Gas-Powered Fly Swatter Slightly Over-Engineered

Any good flyswatter ought to be able to break through a hefty piece of wood. At least, that is how [Finn] explains the design philosophy behind this enormous, overpowered flyswatter. Although we don’t know if everyone needs as robust a machine as this to deal with a minor annoyance like a house fly, we can certainly appreciate the over-engineered, extremely powerful (and dangerous) machine that can swat flies but also break through a two-by-four with ease.

The build comes to us in two parts, with the first part documenting the construction of some of the parts of the flyswatter, including the piston-driven gas cylinder. As a bit of a tangent, [Finn] first tests this part by using it to shoot lemons at pieces of plywood. After this initial testing of the gas cylinder, a cam mechanism is installed on the top, and the gas cylinder is slightly modified to pull on a piece of Dyneema rope attached to the cam. At the other end of the rope is a long metal lever with the flyswatter on the end, in this case, made out of a sheet of laser-cut plate steel.

With the addition of a few safety features, like a spring-assisted bumper to keep the flyswatter from swinging too far and hitting its operator, the machine is ready for use. It also eventually received some other upgrades as well including extra weights to prevent the flyswatter from bouncing after firing and a reinforced metal rod to hold the flyswatter after its demonstrations on various dimensional lumber destroyed it. In all likelihood, this is the largest insect-control device we’ve seen since this microwave-powered bug zapper. Now if you are building an insect

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The Goalie Mask, Reenvisioned

The goalie mask, at least the retro-styled fiberglass types from the 60s and 70s, hasn’t been used in hockey for about 50 years —  it’s instead made many more appearances in horror movies than on ice rinks. Since then, though, there’s been very little innovation surrounding the goalie mask even though there’s much more modern technology that could theoretically give them even greater visibility. [Surjan Singh] is hoping to use his engineering and hockey backgrounds to finally drive some improvements.

The “uncage” is based on Dyneema thread, a polyethylene fiber known for its strength and durability. It’s often used in applications that demand high strength with minimal weight, such as for sails or backpacking equipment. Using strands of Dyneema woven through a metal support structure is what gives this mask its high strength while also improving the visibility through it dramatically. [Surjan] has been prototyping this design extensively, as there were some issues with the fibers chafing on attachment points on the metal frame, but most of these issues have been ironed out or are being worked on currently.

In the meantime, [Surjan] has been looking for a professional-level goalie to help refine his design further and does seem to have some interest, but it doesn’t seem to have progressed past testing in the more controlled test environments yet. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine this as the future of goalie masks in professional hockey though since some innovation after 50 years of relative stagnation seems to be due. For something more accessible to those of us not currently playing in the NHL, though, you can wheel, snipe, and celly on this air hockey table instead.

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