Monday, November 17, 2008

Magnet Puzzle Part 2

A few people have shown some interest in exactly how I made my magnet puzzle, so I thought I'd give a little more detailed account of the steps I took.  Feel free to skim over this as I will most likely saying entirely too many irrelevant things.

First up, SUPPLIES!  You will most likely need the following items:

1.  3/4" wood blocks.  You'll need at least 16 of these, but more if you plan on making mistakes.  You can find some at your local hobby shop, or you could purchase some from here online.  I've never purchased from this place, so I don't know what kind of service you're going to get.  Feel free to find your own wood block provider. 
2. 1/8" Diameter by 3/8" long neodymium magnets.  These are extremely strong magnets for their size.  You'll need a minimum of 96 to complete the puzzle, but I encourage you buy a few extra just in case.  I'd recommend this place.  They are well priced and I received them in about 4 days.  Again, if you have a favorite neodymium magnet warehouse of your own, feel free to use them.
3.  1/8" Drill bit.  (guess what's coming next...)
4.  Drill.  Preferably, you should do this with a drill press.  I didn't, but I really wish I had.  It's much easier on your hands and sanity.  
5.  Glue.  I used crazy glue when necessary, but probably anything will work.  It won't take much.
6.  Patience.
7.  Humility.
8.  More patience.
9.  Festive decorations for when you finally complete the project.

Some of those items are negotiable, but I'm pretty sure you're going to at least want some streamers to put up for the celebration.

Once you've got all the parts ready, it's a pretty simple process.   There's really just a few steps:

Step 1.  Drill some holes in some blocks.
Step 2.  Puts some magnets in those blocks.
Step 3.  Make someone put together the puzzle blocks.

That's pretty much it.  Below are a few helpful pictures.  I've included a map of how I laid out the magnets.  There is also a template for each of the two types of blocks you'll need to make.  There is also a picture of my blocks with the little drill guide templates taped onto them.  You'll want to drill those holes just a bit over 3/8" deep.  Putting the magnets in is pretty straight forward once you figure out how to keep the poles straight.  Most of mine fit pretty snug and stayed in on their own after I lovingly tapped them in with a hammer.  Some were a little loose, so glue was necessary.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  There are two types of blocks that make this whole thing work.  In order to get the magnets to line up properly, you have to make 8 of each kind of block and then alternate between the two as you put the magnets in.  I'd recommend laying it all out and taking your time.  Nobody wants a puzzle they can't actually complete.  If you look at the pictures of the actual puzzle in the post below, it should make sense.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  When I first thought of this, I didn't actually intend on making the magnets go diagonally.  I pictured them being side by side so that any piece could go anywhere.  But then I go the magnets, and I realized they were too big to work that way, so I found a way to fit the magnets I had in the blocks that I had rather than just buying shorter magnets.  I'm actually happier with it this way because I feel like it's hard enough as is without making the pieces even more similar.  However, if someone wants to make their life infinitely more frustrating, by all means, modify the plans to your heart's discontent.  

FINALLY:  If anyone out there does try and make this on their own, please leave a comment and a link showing us how it turned out, or if you have any design improvements, please share those as well.  Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the puzzle! 

REALLY THE FINAL THING:  If you're not sure you want to take on the whole thing, I highly recommend making just the four center pieces using all of the 32 magnets that would require.  I've found that just getting those four pieces together is a challenge in and of itself.

Also, if I didn't address any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments.  I'll answer any questions that I can and make up answers to the ones I can't.  Here's hoping I know the answer to your question!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Magnet Puzzle

You'll have to excuse me for a moment. Today we're going to diverge from the usual nonsense and chicanery to show you a little project I've been working on for awhile. It's a magnetic puzzle.

Basically, it's a puzzle made with magnets. It's kind of self explanatory like that. So far, I have only been able to put it together one way. I've come close a couple of times with slight variation, but the last couple pieces just wont fit, so I'm pretty confident that there is only one way to do it. There are up to eight magnets on each piece and I've varied which way the poles are directed to created the unique pieces.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or you can email me direct at Enjoy the pics below!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nobody to blame but myself... but I'll probably still point the finger at someone else when they're not looking

Some of you may not be aware of my deep love of coffee cake.  Well, it's there and it is very, very, very deep.  It's blasphemously deep.  That is why the events that took place today hurt so much and brought about a level of shame usually reserved for fans of Kenny G.  

I was forced to throw out the equivalent of two slices of coffee cake.  I'd rather not get into the circumstances that allowed this travesty to happen.  Dwelling on the past wont bring those poor slices of coffee cake back.  Just know that deep down in my heart, I'm in a lot of pain right now.

I'm flying to New York tomorrow to try and escape the misery that I have created... or I may have actually booked the flight weeks ago so that I could visit my friends.  It's hard to be sure what the truth of the matter is right now.  The tears blur the vision something awful, that's for sure.  I should probably pack or something.

ok, bye.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What I did last night...

