It’s been a while since I’ve built anything that didn’t require a computer screen to view it, but lately I’ve been toying around in the garage again — and after giving up on high-tech CAD drawings and machined gizmos, I’ve finally had some success.
As some of you may have read, I’m restoring an old Volvo 1800 (restoration journal linked here) in what qualifies as my spare time, and frankly, I’m not very good at it: In the two years I’ve had the car, I’ve spent more time driving it than working on it, and until last week, I still hadn’t managed to gain enough clearance under the thing to get to a few rust spots I knew needed attention.
But thanks to a one-page, three-paragraph article buried in a stack of 31-year-old magazines (which I snagged on eBay!)*, I finally managed to lift the thing up enough to reach the trouble spots.
I’m a geek at heart, but sometimes pushing pixels around a screen just doesn’t quench the urge to build or break something in the physical realm. The publishers of Make Magazine get this, but even they could learn a thing or two from the prolific, do-it-yourself gods of yesteryear’s Popular Mechanics.
In addition to building the ramp, I’ve also been drooling over build-it-yourself air-hockey tables, solar houses, AMC Pacer add-ons and, of course, the elusive “perfect knotty pine” paneling of 1975. I heartily recommend finding a stack of 30-year old geek mags for yourself (again, eBay is perfect for this kinda thing).
Sometimes, you’ve just got to go old school.
* Yes, I’m aware these are referral links, but I was linking to eBay anyway, so I figured, why not? Feel free to just type eBay into your address bar if you’d rather starve me and not click a paid link. Thanks!