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OCTOBER 2016

TESTED: GARMIN FENIX 3: The worlds greatest sports watch?


TECH

SCIENCE WHEELS HOME OUTSIDE

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VOLUME 15, NO. 3


BUILD A PORCH SWING

SET A CONCRETE FRAME

CONSTRUCT A ROCKET STOVE

HOME SECURITY TIPS

THE WORLDS FUNNIEST WOODWORKER

HOW TO: Destroy anything

SKILLS:

> GET STARTED... TRAIL RUNNING


> KIDS: MAKE YOUR OWN BEDROOM DOORBELL
> ARTISAN GLASSBLOWING

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FROM THE EDITOR...

THIS LADYS NOT FOR TURNING

ne of the advantages of this job is that


you get to meet really, really interesting
people, like the one pictured (for the record,
the interesting one is on the right).
But lets start with Braam Malherbe. One exquisitely balmy pre-spring afternoon a few weeks ago, I
lounged in a garden chair near the summit of Lions
Head chatting to Braam, who besides having a view
from his stoep to die for is a household name
through simply daring to do stuff that the rest of us
regard as extreme, to put it mildly. Like co-running
the entire Great Wall of China at the rate of a marathon a day or co-racing through the Antarctic. And
now, expecting to have to complete two and half million oar-strokes to cross the Atlantic (yes, theyve
worked it out). Braam and co-adventurer Pete van
Kets will be doing their row, which they aim to make
a record-setting one, to raise awareness about the
planets less visible environmental concerns, hence
the Out of sight, out of mind theme. You can read
about their latest exploit on page 40.
Even as we were speaking, Braams subject matter
was grabbing headlines a short drive away. In the
Peninsulas Deep South, spraying of a herbicide on
sidewalks was suspended because it happened to be
taking place bang in the middle of the breeding season of the endangered Western Cape Leopard Toad.
Incidentally, attention was drawn to the fact that
the endangered Western Cape Herbicide Sprayer
happened not to be wearing appropriate safety gear.
So it goes.
As for the person I am hugging in an entirely
appropriate manner: for the uninitiated, may I present
Carmen de la Paz. I guarantee that anyone meeting
her for the first time will realise within moments
that she is really, really interesting.
I met the diminutive, effervescent Ms de la Paz
during the Working with Wood festival at the
Saasveld, George, campus of the Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan University. (Youll soon be able to say
the institutions name in just one breath because,
apparently, the Metropolitan bit is to be dropped.)
It would be wholly accurate to describe De la Paz
as a star turn. She not only knows how to make a
lathe practically beg for mercy, she is also more
than capable with a welding machine. Her skill, creativity and engaging style have made her a hit on
countless TV home improvement and DIY channels.
But what actually brought De la Paz here was two
initiatives: Women in Turning and her global movement, Turners Without Borders. She wants to get
more people turning, and more of them women.
Young people, particularly. Because when people

think wood turning, they tend to think: wrinkled. Grandpa.


Well, she has caused quite a stir. She cant stop talking about her
interaction with the community up the road from George, at Karatara
(which sounds great pronounced with a Spanish accent.) A spark has
been generated, a flame has been lit and the local woodworking fraternity
has committed to keeping the fire burning. Best of all, she herself has
committed to continuing her upliftment work here and has already
scheduled a return visit.
I dont know about you, but I rate that really, really interesting.

anthony@ramsaymedia.co.za

COMPETITION WINNERS.
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www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

CONTENTS
OCTOBER 2016

VOL 15, NO 2

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Our October issue celebrates people who make


things. Like glassblower Eben Horton who is reviving
a lost craft, or Braam Malherbe who is trying to make
the world a better place by spreading awareness.
Nick Offerman makes people laugh and loves making
things out of wood.

61

82
2

40 44
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HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

TESTED

14 Tech in the UN

24 Garmin f enix

3 HR
Limelens

Zoeetek V3 Audio Adaptor

Virtual reality is advancing the UNs cause and its all


down to the foresight of its new creative director.
The future of your kitchen
Infrared indoor braai, magnetic induction frying and
smart pans are headed to your home; we got a chef to
give them a whirl.
A quiet hairdryer
Dyson have mastered the blow dry on its first try.
Kentucky bourbon from Ohio
Taking the regional speciality further north has unlocked
new flavours and a new market for slow sipping.
Custom-made eyeglasses
Zeiss i.Scription lenses are tailor-made to match the
exact irregularities of your eyes, our man gets fitted.
Great unkowns
South Africas love of the petrol attendant is shared by
two US states, find out why.

FEATURES
32 Capped vs uncapped

Streaming services are gaining popularity and demanding


more broadband; we investigate Internet package options.

40 Crossing the Atlantic




Two South African adventurers are rowing to Rio, while


Chris Bertish hops the pond on a stand up paddle board.
We have the inside story.

44 The worlds funniest woodworker



Nick Offerman talks about preparing for a global blackout, making things and how carpentry lead to Hollywood.

50 Conspiracy on the high seas




UPGRADE
36 Smart clothing

Indoor grow chamber


Electric assisted off-road fold up bicycle

DRIVING
76 Nissan Bladeglider



Mazdas G-vectoring tech explained


Launch reports: Honda Civic, Jaguar F-Pace,
Ford Ranger 2,2 Auto
Harley-Davidsons new Tourers

SKILLS
82 Make a glass bait trap: a glassblower puts a




vintage modern spin on an old-school relic.


How to get started in trail running
Shop notes
Ask Roy
Kids project: make a bedroom doorbell

MONTHLY
1 From the editor
6 Letters
10 Time machine
12 Calendar
28 Great new stuff
104 Do it your way

Our team gets cornered on a conspiracy theorist


conference cruise and luckily lived to tell the twisted tale
and picked up a few lawsuits to prove it.

24

61 DIY SPECIAL SECTION (Cover)


How to make (and break) anything.

14
36

82

14

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 3

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EDITOR: Anthony Doman

GROUP PUBLISHER: Neil Piper


EDITORIAL

Senior associate editor Lindsey Schutters

Digital content manager Nikky Oosthuizen
Proofreader Margy Beves-Gibson

OCTOBER 2016

IN
TESTED: GARM
TECH

FENIX 3: The wo

SCIE NCE WHE

ELS

rlds greatest sp

HOM E OUT SIDE

orts watch?

echa
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ECIAL!
DIY ASPOP
RCH SWING

NO. 3
VOLUME 15,

BUILD
RETE FRAME
SET A CONC
OVE
A ROCKET ST
CONSTRUCT
RITY TIPS
HOME SECU
ODWORKER
S FUNNIEST WO
THE WORLD
g
hin
yt
an
oy
str
HOW TO: De

LS: NING
SKIL
RTED... TRAIL RUN

urers
e advent
Extrem
O-RIO ROW
-BREAKING CAPE-T

RBELL
> GET STA
OWN BEDROOM DOO
> KIDS: MAKE YOUR LOWING
> ARTISAN GLASSB

Cover October.

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MAKE IT POSSIBLE

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REINVENT SMARTPHONE
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Product colour, shape and interface are for reference only. The actual product may vary.
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LET TERS / WHAT S ON YOUR MIND?

G
NIN
WIN TTER
LE

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED


I have just finished reading your September issue and I
was amused to read about the Editors love for his 2007
Subaru Forester. A friend is also an owner (he has had two)
and, if you let him, he can ramble on about these amazing
vehicles.
Reading about the very capable Forester being taken
off-road on boulder-strewn roads reminded me of a trip my
late co-pilot Glyn (she hated the word wife) and I took in
our 05 Opel Corsa in 2008. We decided to detour to Katse
dam on our way to Durban (as a motoring journalist, Glyn
and I loved the serenity of quiet open roads, seeking new
adventures. One time, we did 5 000 kilometres to Cape
town and back in a Mini 1275!) Of course, we loved the
newish tar road to Katse, with its extreme gradients, but
it was once we were at the dam that the fun started.
We decided to go via Maseru rather than go back to
Ficksburg. We were warned that the road was poor. As a
biker who loves off-road trail-riding (I currently ride a
Honda XR650), I thought: how bad can it be?
Well! The road was being resurfaced and the aggregate
was the size of large oranges. Nonetheless, we soldiered
on, scraping the underside of the poor Corsa many times.
The road petered out further on, and as we were going
around the many, many bends close to the mountain edge,
we happened upon a very wet muddy area. As we stopped
for a recon, the thought did cross my mind that if we got
stuck, they would only find our bones much later! Our
only company was a few uninterested cows on the
opposite slopes.
Deciding to carry on, I took a run at the mud. If I had
tiptoed through we would have been stuck, for sure. The
Corsa mostly aquaplaned over the mud, but we did make
it over. Eventually we made it to the new tarred section and
then it was plain sailing.
To anyone who has not visited Lesotho, especially if you
have a Forester, what are you waiting for?
GREG BAXTER
JOHANNESBURG

Write to us, engage us in


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Send your letter to: Popular Mechanics, PO Box 180,


Howard Place 7450, or e-mail popular mechanics@
ramsaymedia.co.za Please keep it short and to the
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South African residents.

SAFETY IS A LIFESTYLE

ISTOCKPHOTO/LUCKYBUSINESS

Firstly, there are no fixed safety tips. Safety


has to be a lifestyle to be successful.
You have to be prepared at all times.
The problem is that we think we are not
in a war zone, so you start slacking. You
have to be wide awake at all times. It makes
me think about the article in a local Gauteng
paper about a gentleman who was stabbed
at the crossing of Hans Strydom Drive and
the Bronkhorstspruit Road. What surprised
me was that he was in his bakkie, with
the window open, and is shocked that
he got mugged.
What were you thinking? Will you do this
in an area where it is known that muggings
take place every day? Well, hopefully not,
OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

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black rubber coating echoes the volcanic
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LET TERS / WHAT S ON YOUR MIND?

but you are dense enough to do it anyway.


