Category Archives: DIY

Fun projects to work on at home. Do it yourself!

How Did I Get 150,000 Views on Flickr in One Day?

In mid-January 2009, a nerdishly awesome thing happened: one of my flickr photos got 150,000 views over the course of a day. How did that happen? It got onto the front page of Digg.

At this point, there’s no secret that Digg is a huge site that generates a tremendous amount of traffic for any link that gets a lot of votes (“diggs”). That said, getting ANY link promoted to the front page of Digg, much less one of your own, is a challenging and commendable feat in itself, and from what I’ve learned is something that rarely if ever happens accidentally.

Back in autumn 2005, while working at Wired magazine, I designed a DIY paper case for the then brand new and unbelievably tiny iPod nano, and posted it on my site Sneakmove.com. A couple days later, the traffic on the page began to skyrocket. Someone had posted the link to Digg, a newish “user submitted content” site that was becoming hugely popular very quickly.

On January 11 (2009), I was taking photos of the full moon out the back patio of my apartment in San Francisco. It was the closest the moon had been to the earth since 1993. Low in the sky, the moon was huge, but even with a 200mm lens I couldn’t make out all the details without zooming in after snapping each photo. I noticed what appeared to be tiny aircraft far off in the distance, following a similar path. I realized one might even pass in front of the moon. I watched for about 30 minutes until seeing a trajectory that looked just about right. I propped my camera up and snapped a single shot of the blinking light as it passed across the moon’s face. Zooming in on the LCD screen, I was amused to see that the aircraft was a tiny Cessna, silhoutted against the bright moon. It looked awesome. I immediately posted it on Flickr, and just for kicks, on Digg. The community quickly started posting compliments.

By the next day, the photo was already closing in on 100k views. During the night, it had made it to the front page of Digg. As the day went on, the Diggs accumulated and the photo made it to the “Top in all sections” sidebar, keeping it on the front page and keeping the diggs and views coming in. It finally moved off the front page about 24 hours, 2800 diggs, 150,000 views, and hundreds of comments and favorites later.

The DIY Microwave Welder

First, and foremost: do NOT attempt this project if you do not have a thorough and in-depth understanding of the nature of the components that are involved. The current involved can easily kill you.

That said, here is a three-part video series on how to repurpose the large transformers from two microwave ovens into your own stick/arc welding unit, using the steps provided in this instructable. It involves rewinding the transformers with a heavier gauge wire, and connecting them in series to produce enough power to blast the welding rods and material.

Good luck!

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Land Rover: How to Replace the Rear Crossmember

http://stinkyninja.com/landrover/restoration/rover-sml.jpg

When I bought my land rover I knew that it had a rusted rear crossmember. I drove it for a year and then decided the danger was too great and it was time to fix things. The springs connected right into the rusted area and could have busted free at any time.

I bought a replacement crossmember with rail extensions and proceeded to dismantle the body from the frame. While replacing this section I will took some steps to curb any future rust, and addressed some other issues underneath. Here’s the notes on how I did it.

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DIY Project: Cut-and-Fold Paper iPhone

When the iPhone was announced I was really eager to see how it would look in person, size up against my RAZR, how it might fit in my hand, etc. They weren’t going to release it for a few months still, so using the photos and dimensions posted online, I designed a PDF file that lets you print, cut and fold your very own paper iPhone. It got a lot of attention online (someone even tried to sell one on eBay) and is one of Sneakmove’s most popular posts.

Here’s the original post from Sneakmove – go ahead and make one yourself.

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DIY Project: Make Your Own Paper iPod Nano Case

I was working at Wired magazine when the iPod Nano was announced, early September 2005. MacWorld was happening a few blocks away, but I couldn’t leave to check it out that day. Late in the morning, I saw the first photo of the Nano on a coworker’s monitor. Initial reaction: “Wow, that fake ‘tiny iPod’ ad is pretty funny.” An hour later I realized it wasn’t fake – and immediately became infatuated.

By the end of the week I owned two Nanos and created a successful “DIY iPod Nano Case” project post on Sneakmove. Here’s the post and original template for you to use, update, enjoy, etc.

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