Tag Archives: Fun

The Can-Stove

Earlier this week I saw a tutorial via Facebook on how to make a stove out of a can.

I was intrigued (fire!), and so I decided to try it myself. It was quite simple to make. The only problem I ran into was in using 70% isopropyl alcohol. It wouldn’t stay lit. When I tried some 99% isopropyl alcohol however, it worked very well.

About 1/2 an inch of alcohol in the stove lasted for 10 – 15 minutes. I should have timed this more exactly, but it skipped my mind when I remembered that I had marshmallows…

photo 1

Figure 1. Using the new stove to roast marshmallows instead of doing our homework.

Figure 2 shows the burn marks left after the flame went out, which are kind of cool looking. You can really tell were the combustion was occurring.

photo 2

Figure 2. The stove after burning for several minutes.

After a quick internet search, it looks like there are several different methods for making stoves out of cans. I will have to try them and compare results. ūüôā


The Pipe Organ Foundation

On the 17th and 24th of September I went to the Pipe Organ Foundation. The Pipe Organ Foundation (POF) is basically an organization that installs organs build from recycled parts for a much lower cost than it would be to build a new organ. I went to their home location and helped with different tasks. I sanded small wooden pipes, sorted led pipes, drilled holes, and did lots of wiring.

Figure 1. The holes

Figure 1. The holes


Figure 2. Wiring close up

One interesting tidbit I learned at the POF was about Forstner drill bits. These are drill bits that drill holes with flat bottoms. I really like the idea of drilling holes with flat bottoms, and had tired to do this on many previous projects without as much success as with a Forstner drill bit.

The wiring I did (Fig. 2) was for an electro pneumatic rack. Basically this is a rack that holds pipes, and uses both electricity and air pressure to make the pipes make noise (or speak). (Fig. 3) More specifically, electricity energizes an electromagnet, which then causes some sort of mechanical action that sucks air out of a little pouch. The little pouch compressing then causes some more mechanical action which opens up the pipe and allows air from the windchests (they are like the lungs of an organ) to flow though.

Figure 3. Electro pneumatic action

Anyway, I learned a whole bunch of other nifty things as well, but I thought electro¬†pneumatic action was the most interesting. Sometimes I wonder why I go to school…

More Marmots

I finished my three felted marmots; Marmie, Marmie II, Baby Marmie.

That being said, here is a picture.



To make each of these marmots I started with a big ball of carded wool. I used a felting needle, which is a large needle with small barbs on the sides, to poke the wool together. The barbs on the needle weave the wool fibers together. The more times the wool is poked, the tighter the fibers hold together.

Oh, and I didn’t make the hat, but I think it adds a nice touch.

Meetings and Marmots

WOOF officer, Brandon, held some tutorials for Grawmet builders last week and the week before. (For background information on WOOF and the Grawmet see the About page.) I was planning to go even though I don’t have a kit yet so that I could be more prepared. I had ¬†a lot of work these past two weeks though, and was lax about checking the WOOF blog. As a result I missed the tutorials. Oh well.

In the meantime, I thought I would also mention a side project that I am working on right now: Marmie & Co. Marmie is a felted wool Hoary Marmot that I made. He is about 4” long (including his tail) and stands about 1” high. I chose to do a Horay Marmot (as opposed to another species, such as a Yellow Bellied Marmot) because of the limited colors of wool I have. After Marmie was finished, I figured he could use some friends. Two other felted Hoary Marmots, Marmie II and Baby Marmie are almost finished.


I first learned felting at Arts Umbrella in Bothell in 2010 or 2011. I picked it up very quickly, and was soon making various small furry animals. I enjoy it because it’s a pretty efficient way of making cute little animals, and it has a certain therapeutic quality to it…

Hoary Marmots (Marmota caligata) is a species of marmot that lives in the alpine slopes of western North America. It’s called the “hoary” marmot, because of the grizzled grey appearance of it’s fur. For more on Hoary Marmots, Wikipedia has a rather nice article:¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoary_marmot