There are some security standards that
you have to comply with, to give you some
advance warning of some lowlife planning
to attack you.
1. Be armed at all times (all times). Oh,
I hear the lady complaining that this is so
vulgar. Indeed, yes. It is. But either that,
or you are a soft target. Carry a small knife
and know how to use it. Carry some weapon
at all times. Again vulgar, says auntie from
Camps Bay. Yes, please do not, because
these attackers live every day to hunt. That
is all they do. They read you like a book and
will know/feel/see that you are prepared.
If you do not carry, you make my life better
because they will take you rather than me
2. Use your senses. When approaching
your parked car, walking in the mall,
wherever you are: listen, smell. If there
is a strange sound or smell change your
plan of action or be better prepared for
possibilities.
3. Keep all outer doors locked at work
and home. Keep car doors locked and
windows closed at all times (that crippled
beggar in reality is probably not crippled,
just a scam artist).
Even if you are prepared, you can still
be taken. It is a situation that we all hope
will never happen. Remember, attacks on
innocent people are not planned the day
before. The scumbags go out every morning to hunt, steal, kill, if necessary. There
is no remorse from their side. We have to
adapt.
Being able to do a high kick against
your assailants head trying to defend yourself is absurd. Just be prepared and aware.
This is not meant to be negative. It has
to be seen as a positive thing for yourself.
Get training. Your turn may come, but
then do not shout for help. You cannot
negotiate with attackers. They do not
understand that. It is seen as a weakness.
KARL LE ROUX
BY EMAIL

BEAMS ME UP
Having recently experienced a home breakin, I was most interested in the correspondence in your August issue.
I express some views that were not mentioned in those letters. In my case, the
intruders were most professional. They
had knowledge of my home and security
arrangements and location of their target,
namely the TV- plus any easily available
items. Most importantly, they knew that
my alarm system was not activated because
I had resident guests. This, they probably
knew by word of friends or by noting a
8

HOW WELL TRAVEL


The Hyperloop system (September 2016) will probably be the future of rail travel.
Active MagLev systems already operate in China, Japan and the US, and 583 km/h
(faster than an airplane) has been achieved.Passive levitation systems are mentioned on page 44 of your article. Missing are details of their development, how
they work (text and diagrams), and the differences between active and passive
levitation systems. Hopefully this is a subject for a future issue.

DON POOLTON
PINETOWN

car parked outside at night that had outof-town number plates a sure giveaway.
Thats when they struck.
They worked silently at the lounge window, breaking a small segment of glass near
the window handle, twisting the handle
and gaining access. There was little glassshattering. They then drew back the blinds
and opened adjacent windows.
By chance, a visitor needed to use the
toilet. As he left the room, he saw an
intruder in the lounge. He raised the
alarm and that intruder and others fled.
But the TV was already gone.
Later, I missed a small box resembling a
jewellery box, containing my hearing aids.
TV value: R6 000. Hearing aid value: to
me R30 000, to the thief, nothing.
Now what to do for better security? In
the course of discussions with my security
company, I had three sets of beams attached
to outside walls and an indoor, piercingly
loud siren. I understand that each beam
can cover more than 10 metres. These

beams cover all access windows: dining


room, lounge, three bedrooms and two
access doors. All, plus the inside sensors
can be controlled by a small pocket-size
remote control. For me, a huge improvement.
Advantages are that would-be burglars
cannot access windows or doors without
breaking the beams and setting off the siren.
At the same time, they will be alerting the
security people. The beams can be activated
separately or together with the indoor
system. Thus, when alone or with resident
visitors, the beams alone are activated and
the house inhabitants secured. When leaving
the house, a single press on the remote
activates all systems. There is little chance
of false alarms and beams are not affected
by weather, insects or even my cat.
The cost: a little less than replacing my
TV. I now sleep well at night. As do my
guests.
DR JOE
PLETTENBERG BAY PM
OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

TIME MACHINE / IT MADE PERFECT SENSE AT THE TIME

1936

Following the style of Teslas research, America


was obsessed with wireless power transmission.
Sunspots and the subsequent magnetic storms
interrupted radio transmissions until the scientists looked to
these storms, which carry disruptive energy across the solar
system, for inspiration. At the time solar energy was used primarily as heat energy to make steam or operate hot water
geysers. Investigators predicted that solar heat as a source of
power could eventually enter the market to compete against
coal and petroleum. However, science was sticking to learning how to wirelessly transmit power from studying the sun.

2002

A world without ubiquitous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth


streaming or casting would be saved by the fastfor-its-time 802.11g wireless standard for 54 MB
per second transmission. HomeRF (the tech that allows for
cordless telephones) was also pushing for a slice of your
media spectrum. The future was said to be where you store
media on a central server, accessible throughout the house.
The future turned out to demand on-demand streaming from
anywhere in the world. Choose between a capped or
uncapped internet data plan after reading an experts
view on page 32.

10

1971

Watch out world,


minicycles were
going to be the
ultimate family
sport. And you
know how youd
save the money
to afford them,
and, secondly,
find the time to
spend with the
family? By following the 40 tips
that would save you time, work and money, of course. These
old-school shop notes included hints on how to transform
large nails into homemade bolts; easily and quickly roll all the
pennies youd be saving; and how to use a nail clipper to
strip wires. One tip that would prove to be quite useful in our
modern world: wrap the connection point of an extension
cable in plastic, especially when using it outdoors. It will keep
dirt and moisture out. Elsewhere in the issue theres a guide
to controlling your Hi-Fi from any room in the house. The wiring is a bit complex, so why not use the Zoeetek Bluetooth
audio streaming unit we tested on page 24 to send tunes to
PM
your set instead?

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Calendar October
MONDAY

SUNDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

Get the most out


of your month

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY


1
Youre in the city of
light, bored with the
Eiffel Tower and the
Louvre. For some real
fun, head off to the
opening of the Paris
Motor show.

Nearly 60 years ago,


Sputnik ushers in the
Space Age. At the same
time, unfortunately for
the USA, it kicks off the
Space Race by being
first across the line.

We hate to be the ones


to break it to you, but if
you hurry you might
just make it to the end
of Oktoberfest. Which is
actually held mostly in
September.

Handicrafts ranging from


arts and crafts to gifts,
decorative items, paintings and wall hangings
are in store for visitors
to the Craft X-Po at the
Stellenbosch Kersmark
in the Western Cape
(until the 22nd).

12

At times, snail mail seems to have


become no mail at all, but annually
it seems theres still reason to
celebrate World Post Day.

16

18

23

7
Tech mavens with a particular interest in video
gaming, computer, technology and geek culture will
be flocking to rAge at the Ticketpro Domein
Johannesburg (until the 9th).
Hobby-X, billed as South Africas leading hobby and
crafts expo, makes its return to the Cape
TownConvention Centre to showcase materials,
equipment, supplies and ideas (until the 9th).

13

14

On this day in 1884,


Greenwich Mean Time
enters the lexicon with
the declaration of the
Universal Time median
of longitude.

Chic is the word at the Sanlam Handmade


Contemporary Fair, so get your shopping boots
on and set off for Hyde Park Johannesburg
until the 16th.
Everything that floats goes on display at the
annualCape Town International Boat Show, in
and around the Waterfront and Convention
Centre until the 16th.

19

The Digital Education Show Africa at the


Sandton Convention Centre is a two-day
showcase of tablets and handsets, servers
and hardware, assessment platforms and
consulting, wireless and e-learning platforms.

Planning some home


improvements? Head
to the Pretoria
Homemakers Expo,
which runs until
the 9th.

24

21

The secret life of bees is


the subject of todays
Wednesday workshop in
the magnificent gardens
of Babylonstoren Estate
in the Western Capes
Boland. Cost is R500;
babylonstoren.com/
experience/workshop

Not just another expo of high-end machinery at


eye-watering prices, the Standard Bank Africa
Cycle Fair aims to show how cycling can be a
way of life suited to the whole family. St
Stithians College, Randburg, until the 23rd.

27

Flower power and garden culture meet at the Cape


Town Flower Show, which runs over three days at
the Castle of Good Hope.

IN NEXT
MONTHS ISSUE
2016 Breakthrough
awards. Over 25
ideas for the future...

If photography or filmmaking is your thing, you


really shouldnt miss the Photo and Film Expo at
Johannesburgs Ticketpro Dome. Free workshops,
new releases and more than a million rand worth of
prizes and special deals are on offer.

28

Thrillseekers can look


forward to every conceivable kind of watersport
and some unconceivable
kinds at the annual
Ghaap River Xtreme over
three days at Douglas in
the Northern Cape near
Kimberley.

29

Creepy meets cheesy at


the annual Zombie Fest,
just before Halloween,
at the Companys Garden
in Cape Town. Dress
appropriately and shuffle
your stuff at the official
Zombie Walk while raising
funds for charity.

31
Take to the air at the Cape Town
International Kite Festival, organised
under the auspices of Cape Mental
Health, and described as a fun event
for all ages, from pros to kids.

Septemberfest would be a
more accurate term for the legendary celebration of Bavarian
(or should that be beer?) culture.
The festival actually runs from
mid-September and finishes
in early October. It all started back in 1810 in
honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwigs
marriage to Princess Therese von SachsenHildburghausen. The Bavarians couldnt get
enough of a good thing and repeated the
celebrations annually until they realised that
September nights provided more pleasant
weather for wandering until the wee hours.

