DIY Upcycled Thrift Store Clock


I am an avid thrift store shopper and treasure searcher. I go as often as I get the chance, and I usually always find some neat trinket, vintage clothing or accessory, or piece of home decor. I have so many things lying around with all the best of intentions to restore them. Lately, I’ve made some progress by finally painting a mid-century dresser and some tables, but I’ve yet to complete a project as neat as Imgur user Holliciraptor (screen name props!).

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For her boyfriend for their one year anniversary, she decided to upcycle a $3 alarm clock she’d bought into an inspirational one she’d been eyeing on Etsy. Finding replacement parts for the clock on Amazon for $5.95, she went to work. She began by rendering the design of the clock in Photoshop to get an idea of what she wanted. Using a CNC router she had access to at work, she cut the pieces for the clock out of oak and used 6mm foamed PVC for the center, also cut with the router. She made a new face for the clock using Photoshop as well, which involved gold vinyl cut into the number 12 and layered to add dimension. Lastly the clock was stained and the brass rod was added for support, and screwed together.

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Jam Out On A PVC Percussion Organ

Jeremy Cook’s PVC Pipe Instrument uses plumbing and wood for a unique sound

Jeremy Cook’s PVC Pipe Instrument uses plumbing and wood for a unique sound

You’ve seen them in the street, buskers and musicians performing crazy acts and playing just about every kind of music from Gregorian chants to throwing down on a Didgeridoo. Speaking of weird instruments, PVC pipe drums have been exploding on the street-corner scene in the past few years and the trend seems to be growing.

Jeremy Cook’s detailed plans for building his PVC Pipe Instrument

Jeremy Cook’s detailed plans for building his PVC Pipe Instrument

Why not, they have a unique sound and are incredibly easy to build using a little bit of plumbing knowledge and some simple carpentry. In fact, maker Jeremy Cook and his Cousin Jackson (a musician) decided to build their own with a step by step tutorial on how to get the job done. First, a simple frame is hammered together with several holes cut out of the top edge. Different lengths of PVC piping are glued together and positioned through the holes for stability and accessibility. Next braces are screwed to the sideboards, which lock the pipes in place. Done, that’s it, you now have a musical instrument that sounds like you hammering out notes in a deep dark cave or in a vacuum chamber. Pair it up with a Theremin and maybe an old-school synthesizer and watch the crowds gather (or run in terror). Follow this link if you too want in on the PVC crazy.

Over-Engineered Ringbox


What do you get when you have a CNC router and your significant other has a beautiful ring that needs to be stored? Possibly this extremely engineered ring box. The video below shows how it works, but be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the build process. As the author puts it in the original Reddit post: “I had never touched a CNC machine or 3d modeling software. Probably not the best project for me to learn on, but it all worked out!” I would have to agree, especially considering that he claims this took over 500 hours of work and more than 30 hours of machine time.

In addition to the newly-acquired CNC skills, he (or his girlfriend) seems to be pretty handy with a chainsaw! Having done much smaller projects myself where I was able to chop down a tree, then finish what I wanted to build out of it on a machine-tool, this kind of process is extremely satisfying. On the other hand, I’d have to assume he didn’t forge his own aluminum for this box, but I suppose that’s acceptable.

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After reading some of the original Reddit comments, it appears the builder’s significant other is now classified as “fiance.” Congratulations to him on the accepted proposal, as well as making something awesome!

Laser Cut Room Divider


Recently, the folks at Trotec laser moved into a new larger office. This is generally a good sign for a business, but unfortunately there wasn’t a good area for guests to wait in, just a large open hallway. Marketing specialist Kristina decided to take matters into her own hands and make one herself. This was facilitated, naturally, by their office laser cutter, and the results in the gallery at the end of the article look great.

It’s great to see the pieces being made in the video below. I’ve got a little CNC router, which is awesome (and has the advantage of cutting in the Z direction), but the ease-of-use and potential cutting area of a laser cutter has always looked really appealing to me. You also generally don’t have to fixture anything with a laser since light is doing all the cutting.

To be fair, my understanding is that there can be some issues with fumes when using this kind of cutter, and I’m sure the laser elements can be sensitive. Also of note, if you want to do anything in 3 dimensions, it’s definitely limited. Still, getting great results like this with your project with what seems like very little effort has to make producing your creations so much easier!

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Gorgeous Wooden Table Built Using Only Hand Tools

Chris’s table was built using reclaimed wood and hand tools only

Chris’s table was built using reclaimed wood and hand tools only

So, what do you get your significant other for your 20-year anniversary? Traditionally, it’s usually something made from porcelain or platinum like dinnerware or jewelry. If you’re a craftsman like Chris (from Chop With Chris fame), you build an incredible dining room table made from reclaimed wood and rough-sawn lumber, cobbled together using nothing but hand tools. The chestnut base and supports were dovetailed and pegged together making for a sturdy foundation with notched pieces for the table’s top surface. The top itself was made using several walnut boards with chestnut edges and breadboard ends, which were joined together, sanded to perfection and oiled to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.


