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A community library is an incredible way to engage with your community! Simply put, a community library is box in a public space where people can give books they are no longer using and take books to read other people have donated. In this instruction, you will be guided through how to construct your own community library!
As an extra challenge, how might you utilize “found” or scrap materials to build your library? All of the materials used in this library would have been waste and delivered to a landfill. Even the screws and nails were salvaged from somewhere! Up-cycling materials is a very cost effective way to build your library.
Click the below button for access to an interactable 3D model of the library including that ability to “explode” the view for additional details of how this is assembled!
Necessary Parts & Tools
- 1 – 4’ x 8’ ¾” plywood sheet
- 10 – 3″ x 31″ x 0.75″ Pallet Boards
- 3 – Roofing Shingles
- 2.5” #8 or #10 Drywall screws
- 3.5” #8 or #10 Drywall screws
- 1” Roofing nails
- 2″ Framing Nails
- 2 – 2’ x 4’ x 8’ Pressure Treated Board
- Cabinet Knob
- Magnetic Cabinet Closure
- 1” x 1” Cabinet hinge
- Gorilla Tape Weather Proofing Sealant
- Paint Brushes
- ~14” x ~24” Plexiglass or Utility Board
- 100% Silicon Caulk
- Assorted Sandpaper
- 40 lb bag of concrete
- Table Saw or Circular Saw
- Miter Saw or Circular Saw
- Power Drill
- Phillips Head Drill Bits
- Hand sander
- Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Tape Measure
- Speed Square
- Caulking Gun
Step 1: Preparing Materials
Cut the 4’ x 8’ ¾” plywood sheet and pallet boards as per the instructions listed in Community Library – Wood Cut Dimensions linked below,
Step 2: Assembly
Assemble the library as per the instructions listed in Community Library – Assembly Instructions linked below. The document includes the high level layout and assembly dimensions of the components. Directions instructing specific hardware choices will be described below.
Assembling the Main Housing
Start by laying the BACK flat on a flat surface and connect one of the SIDES, as shown on the drawing, using 3 – 2.5″ screws (one 4″-5″ from the top, one 4″-5″ from the bottom, and the third in the middle). Repeat for the other SIDE piece. The BOTTOM should also be connected using 2.5″ screws with 2 screws on each side. The board widths, as designed, are 0.625″ (measure your boards if using a different size). We want the screws to enter the middle of the end grain on the board, therefore all of the screws should be drilled 0.3125 from the edge (0.625/2).
With the BOTTOM attached, connect the SHELF using the same method. Finally, lay the ROOF atop the assembly and position per the drawings. Screw in through the top of the ROOF into the SIDE pieces using 4 screws (two on each side.
Attaching the Panels
Use three 2″ finishing nails per panel to connect each of the panels to the library housing. Ensure to align the edges, as this step will create a more polished look for your library. The PANEL – FRONT BOTTOM can be either nailed to the BOTTOM or can be connected to the adjacent panels using pocket holes and screws.
Finishing the Assembly
With some medium grit sandpaper, or an orbital sander as seen in the below video of my 3-year old finishing the library, sand smooth the outside edges and surfaces. Do what she’s doing – she did a pretty good job! This step will help prepare the surface for paint/stain and also reduce the risk of splinters for visitors to your library.
Attaching Roofing Shingles
You may notice in the photos, I am using a colorful plates as the roof. This material is a salesman sample pack for metal roofs I found on a bike ride. You can utilize many materials to build your roof, but ensure you lay your first shingle plate at the bottom of the roof, and then work your way to the top ensuring overlapping of the joints. For asphalt shingles, measure the length of the roof (21 in), cut roofing shingles to this length. Align the bottom edge of the shingle ~1 inch over the edge of the roof, and then nail along the top edge of the shingle. Overlay a second shingle on top of the first beginning approximately at the mid point and nail in place. Repeat until the entire roof is covered.
Building & Connecting the Door
The door in the photos is constructed of 3″ pallet boards cut in half (1.5″ wide) with a slot routed in the middle to accommodate a piece of Plexiglas. The drawing below utilizes the same pallet board front, but with a recess in the back to accommodate a 1/8″ piece of utility board to be stapled in.