MON

3/10

12

rAge is the countrys annual video gaming, computer,


technology and geek culture exhibition.
Each year, the event attracts enthusiastic gamers for
three days of gaming, technology, gadgets, shopping,
and more much more.
Here is a taste of what to expect at this years edition:
Console (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) and PC gaming
Computer hardware and software
Gaming retail stores, apparel and accessories
Local game development studios (independent games)
E-Sports events
International game developers (on the stage and behind closed doors)
Media and creative arts colleges,
Graphic art signings
Comic books (such as Superman and Batman)
Cosplay (people dressing up as their favourite fantasy characters)
Anime
Role-playing
Digital lifestyle gear (micro drones, 3D printing and gadgets)

FRI

7/10

SUN

9/10
The Universal Postal Union was
established in 1874 in the
Swiss capital, Bern and nearly
a century later the unions
annual congress decreed that
World Post Day should be
celebrated each year on
9 October (by when, hopefully,
the previous years Christmas
cards should finally have
arrived). Postal services in
many countries use the event
to introduce or promote new
postal products and services,
including special stamp issues.
PM

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HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

REFUGEES

COOKING

GROOMING

BOURBON

VISION

G R E AT U N K N O W N

Gabo Arora,
second from
left, debuted his
first film for the
UN at the 2015
World Economic
Forum in
Switzerland.

REFUGEES

THE FUTURE OF HUMANITARIANISM


TO THE LEFT is a set of garish plastic storage bins. Green, orange,
magenta, blue. To the right is a decrepit TV and a few wires hanging along a bare white wall. Directly ahead sits a young Syrian girl
named Sidra, wearing a scarf, describing her life in a refugee camp
in Jordan. You can look anywhere you want: up at the fan, down
at the floral-print floor mats in a room otherwise devoid of furniture. The entire time, youre listening to Sidra talk. About the kite
she left in a tree when her family fled. About the meals her mom
makes without the spices she used to have back home. As she
describes aspects of her life, the virtual-reality headset transports
you to her world immediately. You see the muddy playground,
the cramped classroom, the soccer ball shared by dozens of children. In each locale, you are immersed, able to look at the asphalt
soccer field or up at the bare, lonely sky. This is the short film
Clouds Over Sidra, the work of Gabo Arora, the United Nations
first-ever creative director.

14

This is also the future of humanitarian aid. Already, the UN,


not the first institution you associate with advanced technology,
is working on projects involving artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Victims of international sex trafficking who feel
uncomfortable talking about their experiences to another person
might one day have the chance to talk to a virtual avatar instead.
Answers the victim gives would change the way the avatar interacts, using artificially intelligent sensitivity. The equipment to
pull this off is still a few years away, but the potential is limitless.
The same kind of technology might be used in the peace and
reconciliation process in a place like Rwanda, where the nation is
still staggering from tribal war and genocide.
Arora was there when his film debuted at last years World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to an audience filled with
heads of state and corporate leaders from all over the globe. He
was able to see the reaction: A lot of them had tears in their eyes.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

RICHARD KALVAR/MAGNUM PHOTOS

On the eve of the annual General Assembly, the UNs first creative director spoke about how artificial
intelligence and virtual reality will really change the world. BY M I C H A E L J M O O N E Y

HOW IT WORKS:
LIVE UN TRANSLATION
In 2009 Gabo Arora became the
UNs first creative director, bringing progressive technology to a
traditional institution.

Sidra, a Syrian refugee,


watches herself in Aroras
humanitarian film Clouds
Over Sidra.

INTERPRETER BOOTHS AT
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

2 per booth

6 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF THE UN

3 per booth

The film is the first in a series Arora


started before founding the UNs first
virtual-reality lab in 2015. A 39-year-old
New Yorker who studied philosophy and
film at New York University, Arora worked
at NGOs in Colombia and Zambia before
joining the UN full-time in 2009. Since
launching his lab he has already made
three more movies, with two others on
the way, covering such topics as the
Ebola epidemic, the war in Gaza and
sexual violence in the Congo.
The goal in all of this, Arora says, is
increasing empathy among policymakers.
At last years UN General Assembly,
Arora partnered with Facebook to show
off portal technology a room where
heads of state could have what were
essentially full-body Skype conversations
with refugees. Aroras team built a small
house full of interactive media just inside
the entrance to the main conference
room. Instead of walking into the UN
they expected, anyone who entered had
to watch videos of refugees or images of
pollution from around the world before
moving on to the days appointments.
Meeting time is like the Oscars for
us, Arora says. At this years General
Assembly in New York City, Arora hoped

to give delegates a virtual-reality


tour of the toxic Ganges River in
India and to introduce them to
the people of rural Nepal, who
face both severe poverty and
environmental concerns stemming in part from a 2015 earthquake. He also planned to employ
augmented reality to create a room in
which some of the most powerful people
on the planet could talk frankly with
genocide survivors.
These tactics are expensive, to be sure.
The cost of making a short film or project
between R4 million and R13 million
apiece would be astronomical for an
organisation like the UN. However, its
more practical for a tech company,
which is why almost all the funding so
far has been from VR production company
Within (formerly VRSE). (Oculus has
provided support; Arora is also in talks
with Nokia.) For them, along with all of
the goodwill, there is an added benefit,
Arora says. Its really good R&D. Most
of Aroras filming locations are incredibly
hot, for example, so Within created a
camera with an internal ventilation system that can keep the components cool.
Arora says The New York Times is already
using a similar camera in the field.
Aroras projects arent limited to
things we currently face. Within about
a year, visitors to Auschwitz will be able
to put on a wearable device similar to
Google Glass to see an overlay of the
concentration camps appearance in
1944, with actual Holocaust survivors
telling their stories to visitors who are
standing where the victims slept. In a
world where history is doomed to repeat
itself unless the repercussions of war
remain poignant and relevant, the only
way to truly understand tragedy, much
less change it, is to be able to see it.

160
8

Total number of interpreters

E NG LI S H

RUS S I A N

FRE NCH

S PA NI S H

A R A BIC

CHINESE

2 ALTERNATE
LANGUAGE BOOTHS

Representatives can also bring a personal translator so that they can listen in their own language, such as:

or

URDU

Translators must
wear headsets

A Z E RBA IJA NI

All booths
are soundproof

INTERMEDIARY LIMIT

Each translator speaks three languages. If,


say, the main speech is in Chinese, but none of
the Russian translators speaks Chinese, then
the French booth (for example) will translate the
Chinese into French, and the Russians will
translate the French into Russian. Intermediary
steps are capped at one to prevent meetings
from turning into a game of telephone.

Interpreters translate in real time, so they take


breaks every 30 minutes or so to prevent
exhaustion. During Libyan dictator Muammar
Gaddafis 95-minute rant at the UN in 2009, his
personal interpreter collapsed after translating
for 75 minutes straight.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 15

HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

COOKING

THE KITCHEN OF
THE FUTURE IS
SMART BUT WEIRD

Chef and mad scientist


Wylie Dufresne helmed
wd~50 and Alder in New
York City.

Magnetic burners? Smokeless grilling?


The PancakeBot?
BY W Y L I E D U F R E S N E

BECAUSE IM A CHEF, every


so often someone asks
me about the future of
food: What ingredients
will we have in our pantries? they ask. What
will our stoves and
refrigerators do? I
dont know the answers
to these questions, so I
usually handle them like
a politician: I change the
subject. But recently, I
took five of 2016s most
futuristic kitchen toys
for a test drive and I got
a glimpse of where were
going in the process.
Heres whats next.

ID
L INS

E.

Philips Smoke-Less Infrared Grill (williams-sonoma.com)


Every time I make a steak or burger for
dinner, I have to disable my apartment
smoke alarm. Philips new indoor grill is
designed to save me from this insanity.
On outdoor grills, most of the smoke is
caused by fats dripping on the coals.
Oils from fatty or heavily marinated
meats can flare and even cause small

16

fires, charring the food. On this grill, the


heat source is on the side so the oil
never hits it. The machine uses a clever
angled reflector system to guide heat
towards the grate while leaving the
grease tray in the bottom cool. This
reduces smoke by 80 per cent and
virtually eliminates splattering.

VERDICT: This grill is amazing. Believe


me, I tried to make it smoke: I put a skirt
steak that was dripping with marinade on
it. As promised, the process was smokefree. The machine also has a dial with
three simple settings: off, on and warm.
Any grill lover can appreciate that.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPH BY ADAM HOFF

IL
L GR
WE WIL

PANCAKES WILL LOOK LIKE PEOPLE.

