodle,” says designer william kang. he started with the rhino, and, since he likes to work in threes, added two other pachyderms: an elephant and a hippo. while kang has done work in fashion, furniture, housewares, consumer electronics, and more, blank william was a project he wanted to develop that he could have complete ownership of. plus, he wanted a way to celebrate the release of the force awakens.kang uses a fluid process, working from sketches to multiple cad packages to quick renders and back again, which allows him to progress toward a finished piece while still being able to backpedal and tweak details.read articles from the magazine right here on make:. don’t have a subscription yet? get o...




kickstarting a statue to honor the one and only space cat

félicette was the first, and only, cat in space. now matthew serge guy is hoping to erect a statue in her honor in paris.many of us are familiar with laika, the dog who was the first animal to orbit the earth in a ship. however, if you’re like me, you might not be aware of félicette.while it is fun to imagine these animals enjoying an incredible view, it is important that we remember that they were animal test subjects.it’s also important to note that félicette, alongside many other animals that have braved space trave...




india's maker movement honors the sweet spot where tradition and technology intersect

sometime around 4,000 bce, humans settled the area that is now the sprawling metropolis of bangalore, india, officially known as bengaluru. it’s safe to say that people have been making things—tools, furniture, art, architecture, jewelry, temples, wares, and so on—since they first set foot on bengaluru soil. the city and metropolitan area are now home to roughly 17 million people and a burgeoning community of makers seamlessly blending the ancient and the futuristic. and for the third year in a row, the community converges at maker faire bengaluru, taking place this year on november 17 and 18 at the bengaluru palace.the event is organized by makerspace and maker facilitator workbench projects, and for 2017, the organizing team has upsc...




5 more podcasts to listen to while you work

my least favorite part of making is the busy work that comes with it. even when executing the most thoughtful designs, there’s often a lot of mindless work that has to happen. although some makers might think it’s an unsafe distraction, i’ve always loved listening to the radio through those moments. while i was never at a loss for great podcasts, i had a little more difficulty finding great podcasts about making. here are 5 of my favorites that i’ve stumbled upon over the years:cool tools is one that’s been around for a long time – it’s something like whole earth catalog’s successor. each episode, kevin kelly (who edited whole earth catalog and founded wired) and mark frauenfelder (who founded boing boing and was a founding ...




we built a bluetooth-enabled porch light and we're giving it away

i haven’t had an art class since 8th grade. i guess that would put me at roughly 13 years old. most of my projects tend to fall more on the functional side of things, even if they are creative. i really wanted to challenge myself to make something that fits more into what i typically think of as art. i realize art is a super general term, but in this case, i was hoping for people to look at it, and simply appreciate it for its beauty.my initial thoughts were that i would combine cnc cut wood with glass to create something that was almost leaded glass, but more organic. the image of the sun setting through the woods kept bubbling up to the front of my mind as i visualized this, so that ended up being my inspiration.(if you just want to ente...




5 more podcasts to listen to while you work

my least favorite part of making is the busy work that comes with it. even when executing the most thoughtful designs, there’s often a lot of mindless work that has to happen. although some makers might think it’s an unsafe distraction, i’ve always loved listening to the radio through those moments. while i was never at a loss for great podcasts, i had a little more difficulty finding great podcasts about making. here are 5 of my favorites that i’ve stumbled upon over the years:cool tools is one that’s been around for a long time – it’s something like whole earth catalog’s successor. each episode, kevin kelly (who edited whole earth catalog and founded wired) and mark frauenfelder (who founded boing boing and was a founding ...




we built a bluetooth-enabled porch light and we're giving it away

i haven’t had an art class since 8th grade. i guess that would put me at roughly 13 years old. most of my projects tend to fall more on the functional side of things, even if they are creative. i really wanted to challenge myself to make something that fits more into what i typically think of as art. i realize art is a super general term, but in this case, i was hoping for people to look at it, and simply appreciate it for its beauty.my initial thoughts were that i would combine cnc cut wood with glass to create something that was almost leaded glass, but more organic. the image of the sun setting through the woods kept bubbling up to the front of my mind as i visualized this, so that ended up being my inspiration.(if you just want to ente...




india's maker movement honors the sweet spot where tradition and technology intersect

sometime around 4,000 bce, humans settled the area that is now the sprawling metropolis of bangalore, india, officially known as bengaluru. it’s safe to say that people have been making things—tools, furniture, art, architecture, jewelry, temples, wares, and so on—since they first set foot on bengaluru soil. the city and metropolitan area are now home to roughly 17 million people and a burgeoning community of makers seamlessly blending the ancient and the futuristic. and for the third year in a row, the community converges at maker faire bengaluru, taking place this year on november 17 and 18 at the bengaluru palace.the event is organized by makerspace and maker facilitator workbench projects, and for 2017, the organizing team has upsc...




build a rgb matrix electric guitar

a few years back, richard leonarz saw a band playing whose lead guitarist used a custom guitar that was decorated with leds. “each song would have cool patterns playing. i’ve been building guitars as a hobby for a few years, and had made one out of plexi-glass and had added some red-leds that lit up when you pla...