With the door assembled, connect the door to the library using a pair of small hinges. Drill a 3/8″ hole on the right side of the door to accommodate a handle. To keep the door shut when not in use, I utilized a magnet secured to the frame of the library that touched the screw head of the handle. Using cabinet closures is also an effective solution.
Step 3: Setting the Post
Using a post hole digger or auger, dig a hole 8-10 inches in diameter, 2-3 feet deep. Once complete, insert the post assembly with 20-30 lbs of concrete. Mix the concrete as per the manufacturer’s instructions. When setting the post to ensure it is level, hammer a long (semi-thin) piece of wood to act as a stake in the ground next to the post, and screw one end of a second piece of wood to the stake and the other end to the post assembly once it is level. This stake and crossbar will secure the post assembly while the concrete is curing (Or you can brace it other ways – like sitting there and holding it for 4-5 hrs…).
Step 4: Attach Library Assembly to Post
See page 4 of “Community Library Drawing – Assembly Instructions. pdf” for details on connecting the library to the post.
This incredibly simple, educational, and interactive toy teaches kids how to handle and use tools while building! Developmentally, this is also a very useful toy, as the child is able to practice dexterity and positioning of different shaped objects (pick and place skills). Centered around a colorful dump truck, the child will place the bed, cab, and wheels over the threaded inserts and use the provided drill to secure each piece in place with screws.
It is important to me as a maker and a father that my daughter understand how to build and use tools. What I didn’t know was how much my 2 year old hated plastic toys and any other toy that wasn’t the real thing. Give her a plastic hammer or drill and she’ll just stare… So I made an interactive toy for her to use a REAL drill to screw wooden wheels onto a truck – and she LOVES IT! (Granted its not 100% age appropriate…) Quite a few of these toys have since been built and its a hit! Below are the supplies and build instructions needed for you to make your own!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. For commercial reuse or inquiries, contact Info@DisruptivNation.com.
Needed Parts & Tool
- 1/4″ Drill Bit
- 5/16″ Drill Bit
- 1-1/2″ Spade or Forstner Bit
- Sand Paper
- Hand Saw
- Laser Cutter, Scroll Saw, or Jig Saw
- Paint brush & paints
- Clear Spray Enamel
- Wood Stain
Step 1: Preparing Materials
This step is to cut and sand all the needed materials for the project. The items needed are,
- One – 2″ x 8″ x 11″ Board (1-1/2″ x 7″ x 11″ True Dimensions)
- Three – 1-1/4″ Long 1/4″ Wood Dowel Rods
- One – Dump Truck Bed Cutout
- One – Dump Truck Cab Cutout
For the board and dowel rods, these pieces will need to be cut to the appropriate lengths. For this design, the board will need to be no less than 11 inches long (it can be a bit longer if you want more room, but the template is for 11 inches). Once the board is cut, sand all of the edges,faces, and corners, we do not want any risk of splinters or sharp corners. The dowel rods simply need to be cut into three 1-1/4″ lengths, and round off one end using sand paper.
To prepare the wood bed and cab cutouts, I utilized a laser cutter. If you have a laser cutter, drop the PDF, “Wood Dump Truck Drill Toy – Dump Truck Cutout Pattern”, into your laser cutter and go to town! If you do not have a laser cutter, see the below PDF to print and paste to a board to hand cut the dump truck cab and bed from the piece of 1/4″ utility board.
Note: When you print the documents, ensure that “Actual Size” is selected and not “Fit”, otherwise the paper will not be printed to scale.
Step 2: Drill a Bunch of Holes
Utilize the below document, Wood Dump Truck Drill Toy – Hole Pattern.PDF, to assist in hole placement. Print off the sheet and secure to your board by aligning the top left corner of the sheet to a corner of the board such that the edges left, right, and top edges align. Now drill the 1/4″, 5/16″, and 1-1/2″ holes to the stated depths on the document. The bottom 5 5/16″ (0.31) holes will later house the threaded inserts; these holes must be deep enough to accommodate the screws. I utilized 1-1/4″ screws for playfulness and to make the parts larger for handling.
Note: When you print the documents, ensure that “Actual Size” is selected and not “Fit”, otherwise the paper will not be printed to scale.
Once all the holes have been drilled, clean up the holes with sandpaper to ensure no additional splinters were created.
