Archive for Making

Some stuff I made Part 2: Clicky Wheel Thing

Another part of a series of things I made and just sort of sat on the pictures and didn’t tell anyone.

Same friend, different burlesque show… She needed one of those wheels you spin and they go ClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClick and stop on a number, so I grabbed a bunch of scrap wood and went to work.

First I set up some sort of clever fencing on the band saw.

The idea was to have a totally controlled space to make cuts where the only measurement was the cut itself… because sometimes measuring things is for suckers.

I tried to cut a circle this way… but the results were terrible so I made a Jig Yo!

And bolted it to the router table. This let me cut out two circles, one smaller than the other, with a perfectly centered hole.

I made a spacer and mounted them on a carriage bolt.

I placed equally spaced wood screws through the smaller one.

The idea is that the little clicky pegs would be inside the wheel and nobody would be in danger of flaying their palm.

A big piece of plywood for a base and a 2×4 as the upright and the wheel spun nicely.

 

It needed clicks though… so I cut up a broken hacksaw blade and mounted it on a block of wood.

 

Then I mounted the block on a block…

And fiddled until it was in the right place to go ClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClick

I helpfully marked it since it only really worked well in one direction.

It all fit together well but was a little wobbly, and had no pointer.

I made a spacer with a wheel out of an old photocopy machine to keep the big wheel vertical, and added another spacer with the pointing arrow so we would know what number it landed on.

Then with the cheapest nastiest paints ever I divided the wheel up into sections.

We had no idea what the numbers were actually supposed to represent at this point… so I just took a chunk of the Fibonacci sequence and arranged them in a pleasing order.

I meant to take a final picture of the whole thing all together, but the event was upon us and it had to be loaded up. She had to set up and wrangle the acts and I had a DJ set to finish.

I figured I would get another picture later, but that night was then filled with a great deal of trauma and sparked the beginning of a truly impressive slide into profoundly deep depression… so you will have to imagine it all together. Rest assured that it worked really well! If it ever gets pulled out of whatever shed it currently resides in and it isn’t covered in too many wasps, I may get a picture of it yet.

 

Some stuff I made Part 1: Zydrate Gun

Part of a series of things I made and just sort of sat on the pictures and didn’t tell anyone.

So a friend needed a prop for a costume from the gloriously weird and unique Repo The Genetic Opera for a burlesque performance. With near zero budget and no time I made her one. It was the Zydrate gun used to administer the corpse-bug derived drug central to the story and much needed to sell the costume.

It didn’t have to look like the original prop, just remind people of it so into the bit box!

I found a glue gun that didn’t properly heat, and that’s like 3/4 of the way there out of the gate!

I gutted it and tossed all the electricals into recycling.

The hot-head was needed to form the tip so I just drilled it out to accept a nail which I ground the tip of a bit to make it a bit more syringe and a bit less nail.

Then drove it through to form the slightly less than safe front of the prop.

I wanted the trigger to work, but didn’t need all the glue driving mechanism so I just chopped everything away that wasn’t needed to keep the trigger springy.

Then I cut away everything from the body that wasn’t needed.

The tip fit back in perfectly so I put it and the trigger back in and closed up the gun.

Nearly there… but it’s missing the actual Zydrate!

A tube from some dollar store bubbles and some 5 minute epoxy fixed that problem.

After the epoxy cured I hit it with some silver acrylic and called it done!

An hour or two of work and she had a zydrate gun that would be immediately recognizable as such (assuming you were likely to recognize such a thing) from stage. I was going to paint it black then metal it up…but it looked nice and medical as is so she and I agreed it was ready to go.

July Zine-O-Matic

Yeah, it’s been a while… again. Sorry!

So Zines.

When I was going to downtown Berkeley between five and seven days a week I used to stop in at Pegasus every few days and grab a zine. Occasionally I would trade them with other weirdos and on occasion have been known to make little mini pamphlet zines.

“Wait!” you demand “A what?” or if you are a bit hip “They still make those? What is this 1994?”

Yes, they do, and no it is no longer 1994, you can put down the Prodigy CD and put on some sensible pants.

