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March 2010

March 22, 2010

Hacking a USB Thumb Drive with Sugru

I had this butt ugly thumb drive. The protective case was hacked up, the metal arm had snapped off and it looked like it had been towed behind a tractor for a week. 

I used a cool new hacking substance called Sugru to create a custom case.  Took about 5 minutes.


The idea to retrofit my 8G USB drive came from Instructables where I'd read about people creating cool new casings for their USB drives, refitting them using Lego blocks or a Barbie. 

Instructables.com USB Barbie 

I wanted something a little more comely than a headless Barbie though.  And less of a tripping hazard.

Continue reading "Hacking a USB Thumb Drive with Sugru" »

March 15, 2010

Staining Wood with Cheap, Natural and Non-toxic Tea


A few months ago George Constance, owner of the online tea emporium Indonique.com, sent me a parcel of beautifully packaged teas.  He had been asking woodworkers on Twitter to try mixing up a concentrated tea solution to use as a stain for woodworking projects, and tell him how they liked the effect.  He would even provide the tea.  I put my name on the list.

I got around to experimenting with the tea stains just in time for the Canadian Home Workshop Show.  Anyone who was at one of my presentations last weekend will remember how excited I was about finding a new, non-toxic stain that's dead simple to prepare.  And dead cheap too.

Continue reading "Staining Wood with Cheap, Natural and Non-toxic Tea" »

March 04, 2010

Canadian Home Workshop Show is This Weekend!

It's my favourite time of year.  I'm building stuff, experimenting with finishes, learning to weld, turning utensils into coat racks, sketching outlandish projects that take way too long to make but I do it anyway.  Because it's fun.  When's the last time you built something just for the heck of it?  It just doesn't get better, does it?

If you can make it to the show I'm there Friday and Sunday at 12:30 and 3:00 on the DIY stage. 

Here's a sneak peek at some of my projects for beginners:

A key rack and cellphone dock made from Montana Ghostwood (lumber harvested from trees killed by beetles and forest fires)...


A lampshade made from used plastic bags...


A coat rack made from pre-finished wainscoting that's chip-carved and forked up with my new micro-forging process...


And lots more fun stuff including USB flash drives made from lilac twigs, rustic shutters, a kick-butt lap desk, and staining wood with all-natural dyes (including tea, vinegar and tobacco).

Hope to see you there! 


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie