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This is a question The best thing I've built

Wehttamman asks: My dad and I once built a go-kart from chipboard, pram wheels and an engine from a lawn mower. It didn't work... so tell us about your favourite things you've made, and whether they were a triumph or complete failure.

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:00)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The front end of A ford escort from a good prang. The right wing of A Vauxhall chavelier. The front end of A Vauxhall astra merit van. The cab floor, immobilizer and windscreen wiper assembly of an LDV convoy high top. Not very inspiring, until you realise I'm not a mechanic, and did them all on the street,without ramps. The best one was the escort. The front end was punched in so badly I had to tie it to a tree and reverse the car to straighten it out. Turned out a really great neat looking job! They weren't all crashed by me by the way.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 15:23, 1 reply)
Monkeying with the Moon (A blatant pearoast from when we last had this question, 11 months ago)
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 daughters 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 11 Oct 2012, 15:08, 10 replies)
I built a large hadron collider in my backyard using airconditioning ducting and a 12V car battery
I was able to not only prove that time and space are connected, but they are, in fact, second cousins.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 14:58, Reply)
Having no space for a full sized cabinet, I built this:

Build blog here: minicade.blogspot.com
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 14:28, 9 replies)
Junior Master Bater
Years ago when myself and my mate were engineer cadets we had the misfortune of sailing with hairy-arsed British crew on a North Sea oil tanker.
Now we were only second trip cadets, not to bright, perpetually walking around in a semi-alcoholic haze, but we were given the tasks of;
a. Build new extension to the workshop tool bench, angle-iron frame, wood plank top, welded to existing structure and deck.
b. Build new access platform and mount to the side of the donkey boiler, at the top of the boiler, so this will require staging.
c. Build a new mount for the spare burner for the main boiler.
These may not sound like much, but having such jobs given to two inexperienced, but willing kids really did make a lasting impression (it was 20yrs ago), and also instills a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Not to mention you can also stick it up to the other engineers who were mainly a bunch of work-shy bastards.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 14:16, 2 replies)
a breadmaker maker

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 14:15, Reply)
I made this in 2007 for my daughter's birthday. Got the plans from a Garden Projects DIY book, modified them a little, and built it effectively from scratch over the course of a couple of weekends. Five years on and it's still standing.

It's not a shed, by the way!

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 14:08, 20 replies)
Bass speaker
As a kid I used to make all sorts of things; crystal radios, go-karts, dens, model aeroplanes, explosives - all the usual boy stuff. As I got older I got more mechanical, replacing the gearbox in my Triumph Herald convertible, the clutch in my MG Midget 1500, and I've serviced most of the vehicles I've owned including various motorbikes. However, since having kids I've found I've become more sedentary, not least spending far too much time on the computer, and doing almost nothing practical other than baking bread and cakes. A couple of years ago I started to learn to play bass, and am in a band, so when I found the Bill Fitzmaurice website, decided it was time shun the computer and start building a decent bass speaker. The design I've chosen is fairly straight forward - mostly straight lines and easy joints.

I'm about half way through the build now, and think it's probably the best thing I've ever built, and I'm spending a lot less time on the computer.

For anyone interested in building their own, here's the link to the Bill Fitzmaurice website: www.billfitzmaurice.com/

Edit: and here's one being tested. In HD you can see the picture distorting:
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:58, 2 replies)
Shameless pea - Crap tank, again!!

I made the crap tank from Kitchen chopping board, bicycle chains, aluminium pipe and 9.6v Tesco Drills:


It fires at 30 rounds per second and the BBs come out at a shade over 306mph. It's more fun that you'd believe!

