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This is a question Amazing Projects

We here at B3ta love it when a plan comes together. Tell us about incredible projects and stuff you've built by your own hand. Go on, gloat away.

Thanks to A Vagabond for the suggestion

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:12)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

On the buses (pea)
Rewind some years to just before the turn of the century. Picture, if you will, a large dormobile bus of the type commonly used to ferry patients to and from hospital day clinics etc but now in the hands of a pub and offered as something of a 'beer bus' to return drunken fools to their homes or nearest fly tip after kicking out time. Despite the high spec of this beast of burden (including a fully functional flashing amber rooftop light) it was not subjected to the highest standards of servicing or care. It came to pass that one of the windows came off second best in a minor siege situation involving a visiting English rugby team (another QOTW if the right topic ever comes up) and thus needed replacing. Being some 1.5 m sq of glass this proved prohibitively pricey so the landlord engaged the services of a couple of reliable and trustworthy regulars (me and my mate Rab) to 'find some way to patch it up'.

Add a piece of perspex badly cut to measure roughly 1.5 m x 1 m (unlike the hole which turned out to be about two centimetres bigger in each direction), two long strips of two by four attached to the exterior of the vehicle and the perspex by a plethora of wood screws and you might have something that would be classed as roadworthy...in Kazakhstan.

On the upside, although it flexed quite badly both at speed and whenever some sozzled goon leant on it the icy gusts of wind that whistled unrelentingly through the cabin served to sober up many of the passengers during the winter months and it had only cost us about £15 quid in parts.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 16:29, 4 replies)
My Dad and brother, working together.
My dad used to tinker with motorbikes. He had a few around, and sometimes used to canibalise one as spares for another.

One day he was having a cleanup, and wanted to take the old frame from one to the dump. So he got a hacksaw, sawed it in half and stuck it in the boot of the car.

When he got home, he found my brother, who was 5 at the time, had thought this a rather jolly wheeze, and had sawed his own perfectly serviceable bicycle in half.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 16:12, 7 replies)
cock fairy
I made a beautiful fairy for the top of my xmas tree. All flowing white lace dress, long blonde tresses, and delicate crown and wand.

When you lifted her dress, as everyone is wont to do..it revealed a large, hand carved wooden cock.

The mother in law wasn't best pleased
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 15:48, 24 replies)
More of a failed amazing project
A few years ago I bought a double-door wooden storage shed from B&Q for about £300. After a weekend of trying to erect the thing, I gave up in the end as there was not one right-angle in any component. I thought I was putting it up askew, but after several attempts, I got out a set-square, some string and a tape measure and after some measurement, it turned out that some corners were out by up to 10 degrees.
So, we started once more, thinking we could just force it - get the sides up and once the roof went on, it might pull it sort of square.

We lined the roof panels up at one end, yet at the other end they overlapped by three inches. I thought, if I get the doors on and then plane a bit (a lot) off the roof it should be workable, but the doors wouldn't go on. I was beginning to think that they'd actually sent me the room out of a fun house by accident, the sort where you look bigger if you stand at the far end.

In the end, I phoned B&Q and said I want my money back and they could come collect it. The bloke that collected it told me to never get a shed from B&Q again, and said I ought to get one of the metal ones from Argos. So I did, it was better built, went up quicker and was about £70 cheaper at the time.

Rhombus-sheds - More trouble than they're worth.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 15:22, 3 replies)
I made a remote control for my Portable TV, Before remote controls really existed.
My dad owns a garage and back in the early 80's shifted more of car-related-product-x than anyone else in the area. He won a black and white portable TV as a reward, which he gave to me on the understanding that if we had a power cut (frequent in them days) he'd use it as the main TV (as it also ran off a car battery)

Back then we didn't have central heating so it was bloody cold in the house and as it only ran off a portable TV aerial the signal would often tune out, requiring constant visits to the TV at the other side of the bedroom.

Something had to be done.

As this TV changed channels using a rotary dial, rather than any pre-tuned push-button scenario I hatched a plan.

Using long plastic twine, blu-tak & some cunningly placed hooks in the ceiling beams I was able to fashion a pulley system that allowed me to rotate the tuner from the comfort of my Top Bunk. When I was ready to sleep I pulled on some boot laces that were tied together and attached to the plug socket. A swift yank would cut the power for the night.

