I like doing things. These are things I've worked on.

First off, I’m no film maker. I like to be creative, and I feel I have a sense of artistry, but I’m totally at a loss when it comes to how to make film (or video as I guess it should be called now). Therefore, I fake it with gimmicks. You know, things like building a time lapse of me assembling a large LEGO project; you’ve seen the evidence of this before, I’m sure!

My most recent project was the massive Porsche 911 GT3 RS model that LEGO released in 2016, set number 42056. This thing is 1:8 scale...

For Christmas, I decided to make a nice cutting board for Shanin because, you know, who doesn’t like a cutting board? After looking around for a while, I finally found a pattern which was close to what I wanted.


Found on Pinterest, of course

The first step was choosing wood. I needed three colors or species for the fox and a fourth for the background. Of course, the orange of padauk was my first choice for the body of the fox, and I figured that maple would work for the white fur bits and wenge or ebony for the black.


Timelapse time again! This time, it’s the massive Crawler Crane (#42042), complete with various actions!


This moves forward, pivots, and the crane… picker upper thingy goes up and down, and the scaffolding for the crane also raises and lowers. It’s pretty great!

I tested its lifting capabilities using a glob of 4 packs of Bucky Balls which weigh close to 1 kg and, while it bogged down, it actually lifted them and was able to turn! The second half of the video below is sped up by 2x, so it took a while, but it’s understandable considering


Hey all, finally did another timelapse of LEGO assembly. Today’s treat is the venerable Coruscant Police Gunship (set #75046) from the Clone Wars flavor of Star Wars.


My buddies Jordan and Angela got it for me for my birthday (thanks!) and so last night I whipped it all together. I used the same method for the timelapse as I did for the Tumbler, and it really makes creating these things super easy! Check it out!


We had some ugly sliding doors on the closet. I mean ugly. Nice and 70’s brown. Top that off, the doors swung back and forth very easily and fell off even easier. Every time Cora would open the door, it would come off the track, making frustration happen. So, we have to do something about it.


Pictured: ugly

For a replacement, we have our eye on some louvered bi-fold doors. Not too expensive, good looking, easy to install, you know. All the good stuff.

Well, “easy to install”; that’s the hard part! The first thing...

Spice Racks for Mom

So, for Mother’s Day, Mom wanted some spice racks. Well, the plastic ones on Amazon weren’t very good looking (in my humble opinion) so I decided I was going to build some for her instead. Of course, I just finished them last weekend, but I DID get the first of three to her on Mother’s Day! Hey, and the last two came early for her birthday!


In the picture above, you’re looking at the side of the spice rack. They go on the shelf rotated 90 degrees from that, so you’re looking at them from the...

If there’s one thing which you’d think computers and software had solved by now, it’s photos. There are so many different ways to organize, share, and safekeep photos out there that you’d think one would get it right. Failing that, perhaps it would be easy or simple or pretty straightforward to use a combination of two or more of these products to meet all your needs. Alas, I have been unable to find one.

brown ugly couch I did find $1.77 and a VTA token in the couch, though

So far, I’ve gone through Picasa (now...

So, I like making rings. I’ve been working at getting better at it, but I haven’t done too many lately. The only problem with making rings is you kinda have to have places to put the rings. Now, I wouldn’t mind selling some rings (hint hint, if there’s anyone out there who wants a custom-made wooden ring), but at the moment, I’ve only got a few people to make for.

Of course, one of those people is Shanin. And here’s the latest one I made for her:

bent wood ebony ring

This isn’t the first bent wood...

I missed the update last Thursday. Well, not so much “missed” as “decided not to do”; I was beat. I’ve had this week off, so I’ve done more physical work than usual. But, to make up for it, a double-post!

Would I have done a post on Thursday, it would have been about the fact that I put up the roof on Cora’s playhouse! The first step was to put up the framing for it.

roof skeleton

This was fairly simple to do; I had already done most of the cutting as documented in update 4....

Okay, so I’m not going to gripe too much about having a rainy day. I mean, we need the rain. We’re in a drought. All the water helps. It’s just one day. Everything is fine.

Bah, it’s a lie. I really wish it wasn’t raining so I can work on the playhouse some more. I’m poised to make a ton of progress in the next couple days, and I can’t do that if it’s raining! I mean, Saturday, I went to the wood store to get the remaining 2”x4”, 2”x6”, 2”x8” and 1”x6” lumber I need to do the roof’s...

