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Hack your floor jack to go offroading

Give Your Ordinary Floor Jack Some Off-roading Capabilities

By | Automotive | No Comments

A floor jack can come in handy when you need to change, rotate, or inspect your wheels. Unfortunately, they’re not made with portability in mind.

So, what do you when you’re off-roading with your buggy and need to replace a wheel? According to Pirate 4×4 forum user Andrew, you take a standard floor jack, tear it apart, and make it bigger and stronger.

To start with, Andrew purchased a basic floor jack. The main issue is the wheels. Like most, it had a small 1.5-inch roller as a front wheel. Obviously, this won’t roll through the dirt very easily so some mods were in order.

Andrew picked up some 8-inch solid rubber tires for $6 each for the front of the floor jack and made a new front axle from a 5/8″ solid rod. He welded a washer to one end of the rod and tapped the other to accept a 3/8″ bolt. The original axle holes were drilled out to a bigger diameter to fit the new axle. A few spacers on either side of each wheel prevent it from rubbing the sides of the floor jack.

Modifying your floor jack

Photo: am4x4 | Pirate4x4.com

When all is done, the front of the jack sits 3-inches higher. This presented the next problem. The rear castors needed to be upgraded to make up for the height difference. Andrew simply removed the old castors and replaced them with larger ones he took from another dead floor.

The front end still sat a little higher, but it seems to work just fine. If you want to take the time, you could make new brackets to use as spacers for the rear castors to level it out a bit more.

Upgrading Floor Jack Casters

Photo: am4x4 | Pirate4x4.com

The finished project results in a jack that looks kind of like a buggy itself. The large front wheels and bigger castors help lift your buggy 3-inches higher, while also providing more stability.

The rear axle is wide and capped with 8-inch wheels, allowing you to easily roll over the grass, dirt, or mud, to get your buggy high enough to replace the wheels.

For a detailed look at this DIY off-road floor jack project, make sure you check out the full details at Pirate 4×4.

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Campfire Stools

Brighten Up Your Camping Trip with these DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Log Campfire Stools

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Are you afraid of the dark? Don’t let that stop you from going camping. Now you can make your own glow-in-the-dark log campfire stools with some basic materials.

You are going to need some sandpaper, glow-in-the-dark paint, paint brushes, a bright light – and a stool or a log. Bold, solid colors really stand out in the dark but you can be as creative as you like with your paint scheme. If you’re not comfortable free-handing your design, especially on uneven surfaces tape up some stencils to get you started.

Clean and sand down your log stool.

The first step is to prepare the stool or log. Clean it up, if necessary, and use sandpaper or a file to remove any sharp edges or splinters and even out the sitting surface.

Next, you’ll need to choose a spot to paint your stools. Lay out some newspaper to catch the paint splatter or drips. A back porch or garage is always a good choice.

Prepare your painting area.

Before you start painting, you should decide how you want to paint the stool. You could simply slap on a solid color across the surface of the stool or use an interesting design. Frogs, bees, ladybugs, flowers and other outdoor-themed designs are easy to paint and find stencils for if you choose to go that route.

Use 3-4 coats of paint for full coverage.

When you are ready to paint, apply one coat at a time. Allow the coat to completely dry before applying another coat. You will probably need to add two or three coats to get a nice, even finish and fill in the natural surface cracks.

That is all there is to create your own glow in the dark stools. Use an outdoor lamp or spotlight and shine on the stools for several minutes. When you turn off the lights, your new campfire stools should glow.

Use a UV light or sunlight to charge your paint.

For more details on the project, check out wikiHow.

Camp Anywhere with a Custom Sprinter Van RV Conversion

By | Automotive | No Comments

Have you always wanted the comfort of camping in an RV without having to stay at an RV park or large campsite? Instructables user “Making it There” details the steps taken to convert a Sprinter van into a mobile RV. A major process, but the end result is amazing.

For this DIY custom Sprinter van RV conversion project, a 2006 Dodge Sprinter Van was used. Other models may work for this same project, but the user chose the 2006 model for the 140-inch wheelbase. This is large enough for the project and small enough to still fit in a standard parking space.

The entire project took about 6 months and cost about $6,000. The cost of a used 2006 Dodge Sprinter Van can vary between $5k and $15k, depending on the condition and mileage.