Sadly that's probably the first and last thing I'd consider an incredible project in my life. Apart from the time when I managed to stop my bum sphincter from tightening up and managed to curl out the LONGEST shit I've ever seen.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 15:16, 2 replies)
I built this a couple of years ago

My niece broke it though.

Edit I also built this philsfixie.blogspot.com/ from an old 1979 Peugeot. It was too big for me so I sold it. Also it scared the shit out of me and I learned very quickly that fixed geared bikes are a fucking stupid idea.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 15:13, 5 replies)
Carpentry shop at school
Allowed me to furnish my dad with a nice table, and my sister with a nice bedside lamp.

As I was turning the lamp, and getting involved with the detail, the carpentry teacher wondered allowed why I was bothering, considering the owner would spend most of their time unconscious by it.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 15:07, 5 replies)
When I was nine I spent some of the summer holidays in my dads shed, making a crossbow out of a bit of scrap wood and an old fishing rod. I did craft some arrows from a couple of ‘borrowed’ knitting needles, but soon discovered that it fired screws and 6-inch nails just as well.

Thing is, it did look like something knocked together out of tat by a 9 year old, so no adults bothered to check if it was a functioning lethal weapon, which it was. Eventually I got spotted by one of the neighbourhood parents firing 6-inch nails into a tree, was frogmarched home and forced to demonstrate it to my dad. He thought it was bloody marvellous and it was with a genuine heavy heart that he did the right thing and confiscated it for ever.

So I made another one the next day and was a bit more careful where I used it.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:51, 3 replies)
Monkeying with the Moon
For some years I've been working on a large model of the Moon - well, the nearside, anyway. It's about 50cm across, a size chosen to be as large as possible while still able to fit through doorways. It's made of fibreglass, with the surface modelled in Milliput, working by eye from maps and photos.

The project has been on hold while my daughers were young (kids are Time Vampires, and this is a long process) but I'm planning to get back into it soon.

Here's a picture; one side is the real moon, the other is my model. Can you tell which is which?

Obsessed? Me? Well, the clue's in the username...
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:30, 44 replies)
I made a 19mm cone spanner
for my son's bmx rear wheel from an old Flymo blade. We'd tried to buy one locally with no luck and even on-line there were none in stock.
I've built plenty of other stuff over the years, some of it quite complex*, but what made this simple spanner cool was that my son was completely amazed at the concept of making your own tools.
Kids today. Sigh.

*with batteries and wires and silicon bits and pieces.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:27, Reply)
I built a timid robot
For a mini-robot wars competition.

Not one of those overgrown radio-controlled cars that Craig Charles shouts at, neither. A real honest-to-god robot with its own brain, programmed in assembly language.

Here's a link to the whole shebang.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:13, 1 reply)
I made a thief-proof coin 'jar'
From an old shoe box. The lid had a big slot cut out in the middle and was selotaped to the box. The twist was me extending a jumbo paperclip to form a long piece of wire, attaching either end to a large battery (which was also selotaped to the box) and then having the wire run right across the slot. The result being that anyone (or myself for that matter) attempted to put their hand through the slot to take the monies the extremely hot wire would burn their hand.

I don’t know why I didn’t just make the coin slot too small to fit a hand through, like they usually tend to be. I was 8, fuck off.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:09, 1 reply)
Cor, I dunno
maybe it was installing a PC in my car

And then rebuilding the entire car around it
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 14:00, 10 replies)
Through the wonders of recurring dreams/nightmares...
...I have been doing the same GSCE history project at school for going on 20 years.

It's something to do with the Tower of London and I'm always late for submitting it for review, leading to some very tense moments and resulting in me waking in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. This generally happens at least twice a month.

The real kicker though is that I never studied history at school, having dropped it in favour of geography. Gawd knows what will happen if I ever finish and submit the damn thing.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:59, 1 reply)
Bird Table
My dad was a technology teacher, and avid woodworker, and made a lot of the furniture in our house when I was growing up.

I was never a very technical child, but was always determined to impress him, and always looking for things to make.

My triumph was nailing a 2 by 4 to the top of a garden cane, calling it a bird-table, and managing to extort £5 from the nice old lady next door for it.

