Do you play the ukulele? Do you like strum-alongs? Ukulele Play Along is there! The site offers YouTube videos of songs synced with displays of their chords and lyrics, and fretboard displays for each song that comes up, in the three most common ukulele tunings (C6, D6, G6). (Hat tip: Molly Lewis, who has also made the world's shortest ukulele tutorial.) [more inside]
This is a beginner's guide to drills and bits. Need something more basic? Then try An Idiot's Guide to Buying Power Tools or stick with Four Essential Power Tools.
A putter is a 'putter together of scissors.' This short documentary by Shaun Bloodworth follows the work of Cliff Denton, who works at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. More from the BBC, with Eric Stones, the other Master Puttertogetherer at the factory.
Farming and gardening tools that are actually useful for women. “Women play a critical role in producing food,” she says. “Our philosophy is to build on the strengths of women.”
What tools did the Vikings use to construct their ships? During the early years of the Song dynasty, while Sridhar Acharya's concept of "zero" was making it's way westward and a pair of anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets was committing the tale of Beowulf to animal skin, a Viking craftsman lost his tool chest. It is speculated that the chest fell overboard off a ship or through the ice into what was then a swamp on the modern island of Gotland, Sweden. The chest was unearthed in 1936 when a chain attached to the chest got caught on a farmer's plow. In it were the tools a Viking blacksmith/ship builder would need to ply his trade. Named the Mästermyr chest its discovery was a boon to archaeologists, historians, re-enactors, woodworkers and blacksmiths. The original tools (catalogue of the items) were restored and put on display. Numerous copies and tributes of the chest or selected tools have been made over the years including a complete replica of both the chest and contents made using period techniques as a 'net project of a blacksmiths and woodworkers. [more inside]
Redwood Saga (1946) — Once upon a time, how tiny lumberjacks with tools and muscle power fell the big ones.
Jimmy DiResta has made a lot of videos for MAKE Magazine over the past year, and here he shares his five favorites: http://makezine.com/video/diresta-celebrating-one-year-on-make/ [more inside]
Bootstrapping the Industrial Age So you survived the apocalypse. Here’s what would it take to rebuild the world.
Major bicycle tools manufacturer Park Tool maintains a neatly sorted bevy of repair, maintenance and technical information articles. Their lead mechanic Calvin runs a video channel that includes -- among many other things -- on-the-road bicycle repair tips. Even more bike info (new bike assembly procedures, road and mountain bike positioning charts, thread concepts, drive train troubleshooting, etc.) is available on the miscellaneous topics page. Don't forget to check out the bicycle mechanics language spreadsheet!
Wood Central is a long lived forum for woodworkers predating even young upstart Metafilter. Having been around for so long the forums are a source of immense knowledge of all things wood and some of that has been collected into posting archives and essays on their Articles and Reviews page. So if you ever wanted to know
- How to make a Double Twisted Dovetail joint
- How a totally blind wood worker manages his craft
- How to Age Cherry with NaOH
- How to construct a paddle
- How to safely use a chainsaw
- How to use electricity to remove rust from tools
- How to make a fancy bow saw
- How to make a Fibonacci Gauge and why you would want to.
Each year Bladeforums members vote for the best bowie knife. The result is a gallery of absolutely beautiful and innovative custom bowies by master craftsmen.
Looking for a project for the winter? Have some spare room and hand tools? Why not build a boat? [more inside]
The Toolchest Site does what it says on the tin. Possibly the most mind blowing tool chest on the site is this masterful 1/12 scale reproduction based on the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, done by celebrated miniaturist William Robertson. Everything works like the original, down to the lock and the included tools like the plane and the folding rule.
"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence."
Yesteryear's Tools is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside]
Machinery Scans a showcase for some of the most detailed advertisement engravings produced. During the later part of the 19th century most machinery and equipment makers spent large sums of money to have their tool or piece of machinery converted into an engraving for advertising. The scans are of engravings produced from the 1850s-1890s.
Bret Victor (previously, previouslier) shows off some mindblowing tools he's created to demonstrate not only great insights in user experience, but also his philosophy: "Inventing on Principle"
When it comes to hand tools, many woodworkers will tell you that they just don't make 'em like they used to. Unfortunately, making sense of the myriad versions and model numbers of antique hand tools can be a daunting task. Fortunately there's Patrick's Blood and Gore for Stanley hand planes, the Disstonian Institute for Disston saws, Old Tool Heaven for just about everything ever made by Millers Falls, and HyperKitten, which includes pages on Metal Routers, Stanley Bench Planes, and Harvey W. Peace saws. [more inside]
Toolimation: An animated take on building up a touring bike [SLYT]
Here are some free tools for rescuing infected Windows systems: Windows Defender Offline Beta - Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - BitDefender Bootable CD - Avira Bootable CD - How To Geek provides instructions for scanning a system from an Ubuntu Live CD. For more info, click through.... [more inside]
WoodTreks is a well-produced video blog about traditional woodworking with hand tools. Many of the videos are aimed at the beginner. [more inside]
Sciweavers' free online productivity tools include an international virtual keyboard, OCR, image format conversion, and just about every manner of PDF manipulation imaginable.
