Every engineer loves working on weekend projects or fixing up the occasional broken electronic device, but what if you want to build something but don't know what to do? Luckily, we have assembled a list of top 10 best weekend projects that 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 even try to work through this list each weekend, and those boring Saturdays alone can start being productive! If you want to learn more about the project, just click on the "Click here" button on each project.
13. Build a Micro-Forge
Every engineer needs a good set of tools. That means that you'll need a sturdy set of metal pliars, screwdrivers, etc. Why go out and build the finest tools when you can simply build a tiny forge, and forge your tools out of raw metal in the backyard. This is probably a little extreme for most engineers, but the micro-forge can be useful for other things too. Learn how to do it here.
12. Build Your Own Electric Hacksaw
This is probably the most dangerous project on this list. If you have some metal that needs sawing but don't want to expend precious energy pushing the saw back and forth, then this metal hacksaw is probably the way to go. That said, it's a terrible idea and please never – but definitely at least learn how to make it. Learn how to build it here.
11. Create a Candle-Powered Phone Charger
Charging your phone in a power outage has never been easier. Using some simple electronics, a candle, and some ice, you too can charge your phone in a completely off the grid way. This means that you'll always stay connected, even when your only energy source is a wood fire or a simple candle. Learn how it works here.
10. Make an Electric Skateboard
Motorized vehicles are awesome fun, but they can be really expensive. Why spend the money on a new motor and skateboard when you have your handy electric drill lying around? This project may still cost you a little money, but it is far cheaper than buying the motorized skateboard altogether. Check it out here.
9. Build a Beautiful Patio Table
If your wife (or husband) has been nagging you to fix up things around the house, why not impress them with your engineering and design skills by building a nice patio table. Not to mention, this project could use all that scrap wood you have around the house. With just a bag of concrete and some extra 2x4s, you can make this perfect luxury table. Learn how to do it here.
8. Create an Explosive Alarm System
This project is a little more on the fun side rather than being incredibly useful, but we suppose, if you were trying to protect yourself from zombies, this would be perfect. Gather up a battery, clothespin and a few other things to create a super simple DIY trip-wire alarm. You can rig the alarm to trigger the fuse on a firecracker or just light up an LED. Whatever you do, be safe in doing it. Create the alarm system here.
7. Learn to Pick a Lock
Learning how to pick a lock can be a useful skill for when you get locked out of your house, and it is actually not too hard to learn. Check out the informative article by clicking here to learn a little more and increase your lockpicking skills!
6. Build a Fan Cell Phone Charger
If you are plagued by your phone always running out of batteries, then build yourself a phone charger that is powered by the wind. This charger is perfect for someone who bicycles a lot, as the recycled computer fan will generate electricity as you bike down the path. Learn to build the charger by clicking this link.
5. Make a Spare House Key
Didn't want to learn how to pick a lock but still keep getting locked out? Why not make a spare key out of a leftover can. Sure, you can go to the store and buy a key for pretty cheap, but a real engineer makes his own key. Besides, this saves you a trip to the store. Click here to learn how to do it.
4. Clean Up All That Rust
All those old parts you have lying around the house start getting rusty pretty fast. If you want to make everything look good as new, we have assembled 6 of the best ways to remove rust without hard chemicals and with things you have around the house. Click here to learn more.
3. Make a Handy Vacuum Cleaner
House getting dirty but have a broken vacuum? Look no further! While you will most certainly get more power out of that expensive Hoover, you can create your very own hand vacuum cleaner with a spare jug and some tubing. This would be great to keep in the car to clean seat cracks or maybe just 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 biggest technological achievements in the last 10 years and it shows a lot of promise, but it is also really expensive. While recreational and even industrial 3D printers are getting cheaper, you can put those engineering skills to the test and build your own for under $80. Build it here.
1. Create a Voice-Activated Speaker
Amazon has a voice-operated and responsive speaker called Echo which uses the AI technology of Alexa. Instead of shelling out several hundred dollars for the Echo speaker, Amazon themselves actually open-sourced the process so you can create your own 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.