The following recording took place at approximately 1 AM following the Obama victory rally held at Grant Park in Chicago.  I am joined by Cadiz12 and Jazz as we reflect on what we just took part in.

Warning: The following contains fierce profanity and loads of adult situations.  I do not recommend that any adults listen to this.  You will also learn what I really sound like.  I cannot apologize enough for this.  

um... enjoy?

Transcripts of this recording are available for only $1,099.99.  Just send a self addressed, stamped envelope to the Shuck N Jive.  Don't worry, the Post Office knows where to find me.  I will also be personally autographing all copies, so that's got to be worth at least $.99.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This is from my phone

I'm at the barack obama rally right now. not sure he i'll make it good
any time soon. this is what posts from my phone look like. pretty
unimpressive, right?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Late to work

I do not envy morons.  Simps, if you will.  They have it a lot harder than people realize.  I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "Jon, how can you not envy the life of a simpleton?  They can screw up repeatedly without consequence because everyone knows they will and practically expects it.  How could life be any better than that?"  That is a sound argument.  Normally, I'd agree with you, but then, just as I do every once in awhile, I was reminded of exactly why I need to have some shred of intelligence inside my brain.

I woke up this morning fairly refreshed due to the time change.  You would think that in and of itself would be enough to make sure my faculties were in order, but such was not the case.  I left the house this morning without my ID.  I need my ID to get in and out of the building where I work.  It's only important if I want to get paid, but nevertheless, it should have warranted my remembering.  I was half way to work when I realized this, so I performed the moronic, about face turn in the middle of the block that probably makes me look like a crazy man.  As I neared my residence, I reached for my keys; Guess what else I forgot?  That's right, my pants*.

In retrospect, I should have realized this sooner since nearly everyone I passed on the street said things to me like, "Hey buddy, forget something this morning?" or, "How come you aren't wearing any pants?"  I just kept responding with, "Nice day, isn't it?" and smiling.  Truth be told, it probably was a nice enough day not to wear pants, so I can't really fault anyone for not pressing the issue further.  But the part that really makes me feel dumb is that I walk past a row of 7 consecutive buildings that all have mirrored windows at street level.  Worse yet, I constantly look at myself in those mirrored windows because I'm incredibly vain.  If only my eyes weren't so damn alluring.

I hate learning the hard way.  I'm hugely in favor of easy learning.  I plan on making that my platform when I run for king of the world.  "No more learning the hard way!  From now on, I promise all learning will be conducted the easy way!!"  I imagine that will be followed by rampant cheering.  I'm going to start working on posters for that now.

Oh, and by the way, Joe Biden and Barack Obama are staying at hotels located on either side of our building, so they're probably going to bug me about having dinner with them tonight.  Seriously guys, a little notice would be nice.

*A giant THANK YOU goes out to my girlfriend who lovingly came downstairs with my ID and pants so I didn't have to once again suffer the indignity of asking the front desk let me into my apartment because I forgot my pants.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I don't need much...

Rumor has it that Guitar Hero can be played in 3-D.  I'm pretty sure that's key to being really good at the game.  If I could experience this game in the third dimension, the way I believe it is meant to be experienced, then I think I could accomplish all of my goals in life.  Is it sad that all of my life goals are centered around a game that's only been out for about a week?  I don't think so.  I prefer to think of it as totally awesome.

My point is this, I clearly need to play this game in 3-D.  Fortunately, this isn't that hard to accomplish.  See, all I need is a second projector, a couple of polarizing filters, a set of polarized glasses and a nice silver screen.  I'm still surprised these items have not yet been donated to me, but I can't say it's the first time society as a whole has ignored my obvious need for something (I still don't have an iPhone, but give it another 35 days and then check in with me).

I'm not an unreasonable man though, I understand that it's not really fair of me to assume everyone knows what kind of projector I need (it's a Mitsubishi PK 10 by the way.  Sorry society, that excuse has now been thrown out the window.).  But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a brown paper bag filled with the one thousand or so dollars that I need to complete the setup myself.  What gives?  

I'll tell you what society, I'll make you a deal;  If you leave a "present" outside my door some time within the next two weeks, I'll forget that you ever insulted me in the first place and I'll have you all over for a GH 3-D party the day after Thanksgiving.  Deal?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Growing Up

Awhile back, I may have made a claim that Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock is the greatest game in the world.  I was young and naive then.  It seems foolish now when I look back on my younger self and see the things I thought were important then.  I'm older now.  I know that there are more important things in life than GH3.  

I've matured a great deal in the last year and this new perspective is what allows me to recognize that GH3 is a fun, relaxing game for Little kids to play.   Guitar Hero: World Tour?  That's for adults.

I'm taking a break right now to ice down my left forarm.  It's been a grueling six hours and I'm going to need to pace myself properly if I hope to defeat the game by Sunday night.  If I'm unable to accomplish this feat, I fear my work will suffer tremendously on Monday morning.

If you'll excuse me know, I have a career in rock awaiting me.