A few years ago I was fixing up an older Jeep Cherokee XJ and when she was finally up and running a problem was realized. It was June in South Louisiana and the Jeep’s a/c system was leaking Freon. With no room in the budget for a/c repair or replacement I took to the internet to see what could be done for me to drive my baby without sweating bullets.
My first stab at staying cool was by purchasing the RoadPro 12V Tornado Fan. Though it was pretty loud, the fan was quite strong and very impressive. The conditions inside the Jeep were definitely improved, but I knew that I could do better.
Back to the internet I went, more specifically to YouTube, and this is where I found my second, and final temporary solution to my Jeep a/c issue. I discovered that you can make a portable air conditioner using only a fan, a cooler, ice, and some PVC pipe. I happened to have all three laying around so I was good to go. Below are the tools I used to make my portable a/c and the steps involved in the build.
At the end of this article I have posted a link to the video that inspired my portable a/c build. I put my own spin on the project by using different components than the one seen in the video due to the fact that it was what I already had on hand.
This is where the cool air will exit the cooler. If this particular cooler had enough area on the lid to put a PVC 90 degree elbow on top I would have place it there, but I put the pipe on the side due to the smaller size of this cooler’s lid. If you put your exhaust pipe on the side of your cooler do not put it too low, as the water from the melted ice could leak out through the exhaust pipe if it is too low.
Your new portable a/c is practically done. Just place some ice in the cooler and the fan in its hole, plug it in, and enjoy the constant cool breeze.
I will be the first to admit that this is not the sexiest contraption in the world,(it was not always this dirty) but it is literally a very cool project that is a lot of fun to complete. I was skeptical at first but this thing rode in my passenger seat and worked great. Believe it or not I actually had temperature readings in Fahrenheit ranging from the upper 40s to the lower 60s exiting the pipe. The large variance in temperature was due to the amount of ice and type of ice used (packs vs. cubes).
Chances are you have everything you need to make your own portable a/c already laying around your house as I did, but if you do not but would still like to undertake this fun little project I have linked to some affordable components below.
As I was sitting down to write this post my wife made it home from work just in time to burst my bubble, the explanation follows. I have written several articles like this one discussing spoon carving and make quite a few wooden kitchen utensils. Though I enjoy the natural look of the wood when finished I have seen spoons that have color added to them that look great and wanted to figure out a food-safe method of adding color to some of mine. After researching and experimenting with homemade vinegar-coffee stains, I decided to get creative and make my own type of stain by subtracting the coffee and using a vinegar-food coloring mix to stain wood. After testing my creation I felt brilliant.
Being the humble creative genius that I am I allowed my wife to dwell inside of our home upon returning from work about two and a half seconds before bragging about my ingenious concoction and you know what she politely said? “Oh cool, that is how you make Easter egg dye.” Womp-Womp. Even though I am not that bright, or aware of how the most popular food coloring agent in the history of the world is made, I spent too much time and made too much of a mess to not share this process with you regardless.
Below are some pictures of pine that I stained. The left is unstained, the right is stained. Each stained piece is just a mixture of a liberal amount of food coloring and white vinegar.
Whether you use food coloring and vinegar or paprika and vinegar to stain wood it can definitely add a nice colorful flare to your woodworking projects, especially those projects designed for child or kitchen use. From spoons and cutting boards to kids blocks and wooden toys, it is nice to be able to add color to projects without sacrificing safety.
If you do not want to reinvent the wheel as I did, you can just opt for some Easter egg dye and call it a day. I honestly did not know that vinegar and food coloring, when combined, enhanced woodworking projects as well as the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. I learn something knew everyday.
Below are a few more nontoxic options for staining and finishing wood.
Possibly the best thing about making wooden spoons is that it allows right-brained people to experience success and satisfaction in the often left-brained world of woodworking. In fact, it is not uncommon for some of the more off-script creations to be some of the more interesting and beautiful spoons that are carved. Not only does spoon making present artistic liberties not able to be had in many other forms of woodworking, but the hobby also allows for success participation with minimal investment in terms of tools. I actually made my first twenty or so spoons with nothing more than a hacksaw, a wood chisel, and some sandpaper, one of which is the center spoon pictured below.
Before we get into the build, here are the exact tools used for this particular project. Altogether these tools can be purchased for about $80 on Amazon. Click the link provided for individual pricing and reviews.