The first step involved designing the layout of the interior. CAD design software was used for this process. This gives you the ability to plan your cabinets and seating in 3-dimensions and receive exact measurements.

Interior CAD design

Making It There | Instructables

Once the layout was completed, you can divide the plans into individual parts. The user that created this DIY project sourced the cutting of the plywood pieces. But, if you have the tools and knowledge, you could cut these pieces out yourself.

Before any of these pieces can go into the Sprinter van, insulation needs to be installed. First, painter’s plastic was used to cover the floor and cab area. Spray foam installation was used and the entire job took about 15 minutes.

Insulating the van with plastic and foam

Making It There | Instructables

1/8-inch Baltic birch plywood was used for paneling. A flexible wood was chosen in order to bend around the gradual curves of the interior.

Lining interior with wood

Making It There | Instructables

Next, you can start putting together the cabinetry. Using the pieces that you cut from your CAD template, you can assemble your cabinets and install them in the van.

Install cabinetry

Making It There | Instructables

The woodworking part of the project is complete. But, the RV van still needs a kitchen. This means adding an oven, range, hood, and sink.

Of course, this also meant adding propane and water tanks. The propane and water tanks were added inside the van, as opposed to mounting beneath the van. This makes sense, as you don’t want to worry about a propane tank below your vehicle when driving over rough terrain. This also made sense of the water cans, so that they will not freeze or get too hot.

Space was created below the oven to fit a 20-pound propane tank. Four 5-gallon Jerry cans were added below the sink for water. Three are used for fresh water, one for solar showers, and one for dirty water. A hand pump combined with an electric pump and foot pedal are used to run the water.

Building the kitchen

Making It There | Instructables

While those steps would seem to be enough to satisfy the needs of most DIY enthusiasts, this builder decided to add large 100W solar panels in order to power the items in the kitchen.

They also wanted space for storing a collapsible picnic table, camp chairs, and extra blankets. So, where do these items go? On the roof.

Two custom form-fit roof pods were created to house all of these items while still providing a flat surface for the solar panels. A lightweight, UV-resistant plastic called Choroplast was chosen for the roof pods.

Building the roof pods

Making It There | Instructables

Again, CAD design software was used to design the pods. They were designed to open from either side of the van. This way, the solar panels could be pointed in different directions and adjusted as the sun sets.

Hopefully, this summary did not make this seem like a simple project. You are going to have to put in some hard work to complete your own custom vehicle. But, if you feel up to the challenge, take a look at the full custom Sprinter van RV conversion DIY project.

Beer Bottle Cap Patio Table

Easy Pub-style Beer Bottle Cap Mosaic Patio Table

By | Home, Recycling | No Comments

In most regions, you can recycle or return glass bottles, but you need to toss out the bottle caps. That seems like a waste, which is probably a good reason alone to find ways of incorporating them into future DIY projects. For this Imgur user, the bottle cap table top and her favorite pub inspired this beer bottle mosaic patio table.

Using a combination of bottle caps, grout, and an old patio table, you can easily put this project together in an afternoon. Though, it may take longer than an afternoon to collect the bottle caps.

Tile patio table

Imgur

The user chose a table that already had a tile surface. The existing tile and grout were removed using a rubber hammer. The result is an empty table with a lip around the edges.

Remove tile with a rubber hammer.

Imgur

You could essentially use any table, but it needs a lip for a clean edge. Though, you could use a trowel to even out the edges if you use a table without a lip.

Once the table is ready, you can begin arranging your bottle caps. Lay them out on the table to create your design. After you decide how to arrange your bottle caps, take a picture that you can use for reference.

Arrange the bottle caps on the table surface

Imgur

Next, clear off the table and apply a thick layer of grout. Make sure you follow the instructions to mix the grout properly. Spread the grout across the table. You just need enough to secure the bottle caps in place.

Place the bottle caps on the table, following the design that you chose. Allow the grout to dry overnight.

Arrange beer caps on grout and let dry overnight

Imgur

The next day, apply a thick layer of grout, covering the bottle caps. As you spread the grout, the tops of the bottle caps should slowly begin to appear. You want to add enough grout that the grout reaches the top of the bottle caps without covering them.