A Zine, in short, is a little home-made magazine. It’s a little cheap (usually) slice of someones life and worldview and I love them. If you really want to go deep down that rabbit hole I recommend This Book and This One Too. Also go Here and Here, I’ll wait, I have a couple of things I need to get done anyway.

Back? Great!

So I have been missing my constant fix of little chunks of peoples worlds. There are things to recommend about Bloomington Indiana, but the independent book stores are pretty thin on the ground. I could buy lots of them on Etsy, but it’s not the same as walking in and grabbing the first few zines that catch my eye with no idea what might actually be in them.

Enter Zine-O-Matic.

You give them money every month, they grab a handful of zines and send them to you. It sounded up my alley so I plopped down my dollars and waited.

With Blinding speed my package arrived. Inside were a postcard, two stickers, and six zines. I got the “Super Mondo Size” subscription so with shipping it’s about $22 a month, And I do not feel like I overpaid.

The postcard is pleasantly macabre in a surreal sort of way, and reminds me that I should start sending postcards to people.

The first sticker is of cats in clothes… which cats HATE! It has a puzzle piece on the back of the same image like my Star Wars collectible cards had in the late 70s.

I have no idea what is going on here… It has a sort of David Bowie filtered through a Love and Rockets fever dream sort of thing going on.

The first Zine I opened was Flash by Amara Leipzig. It’s a comic zine about a guy who wants to be hit by lightning. It’s clean and expressive art and the zine is very well put together with the title on translucent paper over the cover image.

Tasteful Insect Nudes by Mullet Turtle Comics is a tiny little book with pictures of bugs and their somewhat playmate-like bios.

It wasn’t immediately obvious what this zine was called… or which way was up or which side was the front. I thought it was called “For Rectal use Only” at first because there is a sticker on it bearing that warning… but it turns out it is issue 3 of KJC by Kevin Uehlein and D.W.  It is a screaming mix of psychedelic art and comics. It is a mix of black and white, color, and a couple transparent pages and makes no immediate sense nor does it need to.

Field Notes on the American Sasquatch is about 22 pages of what looks like hand typed text with a few illustrations about the life of the American Sasquatch. I am going to try to get this into the hands of Aaron Akagi who obviously needs it… It is plain black and white copy-paper either made on a dirty library copy machine or skillfully made to look like it was.

The picture can’t quite show you the title of this zine because it is in braille on a black cover. The title is actually Soliloquy by Bast Armannsson and it is a zine about communication. It includes a Braille card as well as information about Braille, Tap Code, Morse Code, American Sign Language, and Binary. This is an absolute gem packed with interesting and potentially useful information and extremely well designed and executed. It would be my absolute favorite of the bunch if it were not for the next (and last) zine…

Imaginary Homework by Theo Ellsworth.  This zine is a series of surreal homework assignments illustrated in a sort of cartoony techno-mayan sort of way. This zine is so far up my alley that I am afraid it might be about to mug me. I’m super into it.

So all in all I am hugely satisfied with this experience and will continue my subscription with Zine-O-Matic (who have not paid me anything or given me free stuffs for this enthusiastic endorsement… though I am not adverse…)

I’ll keep reviewing my treasures as they come in, and maybe soon I’ll make a few more of my own.

Salvage Beta notepad… now with more bees!

I made these for you!

More magic with salvaged cardboard and the awesome power of lasers. Ten of them exist in this world. More may exist but probably something else will instead.

Bees are rad.

 

The shop is open!

Soooo I have gotten off on my butt and made some more note/sketch pads for sale.

I also found three more of the Robot? “toys” and put them up as well.

I am working on the next run of notepads now and hope to get about 30 new flickerboxes ready in the very near future.

Soooo

GET EM HERE!

Buy the things! Draw and write! Forward into a brave new future!

A few steps closer to that cliff!

There are still some Robots? left! Get em while you can! Eh? Eeeeeeeh?

I am juggling so many projects right now my mind may explode like an over ripe melon full of something that explodes. These next two weeks are going to be a ballet of time management and not going mad… neither of which are what I would call my strong points.