PancakeBot
(bedbathandbeyond.com)

I LL
SW
PA N
T
, BU
OT
BE H
T BE.
ON
W
S
S TOV E

PolyScience/Breville
Control Freak TemperatureControlled Induction
Cooking System
(williams-sonoma.com)
This year is a big one for induction
burners, which are finally moving
from commercial kitchens into
homes. These use a magnetic field
to create heat in a cast-iron or steel
pan without actually heating a
stovetop. And this one is more precise than Ive ever seen: the power
ranges from 100 to 1 800 watts and
you can dictate the temperature of
both the pot and the liquids inside
to within a single degree. If you
cant imagine the possibilities here,
consider these: you can poach a
piece of salmon at precisely 23
Celsius. You can hard-boil eggs
without ever getting a rubbery
white or a chalky yolk. You can
make curd and caramels and candies and not screw any of it up.
VERDICT: Its a big investment,
but if youre looking to buy an
induction burner, you wont find a
more versatile unit. It also comes
with an ingeniously designed
mount for a temperature probe.
I wish I had ten of them.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ADAM HOFF

I LL
WE W
U

COO

RW
NDE

AT E

Billed as the worlds first pancake printer, the PancakeBot


is designed to print any design you can imagine. Of all the
gadgets I tested for this article, no other came close in terms
of sheer excitement and anticipation. My kids planned a whole
sleepover around the promise of Disney princess pancakes.
Though the physical set-up was simple, the tech part was
not as user-friendly: the machine doesnt come preloaded
with images, so you either need to create your own (a tedious
process in a drawing program on the website), or convert
other users creations into a GCode format that the machine
can read. By the time I realised I needed an SD card to make
all of this happen, my kids had given up and asked for
French toast.
VERDICT: I love the idea of this machine. The world is a
better place when someone puts this much heart into a
pancake. The recipe was great and the pour mechanism was
amazing to watch. Just beware: its still in the early adopter
stage.

R.

Nomiku Wi-Fi
Immersion Circulator
(nomiku.com)
If the folks at Nomiku
have their way, home
cooks will soon start making dinner like many chefs
do: in sealed bags in a
temperature-controlled
water bath (a technique

ICE CREAM OUT


OF EVERYTHING.

Cuisinart Fruit Scoop


Frozen Dessert Maker
(amazon.com)
I used a Cuisinart icecream maker in my first chef
job 18 years ago and Ive
been a huge fan ever since.
The companys latest version
comes with two paddles: a
classic ice-cream paddle
and a paddle with multiple
blades that can turn any fruit
into a frozen treat. I followed
one of the recipes it came
with and transformed half a
dozen sliced bananas and a
little honey into an excellent
creamy dessert in about 15
minutes.
VERDICT: Worth every
penny.

AND THE PANS WILL HAVE BUMPS

known as sous vide). After


you clip the circulator to the
side of a pot filled with
water, you can turn the
knob as you would a watch
bezel to adjust the temperature, or you can control it
from a cooking app called
Tender (not to be confused
with Tinder), which lets you
either input your own recipe
or choose from crowdsourced ones.

WELL MAKE

VERDICT: Its a solid


choice for a first-time user.
The recipes I tried were
reliable. However, the app
didnt always talk to the
circulator and I couldnt
start and stop the machine
from my phone. Though
this isnt a huge issue,
remote control is a major
purported benefit of the
Wi-Fi connection.

The protrusions on AllClads new d3 Armor


series pans are created
during the bonding process and contain little air
bubbles that get less hot
than the metal around
them. The upshot: food
skates around on top of
the bumps and releases
more easily.
JACQUELINE DET WILER
STAINLESS STEEL
ALUMINUM
INDUCTION STEEL

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 17

HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

WHAT
MAKES
BOURBON
BOURBON
BY RYA N L A N G

BOURBON MUST BE
MADE FROM AT LEAST
51 PERCENT CORN.
We worked with regional farmers on a non-GMO white corn,
similar to what was used as far
back as the 1800s. From there,
rather than a high concentration of rye, which delivers a
real spiciness, we use Ohios
soft red winter wheat as our
secondary mash grain. Traditionally used in baking, it gives
the bourbon a soft sweetness
that enhances the other barrelinfused flavors.

BOURBON. IN OHIO.
Kentucky will always supply the legacy, but its no
longer the only state making great bourbon.
BY F R A N C I N E M A R O U K I A N

JUST AS BARBECUE and the blues


arrived in the Midwest after the
Civil War when newly emancipated workers came up the
Mississippi, bourbon made its
way up the Ohio River to the
pre-Prohibition distilleries of
Columbus and Cincinnati. Our
320-kilometre proximity to
Louisville creates a geographical
spillover, says Ryan Lang, a
former engineer and the cofounder of Middle West Spirits
in Columbus, Ohio.
Its a unique prairie southern
region. We share many resources,
including grain varieties, distinctive limestone-filtered
water, and weather patterns
that affect the ageing process.
But even with those similarities,
Middle West Spirits bourbon is
truly a product of Ohio. With
the exception of specialty malted
barley, which no one in Ohio

18

has the facilities to process,


Lang says, our grains are
sourced from a 65-kilometre
radius of our plant.
Founded in 2008, Middle
West occupied a small portion
of a 1920s-era warehouse in the
Weinland Park neighborhood
of Columbus. As the company
grew, instead of finding a new,
larger facility, Middle West
Spirits developed vertically,
adding to the single-storey
building it already occupied
by constructing a five-storey
exoskeleton above its original
1 000 m2 footprint.
The exoskeleton was created
to house larger-scale equipment
including a new column still,
created by Vendome Copper &
Brass in Louisville, to allow
Middle West to use continuousdistillation technology. Because
the column couldnt be brought

into the warehouse through the


front door, the still was dropped
in by crane before the roof of
the new addition was added.
What once took several weeks
to produce batch by batch in a
pot still now takes six hours,
Lang says. Not that it brings
them even with the big liquor
producers. With the new automated distilling process, Middle
West is still just a blip on the
screen compared to legacy
brands, Lang says. They can
produce a barrel in seven to
30 seconds.
What they cant produce is
Middle Wests OYO (pronounced oh-why-oh, from the
Iroquois for the great river)
Bourbon Whiskey, Michelone
Reserve, a double gold winner
at the 2016 Berlin International
Spirits Competition, where
Middle West was named the US
Distillery of the Year. We asked
Lang to explain how Michelone
Reserve meets the United
States Code of Federal
Regulations three main
bourbon requirements while
still reflecting Middle Wests
signature.

THE LIQUID MUST BE NO


MORE THAN 160 PROOF
OUT OF THE STILL.
After the barrels are poured
through a screen filter, we cut
to 90 proof and bottle. We do
not do any sort of heavy filtration, as we believe it removes
unique aroma characteristics.

T H E R E SU LT
OYO BOURBON
WHISKEY,
MICHELONE
RESERVE
Soft and velvety,
with a delicate toffee
flavour. Drink it neat.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LEVI BROWN

SPIRITS

THE DISTILLATE MUST


BE AGED IN NEW
CHARRED-OAK
BARRELS.
Many craft distillers use small
barrels to accelerate the ageing process, but we use larger
120 to 200-litre barrels, and
then combine the individual
distillates to make the final
product. The bigger barrels, at
char No. 4, promote tobacco
and liquorice with oak, toast,
and heavy sweetness. The
smaller char 3s impart cinnamon spice, caramel and
vanilla. We age for a minimum
of two years in our 120-litre
barrels and much longer in
our 53s.

VISION

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS


Customised lenses from Zeiss and Mellins i-Style are the future of
eye-glasses and will even make you a better driver.
YOU KNOW AN EYE EXAM IS GOING TO GET PERSONAL when the optometrist asks whether

you were born prematurely. My strong astigmatism was the root cause of the question after she reviewed my current prescription, but it was a glimpse of the accuracy
I would later encounter.
My journey to a fully customised set of Zeiss single vision lenses starts with a look
down the barrel of the i.Profiler plus. This machine samples the shape of my pupil
through 1 500 points on my eye lens (the optometrist likens it to taking a fingerprint). It needs moisture for an accurate reading, but my slightly dry eyes
provide enough data points for analyses. Next is the standard eye exam
with the endless selection between
lens options and the board of everdiminishing letters.
Data from the two tests are then
combined to give a holistic picture of
how poor my eyesight is. Then a regular customer would choose a frame
and get measured by another Zeiss
machine which plots the position of
your pupil in the frame.
Mellins i-Style is South Africas
preferred Zeiss supplier and each
i.Scription lens is individually manufactured in Germany according to the
data gathered from the tests. From
there customers can select various
lens treatment technologies such as
the newly released DriveSafe which
enhances night-time vision, minimis-

Top: My eye lenses profiled through


1 500 points (the black dots are dry
areas on the lens, blame the sinus
medication).
Middle: An estimation of my vision
quality without glasses, with my
current prescription and predicted
quality with i.Scription lenses.
Bottom: The Zeiss-developed i.Profiler
machine.

es glare and extends the primary field of view


in multifocal lenses.
My journey ended with a price, because I
just got new glasses two weeks before this
screening. With all the trimmings (including
DriveSafe and a photochromatic coating) my
lenses came to around R3 500 each, R650
each for a standard i.Scription single vision
lens. Which isnt that much for the absolute
latest lens technologies, perfectly mated to
my eyes. Its eyecare awareness month in
October, so you might find a fewspecial
offers.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 19

HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

GROOMING

THE HAIR
DRYER THAT
DOESNT GET
HOT
James Dysons domination of
the air-based-machine category
continues.
IVE BEEN TOLD that my four-centimetre cut is
too short to require a hair dryer, but I use
one anyway. Not to get my hair so itll fall
just so, but to expedite the morning routine.
I think it was my old man who told me never
to show up with a wet mop. It makes you
look like you were in a rush.
When I tried the Dyson Supersonic hair
dryer (out this month), it didnt make my hair
several thousand rand more lustrous than
the communal Conair in my gyms locker
room. It didnt even dry my hair faster. But
those metrics dont apply to Dyson products.
You pay a lot of money for a Dyson vacuum
or humidifier because its so ergonomic and
pretty that it makes routines pleasant, even
futuristic. Like commuting in a Tesla.
Much like the Air Multiplier fans, the
Supersonic has a motor in the handle as
opposed to the typical location at the rear of
the head that pushes air out of a small vent
lining the ring-shaped barrel. Inside that
motor is a metal impeller
If dust clogs the
with 13 blades instead of
openings at the
the 11 in ordinary hair
bottom, the LED
dryers, which means that
will flash like a
even at max airflow the
check-engine light.
Supersonic is a whitenoise machine, not a
droning HVAC system. Sensors read the air
temperature 20 times a second, maintaining
the heating elements at one of four heat settings. If the Supersonic approaches a hair-frying 100 degrees, itll cool down automatically.
My current dryer, on the other hand, could
be used by criminals looking to burn off their
fingerprints.
I dont have the equivalent of about R5 000
to spend on a hair dryer, so Ill go back to
using the gym dryer, but I wont stop thinking about how good a Supersonic would look
on my bathroom countertop, next to the
induction-charging toothbrush.