It took Chris 160 hours spread over six months to complete the build, which surprised his wife who considered the gift both beautiful and priceless. Chris is certainly talented with his woodwork and a step-by-step video was made to show what it took to build his dining table for those who would like to give it a try. See more in the videos and after this link.



Artisan Wooden Robotic Arms

Kinohaguruma’s wooden robotic arm functions using a series of gears and levers

Kinohaguruma’s wooden robotic arm functions using a series of gears and levers

Nothings better than getting toys for your birthday when you’re a kid or even for adults too. Usually it’s a videogame, a new bike or new clothes that are given as gifts, however if you’re lucky enough to have Kinohaguruma as your father, you get works of art like the Wooden Robotic Arm he crafted for his son’s seventh birthday.

The artist designed the arm using an intricate series of gears and levers painstakingly created using a drilling machine and a jigsaw. The gears were designed using a compass and protractor and after the rough cuts were made, he shaped them to perfectly fit together using a knife and sandpaper. Two levers are used to manipulate the arm in four degrees of freedom by engaging wooden pistons to move left, right, up and down. The left lever is used in tandem with the right for both movement and to actuate the claw to pick up various objects. Kinohaguruma even made an adjustable base to provide stability on various surfaces. Unfortunately for us, he isn’t selling the robotic arm so we’ll just have to stick with the plastic versions sold at Walmart. See more with the video…

Cemetech's Wooden TI-82


Being a maker has its perks, not least of which is having maker friends who make awesome stuff, like this wooden TI-82 that the guys at Cemetech brought to World Maker Faire this year. Apparently it was made by one of their friends, and the bidding over who would get it was fierce. Luckily, Cemetech prevailed because this TI-82 with a homemade wooden case is a handsome compliment to the rest of their display, which features graphing calculators as programming tools, DIY electronics platforms, and pocket computers that can be made to run a staggering array of applications. Keep your eye out for their table and their awesome wooden TI-82!

Folding VR Racing Rig

With driver

With driver

Maybe you like racing games. Many people do, and some buy an off-the-shelf wheel and pedals to enhance the experience. For some though, this isn’t nearly good enough, and in this case, Redditer Veriix decided to build a fold-away rig to use to get approval from the rest of the family.

Besides the “dissapearing” feature, made possible by cleverly placed brackets and hinges, it features an extensive array of controls.  The hand brake is from a Mini Cooper, and can be switched between analog and digital, depending, I suppose, on how the game being played handles this input.  It has 3 pedals for those that can virtually drive a stick shift, and a nice-looking racing seat with a decent amount of wiring underneath.

All that in addition to a cup holder.  I linked the abbreviated version of this build earlier, but if you want to see it, here’s the full (gigantic) build log.  It should be noted that this build was inspired by this Gran Turismo-themed “Dark Chest of Wonders.” Both have their own interesting features, so if you’re considering a build like this, you should check that one out too.

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As this was originally posted on the Reddit Oculus “subreddit,” and is called a “VR racing rig,” it is certainly geared toward use with a virtual reality headset.  On the other hand, a TV could rest on the front of this chest, or a projector could also be used.  After all, how would one use the cup holder with the headset on?

A Bedroom Treehouse


So your son or daughter is now old enough to have a bed. Sure, you could settle for a race car or princess bed, but given that you’re reading this website, maybe you would instead like to build your child an indoor tree house style bed line “d4ddycool.” His kids had always wanted a treehouse, but they didn’t have a tree in the backyard conducive to “structural use.”

The pictures below show some of the build process, which, naturally, went through a few iterations before becomming the awesome house that you see below. Some challenges included that the walls of the “exo-house” were not built perfectly straight, so some adjustments had to be made after initial cutting.  Also, the drawers that open under the bed were a clever afterthought, and required the bed to be disassembled.

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Besides the elevated play area, and the hole leading to it, one of the coolest features will probably be used more by the parents than the kids.  The house contains a bed, which seems like a great idea until it comes time to change the sheets or flip the mattress. For this purpose, and general cleaning, the front shell of the “bed-house” folds down in one piece supported by ropes. A very clever build; maybe it will inspire other excellent projects. You know, for the kids!

Via Reddit

Sculptures Re-Carved To Reveal Skeletons



Michelangelo famously declared that “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Now Maskull Lasserre’s recent series of carving studies, featuring found sculptures that he has re-carved to reveal their skeletons, suggests that every sculpture has a skeleton inside it that is it is the task of another sculptor to discover.


Lasserre previously used found objects as material for his enigmatic work, but what’s wonderful about this new work is the way that he creates inadvertent collaborations with the sculptors of the work that he modifies. He adds a new narrative layer to their work by physically chiseling away their original layer.


You can see Lasserre’s fantastic sculptural work in a current exhibition at Junior Projects in New York, on view through tomorrow!

[via from89]