Quick update: I finished off the front wall and got it in place. Due to some bad calculations, it turns out I wasted some wood and had to go and get two more 2x4s. They’re the dark brown ones in the picture below; I ended up getting pressure treated ones from Orchard rather than waiting till I could get to Southern Lumber again, and Orchard has a VERY limited selection of lumber.

front wall in place

The calculation I messed up can be summarized as “number of windows”. When adding up how much wood I’d need, I...

Okay, so I’m supposed to wait till Tuesday to release this post… but I don’t want to wait. I think this is damn cool, and I’m gonna share it with you NOW! I made a timelapse of assembling The Tumbler!

The Tumbler

As you may know, I really like Batman. I mean, I’m not a fanatic or anything, but I’ve seen all the recent live-action movies, played the recent video games, etc. I liked the first two iterations of the Tim Burton reboot of Batman, the ones with Michael Keaton, and bought the model of The...

In preparation for other ideas, I decided to try out a few things to make a timelapse of me building one of my recent LEGO purchases, set 10246, the Detective’s Office. And here it is! Video first, details later, right?

I’ve been wanting to get another modular building to go with my Grand Emporium set, but just hadn’t gotten together enough desire and money to get it. So, I saved up and got the Detective’s Office. I really wanted to get the Palace Theater, but they didn’t have it in stock;...

After some time, I finally have started making forward progress on Cora’s playhouse again. And I’ve made quite a bit of progress since I introduced the Fencerator 9000™. Just have a look-see:


In fact, quite a bit of that progress is a direct result of using the Fencerator, as cutting the lumber to length was pretty quick (I got most of it done in a matter of a couple hours) and pretty accurate. Of course, I didn’t include any pictures because cutting lumber is… not interesting.

I spent about an hour on Saturday putting together...

A Chair for Andrew

Since I’m preparing a couple more in-depth posts and will be occupied with other things on Saturday, I’m gonna release this post early AND it’s gonna be a brief one about something I knocked together a few months ago: a Green Bay Packers themed Adirondack-style chair. I made this for my brother Andrew because he is a pretty big Packers fan and… well, because it just kinda sounded like a good idea.

The chair

It was pretty stressful making it as I didn’t give myself much lead time; my wife and I only decided it was a...

Fencerator 9000™

Quite some time ago, I started building a playhouse for Cora. I had to put completing the project on hold for a while, but now I’m ramping up to do the next stage. I’ve got the lumber, the hardware, and some time coming up, so I’m kinda stoked. As I’ll be doing framing for the walls, much of this stage will be cutting 2x4s to length.

Since I don’t have a chop saw, and since cutting 2x4s squarely AND quickly can be difficult, I decided to make a jig. Behold, the FENCERATOR 9000™!

Fencerator 9000™


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s come around again, that fine day where we go around pinching people if they’re not wearing green. Ostensibly, this is because… yay Irish people? Or something. All I see is another opportunity for college-aged kids to drink heavily (not that they particularly NEED a reason) and exercise good-spirited stereotyping. That said, I’m wearing my St Patrick’s day shirt:


To top that off, it’s the same one I’ve worn for the last…. 7 years? Something like that. Heh, I think I’ve only worn it 7 times, too :-)


Slouchy Beanie

The latest in my “Knitting on the Train” series is a slouchy beanie!

Slouchy beanie

It took me a few days to make, but I think almost half of that time was only the last few rows. I knit this one in the round, using a broken rib stitch (one row knit-purl, one row all knit). This was almost my first time using double-pointed needles; that’s why the last few rows were so tough!

Slouchy beanie on me

I kinda like the way it fits; not too tight, doesn’t really have a beanie look....

\r\n So, when we left off in the previous installment <a href=\"\">found here</a>, I had determined what the success requirement for setting up full Ubuntu-ness to my liking. Now, we're actually going to do it! Hold onto your butts!

Get hard drive ready

\r\n As mentioned I was going to dual-boot Win7 and Ubuntu until I'd determined I'd gotten everything I needed. The first thing to do is to put aside some space for the installation. I've got several HDD's and an SSD; I'll want it on the SSD eventually, so might as well put it there first.

Make room


So, I decided to, once again, try out Ubuntu. The main draw of it is the downright usability and... serveriness aspect of it. Command-line which is part of the real OS (not like Windows), ability to host a site locally rather than from a VM, if I so choose, etc. However, I have been burned int he past because, well, with Windows comes the rich environments one would expect to exist for an OS which is the vast majority of the market share. OSX has great support too, don't get me wrong; it's a great combination of lots of support...

Monitor Stand

This isn’t news or anything, but apparently sitting in a chair all day is pretty bad for you, even if you exercise. By contrast, using a desk which allows you to alternate between standing and sitting can alleviate much of the the problem. So, when my work asked me if I wanted a standing desk, I said sure, but I told them I didn’t have a doctor’s note or anything; the official policy was that I’d need a doctor’s note to get one.

