• DIY,  Woodworking

    Lathe Stand Plans

    Here’s my 5-foot adaptation of the lathe stand from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJZycw5NUF8 (Thanks Keith!)

    Here’s what it took for supplies:

    1. (1) 4×8  3/4 birch plywood
    2. (7) 2×6-8ft
    3. (3) 50lb bags of sand (had to fill trash 4 trash bags because 50lb bags too big)
    4. (1) 4×8 hardboard
    5. Lots of Kreg pocket hole screws
    6. Wood glue
    7. Countersink bits

    My legs are at 5 degrees. The only adaptation I made as I built it was that I needed more room for my feet, so I moved the entire “sand box” up several inches. The only thing this changed was to shorten the length of the two 2×6 cross boards at the bottom (the one that says 9 7/8″ in the drawing).

  • DIY,  Photography

    DIY Panoramic Tripod Head


    You’re here because you want to take great panoramic shots, and you’re amazed by how expensive the off-the-shelf panoramic tripod heads cost, right? The key to a good panorama is to have your camera mounted such that the no-parallax point of your lens doesn’t move when you rotate the camera about any axis. This device achieves this with simple parts you can purchase at the hardware store. First, let me show you the end result:

    There are a few ways to build something like this. Originally I started with a design that was too complicated. I tried to have slotted brackets so that one head could work for any of my body+lens combinations. This proved to be very difficult and it looked pathetic (see bottom for photos). The cleanest solution I have come up with is to use a dedicated head with fixed-position holes for each body+lens combination. I really only use one lens for panoramas, so that was easy. This eliminates the need to mess with the rig when I want to shoot. I just mount the camera and go. No adjusting!

  • DIY

    DIY Lawn Bagger (for Fall Cleanup)

    Last spring I purchased a lawn sweeper. It was very useful after I dethatched my lawn, but it proved less effective against the barrage of leaves this fall. I decided I’d try my hand at crafting a lawn mower bagger. The first design worked pretty well, though it took some tuning. Unfortunately, it only lasted about 5 minutes as the entire discharge chute ripped off on a high-spot in the lawn.