Step 3: Attach Inserts
Time to take your 1/4″ wood dowel rods and threaded inserts and insert them into the board. Place a dab of wood glue on the non-rounded end of the dowel rod, and insert a rod into each of the 1/4″ holes – it will likely be necessary to hammer these into place to properly seat the rods.
Push the end of a threaded insert in the 5/16″ holes on the bottom bottom of the board. Once the tip of the insert is on the hole, hammer in place. If you are utilizing a different type of threaded insert, install as appropriate.
Step 4: Paint & Stain
Steps for this session are to stain the assembled board and paint the dump truck cutout and wheels. I stained the board using “Provincial” and then used black spray paint for the wheels.
Since my wife is outstandingly artistic and talented, she took the lead on hand painting the dump truck cab and bed. Helpful tip: paint the back of the dump truck in a solid color. The wood fibers are closed off on the painted end, and you will prevent the wood from warping by painting both sides.
Once the stain and paint is dry, it is a good idea to protect your hard work from the wear and tear that is norm of a child. Place a few coats of spray enamel on all the surfaces.
Step 5: Final Assembly
This step can be left to the child, but you might as well have some fun too!
Seeing as how Elon Musk’s “Not A Flamethrower” fundraiser for the Boring Company was 1. Extremely overpriced and 2. Sold out almost instantaneously. Still want to get your hands on one? You can head to ebay and pick one up for $500 – $2,000 OR you can get creative and build one for ~$70. The below build is how I made my (semi) safe flamethrower. It is essentially a propane weed torch stuck inside a Nerf gun.
Note: All actions and building is at your own risk. This is NOT a weapon, but is truly “Not-A-Flamethrower”, as this will only shoot flames the distance of a propane weed torch (1- 2 feet). This is also NOT a toy, and care must be utilized.
Needed Parts & Supplies
The below parts and supplies is what I used, and you may not have available.
- Propane Torch With Push Button Igniter
- Mag-Torch MT 48 EXT Extension Hose, Black
- 14.1-oz Pre-Filled Propane Tank – Pretty expensive on Amazon, you can buy this at any hardware store for ~$4.00.
- Nerf Rifle – I used this model and purchased from Goodwill for $3.00. Any Nerf gun will work as long as its a rifle style (Looking for length). Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, most of the internals will be removed.
- Bicycle Water Bottle Holder
- Zip Ties (Assorted Length)
- Flint Striker – Sometimes the push button igniter doesn’t light…
- Spray Paint
- Blue Painters Tape
- Dremel w/ cutting wheel – A Dremel makes removing the internals much easier, but can be achieved by other means.
- Screw Driver (Philips & Regular)
- Vice Grip Pliers – To be used to disassemble pipes, so you’ll need a good grip. I absolutely love these pliers and can’t recommend them more!
- Welder – This is the one tool you will most likely not have and you can get by with some JB Weld, as there is only a small amount needed. If you’re in the market for a welder, I use the Hobart Handler 140 – an excellent hobbyist grade welder. (Much more reliable than cheaper models…)
- Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: Disassembly
First step is to disassemble the Nerf rifle by removing all the small screws holding the gun together. This is quite a tedious process, and pay attention to where the screws came from if your gun uses multiple sizes. Once the gun halves are separated, remove all of the internals as these won’t be needed. It may be necessary to use the Dremel to cut/carve away any supports or bosses no longer needed, but take care not to cut away any of the attachment holes.
Here is the finished rifle with all the internals removed.
Next step is to disassemble the propane torch. We won’t be using the parts from the trigger back, so save these for a future project. You don’t have to fully disassemble the torch, but some will be needed to fit the assembly inside the gun.
Use care when cutting away the heat shrink tubing around the push button igniter, we don’t want the wire sliced. Once disassembled, you need to bend the gas tube in the center of the above photo so the pipe is straight. Can’t fit a bent tube in a straight hole. I have a vice that made this easy.
Finally, remove the fitting without the knob from the end of the Mag-Torch MT 48 EXT Extension Hose. We want to keep the hose and the fitting to connect to the 1 lb propane tank, the other end should then be threaded into the back of the lever assembly of the propane torch (where the handle pipe was removed).
Step 2: Paint
To prep for painting, Nerf did a great job on some of the details, so I masked off some of the areas on my gun (switches, holes, pipes, etc) with blue painters tape. Once your finished masking, if you chose to do so, lay out your pieces and paint! I chose to go with flat black on the body and forest green on some of the internals.