Spread grout over bottle caps

Imgur

You can use a sponge to smooth the grout and wipe the tops of the bottle caps clean. Throughout the day, as the grout dries in the sun, use the sponge to keep it smooth and clean off the bottle caps.

Also, when you first place your bottle caps, you should occasionally take a step back from the table to ensure they are evenly spaced. When you are close to an object, it is hard to get a good perspective.

This is a fun and easy project that most people should have no problem completing. It is a two-day project, but you may need to start planning now.

The original poster did not mention how many bottle caps were used, but it would appear to be more than 120 caps. That’s 20 6-packs. One way to get collect caps quickly is to have a cookout and invite a lot of guests. Make sure you let people know that you’re saving their caps.

Use this project to give new life to an old table. If you want an example of how to arrange your bottle caps for your own beer bottle cap mosaic table, you could take a look at the original post on Imgur.

Save Money by Refinishing Laminate Counters with Paint and Epoxy

By | Home | No Comments

Most homeowners would love to have granite or marble countertops. They instantly boost the appeal of your bath or kitchen and give a sense of class and sophistication.

But for Marzi at Made by Marzipan, upgrading was simply out of the budget so using paint and epoxy, she gave her old, scratched laminate bathroom countertop a brand new look – and you won’t believe the results!

You’re going to need quite a few supplies. But, they are mostly inexpensive items. The epoxy is the highest priced item at about $16 with a coupon. Other materials include a piece of wood for the backsplash, painter’s tape, tinted primer, glitter, and copper leafing. You will also need brushes and a natural sea sponge.

Marzi used Lamp Black Textured Metallic Paint and Cast Bronze Metallic Paint, along with Envirotex Lite resin epoxy. The total cost, according to the full list, was less than $60 for the entire project.

The first step, other than gathering materials, is to remove your sink. You don’t want to attach the sink to your newly refinished countertops when you add epoxy. Make sure you turn off the water before removing the sink.

How to remove your sink

Made by Marzipan

Marzi also removed the cheap laminate backsplash and replaced it with a 1 X 4 piece of wood. If the backsplash is loose, you should remove it and consider replacing it while you’re at it anyway. She shows you how to blend the new wood piece into the rest of the countertop.

Use painter’s tape and newspaper to cover up your walls, cupboards, mirror, and any other surfaces that you want to keep clean. Also, cover the interior of the sink opening. This will keep epoxy from dripping onto other surfaces.

Mask off walls, floor and cupboards using tape and newspaper

Made by Marzipan

Primer paint is applied to the counter and backsplash using a foam brush. After the paint dries, a second coat is added. Once the second coat dries, the base coat can be added.

Apply 2 coats of primer to the laminate surface

Made by Marzipan

Martha Stewart Lamp Black Textured Metallic Paint was used. It is a thick paint, with a sandy texture and fine glitter. This paint was thinned with a small amount of black acrylic paint.

While the first base coat is still wet, a small sprinkling of dark brown glitter gets added. Be careful when adding the glitter. You should wash your hands beforehand and dry them completely. This will keep the glitter from clumping together.

Add brown glitter to the basecoat while it's still wet

Made by Marzipan

Specks of copper leafing are added next. You will want to use tweezers to tear small pieces of copper leafing. Each piece should be about the size of a grain of rice or smaller.

Add small pieces of gold leafing to the wet basecoat

Made by Marzipan

After the base coat is dry and you have added the glitter and specks of copper leafing, you can add the accent color. For the accent color, another Martha Stewart paint was chosen – Cast Bronze Metallic Paint.

The accent color was added using a small piece of natural sea sponge. Make sure that you rotate the sponge. This keeps the pattern from the sponge from appearing uniform across your countertops.

Dab a lighter accent color using a sea sponge

Made by Marzipan

Once the accent color has dried, you can add the epoxy. A 32-ounce kit was used. You’ll need a disposable container for mixing the liquids. Thoroughly stir the ingredients together to prepare the epoxy.

Stirring is essential. You need to have the epoxy properly mixed, otherwise, it will not work correctly. You could end up with bubbles or an uneven surface. Pour the mixture as soon as you have finished stirring.

Apply liberally and spread with a foam brush. As the epoxy dries, the epoxy may drip from the sides. Keep an eye on the epoxy as it dries. Wipe the excess epoxy away with a foam brush. Use a barbecue lighter to pop any bubbles that appear. It should take about 30 minutes for the epoxy to set.

