Deep woods cabin; one man, his tools, and a camera on a tripod

alone-in-the-woods

 

We remember watching Alone in the Woods years ago on Public Television. It’s a story of a self-sufficient man named [Dick Proenneke] who loved the outdoors and decided to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness. It’s a remarkable story made more so by the film footage he made to document his experience. That teaser doesn’t do it justice, so check out the web page summaries as well and consider picking up a copy of the films for yourself.

The films include hiking, hunting, observing nature, and building this sweet pad which even [Steve] would be proud of. The first summer he left his native Iowa and scouted for cabin locations near Twin Lakes, Alaska. After finding a suitable location he felled enough trees to build the entire 11′ by 14′ structure and headed back home for the winter.

The next summer he packed in the tools seen above, and got to work. His build includes a stone fire-place as well as a door, windows, and a moss-covered roof. He did return to the continental US one more time, but ended up going back to Alaska to spend another 30 years in the cabin.

[Read more...]

Building a robot without using a machine shop

We usually avoid the prospect of buying new tools just for one project. In the long run we’re sure we’d use them again, but sometimes even with that outlook you can’t afford it. Case in point is our life-long-lust for a laser cutter; we just can’t justify the upfront cost but we sure would use it constantly if we had one.

If you do find that you’re interested in taking on a project that calls for laser cut parts, [I Heart Robotics] shows you how to do it with a few simple hand tools. The bot seen above is their TurtleBot. You can cut your own parts using a laser cutter, you can buy a kit from them, or you can bust out a ruler, compass, drill, coping saw, printer, and tape to make the pieces by hand.

It’s a simple enough concept. Print out the templates, tape them to your hard board, then start drilling and sawing. You won’t get the precision a machine tool can, but in some cases you don’t need to be all that perfect.

[via Adafruit]

Machining replacement parts with hand tools

Jeff is a huge music fan, and like many of us likes old technology, so it seemed a bit silly (to him) that he did not have a turn table. His dad had a spare in the basement. A neat old Braun model from the 1970’s that was broken.

Opening the unit up he found that part of the arm mechanism was broken, and thanks to the age of the turntable and the wonders of mass production chances of finding a replacement were slim to none. Not being discouraged he busted out the hand tools and fabricated the replacement out of some aluminum. The end result is a perfectly functioning turntable that will serve many more hours pushing out warm jams.

Check out the fourm post above to get details and pictures, and we just wanted to tell [Jeff], awesome job!

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