What Is Your Proudest DIY Moment?

Whether you've bootstrapped a business with the bare minimum, built something amazing out of spare parts, or simply rescued a party without a bottle opener, we know you've got a DIY story to tell. We'd love to hear it and share it.

Photo by bbaunach.

We're celebrating DIY in a disposable age this week at Lifehacker, and we'll have plenty of tips, projects and links to share. What we'd really love, though, is to hear the DIY story you've been dying to tell, about saving money, saving time, or just saving your sanity with a custom-made solution.

Have you avoided paying big bucks for a device or gadget by making your own or improving what you've already got? Has your freelance or small business made do without fancy enterprise tools by being crafty with cheap or free tools? What's your most memorable MacGyver-esque moment, where you fixed or boosted your situation with just some basic supplies and ingenuity?

You may well have other definitions of DIY that might not fit the conventional duct-tape-and-elbow-grease mould, and that's fine — we want to hear those too. So go on — tell us all the tale your friends are sick of hearing about your clever solutions. We're listening.


    I got a pair of the first logitech bluetooth headphones in Australia about 3-4 years ago. They worked great for all of 6 months, then the sound cut out in one phone, and the signal started cutting them out.

    So, I decided to disassemble and see what I could do with the innards. I had a pair of Sennheisers with a broken cable (I stood up too fast, and something went wrong.) and now, i am the proud owner of sennheiser bluetooth headphones. It was just the wiring to the dodgy phones in the logitech headphones that went wrong.

    I have a media centre PC plugged into my TV. Being and older pc the sound is only connected via a 3.5mm jack plug. some videos and TV shows were recorded or encoded with a low audio level, so low that even at full volume I would be struggling to hear it over my ancient CPU fan.

    My solution: I used the amplifier from an old pair of computer speakers as an 'in-line' amp for the audio signal from the PC to the telly.

    -I plugged the existing jack plug from the 'amp' (speakers) into the PC audio out.
    -I cut the internal wires connecting the amp to the speaker cones and connected them to a pair of female RCA plugs (donated from some other busted piece of equipment) and mounted them in the back of the speaker casing.
    -I then just used a stereo RCA to 3.5mm jack cable to connect my new amp to my TV.

    Thew coolest part is that there is still a volume knob on the Amp. I usually set this at about 75% for a good boost, but for the odd movie that needs that little bit more, the option to crank it is there.


    I recently acquired a 30ft bus converted to a very nice motorhome. I realised that at some point, I would need to know how to change a wheel if the occasion ever arose. And what better place to practice than in my own (level) driveway. Dug out the tools that I could find relating to jacking up the beast & undoing wheel nuts (which BTW are 41mm nuts!) & discovered that if I put the main steel bar through the big socket, then added the length of 1" square tube as leverage, then added another steel bar as even more leverage, I could in fact crack the nuts & then undo them normally.

    On the double rear wheels, I also discovered that the socket that had been supplied with the bus was called a 2141, which means it has the 41mm hex socket for the outside wheel, then once that is off, it uses the 21mm square socket for removing the lugs that hold the inner wheel on.

    What a victory. Now I know that I can do it. I'm now working on the shock absorbers on the front of the beast.

      Just don't try and teach yourself how to change/remove a split ring tyre, they can be deadly.

    Uncovered an average of five million dollars in efficiencies at each of my last four workplaces.

    ...seriously, they were RIGHT THERE.

    Physically, I suppose redesigning and improving IKEA furniture while I'm putting it together counts, or the combined cable, foil, and chipboard hack I used to improve my WiFi signal a couple of years back, or on-the-spot devising a way to stop a stack of brochures blowing away using nothing but the brochures themselves, or whipping up a parallel-port PC-to-PC network cable from spare phone line and some adapters, or building a completely stable set of freestanding nonattached shelving which was nonetheless completely missing one of its four corner supports.

    Most of my solutions have been nonphysical, though. Office procedures and such. There's a whole raft of stuff I came up with for doing IT Support, for instance. Then there were file archiving and tracking processes, software tweaks and scripts, yadda yadda.

    It's all just stuff. And stuff can be improved.

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