Apply the epoxy and spread evenly with a foam brush

Made by Marzipan

After about three hours, you should be able to remove the painter’s tape and newspaper. Wait for a total of 72 hours before replacing your sink and using your countertops.

That covers the basics to give your countertops an update with this simple DIY project. Save yourself money while renovating your bathroom or kitchen.

If you want to see the full details, read the detailed description of how to refinish your laminate countertops by Marzi.

DIY Backyard Movie Screen

Watch Your Favorite Movies Under the Stars with a DIY Backyard Movie Screen

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Summer is all about sun, fun and outdoor parties! So instead of heading indoors for movie night, enjoy your favorite flicks under the stars with your very own backyard movie screen!

Instructables user, MichaelS779, takes us through this quick summer project that you too can whip together in a day.

You’re going to need a few supplies and pieces of equipment for this project. Basically, you will construct a PVC frame for attaching a large white cloth. So, you’ll need PVC piping and fittings, along with something to cut the pipes. You could use PVC cutters or a hacksaw.

First, you will cut your pieces out of 1 1/2 PVC pipe. You will need enough piping for 4 legs, 2 vertical frame pieces, 2 horizontal frame pieces, and 2 risers. You will also need PVC fittings – 4 knockout plugs, 2 90-degree elbows, and 4 drain Ts.

In the original post, you will find the specific lengths for each piece. If you want to make the same size screen as in the original project, you can use the dimensions provided. Or, you can choose a different size. Remember, you can make the dimension any size you want, but most movies and television shows are presented in a 16:9-ratio.

You can use a calculator to get the exact dimensions if you want to use this ratio. For every 16-inches in width, you will have 9-inches in height. If you know the width that you want, divide the total inches by 0.5625 to get the height in inches.

After cutting your pieces, you will assemble the legs. Glue two legs into a drain fitting. Glue the knockout plugs into each end. Allow these pieces to dry.

Legs for the backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You will now assemble the top piece of the frame. The elbow pieces need to be attached to the top piece. Make sure they are positioned the same way before you add the glue.

Top frame of backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

With the top assembled, you can assemble the sides. Glue a drain T, onto the bottom of each vertical PVC piece. Again, make sure the pieces have the same orientation before adding glue. Next, glue the risers onto the bottom of the drain T.

Sides of frame for backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

Now, lay all the pieces in the yard. Arrange the pieces into the shape of your movie screen. You are simply going to put all the pieces together. Connect the verticals to the top piece and then the horizontal piece. Add the legs and lift the frame.

PVC frame for backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You have a frame, but you still need a screen. You can use any solid white material, such as an old white tablecloth. Cut the cloth to the right size. Make sure you leave about 2 1/4-inches of space around the edge of the screen, for adding a hem for the grommets.

Add grommets to the screen. You will need about 32 grommets and 36 canopy ties. Try to space out the grommets evenly along the edge of the screen.

Adding grommets to the screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You can now hang the screen. Start with the corners and work your way across the top. You are ready to use your backyard movie screen. Bring out your video projector and adjust it until the display takes up your entire screen.

Hanging the screen on the frame

MichaelS779 | Instructables

This is a fairly easy DIY project and a fun way to spend an afternoon that gives you an excuse to use your video projector more often.

For a detailed step-by-step explanation, take a look at the original post on Instructables. See for yourself how to build your own drive-in with a DIY backyard movie screen.

Make Your Own Ghostbusters Proton Pack with Household Items

Build a DIY Ghostbusters Proton Pack with Everyday Items

By | Geek | No Comments

For those that grew up in the 80’s, Ghostbusters was a major phenomenon. Well, the same could be true with today’s kids, as a new Ghostbusters film hits the theaters this summer.

After catching this flick, instead of purchasing any officially licensed gear, consider making your own Ghostbusters Proton Pack. Your kid could be the first one their block that is fully prepared to capture ghosts. Just remember, if you’re using more than one proton pack at a time, don’t cross the streams.

Imgur user Pics4internet recently posted an example of his own DIY project. He challenged himself to build a proton pack for his son over the weekend, primarily using items he found around the house.