Step 3: Fitting
I have limited photos of this step, but your goal is to test fit the components, and determine what areas might need to be removed and what areas will need reinforcing. Once things are properly test fit, mark out a location to cut and bend the trigger such that it aligns with the trigger opening in the Nerf gun. It will likely be necessary to remove some material to accommodate the width of the trigger.
Once the trigger is aligned in roughly the middle of the trigger slot – enough room for a finger in front and to pull it back – cut the trigger, bend it to the proper location, and secure the gap at the cut by welding or using JB Weld.
Once the trigger assembly welding is complete, re-route the propane tube and trigger in place with the Mag-Torch MT 48 EXT Extension Hose. The hose will need to be routed outside of the rifle somehow. I drilled a hole in the end, and then routed the smaller end through to re-fasten to the trigger assembly.
At this time, utilize zip ties and the hot glue gun to secure everything in place. (The less movement the better). With everything secure, reassemble the two Nerf gun halves, and tighten all of the screws in place. The next piece to be assembled, is to thread the steel cylinder from the flame torch back onto the end of the pipe extruding from the tip of the Nerf gun.
Finally, attach the bicycle water bottle holder to the top of your now flamethrower! This will hold the propane cylinder quite nicely, and will be a good idea to secure with a zip tie or piece of tape to reduce the risk of it falling out.
An optional step is to attach the push button igniter to the gun. I utilized the existing rails on the side my my Nerf gun to 3D print a holder! Here is the design on Thingiverse to print your own.
Step 4: Fire!!!
Great at parties to light bon fires and very handy to burn weeds and melt snow (but that’s what the propane torch did anyways…)
Be safe and have fun!
I do a lot of work in innovation, creative problem solving, Lean Six Sigma, and guiding others toward achieving unique solutions to their challenges. I also enjoy 3D printing – this quite utilitarian hobby enables the quick repair and acquisition of many of life’s needed widgets!
Need a bracket to hold two tables together? Print it! Plastic knob break off your lawnmower? Print it! Want a completely custom business card holder with a jet engine’s fan on the front to advertise your brand? Well, that’s what we’re for.
Pictured here are two of my current 3D printers. Every printer comes with its own trade-offs whether that be material, reliability, auto-bed leveling, WiFi, and more! If you’re looking to procure your own printer, think about what you might use it for, and don’t make an emotional decision. Some of my recommended-can’t go wrong picks are at the end of this post.
I occasionally torture test products including 3D printers, and I can honestly state the results are all over! Every new toy has its learning curve and its frustration points…
Heard of Thingiverse?
Thingiverse is a large community hosted by MakerBot where you have free access to 1000s to redesigned models from people all over the world! Make, Share, and Discover of the categories and I’m an avid user. There are many other similar services.
Get the File & Print!
You may download the business card holder from Thingiverse HERE.
What you’re getting into is shown in the displayed photo. This is the 3D model I designed for the this print.
The file is intended to print with the bottom of the business card holder flat on the build plate. The fan blades are rather thin, so I would recommend utilizing support material to receive the best finish and resolution of the lettering and blades.
First, What Printers do I Currently Use,
How can I give a recommendation without disclosing the models I use on a weekly basis for (whatever…). That would just be biased!
Note: None of the below reviews are sponsored by any manufacturer and is based on my professional experience. Product links are affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase using the link, I will receive a royalty without it costing you any more! I appreciate your support.
Printers at Home,
- Variquest Trifecta 800: Purchased at an auction, this company markets toward primary schools and is an absolute workhorse! You likely can’t buy it unless you’re a school though…
- Klic-N-Print 3D Printer: Purchased online from a company liquidating their assets and found the technology curious. Again, another strong workhorse with high reliability, auto bed leveling, and many available materials, but has quite a few extra steps to process prints.
- Dremel DigiLab 3D40: Fun product, very easy to use. I use lots of Dremel’s products and torture every single one, but they keep going! This printer has been no different. Dremel has a few printers in their lineup.
- Prusa/Reprap & their 1000s of Clones: Meh… I’ve found these are essentially all the same, but a few use high quality components(Lulzbot or Creality Ender 3 Pro ). Always put it in an enclosure and stay mindful of thermal gradients on long prints. Typically come with a lot of maintenance and setup before you may execute a print.
