User Input

User Input: Playing With My Tool(s)

I realized a short while ago that I was avoiding undertaking some minor repair jobs myself, considering hiring someone to do them instead, for the simple reason that my various collections of tools are a hodge-podge of pieces randomly stuffed together. Some of the tool kits I’ve carted around over the years are […]


What Ever Became of…Paint By Numbers?

Art has evolved with technology, with new techniques and materials getting integrated into pieces as they are developed. Despite this, the world of art also seems to have an eye for history, with many of the techniques from the past still being used and never really lost. Sometimes, however, an art development comes along that can and does become supplanted by technology. Paint By Numbers kits are just such a technique. The kits were invented, developed and marketed in 1950 by Max S. Klein and Dan Robbins. Klein was an engineer and owner of the Palmer Paint Company of Detroit, Michigan and Robbins was a commercial artist.

The popularity of the kits lasted at the least up into the 1980s, but now they have faded away. I don’t think that the desire for the hobby art project has gotten any less, instead the act of manually painting pictures has been replaced by the digital.

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Boys’ Life: Crossover How-To

The year is 1960, and on the way to school your big brother’s car conks out, to coin a phase, and there is stands with a big question mark over his head. What do you do? Why, pipe up from the backseat with unsolicited, yet right on the money advice! This little comic-book style how-to is straight out of Boys’ Life magazine, and can help little brothers and big brothers alike to save the day. I have been holding on to this one, but since last week ended with a bit of an automotive twist here at Atomic Toasters I though it would be fitting to break out. Take a look, and see how much could still be useful!

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Prototypes and Experiments

World’s Simplest Motor?

This is usually what you think of when you think of a DC motor (OK, maybe not quite this big). Inside is a rotor turned by a magnetic stator. That turning motion goes out the shaft to whatever it is the motor is driving. But, you know us here at Toasters. If there’s a simpler way to do it, we’ll find it. Thanks to Toaster Friend Jeff Glucker…yes, that Jeff Glucker…we may very well have the simplest motor…in the world. Hit the jump for a video.
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Hack-It-Yerself, Startup

Startup: MORE Creative Uses For PVC!

Complete with duct tape and PVC paddles!

Remember how yesterday I said it was dangerous to do a Google image search for “PVC” with SafeSearch turned off? Yeah. Here’s why. I may have stumbled across a new project.

The completed skeleton, sans skin.

This fellow and his son decided they wanted to […]