20

T H E S P E CS

BY A L E X A N D E R G E O R G E

Air shoots out through an annular


vent and over an airfoil, using
inducement (the same property
that produces lift in aeroplanes)
to create a breeze.
The Supersonics three attachments adhere magnetically.

HOW TO USE HAIR TO


SOP UP AN OIL SPILL
Individual hairs on your head are made of three
layers: keratin scales on the outside, a tightly knit
layer of keratin fibres beneath that and an inner
core called the medulla. Those outer keratin
scales give each strand of hair a ton of surface
area, which allows oil to cling.
During the Deepwater Horizon
Medulla oil spill in 2010, hair clippings
from salons and barbers were
Fibres
stuffed into old nylon stockings to create hair booms.
Scales
Volunteers lined these up
along beaches to prevent oil
from spreading on to land.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

HOW YOUR WORLD WORKS

Do you have unusual questions about the world and how it works and why stuff happens? This is the place
to ask them. Dont be afraid. Nobody will laugh at you here. Email popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za
Questions will be selected based on quality or at our whim.

scratches when prickly environmentalists


key your vehicle. The latest specialised
aviation coatings cost as much as R1 000
a litre, though they have extended the
life of aircraft paint jobs from five to as
many as eight years by which time the
plane would likely need a makeover anyway, given the steady pace of mergers
and bankruptcies in the industry.

Many countries make you fill up your


car yourself. In the US, for example,
only two states have declared it illegal
to pump your own fuel New Jersey
and Oregon. Whats up with that?
LIKE MANY SILLY LAWS, bans on self-service fuel in some countries

exist under the guise of safety. In others, like South Africa,


there is, of course, the rather important matter of tens of thousands
of petrol pump attendant jobs to be taken into account.
Back in the day, according to Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey
Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association, an enterprising station owner lowered
the price of fuel by 5 cents if customers filled vehicles themselves. Angered by the competition, other station owners pushed the legislature to ban self-service, which it did in
1949. (Oregon followed in 1951.) But there was nobody who was either for or against
self-serve at that time, says Risalvato. Nobody cared.
They care now. Jerseyans, especially, cherish their full-serve-only status. Among the
benefits of the ban cited by proponents are convenience (why get out of the car if you
dont have to?), jobs (someones got to pump the gas) and an appreciation for tradition.
The popularity of the Jersey ban is helped by the fact that the state has among the lowest
fuel taxes and therefore among the lowest fuel prices in the USA. So it seems to be a
benefit that comes with little or no cost. Accordingly, any legislation introduced to repeal
the Jersey ban invariably fails. Meanwhile, in Oregon, thanks to a recent revision of the
law, residents of the Beaver state can now pump their own fuel, but only at night in rural
areas. Who came up with that? Bigfoot? Stay safe out there, people.
What kind of paint do they use on aircraft?
AS YOU MIGHT SURMISE, the airlines dont just slap on a couple coats of
Dulux and call it good. The skies are not so friendly, at least when it
comes to snazzy paint jobs (or liveries, as theyre known). The paint on
a plane needs to stand up to extreme environmental conditions boiling
Sun, stinging rain, sub-zero temperatures as well as speeds that may
top 900 km/h, meaning airborne grit, dust and sleet, can hit with the force of a sandblaster.
The paint also must be light: even an extra 50 kilograms is enough to reduce an airliners
fuel efficiency. Think about that the next time you hit the airport food court before your
long-haul flight.
To solve these challenges, current practice is to use a specially formulated, light, durable
base coat in whatever garish colours the marketing department decides upon, covered
with an exceptionally strong, clear, polyurethane topcoat. This is similar to how cars are
finished, though the clear coat on a Hummer, say, is softer, so you can buff out the

22

NAH, THATS JUST A


MYTH. Now step over

here and let me show you this cherry 1978


Cortina we got in on trade from a little old
lady who only took it to and from church
on the back of a flatbed truck. Zero kilometres! Can you believe it?
No, we cant. Of course people and
we use the term loosely, as only a despicable animal would engage in such chicanery
set back odometers, but we were shocked
to learn how common it is, even in this
age of digital counters. Peeling kilometres
off can add thousands to a cars value, so
the incentive is strong. Used-car-data
purveyor Carfax estimates there are as
many as 1,5 million vehicles with doctored odometers in the US alone.
Time was, odometers were mechanical
affairs and cheats could nudge number
wheels back with dental picks. Less patient
crooks could attach a drill to the odometers control cable and spool it backward.
Eventually, manufacturers wised up and
installed stops to prevent the wheels from
turning in reverse. Sleazes overcame this
by disassembling the entire odometer and
putting it back together with the desired
data showing.
Today there are no wheels to turn, but
the problem persists. Odometer fraud
has reached the digital age, says Carfax
spokesman Chris Basso. Now instead of
having to physically roll the analogue
odometers back by hand, its as simple as
going on the Internet and buying tools and
software that plug into the cars computer.
Those will change the distance within
seconds.
Thats a vexing thought, though there
are ways to protect yourself. Reports
from information services such as Carfax
may contain odometer readings recorded
over a cars life. If those numbers dont
match the reading on the dash, its a
strong hint that that little old lady is the
invention of a rip-off artist.
PM

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GREG CHRISTMAN

BIG QUESTIONS.
ANSWERS YOU CANT
FIND ON THE INTERNET.

Do people still try


to set the odometer
back when they sell
a car?

RDFPG/121/E

Need better space?

Rent space without the drama.


Contact Redene Properties.
Visit www.redene.co.za for more information.

OFFICE | INDUSTRIAL | RETAIL

Were not landlords. Were people.

GARMIN fnix 3 HR

LIMELENS ZOEETEK BLUETOOTH V3 AUDIO ADAP TER

TESTED

COMPILED BY THE EDITORS


> popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za

GARMIN fnix 3 HR
Ultimate all-rounder
IVE BEEN A sportswatch fanboy for more than a decade now, since a Garmin Forerunner 301

completely sold me on the idea of GPS tracking combined with heart rate monitoring.
With its latest flagship wearable, though, the company has managed to cram so many
more functions into a device still capable of being worn on the wrist that it constitutes
a minor miracle.
The fnix 3 was introduced at this years CES. Its the latest in the line of watches aimed,
initially, at GPS-focused outdoorsy types like hikers and climbers. Now, while retaining
those outdoors features, the fnix is more of a genuine sports watch, albeit that its
listed on Garmins website under Outdoors.

24

Dedicated activity profiles include indoor


and outdoor options for running, golf (40 000
courses worldwide pre-programmed!), biking,
swimming, plus triathlon, golf and even standup paddling (track your stroke rate). There
are two options available, the fnix 3 Sapphire
HR with high-strength sapphire lens and
the fnix 3 Silver HR with glass lens.
What makes the fnix 3 a significant
improvement on previous models is that it
does away with the need for a separate heart
rate monitor strap. It uses Garmins own
Elevate optical HR sensor, which features
in some devices in the Forerunner and
Vivo ranges. Straight away, that eliminates a
bugbear with conventional sport watches:
the need to wear an HR sensor strap, as
well as premature failure of that sensor.
Whether the replacement technology does
any better remains to be seen. Whats not
in doubt is that the Elevate sensor, located
on the back of the watch, does an acceptable
job. On several runs with the fnix 3 I didnt
experience any HRM dropouts of note. Whats
worth bearing in mind is the need, before
you set off, to ensure that the HRM is
actually registering. Its a bit like ensuring
that your device is locked on to GPS satellites, only a lot quicker it takes just seconds. Once locked on to your heart rate, it
will indicate this via the display.
The sensor doesnt pick up HR data while
swimming, though youll need a strap.
And if you use it on a bike mount, you will
need to pick up heart rate wirelessly using
an ANT+ HRM strap. However, the fnix
allows you to rebroadcast your HR using
ANT+, to compatible devices if youre riding
your bike while using a Garmin Edge bike
computer at the same time as you are
wearing your fnix 3 HR, you should be
able to read HR data on the Edge.
A clever touch is that it is able to monitor
heart rate throughout the day. Not constantly,
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

