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Possible Trend

2005-08-15 12:54:21.940086+00 by meuon 3 comments

Popular Science and Popular Mechanics have become product press release rags, yet I'm noticing a new class of weblog and print magazine taking on the tinker/hack mainstream: Make: seemed interesting enough I subscribed to the dead tree edition, and am pleased with it and the site. Another favorite of Nancy's and mine is Ready Made. To me, they seem to be about 'control' and that you can make/build/create/modify/re-use things yourself that suit your needs. They seem to espouse the things some of us learned in High School shop class so many years ago, that are no longer being taught in schools. They also show normal people doing things that are just a little rough around the edges, and say "it's ok", as opposed to the thoughts that everything must be polished and perfect. Then comes a whole genre of TV shows, ranging from making custom choppers, Monster Garage/House, Junkyard Wars, MythBusters..

So is it just me, or are we becoming a nation of tinkerers again?

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-08-15 13:37:19.232523+00 by: petronius

I think PS and PM were always largely press release picture mags. I havew a few from 1960, and they're filled with murky b/w images of new German amphibious baby buggies and the Army's latest can opener/bazooka. What I do find intriquing is the vast number of little tips for your home machine shop, like a trick for increasing the inner hole diameter of a bunch of washers. Does anybody still do that stuff? Some of us may be fiddling with our computers, adding memory and new video cards, but until there are a lot more people with lathes in their basement we may be a distance from re-discovering tinkering.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-08-15 15:26:39.68004+00 by: meuon

I seldom need a lathe, I've rigged on up for small things using my large drill press, but I'd like one someday, sitting right next to my Plasma torch and cutter (that I'd also like to have). But so far, a small oxy/acetylene torch and a wire welder have done me well.

#Comment Re: Tinkering made: 2005-08-16 19:50:16.485806+00 by: m

My primary interests are in wood and lapidary, but I plan to have a small metal lathe with about a 9" swing when I move to my new workshop (347 days). A small milling machine would be nice too, but a bigger/better woodlathe comes first. The metalworking tools are more for making tools for my real interests, or repairs of other equipment.

Being retired, and having few responsibilities, I ostensibly have a lot of time. But as you mention, it is really easy to drop the whole day into my home network. There is always a new language to play with, new paradigms to learn, and *nix updates are more than enough to keep anyone busy full time.

But, while there are serious magazines for the home machinist, woodworker and gem cutter, the net makes a far better resource for hardware hacking, design, tips, information, techniques, etc than just about any magazine or journal around. And the net is a lot faster for finding information than trying to remember just where I saw the article published somewhere between 8-12 years ago. And in which of the four or five magazines that I think I can narrow it down to.