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:39, 3 replies)
This large conurbation which features a cathedral.
Using only materials made from igneous matter and small, round pieces of bread.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:31, 1 reply)
Pearoast with an update...
In 2007 I bought this ruin:

It's about half a 1970 BSA bantam. The only bits not in the picture are a knackerd chain and the logbook, the bodywork and engine having been stolen. Not a particularly inspiring bike, and not the best start for a first restoration-but I wanted a classic, and this was it.
There then followed 2 years of spannering, painting, fettling, buying bits, refettling, unspannering, buying more bits...pictures here: @N03/sets/72157614315853615/
"www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157614315853615/

I decided to do it as a mini cafe racer, being as the engine is still quite popular for tuning and racing. This caused many headaches. Most of the modifications were done at least 3 times. The mudgaurd had to be redone when I realised the original held the forks stiff-after I tried replacing the bushes. The rearset footpegs were a huge headache too, it wasn't until I came to fit the chain I realised they were in the way. The seat took 3 months, made from some scrap steel, a camping roll mat, a tarts leather skirt and a load of fibreglass-man, the fumes! I carefully smoothed the ports in the engine, had the crank rebuilt and the engine bored to a whole 185cc (that and the tyres are the only bits I didn't do myself), rewired it...I shudder to think what it cost, if I try totting it up I give up after a grand.
I rebuilt the engine in January, and after fitting it into the frame it fired up pretty eagerly: www.flickr.com/photos/35741071@N03/4281076209/

By March I'd built this:

The second ride (once I'd found the knackered ignition coil) was incredible. The engine was incredibly wheezy and slow at first, but as it warmed up it woke up. Almost as though it was remembering what roads are for after 14 years sat in a shed. It is a great feeling to ride something you've built, nut and bolt upwards.

Since I posted this in Beautiful moments part 2, the bike has continued to evolve. Nice new halogen headlamp, and a couple of exhausts to make it less gobby, smoother and quicker. I've moved to Derby now, so straight throughs are a bit anti social. Sadly this year it's got a bit sidelined as I've been building a workshop, like a twit I insured it then havn't MOT'd it since June, so it's not ran for a bit. Just before laying it up I fitted a new mikuni carburettor, which made it much smoother. The tale will continue...
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:22, 6 replies)
I have given this some thought
And it has made me realise that I'm a bit crap really. My Dad was a technology teacher who used to make furniture in the garage and repair his own cars. He tried to give me the 'building things' bug by getting me to help him with stuff, and even came up with little projects like making a mini steam turbine. It never took, though, and I grew up bookish and quite impractical.

The actual answer is therefore probably something like a really complicated spreadsheet. It's all a bit emasculating, really.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:19, 1 reply)
I was seven
At school we had these wooden building-block type toys which we were encouraged to use during class to learn how little things can be put together to make bigger things, or some such bollocks. One of the components of this construction set was some round blocks with holes all around the edges, where you could insert wooden connecting rods.

One day it struck me that those round blocks were vaguely reminiscent of something I'd seen a few times when my dad took me into his working men's club in the evenings. I went to work drawing pictures on little bits of paper and pushing them into the holes round the edge of three of these wheels, then mounted the wheels next to each other on a rod so you could spin them around with a simple wrist action (oo-er).

"Who wants a go on my fruit machine?"

Everyone did. The punters flocked around to take their turns at spinning the wheels, paying me a crayon per spin. Sometimes they won and I paid them some crayons back. More often they lost and I kept their crayon.

About fifteen minutes in the teacher realised that the class had gone far too quiet for comfort and came over to see what the new cynosure of attention was. By which time I owned every bloody crayon in that class and was pondering whether to build more fruit machines and set one up in every class in school, or just to open a crayon shop and sell everyone their crayons back.

I wouldn't have minded the tongue-lashing I got, but that bitch of a teacher made me give all the crayons back. Still, I learnt something that day ((c) South Park); from that day to this I've never once felt the urge to throw money away gambling or down the betting shop.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:16, 1 reply)
A Shed

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:06, 4 replies)
You could have played snooker on it...
For some reason new build houses seem to come with beige carpet. Not just any beige carpet, but cheap thin beige carpet which the day after moving in already looks awful.

So you can imagine after 2 years of pushchairs, feet and furniture in rainy devon it looked like a dogs dinner.

So I decided to really go for it in a replacement flooring. The house was an awkward wedge shape so nothing was going to be easy but I ordered a pallat of really lovely Brazilian Slate tiles.

Out came the old carpet, the underlay, carpet grippers, the skirting boards. Then through to the kitchen, I shifted furnishings, the fridge, washing machine and even the fitted kitchen unit end panels and plinths.

