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Some neat things from the Instructables woodworking contest

Instructables recently had a woodworking contest, which closed on Oct 3.  I took a look at the winners — there were some really amazing entries.  I’ve already written about one of them, a bicycle made from bent/laminated wood.  The frame flexes, and so provides a suspension effect.  The bike didn’t win, but it was a runner up, which fetched the builder a T-shirt, patch, and one year Instructables PRO membership.

The grand prize winner built a fully custom gypsy trailer.  It has an old world look to it, although it includes some modern conveniences like a hitch that connects to the back of a pickup instead of the back of a horse. It has two beds, each 48″ wide, so could probably sleep 4 people, if they’re friendly.  There is a table that slides out from under one of the beds, lots of tucked away storage areas, and in the back corner a wood burning stove!  I don’t see a propane tank on it, so it looks like the stove is for cooking as well as heat.  It has a dutch door with a casement window in the back, and a bay window in the front.  The walls are tongue-and-groove pine.

For this project the winner received a Craftsman  10″ miter saw and a Craftsman 5″ random orbit sander.  The pictures of the project are very nice, but details and dimensions are pretty scarce.  This Instructable is more a source of ideas than specific directions.

In the runner up category I found an Instructable about building a 76 foot wooden suspension bridge.  I don’t know how this one only got runner up, it’s quite a project.  And in contrast to the grand prize winner, this project includes a complete spreadsheet full of calculations.  The main catenary cable is 1/2″ galvanized wire rope, and the suspenders are 3/8″ galvanized. The bridge was constructed from all 2″ treated dimensional lumber.

I’ve been considering building a suspension bridge myself over a dry creek next to my house so I’m bookmarking this one.

Steve Ravet

Design News Gadgeteer

Send in your gadget! Design News is always looking for new gadgets to feature in the print edition of the magazine.  Mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, whatever.  Believe me, if they’ll run my hot-rodded Billy Bass they’ll run anything.  If you’ve creating something clever and would like to see it in print, submit it to the Design News editors:

http://www.designnews.com/file/25333-Submit_Your_Gadget_Freak_Design.pdf

You’ll get the thrill of seeing your product show up in a print magazine right in your mailbox, and you’ll get a check for $500 as well.

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