Many have complained about the hassle of rewinding their weed whackers with fresh trimmer line. Manufacturers responded by making models with solid plastic blades instead. Some of these suck, though, like this Ozito model belonging to [Random Sequence]. 3D printing was the way forward, adapting the blade trimmer to use traditional line.
The design is simple. [Random Sequence] created a small plastic tab which matches the attachment tab of the Ozito trimmer’s plastic blades. On the end of the tab, in lieu of a blade is a round slot into which a length of trimmer line can be inserted. The trick is to use a cigarette lighter to slightly melt a bulb onto a length of trimmer line so that it doesn’t pull through the slot. Centrifugal force (argue about it in the comments) keeps the line from falling out.
[Random Sequence] prints them in PETG, but notes that the part could benefit from additional strength. They do break when hitting tough objects, much like the stock trimmer blades do. Also, unlike a bump-feed trimmer head, there’s no way to auto-feed more line. Instead, one must simply assemble more of the tab-adapters with fresh line manually.
Overall, though, it’s a great way to fit stronger, more capable trimmer line to a weed whacker otherwise hamstrung by weak blades. It’s reported to work with Ozito and potentially Bosch tirmmers, and parts are on Thingiverse for those wishing to print their own.
Just as string trimmer line was once used as 3D printing filament, you can also go the other way, turning old plastic bottles into trimmer line. If you’ve whipped up your own fun hacks for tools in the garden, don’t hesitate to let us know.
Sound off with your best name for a weed whacker in the comments, too. The Australians may hold the title with “whipper snipper,” but we’re open to other submissions!
One of the most recognizable instruments in both jug band and American folk music has got to be the washtub bass. Also known as gutbuckets, these instruments tend to use an old broom for a neck and usually have a single string.
We would argue that the design of [goaly]’s single-string double gutbucket owes something to the double bass of the violin family as well, with its figure eight shape. On top of those tubs is a plywood soundboard, which is screwed into a series of wood blocks around the lip of the tubs.
For the combination neck and fretboard, [goaly] called up a vintage Louisville Slugger, which is way more interesting than some old broom handle. [goaly] extended the backbone through the body with scrap lengths of 2″x2″, and this spine runs through both tubs and acts as a peg on the bottom. In lieu of a tailpiece, the string is tied to a board that the player secures with their foot.
Although [goaly] experimented with steel cable, clothesline rope, nylon rope, and paracord first, the string is made from weed whacker trimmer line. At the top, the string is attached through the neck — it’s held down with a couple of bent fender washers and pulled taut with a wingnut. We love that [goaly] even fashioned a wooden tool to make it easy to turn the wingnut. And we also love the DIY bridge, which looks like a little person.
There are a couple of ways to make sounds with this thing. Fretting and plucking work, of course, but so does bending the whole thing backward to change the pitch. For a good time, do both. We think it sounds nice and thump-y, and it even makes great percussive sounds on the front and back. Check it out in action after the break.
Don’t have a washtub? A wheelbarrow works too, and it comes with its own stand.
Continue reading “Louisville Slugger Puts This Bass On Base”
One of the best things about making music is that it’s so easy to do. There are countless ways to make interesting sounds out of nearly anything if you’re willing to experiment a little bit — just ask anyone who has ever made a guitar out of a cigar box and a broom handle.
[Vicious Squid] dug in to the fertile soil of the garden implement world and cultivated a three-string upright bass with a rich, soulful sound from a familiar workhorse — an aluminium wheelbarrow. Much of the build is made from reclaimed wood, like the solid mahogany neck from an old door frame, and a broom handle.
The bass is constructed arch-top style, meaning that the soundboard — the wood on the front with the f-holes — is a flat piece tacked to curved ribs that span the width of the ‘barrow. A broom handle sound post mounted front to back pushes vibrations from the soundboard to the aluminium body. To round out the agricultural aesthetic, [Vicious Squid] strung it with weed-whacker bass strings, which are no doubt inspired by the use of actual trimmer line.
It’s already plenty loud, but [Vicious Squid] added a piezo pickup for wheeling it into the recording studio. Slap your way past the break to hear a little ditty.
Are your instrument-building skills at the sapling stage? Start with something simpler, like a sliding rubber bandolin.
Continue reading “Wheelbarrow Bass Drives A Sound Garden”