I set about it and over the course of 4 weeks laid the most beautifully planned floor you can imagine. It was under the skirting, cut to angles so it flowed in straight lines parallel to walls meeting adjoining rooms with a foot plate dividing the rooms in a continuous sea of slate through the ground floor. Even in the downstairs loo the skirting was replaced with a section of tiles to make mopping the floor an easy job. Once back together I was really really proud of it, the neighbours admired and complimented me on the workmanship.

I think I was pretty much laying the last few tiles when the ex-wife decided she'd rather shack up with someone else. And by that I mean that I had to move out so he could move in.

Wind on 2 years and the divorce is done and the house is sold. Went back for one last look at the now empty house only to see the tiles scratched and neglected where metal frame chairs were dragged along the floor. What a bummer.

Floor still looked good though.

Tiles, even after years of abuse they'll age better than your ex.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:04, Reply)
I suppose it would be
Going from this...

to this

in the space of just over a year. I did everything; welding, painting and mechanical, including a full brake, suspension and engine swap. It successfully passed its MOT two weeks ago.

18 months ago, I'd never used a welder or held a paint gun.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 13:03, 19 replies)
The huge Lego Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer.
I was helping a friend's young son build it whilst babysitting.

And of course, by 'help' I mean 'let him sit there while I did it', no matter how much both he and my wife moaned about it.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:48, 4 replies)
I'm sure everyone has heard of MAME by now, and may have even seen cabinets that people have made. I hadn't seen the cabinets, but figured I should make one, it was only once I'd started that I discovered a whole on-line community of people had the same idea before me.
I bought all the wood, huge CRT screen etc... and made a hinged door on the back of the cabinet that I had made. I realised then of course, that to open it the cabinet would have to stand around 3-4 feet out from any wall I put it against....so instead, I made two little brackets and attached two steel prongs to the bottom of the door. The prongs would slot into the brackets and then hinge up to the top where there were two lock-bolts to hold it in place.
After it was all up and running and painted, I decided that now was the time to put the wheels on, so I struggled with the weight of the thing to get it to my bench...when I saw that the whole of the back door was attached.
Aha - thought I! If I remove the door then it will be lighter and easier for me to move.
I unhooked the top bolts...and what transpired appears in my memory in slow motion.
The door, the same door with big spikey things on, obviously became unhooked and gravity doing it's job admirally, pulled the door, complete with spikey things towards the Earth. By way of my big toe, breaking it in two places!
Stupid (or determined?) bar-steward that I am, wrapped the toe up in bog roll, put on a sandle (shoes were going nowhere near it) and went back out to complete the job. Dropped a bloody screwdriver on it within minutes.

(pic of it getting ready for painting)

The next one I made was a table-top job. If that door fell on my foot, I doubt I'd even notice.

(pic. Revised foot-friendly version)

I have spates of hobbies, when I discovered HDR photography, I made this:


When I discovered the Ardiuno, I made this (please excuse the frame rate):


I'm always making things really. Mostly though, all I seem to make are dustbin fillers.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:45, 1 reply)
Well, I made this

It's now gone on to become one of the top 10 selling Indie Games of all time, so I'm very chuffed. I'm hoping to break a million sales in the next few weeks.

It's called FortressCraft. (and as such can be found at www.fortresscraft.com/ )

(Edit to answer a few questions)
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:44, 3 replies)
I once persuaded a bunch of strangers to build an online community of chimpanzees on facebook.
They only made friends with other chimps, and set up pages for liking things like swinging in a tyre and poking things with a stick.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:37, 2 replies)
I built a banter bot. He was called prickbot, everyone loved him and he soon became the most popular member on /talk.
Obviously this made the mods insanely jealous so they banned him.
I should have called him 6yearoldboybot and then they would just have tried to have sex with him.
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:31, Reply)
We built this city.

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:20, 5 replies)
what's the biggest thing you've ever put up your arse?

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:16, 9 replies)
I made a bra once.
It was the breast thing I've built.

I like breasts.


(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:11, Reply)
(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:09, 1 reply)
Not 1st

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:08, Reply)

(, Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:05, Reply)

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