First, the creator of this project gathered a bunch of old junk to see what would work best for constructing the pack. He brings up a good point about these types of projects. You should ignore the original color and purpose of the objects that you find. Focus instead on the shape.

There are two main components of the proton pack – the pack itself and the gun. For the pack, the original poster gathered a plastic dog bowl, a peanut butter lid, an almond snack pack box, a tic-tac container, glue stick, binary clock, paper tubes, and an R/C car wheel.

Getting the basic shape layed out with household items

pics4internet | Imgur

The binary clock gives a neat little LED show along the back of the pack, once fully assembled. Though, you could use any toy that blinks. The OP chose the binary clock because the blinking of the blue LED lights resembled the rising and falling blue bar on the real packs.

After gathering the supplies, he laid everything out on a table on top of 1/4-inch foam core board. Lay everything out to get a sense of the scale of the project. This will help you position the items and make sure you got everything you need.

From there, he began cutting out the basic shapes out of the foam core board, starting with the cyclotron shape along the back of the proton pack. He traced the shape of the dog bowl and then used a #10 X-Acto blade to cut the foam core board. Two pieces are cut.

Cut out the cyclotron shape

pics4internet | Imgur

Holes were then drilled into the dog food bowl to serve as light sockets. A peanut butter jar is cut and then fitted to the side of the dog food bowl. A series of pieces cut from toilet paper rolls are glued to the cyclotron shape.

Completing the proton accelerator assembly

pics4internet | Imgur

Strips of balsa wood were glued to the top of a couple of small cardboard boxes to create the heat sinks. When using cardboard boxes, he suggests stuffing napkins into the boxes. This helps them keep their shape.

Create heat sinks on the boxes out of wood

pics4internet | Imgur

A series of balsa wood panels are then cut. These will line the exterior sides of the proton pack, securing the two pieces of the cyclotron shape. At this point, the overall design is starting to take shape.

Line the exterior of the proton pack with balsa wood

pics4internet | Imgur

Additional odd and end pieces are fitted and either glued or taped to proton pack. The original poster appears to have experimented with various layouts and materials before finding what works.

Finalize the layout of objects for the proton pack

pics4internet | Imgur

Once the proton pack is mostly completed, you can begin preparing the LED’s that will go inside the dog food bowl. Individual LED lights were attached to 4 bottle caps from what appears to be Gatorade bottles.

LED lights glued to plastic bottle caps

pics4internet | Imgur

The entire LED, battery, and circuit setup get sealed into the dog food bowl with red lens tape. The creator of this project powered the whole thing with a 9V battery hooked to a switch, which should last the life of the proton pack.

Proton pack LED assembly

pics4internet | Imgur

The entire contraption is connected to a piece of board that will be used to create a backpack. In fact, an old backpack is taped to the backer board. Before finishing off the project, he added a few final details, such as a printed CAUTION label and blots of paint to create the appearance of wear and tear.

Finished proton pack complete with stickers

pics4internet | Imgur

The end result is truly amazing. Anyone, young or old, would be envious of this proton pack. If you would like to give it a try, then check out the original post on Imgur and see for yourself how to build a DIY Ghostbusters Proton Pack.

Ditch the Batteries with this Crank Operated Flashlight

By | Technology | No Comments

You need a flashlight. So, you tear the entire house apart until you finally find one. You go to flip the switch and no light comes on. Checking the battery compartment, you remember that you had to repurpose the batteries for your TV remote. Next, you tear the house apart a second time looking for a couple of batteries.

No longer do you need to go through this destructive process. Thanks to Instructables user Brunoip, you can build your own crank-operated flashlight without batteries. It may not look pretty, but it gets the job done.

You’ll need a handful of spare parts for this project. This includes a small stepper motor for creating energy and a large pile of capacitors. Other materials include cardboard, a small piece of plastic, LED lights, and spray paint.

The capacitors were pulled from a couple of old PC motherboards. In total, Brunoip used 40 capacitors. They were placed in four rows of 10 capacitors each and then soldered together.

Solder the capacitors together

brunoip | Instructables

After connecting the capacitors together, you’ll create a box out of cardboard. Draw the box out on the cardboard, trim the excess parts, and then fold along the lines. If you decide to check out the full project, you’ll find a downloadable PDF template for creating the box.