Meatcraft - Real World Minecraft
Book Shrink tries to pick out the sentences of an input text that are most representative of the text as a whole; that is to say, find the essence of a text. [more inside]
Kevin Kelly, writer and founding executive editor of Wired magazine, made the bold statement: "I say there is no species of technology that have ever gone globally extinct on this planet." The challenge was laid, including a search through the agricultural tools section of an 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue. Every item listed in that section was still made, somewhere in the world (and found online, to boot). Additional challengers were found, from the 8-Track (still being made [previously]), anvils (plenty), astrolabes (pick one [listed under Astrolabe Reproductions]). Button hooks? Check. Shoe X-Ray Machine? Probably extinct (via). [more inside]
Since 1990, Woody Blackwell has been seriously flintknapping: shaping flint, obsidian and other stones into tools, using a process called lithic reduction. [more inside]
Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of the site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in between. [more inside]
Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
"My brother says that some day two men in white coats will come and take me away. Someone said that if they are men, after looking at the shop, they will forget what they came for and I should remain free". A photo tour of the home workshop of Mr. Jacques Jodoin, including a video walkthrough.
Why preserve Van Gogh's palette? - an exploration of color from the actual layout of various artists' color palettes - Degas, Delacroix, Gaugin, Moreau, Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh. (via Neatorama) [more inside]
"The multifunction folded shovle (sic) boasting a happy combination of a spade, pickax, trowel, hewing, knife, saw, scissors, hammer, operner (sic), shield, anchor, and oar is perfect design and refined making, making a pioneer in tools family!" I can guarantee you that never before (or, likely, again) will you be so inspired by a multifunction shovel commercial. The music is exhilarating! (PS: This shovel does freaking everything.) (SLYT) [more inside]
Get palette ideas from sites like GenoPal, generate color schemes with tools like Unsafe Color Match, put a color in and spit a palette out with Color Blender, or sharpen your color theory skills with The Meaning of Colours. These are all from the 50 Best Color Sites for Designers.
B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that compares words based on their sounds, making it ideal for finding near-rhymes.
Alloy Artifacts an "online resource for 20th century hand tools and the companies that made them".
Aesop's tale of the clever crow just might be a case of astute observation. (Somehow, the story lacks the same panache when a great ape is the hero.)
Escape and other tools made by inmates in German prisons, from the photographer Marc Steinmetz. My favorite is the functional battery-powered shotgun, although the hand-made toaster is a testament to the love of a decent breakfast. via.
Fyrdility has been busy with useful web building tools. First, he has a jQuery plug-in to provide support for the CSS Template Layout Module. Template layout demos using the plug-in here. Then, there's the When can I use... browser compatibility tables that let you know when you can start using the latest web technologies, like CSS3, HTML5, SVG, etc.
Hacking the Sky: Robert Simpson writes astronomy tools for use with Google Earth, Google Sky, and Twitter.
Hammer quiz. Identify the intended use of speciality (mostly vintage) hammers. A sister site of Puzzle Photos (previously). [more inside]
Cope pipe without a jig. Enter a few parameters and get a pdf that will give you a printable pattern that will allow you to notch tubing for welding or brazing to another pipe.
Kwout, Use it to grab a quick quotation or other screen shot from a web site and embed it into a blog or other website (one click to Flickr and Tumblr).. [via/via] [more inside]
Hannu's Boatyard is a site by a Finnish guy who offers free plans for two dozen simple plywood boats you can build, along with photos illustrating the build process of each. He also describes basic woodbending technique and some of the design process, in a pleasing writing style that makes me want to get off the internet and make things. My favorites: Portuguese style dinghy; tiny stubby halfpea; round, Welsh-style coracle -- if you click on no other link today, click on the coracle link and scroll down at least to the black and white photo.
Ichiro Hattori makes the finest knives in the world. Chef knives (gyuto KD series) start at $860 USD and top out at $1175. This hunting knife is priced at $2150. These are not collector knives. They are made for everyday use. Text and images of the process and a YouTube vid of same (23:40 mostly in English).
Picnik. Free, online photo editing tools.
Make Life Better with a Sailboat-in-a-Closet. A multi-section plywood meditation for overcoming life's vicissitudes through apartment woodworking.
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