Printers in my Lab,
- Makerbot Replicator+: Amazing, send the job and forget! Has a removable build-plate with special grip making parts stick while printing and easy to remove. Only prints in PLA and can be susceptible to drafts, so build walls around the outside. Durable printer, this is the machine I travel with to schools, and is easy to use with the MakerBot Print software.
- Ultimaker 3: Absolutely beautiful machine! Handles long prints with no issue. Works on Cura, an intuitive software that also runs many other printers – great integration. A bit on the pricey end, but give outstanding quality. Dual extrusion machine with a wide variety of material choices.
- Ultimaker S5: Everything about the Ultimaker 3, but bigger, better, and a whole lot better looking! 😉 Definitely on the pricey end of a beginner printer, but this is for multi-day jobs where the business demands reliability and delivery.
3D Printer Recommendations,
Based on personal use experience from hobby and torture testing, these models are the best printers to get started with as they offer great quality, low learning curve, and repeatable printing with limited frustration and maintenance!
A bit on the more expensive end, but has great support, strong community, and SUPER easy to use printer.
Da Vinci use to make awful printers, but has come a long way over the years in terms of a budget 3D.
Great all around affordable product from a legacy company. Easy to use and a staple in many primary schools for students to use.
Simple & affordable DIY product I have tested, exceeding expectations, and many other DIYers successfully utilize.
It’s All About What YOU Want!
Are you a hobbyist just wanting to get into 3D printing and don’t have a big budget or are afraid you’re not going to like it? Pick up a budget printer like the Davinci, Creality Ender 3 Pro, or even better, browse Facebook Marketplace for a used machine and get a great deal!
Are you a STEM educator seeking to place a printer in your classroom? Absolutely chose a printer like the Makerbot Replicator+ or Dremel DigiLab 3D40. These are easy to use printers with low maintenance and high uptime. Your students are bound to love it (without taking all of your time).
Are you a professional seeking to build high quality prototypes to iterate or show customers? An Ultimaker 3 or Ultimaker S5 are your best bets. If you’re seeking gloss-like surface finishes, take a look at Formlab’s SLA printers – a different technology, but produces extremely fine features at a very high resolution.
Cory tends to build more functional projects than “show” projects – unless that “show” project brings joy to himself or others. A Licensed Professional Engineer who turned his hobbies into a career. Enjoys making as a form of expression, enriching other’s lives, and getting closer to God.
- Digital Automation, Big Data, Advanced Analytics
- 3D Printer
- Laser Cutter
- Antique Hand Tools
- Large Hammer
So my wife, kid, and I enjoy taking our dogs on walks, and after one afternoon volunteering to pick up trash with a local group I had an idea… The idea was simple, when we take family walks, lets pick up trash! My morality was raised and the 3 year-old loved it. This project was born from my lack of desire to hold the trash once it was picked up, and it continued to evolve. One of the additional features added was the ability to connect a plastic store bag to pick up the land mines(poop) our dogs were nice enough to leave.
Some of the above supplies may not be pictured, as usual, many of the projects are developed with what I can find on hand. I encourage you to employ this tactic and see what comes out!
Build is Simple,
First step is to disassemble the rolling suitcase. We only care about the extendable handles and the wheels. These will be attached to the side and bottom of the bucket.
Depending on what the wheels from your donor suitcase looks like, will determine how you may want to attachment. I utilized the housing from the wheels to fit into holes cut into the bucket with the dremel. This required quite a bit of fitting/carving – repeat until there’s a nice fit, but be sure to leave some extra surfaces attached to the housing to secure the wheels to the bucket. See example attachement method below,
Finally, trim off a bit of material on the edge of the bucket between the two wheels. This will increase ground clearance and prevent dragging.
On the handle salvaged from this suitcase, there were no screw holes except for two holes at the bottom of each pole. I placed two small M3 screws in each pole through a hole drilled in the bucket just above the wheels.
Next, secure each pole to the side of the bucket using Gorilla tape – Use whatever tape you want, as long as its strong with powerful adhesive. After wrapping the the poles, secure a long piece of tape across the top of the bucket to secure the top end of the poles to the bucket.
If desired, locate a suitable location to attach your dog waste bad dispenser. I happened to have a very convenient location on the handle.
