Saturday, July 19, 2008

I made a banner

I decided to try and make a nice looking banner for my band Anderdown. We have a logo I'm pretty sure we're sticking with, but it was too small and I'm not the best at replicating something I've already drawn so I dug up my old opaque projector a largeish ceramic bowl.

First I used the bowl to make a circle on a bamboo place mat the size I wanted, then I used the projector to give me a good image I could trace onto the mat. After that I filled it in and placed the band name across the side with some stencils. There is still a large empty space across the bottom, which I'm still trying to decide on what to fill with. I think it came out looking pretty good myself.

I might remake it with Anderdown on one line so there's no confusion over it being one word or two, I just liked the way it lays out when it's two woods.

I made another banner that has "ANDERDOWN" written in a single word rather than two. The mat I used this time is a little larger. I'll figure out what to do with that space in a bit.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I made a toy into a guitar pedal

I went to Cracker Barrel a few days ago and among the balsa wood airplanes and lawn ornaments, I came across a red toy megaphone that has switches to change your voice when you talk into it. High and low pitch shift and "alien voice" which makes it monotone and warbley. It made for some pretty interesting sounds, so I got it and decided to see what could be done with it. I stayed pretty tame with it, just adding an input and output jack, a power switch so you don't have to hold it on, and a speaker cutoff switch. The sampling is so slow that anything that goes through it is bitchrushed pretty well. I might put it into a pedal like thing or I might leave it as is. WHO KNOWS!!?!?!

Update 1:

I decided to make the guitar pedal style case for it. I looked up the size of a normal pedal, roughly went with that. A couple hours and a couple dozen dremel cut-off wheels later I'd taken the lid of an old server case that had a nice baked on paint and turned it into a rough pedal case. It actually makes for rather nice project cases, and I'll probably make a post on how to make them some time. If you have old computer cases or any thin, flat sheet metal around it's very easy. Anyway, there's a photo of it as it stands right now on the right.

Being as I still need a proper stomp switch to cut it on and off I'll have to get back to finishing it later, but for now you get the idea. I'll probably get a DPDT switch if I can and see if it can be wired to either feed the signal through the pedal or around it since the circuit doesn't do that on it's own.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I made a mystery (in 2002)

Some time in 2002 I took apart a dead IBM model 5051 computer which had an equally dead 10MB hard drive in it. The computer went to the dump, but the hard drive was too unique to toss. There had been some bad head crashing, to the point that one of the read heads had been smashed off and was bouncing around inside the drive when I took it apart. I wasn't sure what to do with it; it was of not use in a computer since it was too broke too fix, but it did have a pretty good size space inside it once I'd removed the brassy platters.

I came about the idea that I should use it to store some information I could look back on after reading through old journals I wrote in 3rd grade, and eventually decided on writing a letter to myself, which I would then store in the hard drive as a time capsule. I wanted to try keeping it sealed for as long as possible to make sure I had time to forget what I'd written, originally wanting to keep it closed for 25 years, but I wanted to be able to crack it open before I was terribly old as well, so I weaned back the time to 10 years instead. Since screwing it back together with it's new "data" stored in an aluminum casing, I set it in a closet and tried to forget about it. I still pull it down every once in a while while I'm cleaning and resist the urge to crack it open. I originally taped a piece of paper with "2012" on it to the top, but eventually decided it would be better to replace that with "2012" etched into the metal of the case, so it couldn't be lost.

I still remember feeling somewhat guilty for not putting the exact date I closed it up on there, knowing that I would forget when that was, but I also remember doing that so I would be able to open it any time in 2012 I wished. I might carry it with me to whatever new year's party I do that year. All I can remember of what's written on it is a list of the friends I had at the time, but I know there's more than that. So that's about it, it's a mystery I've set my self up for. Maybe when the time comes I'll write some reflections on the first letter and make up another letter to myself for 2022. I'd like to make it a tradition if I can. It's always good to keep some mystery in your life, even if it's just an old hard drive in your closet.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I made some small things (Part II)

There isn't a whole lot to this one folks, but a couple months ago I rode out to the beach, and while looking for things to build my shade out of, I also happened upon two coconuts that had washed onto the beach. I took off the husk and when I got home, cut it open, emptied it, and glued it to a slice of bamboo I also found on the beach and made a cup. It looks pretty neat, but the inside smells a little odd so I don't plan to use it to hold my margaritas any time soon. Ohh well, might have to make one from a fresh coconut some time.

I also was doing some cleaning over the past couple days, and decided to make something out of the junk I have around. The first thing I made was originally meant as a homemade leslie speaker, but I couldn't get it to turn at a usable speed, so Daniel and I turned it into a spinning, shaking, whirring, mesmerizing light ring of death. It's made of an aluminum plate with a fan motor (and mangled fan blade), controlled by a dimmer switch. The effect was very entertaining and turning the speed up made the whole thing shake like a Chihuahua on a vibrating motel bed.

The last thing I made is a spot light. It's pretty simple, just a large switch, 3 wires, a battery, a light, and a few blobs of hot glue. It works well and shines a ton of light, so I'll be keeping it around and keeping an eye out on a good enclosure to put it all in.