I then got a smack for taking advantage of the senile. I was 11.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:57, 3 replies)
Too good an opportunity to miss
so apologies for the spam

for near on the past year I've been trying to master Venetian mask making and been logging the results in theArt/ mask making blog

it took a good few months of trial and error until I was finally able to pull off a full sized papier mache helmet with liftable visor. One that I'm finally pleased enough with to consider selling and can make multiple copies of within a very fast turnaround time (£20 in case anyone asks - sorry mods)
Avian Helmet

romanesque one:
I'm making it so that each faceplate fits onto the same helmet so you only have to buy the helmet once (on it's own for a tenner) and then buy multiple different faceplates, also a tenner each.

sadly the best idea for a mask never made it past the plasticine sculpt stage (too finely detailed to work for the plaster mold/papier mache stage) but it's the one I'm proudest of:

other epic failures never taken to fruition include a Hulk v Superman model and a 3d go at Giger's necronomicon
and a very short lived career as a pavement artist (or Madonnera if you're posh)

also been having a crack at making little dollies of the characters from my paintings from my other site ( with free lounge music for the hipsters) as well as a steampunk version of Hellboy. Spending more time in fabric shops than is heterosexually acceptable to source the stewardess uniforms. The trick was to make them so they could be molded a few at a time to sell(£20 each if anyone asks)

the shop for the Deri Air site only has the Twit model so far but the others (stewardeses in uniform, Bongo Gorilla model, Deri Air board game etc) should be along very soon - the art/mask making site shop one is go too...I have contact details in there to get any orders in right now ;)
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:55, 5 replies)
I'm forever holding on to old hinges, screws, castors, and the like,
just in case I ever to build/fix something. Almost never happens, though, as I am a near perfect combination of good intentions, cack-handedness, and laziness.

The one time I did anything useful with the junk in the garage, I took a load of old deck joists and made them into a frame for a bench, fitted into an alcove in the kitchen. Add a little MDF, the bench had a seat and a storage shelf underneath. Very useful, and quite an attractive feature, once it was painted.

I may not have the skills necessary to survive the fall of ordered society, but at least I'll have somewhere to sit down.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:51, Reply)
made a flamer thrower
using a mere aerosol can and a disposable lighter. top that.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:50, Reply)
I made an air gun from a CO2 fire extinguisher once
It was a fairly simple affair a length of aluminium tubing jammed in the funnel and gaffer taped in place. You would muzzle load it with D-Cell batteries wrapped with a bit more gaffer tape to make them a snug fit.

The first incarnation had a 6' barrel and needed 2 people to operate, one to load and aim and one to pull the trigger, I subsequently took a hack saw to the barrel and reduced it to about 3' making it possible to fire single handed.

It didn't have huge power, about a 25-30 yard effective range and fairly accurate but it was great fun due to the size of the projectiles and it had terrific intimidation value. I used to keep it under my desk at one point for fear of dodgy customers.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:49, Reply)
Kill it Bam!
A few years ago when I was still at Uni, the internet was crazed with Barry Scott, the made-up spokesperson for Cillit Bang (Remember that shit?).

Near us was a good ol' 99p store, the staple of any student worth his salt. In it, we found what we thought was a cheap knock-off, named "Kill it, Bam!".

We decided to test both of these against each other and the results were quite surprising. It was actually featured in the B3ta newsletter and everything, despite them vowing to be done with everything Cillit Bang related.

The results are still available here, on an old (and long since forgotten-about) Livejournal entry.

However, the story doesn't end there. It turns out, the people that make Kill it Bam got wind of it and very kindly sent us a massive box of cleaning supplies. Of course, being students we never actually used them for anything other than dicking around. They also informed us that you can use Ketchup to clean pennies just as effectively as any detergent - and they were bloody right, too.

We learned a lot doing this and had our 15minutes of internet fame. The sad part is that it's probably my biggest achievement from going to Uni, even counting the fact that I managed to graduate.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:45, 1 reply)
Fast Pooed
This didn't come to fruition, unfortunately, so slightly off brief.

Back in the late nineties, when I was a teenager, me and a friend were talking about another friend of ours who'd got bad IBS and had a special diet to help him cope. Why, we thought, do us folk with normal bowels not get the benefit of such customised nutritional ministrations?

Why, in fact, did someone not start a cafe where they'd serve you food based on your current digestive issues. Constipated? Try the chef's special curry, followed by stewed apple dessert. Diarrhea? Try the three-course fibre special, with a round of un-buttered toast on the side.

