Archive for the ‘man cave’ Category

Play like a Maker

04 Jun

TheNewHobbyist Playset Header

I’ve been fascinated with the work from Kacie Hultgren (PrettySmallThings on Thingiverse) for awhile now. Her incredibly intricate scale model furniture designs are some of my favorite “demo prints” for friends and others interested in what can be done with 3D printers and they always get the desired “woah” response. Kacie and the recent influx of “playsets” on Thingiverse gave me the inspiration to delve into this world of miniatures and I couldn’t think of a better place to start than by modeling something I’m rather familiar with, my workshop!

Below is a photo of my workshop that was featured in the recent “Where you Makerbot” blog series at, I used this photo for reference and tried to model what I think are the important bits.

In the gallery below you can see a few good close ups of the more complicated pieces of the playset. The lamp and ABS filament spools in particular need a little “post processing’ after printing. A dab of super glue or homemade ABS glue (post to follow) holds these parts together as printing them as one piece at this scale would be tricky.

So now on Thingiverse you have the option of downloading and printing a playset for astronauts, medieval knights, and people that like to make things in their spare time. Who knows, maybe it’s the next big thing in kid’s toys!


[thingiverse thing=24266]


I don’t know art…

07 Feb

…But I do like crayons.

One of my best memories from grade school was popping open a new box of 24 Crayola Crayons on the first day of school. Who doesn’t love a nice fresh box of new crayons? I even like watching mini-documentary films on how they’re made (Thanks Sesame Street)!

I found a great post about using a big box of crayons and some heat to make a neat melted wax art piece for your wall on r/DIY.

The supplies needed for this are pretty cheap:

  • 1x Big box of crayons, I used a 64 pack of Crayola Crayons
  • 1x Piece of black post board
  • 1x Shadow box
  • hot glue gun
  • heat gun


The examples I found online didn’t include any real instructions so here are the ones I followed to make mine.


  1. Sort your crayons in a visually pleasing pattern (I sorted by label color, followed by crayon color).
  2. Hot glue crayons in a line as level as possible on black poster board.
  3. Align the poster board so the wax runs following the path you desire.
  4. Pull out your handy dandy heat gun and begin slowly melting the crayons. If you go too fast the hot glue will let go and you’ll have to go chase hot crayons.
  5. Glue the poster board into the shadow box.
  6. Stick it up on the wall and enjoy!

I’m fairly happy with how this turned out, although there is one thing that makes me want to re-do the whole thing. I didn’t do a very good job of measuring the poster board before cutting it so everything is about an inch too far to the right. Let that be a lesson: measure twice, cut once!


“Edison Style” hanging light

05 May

I’m always looking for cool editions for my man cave, I don’t have a lot of space so I aim for quality over quantity. Last weekend I found these incredibly cool reproduction “Edison Style” light bulbs on Amazon and knew they could earn a spot in the man cave. The bulb was too cool to just throw in a lamp, I had to incorporate the old timey style of the reproduction bulb in the fixture it would live in. So I headed to one of my homes away from home, Home Depot. While there I picked up the following:

20′ 14 gauge, 2 conductor SO Cord (rubber coated wire)
1x Rubber coated light socket
1x Two pronged plug
1x Package of 3M Command hooks

Included in the gallery you can see my construction log. Because I was really going for a simple vintage look this was not a very complicated build. Here are my step by step instructions:

  1. Solder the socket and SO cord together and cover the connections in heat shrink
  2. Screw the other end of the SO cord into the two pronged plug
  3. Test the electrical connections (I used an ordinary CFL for this)
  4. Hang the SO cord using Command hooks
  5. Plug into switched light switch or totally awesome wirelessly controlled plug strip
  6. Be the coolest kid you know

The hanging SO cord doesn’t look quite like I had envisioned due the the stiffness of the cord, but in all I’m happy with the results.


Wireless light switch or bust

14 Feb

I stumbled upon the website while looking for an affordable thermocouple for the immersion circulator I’m planning on building. I found the part I was looking for and I also came across a “Mult-function 1CH RF Remote Control Tx/Rx Set” which is a small remote controlled relay switch that runs on a 12v power supply and will switch 120v 10A. This is one of those things that I knew I had to have but had no idea for what reason, it just seemed handy to have around. Then inspiration struck.

Batman, a constant source of inspiration.

In the original Batman TV show Bruce Wayne used a switch hidden within a bust of Shakespeare to open a hidden entrance to the Batcave. While I don’t have a hidden door to open I honestly can’t think of a cooler way to turn on and off the lights to my “Mancave”. So now that I had a goal in mind it was time to gather the required parts.

Parts list:

  • Momentary push button
  • Multi-function 1CH RF Remote Control Tx/Rx Set
  • Various hinges/bits of metal
  • An impressive bust (I went with Beethoven)
  • 6 outlet plug strip
  • 12v power supply
  • Various lengths of wire
  • Small piece for wood for switch mount
  • Glue
  • Wood stain

Like all good projects this one started with cutting off someone’s head with a band saw. In this case Ludwig van Beethoven was the unfortunate soul to have his head separated from his body. From what I can tell, the hard outer shell was a fiberglass like material while the inside was a poured porous plaster. The plaster created a terrific mess but was pretty easy to chisel out to make room for electronics. After chiseling, I gave the plaster a nice coat of Elmer’s glue to reduce the amount of plaster dust leaking from Ludwig’s orifices. I also cut and stained a piece of plywood to act as a mount for the push button and hide the plaster.

The next step was finding a cheap 12v power supply to drive the relay. I used an old power supply I had lying around, I also picked up a cheap 6 plug power strip and removed enough of the outer shield to cut into the positive (120v) line. This was extended and plugged into the relay board. Additionally I removed the wireless remote from it’s plastic casing and soldered the push button to the PCB. After mounting the push button on the plywood insert I added an extra bead of hot glue around all the connections for added support, including the battery on the remote.

The last step was mounting the electronics inside the body and attaching the head on a hinge. There wasn’t too much to this part, I just drilled some holes and used old brackets, hinges, nuts and bolts to hold everything in place.

This project was a lot of fun and required minimal effort. Since very little modification was required this is a great project for a beginner (like me). The relay board can switch up to 10 Amps so it can handle switching a lot more than the couple lights I’ve got it attached too. It’s also worth mentioning that you can buy additional relay boards that operate on the same frequency (allowing you to switch even more lights). The range on this remote is really impressive so in theory it could be used to turn on and off lights all over the house with the press of one button. This is one of those projects that is only limited by your creativity and imagination.

Update! I’ve been entered in the Instructables 3rd Annual Epilog Challenge. If you like my project please vote for it. Here’s the link to my instructable:


Posted in man cave