Flashlight housing made of cardboard

brunoip | Instructables

Once the cardboard is cut, folded, and taped, it’s spray painted. Brunoip painted his black. Obviously, you could choose another color. The spray paint helps to seal the box, preventing moisture from getting in and making the flashlight look a little more presentable.

Paint the cardboard housing

brunoip | Instructables

Next, it’s time to prepare the motor connector. The four diodes are soldered to the contacts of the individual coils of the motor. A small piece of wire connects the four coils.

Soldier diodes to motor

brunoip | Instructables

At this point, you can start putting everything together. The output of the four diodes on the motor connector is soldered to the positives on the capacitors. The wire from the motor connector gets connected to the negative. The entire contraption is placed inside the box.

Complete wiring assembly slides into the cardboard housing

brunoip | Instructables

A plastic holder is cut out to hold the LED lights. This piece of plastic should fit the front of the cardboard box. Two holes are placed for the LED holders. Resistors are soldered to the positive terminals on the LEDs.

LED lights mounted to a thin piece of plastic

brunoip | Instructables

A zip tie is used to attach the motor to the cardboard box. The motor is then connected to the capacitors. You’re almost done with the project at this point.

Secure the motor using a zip tie

brunoip | Instructables

The last step is to create the crank handle. A small piece of plastic with spacers seems to do the trick. The handle is connected directly to the motor using paste.

Creating the handle and attaching it to the motor

brunoip | Instructables

Assuming everything got soldered correctly, you now have a hand-crank LED flashlight. The perfect tool to take camping or hiking. Or, keep it around in your garage for a spare light.

Good luck on your project. Have fun building your own flashlight. If you’d like to take a look at the detailed instructions, then visit Instructables and read the entire step by step guide for building a crank-operated flashlight from Brunoip.

Your Dog Can Now Let Himself Out with this Bark-Activated Doggy Door

By | Pets, Technology | No Comments

They say puppy love is unconditional. But there are certainly times when it gets put to the test, like when you get awakened every night at 3 am from a dog that needs to go out. As a new owner of a yapping dog, a very sleep-deprived David Hunt created Pi-Rex, a bark-activated door opening project using Raspberry Pi. Although he admits this project isn’t the most secure or a substitute for training your dog, he saw it as an opportunity to experiment with the application to solve a specific dilemma.

Raspberry Pi is a miniature computer. The size of a credit card, the Pi can be used for a wide range of purposes. It features inputs for a keyboard or mouse, along with outputs to connect the device to a monitor or screen.

For this project, the Pi is being used to control several components – the bark detector, a motor driver, and a pulley system.

Bark detector setup

David Hunt

The bark detector is wired to the input of the Raspberry Pi to detect when your dog barks. The motor driver circuit unlocks the door and the pulley system opens the door.

Pulley system that opens the door.

David Hunt

David started this project by purchasing a DIY audio detection kit. A basic audio detection circuit should suffice. It just needs to be able to pick up the noise and then signal to the GPIO on the Raspberry Pi. Instead of adding a buffer circuit between the audio detector and the GPIO, David simply connected the audio detector directly to the GPIO.

David mentioned that this project could be improved by finding a way to sample audio using the Raspberry Pi in order to compare known barks. For now, the device will simply open when it detects a high enough sound decibel.

Next, you’ll need an actuator to unlock the door. David used a 12V central door lock actuator that only cost a few dollars. This is connected to a makeshift locking system.

Door actuator mechanism

David Hunt

The locking system includes an angle bracket and several pieces of metal fused together with the actuator. You’ll need to examine David’s example closely to get a good idea of how to build your own locking system.

The actuator needs to cover two positions – locked and unlocked. When fully extended the locking system will catch the door bolt. When activated, the locking system will allow the door to swing open.

Door opening system

David Hunt

Once you have all the components, you can finally put the entire project together. David mounted all the boards and the Raspberry Pi to a clear acrylic board.

Electronic components mounted to an acrylic board.

David Hunt

The Raspberry Pi was placed in the center with the audio detector on one side and the motor driver on the other. For wiring, David used Dupont connectors with 2.54mm pitch.

You’ll need to connect the motor driver to the pulley system. The pulley system needs to be able to allow the door to swing open and pull it closed. Before the pulley system can return to the latched position, the door must be closed.