Add a Poop Bag Holder
We have two large dogs, one 145 lbs and the other 73 lbs, and they leave comparably large piles of poop all over the yard. I’d hate to put this in my nice shiny bucket, so I added a bag, but then the bag fell… So lets add two upside down hooks to grab onto the bag handles – Perfect!
One More Important Note
See those black peices of Gorilla tape in this picture? Those are important… The original version held the bag wonderfully, but a minor oversight of the screws used to attach the hooks tore large holes in the bag – completely emptying it and defeating the purpose. Using the dremel, I ground down the screws and covered the ends – now its perfect!
This challenge is also the reason why I recommend Command Hooks to avoid this issue completely.
There are numerous benefits from shaving with a safety razor and strikes a great balance between low cost, convenience, and high shave quality. They also make a very handsome addition to any bathroom. This project cost me $0.00 to complete! All the materials were sourced from either a scrap bin or the yard!
Note: Linked products are recommendations based on what I’ve found most effective and affordable. Affiliate information at page end.
Additional benefits of a safety razor include,
- Easy technique to learn
- Takes less time than a straight razor, while providing superior quality compared to the 3 – 15 bladed disposable razors.
- Combined with a good shaving cream or soap, provides an extraordinarily close shave and better control resulting in a smooth even shave.
- Likely one of the cheapest lifetime shaving solutions.
Here are products I’ve found affordable & high quality,
But for this project we’re making a handsome wood turned stand for your safety razor!
For this project, you’ll need access to a wood lathe and turning tools (Take special note of safety preparations first if you do not have wood turning experience). You’ll need a piece of wood no less than 4 inches in diameter and 5-6 inches long. To acquire this wood, I recommend you go out into nature and find a nice solid chunk or visit your local wood shop. For this project, I used the stump to an old apple tree, and it worked out beautifully.
You’ll also need a piece of 3/4″ – 1″ thick x 4″ – 5″ long x 2″ – 3″ wide piece of wood. Again, I recommend visiting nature, but if you regularly work with wood, you’ll likely have a scrap piece just lying around. I’m using a small piece of walnut – this will make a very handsome color combination.
Turning the Base
This is where things get fun, start the lathe at a low speed with a large gouge and begin to remove the outside edges of your piece and shape the hunk of wood into a conical shape. Once this is established, examine the specimen, taking note of any troublesome areas like cracks or rotted areas. Make the determination if a new piece of wood should be acquired.
This photo shows my piece after rough carving. At this phase, begin to lay out roughly where the bottom base of your stand will begin end, and where the top will end. Using the appropriate chisels, gradually remove the material the desired shape is achieved. My stand has a base diameter of 3.5″, a top diameter of 1/2″, and a height of 4″.
Once you’ve achieved the desired shape, drill a hole in the top end. We will secure a wooden rivet into this hole later. Now its finishing time, using progressively finer grits of sandpaper, sand the stand while still on the lathe.
Once sanding is complete, using a parting tool, cut the stand at the desired bottom point. While parting, I like to leave a convex surface at the bottom to prevent the stand from wobbling. Once the stand is released from the scrap material and the lathe, wipe the stand down with a lint free rag (or old T-Shirt) and finish with your preferred finish. I use Boiled Linseed Oil for a durable, non-toxic, and clear finish to really show off the wood grain.
Cutting the Razor Holder
With the flat piece of wood, draw out using pencil the outline of the razor holder. This will roughly look like a person with no arms… This is just a rough estimate, we will finish this after it is cut. Using a scroll saw or jig saw, cut out the razor top.
Using a file, I prefer to use a “Four in the Hand File” for convenience, begin to carve away the corners of the razor holder to shape the wood into a smoother/more refined shape.
Using a drill, drill a hole in the center of the middle section. It is wise to use the same size bit used to cut the hole in the stand.
Here’s what my completed top resembled. I enjoyed creating the curves and aesthetics. I would avoid cutting away all of the material on the back end just yet. It may be valuable to have extra weight there once you set the razor on top to avoid tipping. You can always remove more material later…
One last peice you’ll need to make is a small rivet, as seen in the previous photo. Measure the diameter of the hole drilled in the stand portion. Using the scrap material from the stand, remount a small piece back into the lathe and turn a small rivet to the exact diameter measured in the stand’s top hole. Make the length sufficient to pass through your razor holder and penetrate into the stand. Finish the top of the rivet with a button head and sand smooth.
