Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers

Don't have anything to do this weekend? Check out our list of the top 13 weekend projects and stay busy and productive!
Trevor English
Fun projects for engineers
Fun projects for engineers

Wikimedia 

  • For many, the weekend is a time to relax.
  • But engineers don't understand the meaning of that word.
  • So, here are some fun projects to keep yourself busy.

Every engineer loves working on weekend projects or fixing the occasional broken electronic device, but what if you are in the mood to build something but don't know what to do? To help with a few ideas, we have assembled a list of the top 13 best weekend projects we have covered over the years.

From building yourself an explosive tripwire alarm to cleaning off rust around the house, we have you covered. You could try to work through this list with one project each weekend, and those often tedious Saturdays alone could start being productive!

If you want to learn more about a project, click on the "Click here" button on each project.

13. Build a micro-forge

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Why not build your own micro forge this weekend?

Every engineer needs a good set of tools. For example, you'll need a sturdy set of metal pliers, screwdrivers, etc. But, one invaluable tool often overlooked is a decent personal forge!

Why buy the finest tools when you can build a tiny forge and forge your devices out of raw metal in the backyard?

This is probably a little extreme for most engineers, but the micro-forge can also be helpful for other things. 

Learn how to do it here.

12. Build your own electric hacksaw

This is probably the most dangerous project on this list, but it is undoubtedly one of the most fun!

If you have some metal that needs sawing but don't want to expend precious energy pushing the saw back and forth, this metal hacksaw is probably the way to go. That said, it's a dangerous idea, and please never attempt this without taking the utmost precautions – but it's a lot of fun to at least learn how to make it. 

Learn how to build it here.

11. Create a candle-powered phone charger

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Apperatus concept.

Charging your phone during a power outage has never been easier. Using simple electronics, a candle, and some ice, you, too, can charge your phone in an utterly off-the-grid way. This means you'll always stay connected, even when your only energy source is a wood fire or a simple candle. 

Just be warned that it could make a bit of a mess, so consider yourself warned! (It might also not work).

Learn how it works here.

10. Make an electric-drill powered skateboard

Motorized vehicles are fantastic fun, but they can be costly. Why spend money on a new motorized skateboard when your handy electric drill is lying around?

This project may cost you a little, but it is far cheaper than buying the motorized skateboard altogether.

Check out the simple-to-follow guide here. Alternatively, you could build a different version from the instructions in the video embedded above.

9. Build a beautiful patio table from wood and concrete

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
The completed table.

If your partner has been nagging you to fix things around the house, why not impress them with your engineering and design skills by building a lovely patio table? What's more, this project could use some of that scrap wood you likely have lying around the house (you knew it would come in handy one day, didn't you?).

You can make this perfectly rustic yet luxurious table with just a bag of concrete and some extra 2x4s.

Learn how to make it for yourself here.

8. Create a low-cost, anti-zombie tripwire system

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Make your own low-cost trip wire with ease.

This project is a little more on the fun side rather than being incredibly useful, but we suppose this would be perfect if you were trying to protect yourself from the zombie apocalypse.

Gather a battery, clothespin, and a few other things to create a simple DIY tripwire alarm. You can rig the alarm to trigger the fuse on a firecracker or, much more safely, light up an LED.

Always put your and your family's safety first when undertaking projects of this nature. But, of course, you know that.

Check out our guide to keep you and your family future-proof from zombie invasions.

7. Learn to pick a lock

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Add a new string to your bow by learning how to pick a lock.

Learning how to pick a lock can be valuable when you get locked out of your house or have lost the key to your desk drawer! What's more, it is not too hard to learn.

Once you've mastered it, ensure you only use your new skills for good!

Check out the informative article by clicking here to learn a little more and increase your lockpicking skills.

6. Build a fan-powered cell phone charger

If you are plagued by your phone running out of batteries, build yourself a charger powered by the wind. This charger is perfect for someone who bicycles a lot, as the recycled computer fan used in the design will generate electricity while you bike down the road.

Learn to build the charger by clicking this link.

5. Make a spare house key from an old can!

Don't want to learn how to pick a lock but keep getting locked out? Why not make a spare key out of a leftover tin can?

Sure, you can go to the store and buy a key for pretty cheap, but a real engineer makes his key. Yes, consider that a gauntlet thrown down.

Besides, this saves you a trip to the store.

Click here to learn how to do it.

4. Clean up all that rust

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Remove rust in 6 easy ways!

All those old metal bits and pieces you have lying around the house start getting rusty pretty fast. If you want to make everything look good as new, we have assembled six of the best ways to remove rust without hard chemicals and with things you likely have lying around the house.

This not only rescues your old metal stuff but also helps you do it in a more environmentally-friendly way. Win, win.

Click here to learn more.

3. Make a handy vacuum cleaner

Is your house getting dirty, but your vacuum cleaner has given up the ghost? Then don't fret, we've got you covered!

While you will most certainly get more power out of that expensive Hoover, you can create your own hand vacuum cleaner with a spare plastic bottle and some tubing.

This would be great to keep in the car to clean seat cracks or maybe to clean out all those food crumbs from the couch.

Learn how to build it here.

2. Build a 3D printer on the cheap

3D printing is perhaps one of the most significant technological achievements in the last ten years, and it shows a lot of promise, but it is also costly.

While recreational and industrial 3D printers are getting cheaper, you can put those engineering skills to the test and build your own for under $80.

If this sounds interesting, check out this quick guide to making your budget 3D printer.

1. Create a voice-activated speaker

Top 13 weekend projects for Engineers
Find out how to make your own DIY Amazon Echo!

Amazon has a voice-operated, responsive speaker called the Echo, which uses the AI technology of Alexa. Instead of shelling out several hundred dollars for the Echo speaker, Amazon open-sourced the process so you can create your Echo speaker with a Raspberry Pi.

This project is definitely for the more technologically in tune, but beginners might be able to figure it out too!

Learn how to do it here.

And that's your lot for today.

These are but a selection of all the great projects you can do to invest your time this weekend. You don't have to do any of them and could combine some of the above if you feel creative.

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