For the code that you will read in the GPIO, you’ll need to follow the specific code provided on David’s post – unless you have programming experience.

Now, Fido can let himself in or out with a bark-activated door opening system using Raspberry Pi. This is just one example of what you can do with the Raspberry Pi. This minicomputer has been used to make handheld arcades, cameras, and dozens of other items. In fact, David has a few other DIY projects on his site that require the use of the Raspberry Pi.

If you want to learn the details of this DIY project, check out the full article from David Hunt on how to make a bark activated door system with Raspberry Pi.

Explore the Outdoors in Comfort with this De-mountable Pickup Truck Camper

By | Automotive, Outdoor | No Comments

Owning a pickup truck is one of the great pleasures in life. Having a truck gives you freedom. You have the freedom to drive through rough terrain for no reason whatsoever. You also have the freedom to fill up your truck bed with anything you choose. This includes everything from lumber to a full-sized camper van constructed from said lumber.

Expert DIY handyman at Handmade Matt has provided the world with a unique project. He has outlined the steps needed to construct your very own demountable camper van for a 4×4 pickup truck. Shock and amaze your friends or fellow campers as you invite them into your rustic redneck getaway only to watch their expressions as they view the inside. Your completed camper will include a full kitchen with running water, a fridge, a grill, and even a heater. It is a major undertaking, but well worth the effort.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Interior

Handmade Matt

Matt wanted to create a demountable camper that features a rustic exterior with a completely modern interior. Well, he completely succeeded and if you follow his steps, you too could have your own luxurious camper hidden away inside a DIY camper.

Demountable Pickup Truck Camper - Measurements Diagram

Handmade Matt

Before you can get started, you need to take measurements of your truck. For Matt’s project, he used a 1999 Mitsubishi L200 with a 2.5TD engine and four-wheel drive. You do not need to use the same vehicle unless you want to follow his specific measurements. Matt provides a rough sketch of his camper design, but this can easily be adjusted to fit your truck bed.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Fabricating the jacking points

Handmade Matt

Once you have the measurements, you can get started on the design and construction of the camper. The first construction project is the jacking points for the legs, as this is a demountable camper. Matt used 50mm box sections to accept 50mm timber. The steel jacking points are fitted with lumber and form the base of the camper. The hollow box section faces outward, in order to accept the jacking leg.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Building the frame and roof

Handmade Matt

After completing the base, you can begin the floor plan. You are essentially building a standard 4-wall room with a curved roof. It is important that you start with the frame of the camper. Matt constructed the frame for the walls followed by the roof. The roof is fitted with corrugated tin. Completing this step before finishing the walls and interior helps protect the rest of your project from rain or snow.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Adding insulation

Handmade Matt

With a frame in place, you can begin adding insulation. Matt recommends using loose rock wool insulation in horizontal spaces, such as the cavity under the bed, as it is cheaper. For vertical insulation, he uses solid insulation boards.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Exterior insulation

Handmade Matt

The exterior of the walls is wrapped in recycled PVC plastic sheeting. This is then covered in the cladding. For this, Matt used treated feather edge board.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Interior trim

Handmade Matt

At this point in the project, it is time to move inside and complete the interior. The bottom of the roof is skinned with foil lined air bubble sheeting. You can then start taking care of the interior trim and boarding.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Securing the camper to the pickup truck

Handmade Matt

Steel brackets are needed to secure the camper to your truck. You don’t want the camper tipping off or sliding off while on the highway. 12mm steel coach bolts are used throughout the lower frame of the camper to secure it to the existing mounting rails of the truck.

That covers the basics of constructing the camper. But, Matt took this project much further. With the camper constructed, he then added a solar panel electric system for powering appliances. He also added a full kitchen, with a grill and a sink.

This is not an entry level DIY project. You will need experience in several different areas. You will need to be knowledgeable about construction and electrical work. This is especially true when you start adding the solar panels and appliances – as Handmade Matt only provides a basic overview of these steps. Luckily, Matt is always quick to respond to inquiries. The last thing you want to happen is to have a partially completed wood cabin stuck to the back of your pickup truck.

For detailed instructions and more information to build your own, visit Handmade Matt’s full demountable camper project page.