July 15, 2019

Building a Campfire Bench from Trees and Scrap Lumber

My family has recently started fixing up an old cottage that has a lot of great DIY projects. They aren't using raspberry pis though, this is good old fashion manual labour. A bit of a different pace From the nerd stuff that appears all over this site if you ask me, but just as fun.

In this post I'll be describing how I built a bench for the fire pit. If you want to see a video of me building half a bench, you can find there here too!

Here's a similar bench I built too, but with half the number of legs:


  1.  Hand Saw (This 15" Sven Folding Handsaw is one of THE BEST camping purchases I have ever made)   
  2. Drill with drill and screwdriver bits 
  3. Beefy 4" screws 
  4. 56" of round log about 6" in diameter
  5. 28" of round log about 1-3" in diameter
  6. Two pine 4ft  2"x6"  (or one 8ft cut in half)

How To Do?

Please checkout my gallery below showing before, after, and all the steps involved!
Building a Bench for a Bonfire

January 27, 2019

DIY Hack Alexa into Big Mouth Billy Bass

Alexa is fun and all, but combining her with animatronics such as the Big Mouth Billy Bass creates a much larger and weirder personality! In this post I'll walk you through how to make an Alexa device out of a Billy Bass toy. This isn't an original idea (kudos to Brian Kane for coming up with this project), but I've tried to make the steps as simple as possible.

Do It Yourself 

Tools: Soldering Iron, Hot Glue Gun, Torx Screwdriver, Philips Screwdriver


Billy Bass in the Toronto Tool Library surgery room.
  1. Big Mouth Billy Bass*
  2. Echo Dot 2nd Generation
  3. Arduino Uno
  4. Arduino Motor Driver Shield
  5. LM386 Amplifier 
  6. 3.5mm Audio Cable  
  7. At least 4x C Cell Batteries 
*This Billy Bass seems closest to mine, any should work but some may contain only two motors 

Billy Bass Tear-down