Making

Project walkthroughs and instructions for things I’ve made. You can also find me on Instructables and GitHub.

There is some older material elsewhere, including photo walkthroughs on Flickr and video walkthroughs on Vimeo.

Lightweight Tyvek Wallet

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This is the wallet I carry with me every day. I want something as small and light as possible. I don’t carry much, just a few notes and cards, no change, keys or anything bulky. I also use it when hiking, so I want something pretty weatherproof.

I made a video of the process as an excuse to learn some video production and editing skills. Having gone to all that effort, it seemed worth investing a little more time writing up an Instructable, which you can find here. That Instructable is archived below.

RGB Projection Light

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This LED lamp is a simple lighting project that reuses a three colour LED light and mounts it in a tube to create a colourful projection light that looks great when pointed against a wall.

Kessel Run Board Game

Kessel Run

Here’s a project still in prototyping stages, but it’s a simple one, and maybe appropriate for this time of year, so I’m sharing it now. You can probably do a better job.

LM386 Amplifier

The LM386 chip is a simple and cheap amplifier chip that is used in countless audio amplifier projects. I used one to make my own 0.5W amplifier. This is not a complete how-to guide, you can find plenty of those elsewhere. It’s just a write-up of some of the things I learned – and modifications I made – along the way.

MYOG Tarp

A tarp – being essentially a rectangle of fabric with tie out points – is probably one of the simplest outdoor MYOG (Make Your Own Gear) projects you can attempt. But not all tarps are created equal, so here’s my version.

Pen case

I recently made this pen(cil) case, for reasons outlined elsewhere, and decided to document the process. I think this would make a great first project for someone who is new to sewing and wants to make something useful and ‘technical’.

Open laptop stand

I’m running an experiment. Inspired by the open hardware movement, I decided to design a product, document the design process and parameters of the product, and share it, to encourage adaption and improvement by others. I’ve blogged about it here, and I’m posting the files on Thingiverse for others to use.

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Pinhole Solar photography

Pinhole camera 2 photo paper - inverted and adjusted

Lightweight backpack

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Jay Ham has written an excellent series on Backpackinglight.com on how to make your own ultralight backpacking gear. He shows you how to make a tarp, backpack and stuff sack, using 5m of lightweight fabric.

The series starts with the simple techniques needed to make the stuff sack, gradually introducing more complex constructions until you’re able to piece together the backpack, which is quite an ambitious project. I’ve now made all the items in the series. I started with virtually no knowledge of sewing, and never having used a sewing machine. Now I feel confident enough to work on my own designs and make more of my own gear. It’s been a hugely rewarding experience, and it’s changed the way I think about the gear I buy and use, so I wanted to share my notes to help others who may be considering making their own pack.

Circuit-bent sounds

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Sound files from circuit-bent instruments, sliced and diced for your sampler.

Singer sewing machine

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My mother, a textiles artist and teacher, recently gave me this old Singer manual sewing machine.

DIY Photo Lightbox

Complete box, on