Though probably not ideal, I typically use the 4″ bench vise similar to this one seen in most of the pictures with a block of wood on each side of the work piece to avoid damage, but a woodworker’s vise would most likely be better due to the fact it is designed for the use. You can even use less costly work clamps or toggle clamps to hold your work piece, though they are not quite as stable as a vise.
1st – Choose your wood
2nd – Choose your design
3rd – Rough out the bowl
4th – Clean up the bowl
5th – Cut out the spoon
6th – Clean up the shape
7th – Final sanding
8th/Final – Sealing the wood
It always fascinates me how sealing Pecan with oil completely transforms the color of the wood. It takes on a much darker, rich look compared to the lighter color of the unsealed pecan.
Though there are power tools that expedite the spoon making process, they are not necessary for the completion of a great spoon. Truth be told I typically forgo many of my power tools for the process described in this post because it allows for better control and accuracy in making the spoon, which leads to a better finished product. Not to mention all of the tools used in this project can be purchased for about the same price of my Wen belt sander pictured below, and although I love it, it is just one tool opposed to six.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article and found it to be informative. If you did I would greatly appreciate if you would like, comment, follow tool-school.com, and share this post on social media. Should you have any questions or like more information on how to make your own wooden spoons please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for reading!
A few years ago I had quite a few soccer players in one of my middle school Health and Physical Education classes that were pretty good athletes. Being an American football and basketball guy, and having never played nor really even watched soccer before, I did not relate very well to their athletic goals and interest. I encouraged the kids, who would soon be high school freshman, to try their hand at football for the upcoming year because I believed their athleticism would benefit the freshman team. They appreciated the encouragement but I could tell their interests were not growing in the least bit. I searched for a way to bridge the interest gap between the two sports and the solution that I came up with was buying a field goal post for the kids to hone their kicking skills on.
Not long into my search I came across this pretty cool soccer goal/field goal post combo sold by Net World Sports but since the acquisition of an upright was coming out of my own pocket I decided to keep searching for a solution. As it turned out the soccer/field goal post combo ended up being the most affordable of the practical field goal posts that I found for sale so I then shifted into DIY mode. Not long into my internet search I discovered a few videos that demonstrated how to make a goal post from 3″ pvc pipe and tee fittings, so off to the hardware store I went.
I no longer work at the same school that I built the field goal post at and I left the post there when I transferred to a different school so for cost sake I have recreated the build in the pictures and video below using smaller pipe and fittings.
Pictured below is a 1/10 scale replica of the original goal post build. The build in the post uses 1/2″ ID pvc pipe with 1/2″ tee fittings. (“=inch and ID=Inside diameter) The 1/2″ pipe is cut into 12″ and 6″ sections which is 1/10 the length of the 120″(10ft) and 60″(5ft) 3” pvc pipe sections.
Before the assembly begins you will need to take 3 of the 10′ long pieces of pipe and cut them in half (5ft or 60in). This will leave you with 3-10ft runs of pipe and 6-5ft runs of pipe.
Though the pipe size and length in the video and pictures below differ from that of the actual size and length of the pipe in the build, the assembly process is the exact same.
If desired the field goal post could be cemented together where all pipes and fittings join to make to post stronger. When I built my full sized field goal I did use pvc cement, but I did not bond every single joint. I cemented the post in a way that made it pretty portable without losing much strength. Below is a picture of the sections that I joined together with pvc cement and those that I left independent of the others.
So after I introduced the field goal post to my classes and my students fell in love with kicking footballs through our new uprights guess how many of my soccer players ended up joining the football team. None…….. Not a single kid that played soccer ended up playing high school football. No sweat because all of the kids (and a few coaches and teachers) that used the field goal had a great time and learned a good bit on the art of field goal kicking. We had numerous contests and challenges that involved this piece of equipment that were all lots of fun. I would use the goal post as a “reward” activity for my lower elementary students by allowing them to kick a large inflatable ball through it and it was a great incentive for them to maintain good grades and behavior. I will have to build another soon.
Below are a few links to tools that will make the build a little easier as well as a few pieces of equipment that will allow the goal post to be used even if no one is available to hold a football. There is also a link to the soccer goal/field goal post combo mentioned above for those of us that are not very DIY-inclined.
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