Realising the lack of practicality of us opening a cafe, with no experience, we decided it might work as a website (this was back when there weren't millions of websites doing dietary advice). So my friend, who had taken the whole thing much more seriously than me, went off and developed a business plan to hire a nutritionist and a chef for the necessary few weeks needed to set up a website where you could, essentially, describe your poo, and we'd give you recipes.

However, he was persuaded by his college's business studies tutor that it was a terrible idea, and that he'd be better off selling something like mouse-mats, that the sort of people who were on the internet would need... as I say, this was the late nineties.

Therefore, i went off to Uni, whilst my friend took a year out to become an Internet Millionaire by selling mousemats via a horribly designed website. He realised it wouldn't work in the first six months, and spent the rest of his year-out playing his N64 and developing a crippling masturbation addiction.

Nowadays, of course, there's loads of sites which would do this sort of thing. I'm genuinely disappointed he was diverted by the mousemats.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:44, 1 reply)
Accountant by day.
Bricky on the weekends. I wanted to terrace my steeply sloped garden to make it a bit more usable. Couldn't afford to pay some some dodgy builder so taught myself to lay bricks with t'internet and a bit of practice.

Result: 2 walls about 25 feet long with steps built in and not a wonky brick in sight. They've held back the garden for 3 shitty winters with no damage, even though I avoided having to get them signed off by a structural surveyor by keeping them each under a metre high.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:41, 4 replies)
When I was younger
I built from parts a car. Put it together bit by bit, closely following guides passed to me. Struggled with the gearbox but after a bit of persistence was able to finally make it.

Link here to photo

V v proud.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:32, 6 replies)
This is rather dull
Haven't even started it, but . . .

1. Ingredients.

1 MGB roadster. Probably the 70's version, with rubber bumpers.
1 Rover 3.5 SDI. Any one will do.

2. Preparation.

a. remove 1.8l engine from MG, discard. remove gearbox, also discard.
b. remove 3.5l V8 engine from Rover. Keep. Ditto 3 speed auto gearbox.
Discard the rest of the Rover.

3. Cooking.

a. Insert 3.5l V8 into MG. Ditto gearbox. Possibly not in that order.
b. Fabricate custom header pipes, 2 banks of 4. Take down to 2 x custom exhaust pipes, route under chassis on either side of car. *Important* point b is discretionary, but if you route to a single pipe, you won't get that V8 burble.
c. Leave to cool on a cake rack.
d. Repaint / cleanup, add chrome bumpers etc to taste. Uprate brakes and suspension.

4. Serving.

Take out a mortgage for half a tank of fuel. You will not need any more than this, because driving this machine will probably result in death within the first couple of miles.

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:30, 8 replies)
The wrong trousers
This has elements of moneysaving from last week too.

Right now I'm in the middle of making my poor unsuspecting child a pair of overtrousers. The weather is getting (slowly) colder, the childminder asked me to wrap her up warm, eBay was looking a bit sparse, so this morning I cycled to Ikea, ate their 99p cooked breakfast with free coffee, and picked up a fleece blanket for £1.59 (on a giftcard that still had a couple of quid on it).

I've just sewn the legs and crotch and am about to do the waistband. Catfaceceilidhbaby is going to be resplendent in homemade pale blue fleece trousers. In a few years time I hope to make some outfits for the whole family, Von Trapp style, out of some old curtains, then we'll stand around singing before fleeing from some Nazis.

This is what having kids is all about - not a physical demonstration of your union or moulding a human being or any of that crap - it's about dressing them up in stuff that you hated when you were a kid and perpetuating the cycle of shit fashion. Don't feel too sorry for her - when she's an adult she can make a fortune writing misery lit along the lines of "Please mummy, no, not the sewing machine" and "They put a bowl on my head and cut my hair".
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:29, 9 replies)
I once saw a man make a vegetable truck.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:20, 1 reply)
Oh, drat :(
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:18, 1 reply)
I once made a lilly out of a napkin.
True story.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:17, Reply)
Back to the Future bikes
I invented back to the future bikes once with an adapted BMX.

You coat the tyres with lighter fluid, then cycle through a park. You get a friend to throw a lit match as yoiu get past, and you leave a flaming trail in the grass behind you.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:16, Reply)
My life wasting project was to come up with an easy way to be the first post.
Edit: Oh amazing projects? Nope don't have anything for that one.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:16, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1