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Instructables Podcast 002: A Lot of Pressure, and a Sharp Tug Answered

Welcome to our second episode! Would you like some advice on a project your working on? Perhaps you'd like a few ideas from a new source? You can comment here or email us at howdoi@instructables.com

In this episode we discuss some of the projects we're working on, take care of some more housekeeping, and do a bit of brainstorming!

Enjoy the episode and enjoy the resources!

You can listen to or download the episode below, listen over at archive.org or check it out at our homepage:



From our Builds:
-Learning Electronics: littleBits, Snap Circuits and LogicBlocks.
-How to build a food dehydrator

3D Modeling:
-Jake's instructable on building his action figure
-Find 3D models: 123D, Thingiverse, Blender
-Create 3D models: 123D, SketchUp

Books and such:
-Awesome Prop Building Forum
-David J. Gingery: Build your own Metal Working Shop from Scratch
-O'Reilly and Make
-Kenn Amdahl: There Are No Electrons: Electronics For Earthlings

-Chainsaw bike

Sharp Tugs:
-Hammer on a revolver: From How Stuff Works, scroll down to "How Revolves Work" and click on the flash animation
-Bass drum pedal
-Rubber band gun
-Mini Crossbow (thank you again How Stuff Works)

Steam Power:
-Steampunk Motorcycle
-Very basic guide to steam engines
-Tesla Turbine
-Tea Pot Steam Engine (click on "How Steam Engines Work" for pdf)
-Pop Pop Boat (also, I know what I'm getting Jake for his next birthday)

If you'd like us to discuss one of your questions, please email us at howdoi@instructables.com or comment below.


I am a bit stumped presently on making some of the lab equipment (glassware mostly) "like it states in an old book I have,,,,,somewhere".

I don't need simple things like test tubes (they are as low as 50 cents a pc at Scientifics), but rather things like a vacuum bell jar (different shapes and sizes acceptable),  Flasks or bottles along that line that can be stoppered,  A "stand" to hold such things above the table (even test tubes over an alcohol lamp, etc ).   The instructions given are clear enough, but some of the equipment is no longer available (one of the projects is an electronic glass cutter that looks cool, but also sounds dangerous)  and many times the chemicals they want you to use are hard to come by.  I was able to procure H2SO4 and HCL from the local hardware stores, but many of the other things (potassium prochlorate, etc) are less common.

Any help in this endeavor of "building my own lab" would be appreciated.

You got that in just in time. We had to record a bit early this week. I got this question about an hour before we had to record. So a bunch of quick research and I found you a few resources. Hopefully some of it helps, if not, let me know and I can do a bit more digging. Also, send picture if you're looking for something specific.

Sorry for my lack of specifics;  SOME of the things, one can "make" from jars, and bottles, and a bottle/glass cutter (not the little hand held one, but one more along the lines of something electric although the one in the book I mentioned had a bare wire carrying some amperage :-)  ).  I have a few glass drill bits, but can not find a lot of instruction on using them. So that would be helpful. . 
That is the from the glass ware end.
The chemicals I was able to acqure were H2SO4, HCL, and some Potash (small amounts from the local country grocer....which is all I need). 

Here is the reason for the lab:   I am helping (as a volunteer) to teach science and doing projects for a young person with Asperger's Syndrome (like myself) and "physics" is easy enough, nearly everything can be constructed from stuff lying about.  Chemistry, is a bit less "stuff lying aroung" kind of project scenareo. Some of it is (a little milk, food dye, and a tiny drop of soap amazed her for hours :-)
Labware is available, even from eBay BUT is very expenesive.

The book gives me a method of making a bell jar (vacuum, not super vacuum) pc..  I will include some pictures with this so you get the idea.


I think you solved my "tug" question, but I was thinking smaller for the steam vehicle...

hahaha...Yeah, I figured you didn't want something you could jump onto, but I didn't want to keep us constrained to solenoids. That's awesome if we actually solved something, though I don't know how often something like that'll happen.

I just thought of a solution to the clothes cleaning project - retro-fit a tumble-dryer with a steam-feed.

Throw in a couple of tennis balls, and it shoud beat out at least some of the dirt, as well as sterilising the clothes.

Huh! That's interesting, I'm going to have to pass this along...see if it's something he's thought about before.

Hey you guys! I enjoyed listening to your episode! It was great to hear your voices and exchange conversation back and forth! I felt like I was sitting in the same room! Video would send it over the top though. From the sound of your voices, it is like you really do enjoy working there! Thanks so much for sharing and do have a splendorous day!

Awesome! Thank you so much Sunshiine, I'm so glad you liked it! I don't suppose you have a project your working on (or are thinking of working on) that currently has you a bit stumped?

All in good fun! Yes, the winning recipe for the bacon contest! I want that grill!
Not really, I am working on several actually. Fashion contest trying to think of something amazing to win the sewing machine. It is difficult to find amazing things and I am much older than you guys and try hard to keep up with the trends. My model is going to be gone when I get around to making the fashion. So I don't have a model. I am working my . . . you know what off in the yard to post something when the garden challenge is here. I won't have any trouble with that one, as what I have to share might be prize worthy! As far as being stumped I am about all the amazing people here that think of totally awesome ideas. Living in a small town which you can't buy a lot of the cool ingredients for baking and cooking and junk stores that have weird stuff. I can't wait until we move! My options will change! Then everyone can see what I am really made of! Thanks for asking and I hope you guys keep up with the episodes! I truly enjoyed listening to you both! Instructables is grand! Have a nice evening and keep on having fun!