Fortunately it’s really really hot and humid so I am not left exhausted and drained of vitality at the end of every working day! Or is it that other thing where I am? So easy to confuse the two.

Today I offer you the fruits of something I have been working on for a couple of months now. I am really proud of them and wish my crappy phone pictures could do them justice. Has anyone seen my camera? No? Ah well, we work with what we have right?

SO! I present to you… for $10 plus shipping… The Flickerbox Hex!

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

The store is a touch limited in that I cannot post video there so here’s one here.

 

Aren’t they pretty? Don’t they beckon? Aren’t they for sale Right Here?

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

A running leap off that cliff!

In a little over two weeks I will be heading to California on an adventure that I can only really describe as moderately epic.

My last day of work is the 15th, I fly out of Indy on the 19th and I won’t be back until sometime after October. I say sometime because I am not actually sure how I am getting back or how long it will take yet… or exactly what I will be doing after that.

Burning Man is happening in there somewhere along with some other stuff. Exact stuff to be determined. I will update the world as details become less hazy.

I am by nature a fairly careful person, or at least I worry a lot about things. This uncertain leap into a hazy future is unsettling, but exciting.

I will be relying on the kindness of my friends and family for much of this adventure, but I am hoping to maintain at least a little bit of self sufficiency during this wild process. To that end I will be making some things this week to sell. The meager money made from these sales will be used to eat food, travel hither and yon on Bart, and to weather any sudden catastrophes that may need sudden weathering. Since I have this store thingy I set up to sell note pads, I will sell things from there… and in person if anyone feels like hunting me down. I will add things as I make them and figure out how to ship them, then I will point at them and say things like “Hey! Buy this!” or “Eh? Eeeeeeeh?”

First up! Something I actually made some time ago in Oakland but was always afraid to actually try to sell.

Robot?

This is Art pretending to be a crappy toy… or maybe a crappy toy pretending to be Art. I am not entirely clear on the difference. It will be interesting on a shelf, or nailed to a wall, or nailed to your shelf… I will leave display methods up to you. You don’t control your message you know? And neither do you control your crappy Art/Toy/Robots once set free on the world.

Buy one! Or two to save a bit on shipping! Nearly two points of articulation!

 

Launching the store!

So I mentioned my Sekrit Projekt a little bit ago and I finished it. And having finished it I am launching a store where I can sell it (and other things).

About a year ago I made a notepad/sketchbook because I was bored and I wanted to draw more. A year later It’s still in use and lookin pretty good!

P1010259

P1010261

P1010262

So I decided to make some more and offer them to the world.

NewPile

The full pitch is on the store blog, but in short these are tough little punk rock notepads you won’t be afraid to actually use!

This first product will be joined by other things I will make for sale. These things will include but WILL NOT be limited to art, toys, games, and maybe fiction or jam or something, we shall see as the future unfolds.

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later…

This morning I woke up to this…

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I had been told some snow would be likely, but so many people were saying it would be light and not settle that this was a bit of a surprise but it has been such a warm and lovely winter so I really can’t complain.

I hopped on my scooter to go to work and discovered that the snow hid a layer of hard ice from last nights rain. Rather than die mangled and bent in a ditch I opted to call in. I spent all day cleaning and fiddling with my solar panels (which were not really getting a lot of power covered in ice and snow).

Once the sun had made the roads less lethal, I headed off to the hacker space where I plan to hang out so I don’t have to try to drive through this muck at 5AM, which is what I would have to do to make it to work by 7 carefully creeping through the dark at 10mph…

So far I have worked on my Sekrit Projekt and made these.

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I had a pair of broken goggles and some perforated metal from inside an old Mac monitor and they seemed to call out for one another.

For the record… Riding Rocinante through freezing snow DOES take a little of the joy out of the ride… But it did not kill me!

Sekrit Projekt One, Part One.

So working on one of my Sekrit Projekts I found I needed an awl. Sadly all of mine are missing and my sewing awl is in one of about one hundred thousand boxes full of unorganized miscellany… so I grabbed a nail, a bit of wood, and headed on over to the lathe.

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A little shaping, a little sanding, and a little bashing with a hammer and I have an awl.

I am mighty.