Ready to assembly! Place a small dab of wood glue in the stand hole, align the top and firmly stick the rivet in place to join all three bodies. Congratulations, you have your own wood turned safety razor stand!
During the wedding of a good friend, I noticed his new bride was in tears due being too hot in her wedding dress. I felt terrible and didn’t want my wife to experience the same issues, so I got to work designing some sort of system to keep her cool during our wedding (which was in August!).
This simple project is effective, cheap, and doesn’t require any fancy electrical engineering or soldering skills!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. For commercial reuse or inquiries, contact Info@DisruptivNation.com.
Note: The below items are not exactly the items utilized in this build. However, they are either very similar or better than what was actually used. Each of the items contain an affiliated link to Amazon.
Approximate cost for project using below materials = ~$32. You likely have some of these items lying around and can save – the original design was based completely on parts on hand (So it effectively costs $0.00).
- 5.0V USB Portable Charger
- Rocker Power Switch
- 5V USB Blower Brushless Cooling Fan
- Cellphone Armband Case
- Electrical Tape
- Hole Punch
- Hot Glue Gun
You don’t HAVE to stick to the exact products listed above, but the following instructions will work best if what you acquire is fairly similar.
Lets start with the 5V USB Blower Brushless Cooling Fan. If you purchased the recommended fan, this will be easier due to the attached USB cord. If you pulled a fan out of an e-waste dump(no judgments), you will need to attach a USB plug to connect to the battery.
Wherever the fan was acquired, you need to ensure it fits inside of the Cellphone Armband Case. If it does not, you may need to remove some material so it fits.
In the image, you can see the various parts assorted to the device. First step is to splice the switch into the wire from the fan. Do this by carefully cutting open the rubber shielding exposing the two wires inside (One red, one black). Cut the red wire and strip each end and connect an end to each blade of the switch (See below photo). This can be attached by either soldering the terminals or routing the end of the wire through the tiny holes in the blade, twist the wire to secure, then wrap in electrical tape.
Nest step is to affix the switch to the rounded edge of the fan using hot glue. Route the USB cable from the fan up the side of the fan as shown in the above image. Secure all the wires with electrical tape.
The next bit could be a little tricky. My goal was to have all the parts in a self contained unit, and to achieve this, the 5.0V USB Portable Charger plug must be turned 90 degrees from the position it was supplied. Remove the battery from the supplied plastic/metal case, the plug in is typically not secured to the actual battery and you should have enough play to gently rotate it 90 degrees. Once successful, affix in place using hot glue and wrap in electrical tape.
Now that your fan is assembled and battery is modified, attach the battery to the fan and flip the switch! If everything is correct, the fan should turn on!
Time to prep the Cellphone Armband Case – it is important you test fitted the fan and battery before purchasing your case. The fan must fit inside the case. First step is to identify the end of the case opposite the zipper and cut this side out. This will be the fan discharge (Where the air exits). To ensure the fabric didn’t tear, I sewed a small seam around the outside edge; can’t say this step is necessary, but it doesn’t hurt.
If your armband case came with a plastic sheath, then insert your fan assembly into the case(Battery end first) and mark the location of the switch and fan inlet. Using the hole punch, cut a series of holes in the plastic cover where the air inlet was – this will allow sufficient air to enter the fan. We’re using the hole punch here for create small holes (We wouldn’t want anything going in the fan… like a dress or finger… awkward…)
If your armband did not come with a plastic cover, like mine did not, then find a thin and firm plastic sheet (I pulled mine from a piece of packaging material in the trash), cut the plastic to fit over the fan inlet and punch holes using the hole punch. Affix this cover to the fan inlet using hot glue.
The last step is to insert all of your components into the armband and close up the zipper! Slip this up your soon-to-be wife’s leg and prepare for tender embrace- unless of course you are the wife-to-be and in that case you’re awesome!
The fan is fixed speed, but you could likely modify the plans by substituting a potentiometer in place of the switch to vary the fan speed.
You’re Done! (I Hope)
Congratulations, you’ve created you’re own personal AC! The 5.0V USB Portable Charger enables the recharging of the battery for reuse and no need to change out and throw away batteries. This device is great for non-wedding use too! We’ve used ours attached to a stroller to keep a baby cool, and general walking around on a hot day. Its rather convenient!