though: accelerometers to detect how active


you are and HR check frequency increases
or decreases accordingly. Theres also an
Intensity Minutes feature based on the activity goal of half an hour of elevated heart-rate
exercise daily the kind of metric increasingly required by wellness programmes.
Although at first a little bulky on the wrist,
and at 90 grams not super-light, for short
runs under 10 kilometres the fnix 3 feels
comfortable. Its styled like a traditional wristwatch, with a flat back and so its perhaps
not ergonomically ideal for the, er, smallboned. The stretchy rubber strap does offer
good grip on the skin, but after a while I find
a clamminess builds up that feels uncomfortable. The profile of the back of the watch has
a distinct bulge where the HR sensor protrudes, though theres no pressure as such
where the sensor rests on the skin.
In addition to being used as a sportswatch,
the fnix 3 HR can be worn all day long as
a timepiece. But its a lot more than that.
Smartwatch functionality means that it can
connect to your mobile device using Bluetooth
to provide alerts and, relay notifications
from popular apps including Facebook and
Tapatalk. It can pull in weather data, for
instance, and display this graphically and in
detail. Its possible to customise the watch by
downloading free watch faces, apps and
widgets, too.
Activity tracking is also built in: you can
monitor everything from sleep patterns to
the amount of steps you take in day, as the
popular fitbands do. Download the Garmin
Connect app and you then integrate into a
world of data analysis, social networking and
even competitive activity comparisons with
a community of like-minded individuals.
Having managed to get initial set-up
accomplished without recourse to the manual
(including setting up a profile and selecting
an activity) I realised that there were some
actions, such as synching, that needed at
least the quick start pamphlet. Theres an
online manual for those whose patience
with incorrect button-pushing runs out.
And, of course, there are so many features
on the fnix 3 that this is one manual you
will need to read eventually, anyway.
Among the more in-depth metrics available on the fnix is Running Dynamics, for
instance. That tracks your style and efficiency
of running, as well as VO2 Max, Recovery
Advisor and Race Predictor.
The fnix 3 HR will run for up to two weeks
on a charge if you limit GPS and HRM use,
which brings me to another gripe: yet another
dedicated fiddly Garmin charging cradle for
one specific device. In the (sigh) good old
days you could get by with a mini-USB plug
for just about everything. Anthony Doman

Screen grabs taken from the iPhone version of Garmin Connect give the user access to a vast data
store and a community of like-minded geeks, with the ability to connect via social networks (centre)
and the ability to record heart rate 24/7.

TEST NOTES
Multisport enthusiasts who take part in
a variety of pursuits will certainly find the
fnix 3 just what the doctor ordered. If
theyre at the elite level in specific sports
they may want something more focused
or dedicated, at a more affordable price.

However, if youre an all-rounder


who demands the finest sports watch
that money can buy and want it all in
one device, then look no further. The
best all-round activity watch in the
world? As of now, thats the Garmin
fnix 3.

PRICING
fenix 3 HR

R9 499

fenix 3 Sapphire HR R10 499

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 25

QNAP NET WORK AT TACHED STORAGE LIMELENS

Above: View with macro lens (left) and without (right).


Below: Fisheye (left), normal (right).

LIMELENS
Extend your view
caps protect both ends of each cap.
So far, so normal. Whats clever about
the Limelens design is how easily yet
securely it clips in. Referring to the
supplied chart of phone models, the
user selects the appropriate Limeclip
as well as the orientation of the
clip, whether horizontal or vertical
from the universal fixing kit of three
supplied. Remove the clips protective
backing to expose the adhesive, line
up with the lens using a little alignment disc, press hard for a few seconds
and youre ready for a lens implant. The
lenses screw into the clip almost like
their full-size camera equivalents. One
reservation: the design would seem to
be incompatible with snug-fitting
smartphone protectors like the Body
Glove used for our office iPhone 6S.
How well does it work? Well, the
outcome is pretty obvious: the fisheye
provides some striking effects and
the wide angle usefully adds the
ability to record visuals that would
JUST THE FACTS
otherwise be well nigh impossible
FISHEYE: 190 viewing angle
to capture in confined spaces. As
MACRO: 10x
you might expect in a compact
WIDE ANGLE: 0,67x
design, there's less definition
DIAMETRE: 25 mm (fisheye),
towards the edges. For extreme
19 mm (dual purpose)
close-ups, the macro view is able
PRICE: R649, limelens.co.za
to remain in focus down to about
7 centimetres, somewhat after the
iPhones unaccessorised lens lost
focus.

NO MATTER HOW SMART smartphones become, their cameras cant


quite overcome their inherent limitation: size. Its a conundrum that has
spawned a dizzying array of add-ons,
which usually add bulk and complexity,
not to mention often considerable expense and at times dubious usefulness.
On the face of it Limelens, the product of a Cape Town startup, addresses
the drawbacks. This patent-pending
lens attachment extends the picturetaking skills of more than 40 mobile
devices. Specifically, it will add the
ability to capture macro, wide angle
and fisheye views.
Two lenses are supplied one a wide
angle/macro unit and the other a fisheye in a neat pouch. Soft-touch lens

26

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ZOEETEK
BLUETOOTH
V3 AUDIO
ADAPTOR
Sound where you want it
SHARING YOUR AUDIO is just one of the
party tricks of which this device is capable.
Several convenient features make it well
worth looking at, from battery-powered
operation to support for a variety of audio
protocols. And lets not forget miniscule
size: its 52 mm square by 13 mm thick
and weighs just 26 g. Potential uses range
from outdoor parties to car audio streaming and more.
As part of a listening session for a local
Hi-Fi Club, for instance, it provided listeners with a convenient means of streaming
music from the Tidal online service via its
3,5 mm socket to a set of audio equipment
under evaluation, controlling everything by
smartphone. It wasnt only the convenience

that impressed the audience: it also changed


some peoples perceptions about acceptable
sound quality. Although Bluetooth connectivity limits its ability to stream truly highdefinition sound, this device is able to reproduce audio at a resolution that is pleasing
enough to the ear. Until the SACD player
is fired up, that is
Because its battery-powered, mobility
comes into the picture and its equally
capable linked to a home or car audio system
that supports aux-in connection. But wait
theres more.
This adaptor isnt just for listening. A
built-in microphone allows two-way communication, so it can do duty as a handsfree. Press the on-off button twice and
youre able to call on your personal assistant,
Siri, assuming you have the requisite iPhone.
The Zoeetek ships with a USB charging
cable and a 3,5 mm to 3,5 mm extension
cable. The actual ouput is on the end of a
short lead that clips into a groove on the
underside when not in use, presumably saving
some internal space by not requiring a socket
on the actual device housing (remember,
theres a battery inside). At the same time
it allows the device to be used in a variety
of orientations and gives it a cleaner exterior look.
A mini-USB port is located on one edge

and two buttons on the edge at right angles


to this. A small but bright LED on the top,
in one corner, performs a variety of indicator
functions; when blinking or solid blue, its
busy with Bluetooth functions whereas blinking or solid red refer to charging. Neat.
In the opposite corner is the microphone
inlet, barely a pinprick, though in fairness
it does the job as well as any similar-sized
cellphone microphone.
Another party trick (and this one is invisible) is that this device is NFC-capable. For
regular switching and pairing, the big circular motif on the upper side is actually a
control button. Press it in specific ways to
Play or Pause; answer, end or reject calls;
and resume pairing.
When alls said and done, this alternative
to Bluetooth audio docks does exactly what
it says on the box and competently, too.

Test notes:
An extended search failed to turn up
any conclusive figures about the
streaming quality of Bluetooth audio,
except claims of CD quality if the new
aptX audio codec is implemented at
both ends of the audio stream. PM

JUST THE FACTS


SUPPORTED PROTOCOLS: Bluetooth V3 with Enhanced Data Rate
(EDR), HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
WORKING RANGE: 10 metres
BATTERY CAPACITY: 270 mAh
OPERATING TIME: 9 hours
CHARGING TIME: 3 hours
SLEEP MODE: about 7 months
DIMENSIONS: 52 x 52 x 13 mm
WEIGHT: 26 g
PRICE: R950, linkqage.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 27

F O R T H E LOV E O F G A D G E T S

EDITED BY LINDSEY SCHUTTERS

GREAT STUFF
NEW

FIND
YOUR
OWN
WAY

Misfit Ray
Small, stylish and relatively unobtrusive are words you dont
immediately associate with an activity tracker. But you can now.
The Ray is water-resistant, the replaceable button cell batteries
last around six months, it will serve call and other alerts via a
blinking LED and vibration and it allows you to wear a regular
watch without looking silly.
What doesnt it do? It cant automatically recognise the type
of activity youre doing. So you need to go into the app and tell
it. Its a tiny oversight, but something its similarly fashion-focused
competitors (Jawbones Up3, FitBits Alta) do particularly well.
The Ray does have a party trick though. You can customise the
single, double and triple tap gestures to carry out smart commands
like skip or play music, or even advance a slide in your presentation.
Style and affordability are the key features here and it
delivers on both. Theres also the added benefit of alignment
with Discovery Vitality and the whole swappable bands thing.
RTBA, quantifi.co.za

28

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Powervision PowerEgg
This radical take on the quadcopter
design incorporates a 4K video camera
on a three-axis gimbal, self stabilisation,
optical positioning and tracking. The
product video even shows a child flying
it with what looks like a Nintendo
Wii nunchuck.
$1 300, store.powervision.me

Samsung Galaxy Note 7


Its tough to stay ahead of the market, but
when your primary concern is making your
flagship product more useful to consumers,
youre on the right path. Samsung took its
category defining phablet, stripped out the
unnecessary and morphed it into a supreme
productivity tool. New features
include water
resistance, iris
scanning biometric security,
64 GB base
storage, micro
SD card slot,
dual edge design
and the incredible 12 MP
camera. If
youre in the
market for a
big phone,
get this one.
R14000,
samsung.com

Helix Cuff
Rumours of the 3,5 mm audio ports
demise at the hands of the next iPhone
has turned focus to wireless headphones.
Heres a design that integrates portability,
accessibility and convenience by putting
the carrying case on your wrist. Well
allow it.
From $170, ashleychloe.com