Flash forward a few weeks and I was asked if I...

Cora's New Scarf

Because there’s only so many things I can make for myself, and because I am enjoying knitting on the train (except for the nasty knot I get between my left shoulder blade and my spine), I decided to make Cora a scarf.

Moss stitch scarf

We went to Michael’s and I let her pick out the yarn; this one is… red. And very soft. And… bulky weight? I forgot to write the details of the yarn down. Any rate, red is Cora’s favorite color (and she picked it out), so it works.

When it came to the...

A Ring for Cora


Recently, in order to give myself things to do, I decided I’d start making bent wood rings. There are a few reasons for this new hobby, including (but not limited to) I want something to do and this seems pretty easy. Well, where better to start than by making rings for those closest to me? And here’s the next installment in that series:

ring, view 1

I started by making a ring for myself, especially since it seems my wedding ring finger has lost a size or so, meaning my wedding ring has just...

So, one of the hobbies or crafts or whatever I’ve gotten into from time to time is knitting. I made a pretty nice scarf for Shanin, a matching hat (kinda had trouble joining it up on top), and a scarf and a hat for my brother Lucas (neither of which were very good). Recently, I’ve gotten back into it a little. I made a scarf for Cora and one for myself (will have other post(s) for those later) and was happy with the way Cora’s turned out.

Because I like hats, I decided to knit a hat for myself. I...

Playhouse, part 1

After doing a lot of searching, I decided on a plan for the playhouse. It’s basically this idea, with the potential of putting a swing set in front of the balcony at some point. I’m gonna be adding some climbing stuff as that’s what Cora likes! I’m splitting it up into a couple stages, the first stage is building the elevated deck which will be the floor to the top story.

Coming home with the lumber for stage 1

Loads of lumber

One side frame clamped up for drilling and bolting with lag bolts


Shoe Bench, part 1

I’m making a bench for shoes, both to store them and for sitting on to put them on. I’ve decided to use stuff that I already have as much as possible because I have it and want to get rid of it (and to save money). I’ve also decided to do a bunch of hand work, partly because I want to learn and partly because I don’t have an alternative in some cases. Any rate, I’m just kinda making it up as I go along, but the top and shoe rails are going to be beech, stained with the ebonizing...

Fox bookmark

Second take of a fox bookmark, this time for Shanin. I think I really like this, though there are a few screwups. For more details about the build, find them here!


DVD Rip Automation Robot, episode 2

This just illustrates more issues with the bottom tread-feeding from a stack. I think I could probably get it to work, but I'm thinking of trying something different: using a bar or something to push one disk off the stack, either from the bottom or from the top. If it's from the top, then I have to keep moving the stack up; I don't really want to do that as I'll have to use more motors for that. However, I think it would be fairly easy to do: one motor...

I got an idea for a custom-purpose robot. Basically, the idea is to make something which is able to take a DVD off a stack of DVDs and put it in a DVD tray. Then, the computer rips the DVD to a movie file. Once the rip is done, the DVD tray opens up. The robot should then take the DVD out of the tray and move it onto a “ripped” stack, pick up a new DVD, and repeat the process.

This is going to be an interesting problem. There are several different components of this which need to work...

Kiss Box

Kiss box

Why “Kiss Box”? It’s based on this book that Cora likes: The Kiss Box

Purpleheart box, mitered and glued together. Used splines to hopefully add strength to the joints, though the purpleheart really glues up well. The splines and the top are made from leopardwood, and the bottom is made from Macassar ebony. The edges of the box have been chamfered just a little to give some interest.

The box feels very solid and has some heft to it. The top stays on with friction in two orientations and just fits nicely in the...

Inlaid Fox Bookmark

Fox bookmark

My first inlay project, made from padouk and wenge. I had to make my own 1/16” slice of padouk and 1/8” of wenge; got those by resawing on the table saw (not recommended! Note to self: get a band saw). Cut out the inlay pieces from padouk, traced them onto the wenge blank, and used my Dremel tool to make a recess which was deep enough. Then glue in the decorative piece, sand a little so the sawdust gets into the glue to fill in any gaps, clamp, and sand down once it dries. As...

Apricot-Pineapple Jam

I found this recipe at the Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith blog, a site with a bunch of really good looking and exciting recipes. One thing which wasn’t mentioned and that I discovered is that this makes about five pints (or, in my case, 10 8-oz jars) of jam, so prepare for that! Tried some of the leftover I had to put in my fridge and it is quite tasty!