I’m a big fan of Adam Savage and Tested, so when I saw he was writing a book, I preordered it.
That was four years ago. I’m embarrassed to say the book had been untouched on my Kindle since it was released in May of 2019. I finally turned the page on the flights to Madrid and easily finished it.
Putting something in the world that didn’t exist before is the broadest definition of making, which means all of us can be makers. Creators.
Everyone has something valuable to contribute. It is that simple. It is not, however, that easy. For, as the things we make give us power and insight, at the same time they also render us vulnerable. Our obsessions can teach us about who we are, and who we want to be, but they can also expose us. They can expose our weirdness and our insecurities, our ignorances and our deficiencies.
If you’re a creative of any type I highly recommend reading Adam’s book. I learned a lot and it felt good to know other people think the way I do about a lot of things.
One of the chapters focused on lists, which is something I use often. Usually I prefer Apple Notes because is syncs between my iPhone and MacBooks (work and personal), allowing me to quickly update the lists. Here’s a list I started partway through my bathroom remodel.
Adam writes out his lists and makes a checkbox next to each item. When something is halfway or mostly complete he splits the box diagonally and fills in the upper left area. On completion, the entire box is filled in. It’s such an important process for him that after the Lists chapter was another titled Checkboxes!
Whenever I put a list to paper I’m going to try this method.
Progressing beyond the previous project where we assembled a model of Adam’s Cave, the final project of Quarterly Maker Box #MKR08, titled Build Your Own House/Apartment, involved building a model of our own. This was good timing because I’ve been putting together my own workshop in the basement over the last few months. Having a model would help with planning my use of the space and give me a different feel/perspective for the area.
My first step was outlining the entire workshop.
I also created a quick list of things I might want to add to the model after the structure was built.
While the model of Adam’s Cave was in 1:48th scale I decided to build mine in 1:24th because my space is much smaller. Really glad I made this choice because it was still hard getting my big hands into some of the corners.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I subscribed to Quarterly’s Maker Box and probably wouldn’t have known it existed or even thought about subscribing if I hadn’t seen that Adam Savage was getting involved for a couple of boxes. The projects he selected were much different from what I get from my AdaBox and HackerBox subscriptions, so a nice change of pace. I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to seeing what Adam does for #MKR09.
It was unclear how many boxes Adam would be involved in, but it definitely sounded like multiple. Turns out there will be two, announced in a teaser of the first box. At $99 per box, it’s a pricey subscription compared to others. What they don’t tell you is that it’s another $8 for shipping, so really $107. Bit of a surprise when my other subscriptions include shipping in the quoted price.
The first of Adam’s boxes, which is Quarterly’s Maker Box #MKR08, arrived this week. Of course I did an unboxing video. Doing these has become good practice at describing things on-the-fly.
Neat box. Very unique. I’d been thinking about buying several items in the box, so it’s nice when a surprise comes through like this. Each Quarterly Maker Box must come with a puzzle that leads you to a web page about the contents. So naturally I worked on the puzzle before diving into the projects. To go along with one of the themes of the box, the puzzle involved doing a scaled drawing. It was actually a lot of fun and I think it turned out pretty well!
I’ll publish some other posts as I work on the projects.
On Sunday I spent almost 6 hours at the Henry Ford Museum for Maker Faire Detroit. It was a great venue for it because attendees had access to the museum as well.
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.
We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.
You can buy all sorts of 5V relay modules on Amazon for as little as $3-4 (probably even less if you get really cheap). They even sell boards with multiple relays if you need to switch more than one thing. Since I had all of the necessary parts I built my own. Yesterday I finished the board, because I had to do something before National Week of Making ended.
It worked great switching power from a 9V battery, but the real test was hooking it up to mains power. Electricity gets a lot more dangerous at 120V! It was a little scary plugging everything in and flipping the input, especially after reading so many warnings online, but there were no sparks.
I need to pick up a plastic outlet box to house everything so it’s safer with the exposed soldered circuit board in there; I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought a metal one. I’ll publish a more detailed post this weekend when it’s complete.
Update: I realized the relay I used in this module can’t handle the amount of current I need, so I ordered a different type of relay and will be making a new module. I’ll take the opportunity to make a more compact design as well. I did shrink this one a bit and cut off some of the board. I’ll save this module in case I ever need it for a project.
I made a couple of fidget spinners out of wood, screws, and a couple of 2 cent coins from Spain. The bearings came out of old Rollerblade wheels. Even after cleaning up the bearings, neither one spins very well, so I think I need to get some ones before making more spinners.
This was a good excuse to buy a Dremel, which I’ve been wanting for a long time. Awesome tool to have. I didn’t buy it until I’d already cut out the basic shapes and done some basic sanding though. The next batch of spinners will be much easier with the Dremel available for the entire process.
I’ve been trying to think of a good way to organize my 100+ resistors. After getting a cheap 1,000 piece ceramic capacitor kit, finding a better way to organize things became a priority. At the local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft I found these bead storage systems, which contain individual cylinders with screw tops. They work great and there were enough […]