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 29

GREAT NEW STUFF

Nikon D3400
The spiritual descendant of our trusty
office camera (D3200) expands on the
idea of high quality entry-level DSLR
with a premium 24 MP APS-C sensor
and Bluetooth image transfer. Video
tops out at 1080p 60 fps, but you
dont buy this camera to launch a
YouTube career (we have a TomTom
Bandit for that).
R9 000, nikon.co.za

Dyson Pure Hot +


Cool Link
Many competitors call Dyson
a one-trick pony company, but
it has mastered the art of
bladeless fans and should be
praised for it. This latest unit
adds in air purification of pollutants as small as 0,3 micron
to its bladeless heating and
cooling talents. A carbon filter
also captures odours and automatic monitoring will keep
things quiet and temperate
at night.
$600, dyson.com

30

Citizen proximity
High-end connected watches are
becoming big business as consumers
begin to expect more from their devices.
Citizen joined the fray with an elegant
Bluetooth connected unit that will serve
smartphone alerts to your wrist. Right
now its limited to iPhone users, but
Android users can look forward to a more
intimate relationship with this timepiece
soon. Bonus points to Citizen for including
EcoDrive technology to recharge the battery.
R9 000, citizen.co.za

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Canon 5D Mark IV
A photographer once described the
5D Mk III as the worlds most versatile
full-frame DSLR and we were inclined to
agree. The Mark IV adds in built-in Wi-Fi,
a new 30,4 MP sensor, more focus points,
4K video and a burst mode that can reproduce seven full resolution frames per second.
Whether youre shooting stills or video,
this camera will get the job done.
R54 500 (body only), canon.co.za

Online storage, back up and content


management is a serious business
that relies on security, reliability and
cost-effective solutions. Its why
Incredible Connections new cloud
management solution is
incredibly secure, incredibly reliable
and incredibly economical.
No uff and nonsense here.

Garmin Fenix Chronos


Pricing on this premium incarnation of the Fenix 3 is high, but were glad
Garmin is finally embracing the fact that its devices are among the best
smartwatches on the planet. This new Fenix soars over the ruins of other
false claims to the fitness watch throne and elevates the product line to
compete head-on with the likes of Tag Heuers Connected. All the activitytracking sensors youll ever need, interchangeable straps, water resistance
to 100 m, smartphone notifications, access to the Connect IQ app store
and sapphire and metal construction. This is the pinnacle of sports and
outdoor watches.
From $900, garmin.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

For more information please contact our


call centre: 0860 011 700 or
visit www.incredible.co.za
Inc DTP 6391

CAPPED
vs

UNCAPPED
As Internet streaming takes off locally,
you need to weigh your options carefully.
And the obvious choice might not be so
obvious after all.

32

NETFLIX, SHOWMAX AND APPLE MUSIC are just the headliners in whats become a veritable flood of online content
available for streaming in South Africa. As a result, for
many of us Internet thats fast, stable and always available
is no longer a nice to have its a priority, if not a necessity.
What this all adds up to is vastly increased consumption.
The focus has fallen on how many gigabytes of data you
can get for your money. Predictably, many see uncapped
data as the answer. But theres a downside to the all-youcan-eat offering. For one thing, you will probably have to
settle for less than the best speed. And then theres shaping: certain types of data traffic are given priority over
others. Surprise, surprise, streaming video is not regarded
as data traffic deserving of the highest priority. Buffering,
jitter and delay we know them well.
And should a voracious uncapped users consumption
be deemed arbitrarily, it often seems to have contravened fair use policies, he can expect to have his already
less than perfect supply throttled to a trickle. Uncapped is
no good at all if you cant perform even the smallest of
online tasks, such as downloading email.
So are capped packages the answer? In other words, a
high-speed line with a specified amount of data from a
reputable ISP, trading off an assumed lack of quantity
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

NETFLIX

PRICING COMPARISON

UNCAPPED
CAPPED 200 GB
CAPPED 400 GB
UNCAPPED

SPEED
2 Mbps
2 Mbps
2 Mbps
50 Mbps

TYPE PRICE
ADSL
R350
ADSL
R350
ADSL
R550
FIBRE
R1 500

There is still confusion in peoples minds and it seems there are


people out there actually using the wrong product.

(measured in gigs) against


quality in terms of lightning
speed and, increasingly, price?
We got an insiders view from
Calvin Collett, CEO of
iConnect Telecoms.

Q. Besides the obvious, why


should we choose between
capped and uncapped?
A. Its really horses for courses.

You have to decide what your


application is and then decide
whether you should go hard
capped or uncapped.
For instance, you may be downloading a lot, but dont
require high quality of service. Lets say you download
for watching later and you dont want to be bill-shocked.
Then, sure, uncapped might be the solution for you.
If you require high-quality Internet, streaming Netflix
and so forth, then you want to go with a capped solution.
The primary reason for that is that uncapped normally
has some kind of policy. Its normally shaped, and subject to terms of use. Whereas capped, because of what
you get, is really designed to stream data.

Thats correct. Everyone says uncapped is the only way to go. Its not
quite so. You could be going with an uncapped product and not getting
quite the quality of service you expect. Up until about 12 months ago,
you were getting 2 gig and 5 gig products that were relatively expensive,
if you look at the sort of cap you are getting on fibre these days, between
50 and 500 gigs, for relatively small amounts of money. In reality, a capped
product no longer needs to break the bank.
In the past, the capped products were really expensive, so people went
with uncapped, but then had a degraded product at the end of the day.
You must remember that with fibre you are getting a 100 meg line
speed as standard. Then your choice just comes down to the amount of
data you can utilise. Whereas with uncapped, you are now on a 10 meg,
20 or 50 meg, so there are limitations to the kind of speed you can get
out of that line.
And once again, because the ISP cant control things entirely there
will always be those guys who will abuse the situation they have got to
implement some kind of limit to ensure a certain quality of service, so
that the ISP gets a fair deal out of it and so does the customer.
In this day and age, is there even a place for uncapped? Devices
and services are coming out that have more and more quality and
fidelity. People are actually wanting more and better service.

There is still a place for uncapped: parents who dont want to stream,
parents whose kids are on the Internet all day. They dont want billshock at the end of the day.
But I think if you are going to use it as a tool, using a Netflix or a
Showmax or over-the-top products, then uncapped is probably not for
you. You need to go with a capped solution, where you are getting premium bandwidth all the time.
We did a calculation: on a popular 250-gig package, we found you can
use four hours of Netflix a day plus your emails and everything else and
you wont hit your 250-gig cap. Its still very much a product that can be
utilised and you are not going to be bill-shocked.
What about statistics or figures on what people are actually
using, that is, capped vs uncapped? Or whether people are

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 33

NETFLIX

streaming more, specifically in South Africa.

We have seen substantial growth in streaming services, certainly on our


own networks. When we started there was very little streaming. And I
think the reason for that is twofold: one is Netflix and the other is obviously the Multichoice alternative, Showmax.
To my mind, fibre is the differentiator. Over-the-top products over
ADSL just dont have the quality of service that you require, irrespective
of your ISP. You have to have fibre. I think that, with the proliferation
of fibre, we will start to see more and more streaming.
Fibre is restricted to your more central or more affluent areas,
though.

We are seeing a lot of smaller fibre operators. We were connected to two


fibre operators last October. We are now connected to 13. So that gives
you a really good idea of just how quickly the uptake in terms of fibre
providers has increased.

Satellite TV depends on a certain type of business model based


on hardware such as satellites and decoders and now we are talking about an Internet-based alternative. The implications cant be
good for satellite operators.

I think that what they are going to have to do and we are starting to
see the signs is go more and more upstream so you can stream some
of their products. But you still need a decoder. In time, they are going to
have to break that down so that you could have your Supersport streaming
package, for example, or your DStv Premium, so that we wont be
restricted to satellite. Especially for sport, because thats the differentiator
that Multichoice has over the competition. If they are clever, they will
unbundle that into a product so that you can, for instance, buy Netflix
and Supersport. And you might find that you have two or three overthe-top providers. You might have Netflix and Showmax and
Supersport. And they (can be) relatively cheap.
One does worry about the cost involved vs a wired solution.

You are starting to have more and more regional-based fibre operators,
especially in the smaller centres such as Polokwane, Kimberley or
Bloemfontein. You are not going to get the traditional Telkoms or
34

Vodacoms doing that. You will have the local guy fibring
up those towns. We found that quite interesting. We have
just partnered with a bunch of guys who have fibred up
the East Rand. Some affluent business guys who had some
spare money just put it all together and fibred up the
whole East Rand. Thats what we need in this country:
some private guys going out there and laying fibre and
not waiting for the big operators to do it.

How will the rise of the connected home play into this?

Its fascinating to see the growth of the Internet of


Things. Its starting to proliferate from CCTVs on your
cellphone and sensors inside your fridge to make sure its
running properly, to sensors connected to your electricity
to monitor consumption and turn things on and off
remotely. These sensors are getting cheaper and they are
very small.
What will the broadband landscape look like within
the next three years?

