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Remember how Chris flung away his life’s worries with a trebuchet in Northern Exposure? Well, you can, too. In fact, you can easily find numerous sets of free trebuchet plans online, or you can purchase a kit to get you started.

Just don’t tell anyone we recommended you try this when you fling a bowling ball through the neighbor’s car.

Trebuchet.com [Corporate Site]



A roommate of mine in college used to build speakers of much higher quality than those you could buy — and for less cash, too. The trick is knowing how to calculate the box size(s) properly. Add to that a little bit of crossover savvy and some basic woodworking skills, and you’ve got $2,000 speakers for more like $250.

Just plug “speaker building” into Google, and you’ll find zillions of resources to get you started. Radio Shack still sells a book with the required calculations, but now you can find all that material online just as easily.

And don’t forget to stop by my favorite online parts provider, Parts Express. I’ve bought tons of parts from them with good results. Of course, if you have a better source to recommend, by all means post it in comments. I can always use another entry in my little black book!

(Thanks, Dieter Karner, for the great cc-licensed photo.)

Speaker Building [Google Search]
Parts Express [Corporate Site]


If you haven’t checked out the “home improvement” or “woodworking” (or sometimes “crafts”) section in your local used bookstores, get in the car and head that way right now. The skills and methods applied in woodworking haven’t changed significantly in the last hundred years or so, which means that you’ll find your local reseller chock full of great, useful how-to books cast off by those whose New Year’s resolutions didn’t stick a few years ago.

And guess what? They’re a hell of a lot cheaper than new ones at Barnes and Noble.

A tip for those of you visiting a small mom-‘n-pop shop: negotiate. Really, it works.


This Soviet TV case-mod found by our friends over at Make is just a sample of the fun you can have case-modding. And unlike most high-school case-modders, you’re working with more than a Dremel and a dream. You’ve got a freakin’ welder!

Hop to it! (And don’t forget to post your project pix in the photo pool.)

Soviet TV Case-Mod [Make]



We’ll admit it: we’re total project geeks.  We obsessively read project-oriented websites, often to the detriment of our home life.  But our pain is your gain!  Here are a few projects we saw this week that you might want to check out:

And there’s lots more from these sources and others — this is just a start.  Happy weekend!