I think there is going to be a major explosion. Its a land


grab industry players that we are talking to are saying
this is the second gold rush. Thats how crazy it is out there.
Essentially, we will be left with two technologies: LTE
and fibre. There has just been a huge uptake in fibre
installation. One company laying fibre has just got R3 billion
from Standard Bank and another billion from Investec. So
the bigger guys are really starting to invest in the fibre
infrastructure.
Then, a company called Multisource started their own
private LTE network with the aim of providing Internet
to the areas that the fibre guys dont want to cover. And
the great thing about LTE on a fixed basis, not mobile,
is that you can get up to 100 meg connectivity on a
licensed frequency. The next 18 months will be telling,
but fantastic.
PM
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

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2017 APPLICATIONS OPEN


Contact us for more information: 076 854 4042
Applications2017.wbs@wits.ac.za | www.wbs.ac.za

N E W I D E A S T H AT C O U L D C H A N G E T H E W O R L D l Compiled by NIKKY OOSTHUIZEN nikky.oosthuizen@ramsaymedia.co.za

UPGRADE

HIGH-TECH PRT--PORTER

Usability and practicality remain uncompromised


for the sake of functionality for European guides
Dutch fashion designer Pauline

van Dongen is an old hand at


combining comfortable clothing
with wearable technology. Her
portfolio includes knitwear that
monitors the movement of elderly
wearers and illuminated garments
to protect runners at night.
This time around, at the behest
of the Wadden Sea Society (which
is tasked with conserving the
Wadden Sea Region of Denmark,
Germany and the Netherlands),
Van Dongen has teamed up with
sustainable clothing brand Blue
LOOP Originals to create a hightech wearable called the Solar
Windbreaker. The Solar Windbreaker will be worn by guides
working in the region and must
simultaneously be comfortable,
functional and blend in with the
natural environment of the
Wadden Sea Region.
The graphite-coloured windbreaker, manufactured from
reused denim yarn, features five
pockets and a hood. But its with
the tech that it gets interesting.
Solar panels are fitted on selected
outer areas of the jacket for utility
as well as looks. Theres also a
lightweight wireless charging
powerbank that can power a variety of portable devices. The typical
charging time for a smartphone is
between one and two hours
weather depending.
What I really like to do is to
look for the right kind of balance,
when technology can be perceived
as something quite natural, says

36

Van Dongen.
We enjoy playing with the textiles and the kind of look that
integrates well with the natural
environment while finding the
harmony between the more technological look and features of the
cells. That is why we wanted to
create something with more
graphic elements. So, we used the
bonded tape on the seams as well
as the technological details such
as waterproof zip, drawstring
hood and hand panels, which add
a more distinctive look.
The linear geometrical shape is
present in more details such as
placement of the solar panels and
the diagonal direction of the zip.
The Solar Windbreaker is currently undergoing practical testing by guides.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

37

UPGRADE

Wi-Fi enabled
The system sends real-time
information about your plant
to your phone

Photon lights
8 LED light colours for
optimal plant growth

Temperature control
Manages temperature to
ensure optimal growing
conditions

Carbon filter
Whisk away odours
created by the organic
plant matter

Automatic functions
The system manages your
plants water and nutrient
levels so you dont have
to water again

Fluid glass
The glass switches
between transparent
and opaque at the
press of a button

A FOODIES HOME ECOSYSTEM


A significant downside of apartment life

is the lack of great outdoor living spaces.


Balconies have potential, but uncovered they
are no place to be in bad weather. And sometimes mega-city living comes sans outside
space at all. To remedy this, start-up company
Grobo has developed an app-controlled indoor
gardening system that allows anyone to grow
plants inside a home.
Grobo systems house plants in a completely
enclosed space, with no risk of the enclosed
plants becoming victims to pests.
Construction of aluminium, plastic and
Canadian hardwood with LED lighting,
ensures that the planting space is beautiful,
yet functional. Its designed to maintain practicality, while at the same time displaying the
plant without any compromise of the closedloop system.
38

Grobo offers a home to a wide array of


plants. Herbs such as chamomile, flowering
plants such as orchids and fruit-bearing
plants such as strawberries or dwarf lemons
are ideal candidates. The system also comes
with a specifically designed app that will
manage plant progress using a preloaded and
optimised growth plan. Besides monitoring
a plants growth, users have the option to
adjust the pre-loaded growth plan manually.
Budding indoor gardeners can choose from
a range of add-ons. These includes specially
developed nutrient capsules for strong plant
growth, carbon filters for odour control and a
unique coconut growing medium to reduce
the risk of soil-borne pests.
Grobo is currently in the funding stage and
the company hopes to ship the first batch of
systems in April next year.
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

GROBO

Grow your food from the comfort of your kitchen

EASY RIDER

A compact and
functional MATE
for the modern
commuter
A European duo has designed

the ultimate electric bicycle for


the modern commuter in the
hope that it will encourage people
in cities across the globe to take
up cycling.
The MATE is a collapsible allterrain bicycle that is fitted with
a 250-or 350-watt electric motor
to make tackling long
distances and hills a little less
sweaty for the everyday commuter. The battery is hidden
within the MATEs collapsible
frame and allows for a range of
more than 80 kilometres.
Model-dependent, the MATE
will cost you between R8 000
and R10 000. The project is
currently in its funding stage
on Indiegogo, and delivery is
expected late this year.

Removable
battery

Trip computer
Adjustable
handlebar

Integrated USB
charger

3-step folding system


Carrying
handle
Shock suspension
All-terrain tyres

1-click foldable
pedals

Disc brakes

MATE.BIKE

Shimano gears

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za.za

39

The

loneliness of the

LONG-DISTANCE

ROWER

40

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

These days, its nothing unusual for someone to row across


the Atlantic. But two transocean expeditions within the next
few months will challenge notions of what constitutes normal.
For one thing, both will be entirely unsupported: a two-man
boat taking a previously uncharted South Atlantic route
and a solo stand-up paddle board.
IN JANUARY 2017, as it does every three years, the South Atlantic Race fleet will set

off once again. This time, though, there will be one unusual addition: a rowing boat.
Not just any old rowing boat: its a specially built racing craft designed for ocean
crossings. Peter van Kets and Braam Malherbe aim to row it all the way from Cape
Town to Rio de Janeiro.
If you think thats mental, consider this: when the race starts, further north Chris
Bertish will have been paddling for more than a month. Bertishs plan is to go unsupported and unassisted on a custom-made six-metre stand up paddle board/craft for
four straight months and 7 500 kilometres from Morocco to the USA.
Doubling up
Pete van Kets is an old hand at long-distance rowing. He has enjoyed considerable
success in transatlantic races, both solo and as part of a doubles team. Malherbe is
new at this, but he makes up for his lack of rowing experience with his extremeadventure exploits on foot, aimed at raising awareness about various causes. As a
team, on the South Atlantic Race, the duo will be having their second outing together
after slogging through the Antarctic on a race to the pole. But this will be the first
time anyone will be taking the South Atlantic route and the distance they aim to travel
6 700 kilometres in two to three months will set a new record.
Conservation is whats driving the expedition, whose
theme is Out of sight, out of mind. We easily forget
and dismiss important things in life when they are not
in our direct view, Malherbe says.
Their boat, Mhondoro, is named after a luxurious
game reserve established by the headline sponsor,
Dutch national Frank Vogel. I met him at a game

reserve in Limpopo doing a piece on rhino


conservation, Malherbe says.
The name itself means the maneless
young lion that is looking for its place in
the tribe and in addition to that, he has
the gift of finding water, says Malherbe.
Built by Rannoch Adventure of the UK,
Mhondoro cost R1,3 million and weighs
almost a ton when fully laden. It is based
on a design whose most recent success is
winning a race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
How long the row will take is dependent
on current, wind, swells and storms. They
have planned for a maximum three
months with a best-case scenario of 60
days if weve got good winds and good
currents.
Their schedule, 24/7, will be to alternate
rowing and sleeping, two hours on and
two off. Its proved to work best for this
kind event, though optimal for the REM
cycle is three and a half to four hours. But
this is tried and tested with Atlantic rowers.
There will be times on beautiful days
that we will row together. Conversely,
when theres a storm you put out the parachute anchor and you lie there together
and look at the damn ceiling. But we will
have time to listen to music, for introspection, to talk, interviewing each other
on camera. Weve got a small drone we
are taking along with lots of spare
parts.
The north Atlantic is eminently doable,
he says. Its incredibly hard to do, but its
warmer water, its trade winds and so on.
The South Atlantic, what we are going to
be doing, has never been done before. Its
a colder ocean to start with, going up with
the Benguela current, hopefully the

Freshly delivered, Mhondoro hasnt yet been fully


tested on local waters Braam Malherbe (below
left) and Pete van Kets will have some catching
up to do.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 41

2
1

southeaster pumping behind us.


What they plan to do for the first week
is remain relatively close to shore, where
there is current and wind. Then we get
off the continental shelf into warmer
water and curve down south of St Helena.
We head north of Rio, into the mid-Atlantic high-pressure cell, still South Atlantic,
then go down towards Rio.
On-board equipment is comprehensive,
with a full suite of electronics and communications solar-powered, naturally.
There are solar panels fore and aft to
recharge batteries and equipment such as
the desalinator and radio. Theyll be taking two-litre bottles of water, just in case,
as ballast.
Emergency equipment includes a liferaft stowed amidships. They know their
emergency beacon works because it went
off accidentally soon after the boat
arrived, leading to frantic calls from the
sea rescue service. And oars can break, so
we take three sets with us. The oars, like
the boat, are carbon fibre.
They considered modifying the handpull steering mechanism to foot-steer
because you would have to let go of the
oars to steer. However, they decided
against modifying because most of their
42

1. Gimballed compass. 2. Rowers will be tethered


to jacklines on either side. 3. Sliding rowing seat
and adjustable footrests. 4. The sum total of the
interior accommodation (padding will be added!).
5. Solar arrays are positioned fore and aft.
6. Comprehensive communications suite.
Above: Autopilot.

IM NOT AN

EXTRAORDINARY
PERSON. I MIGHT DO
EXTRAORDINARY
THINGS WITH
A PURPOSE.
Braam Malherbe

steering would be pre-set using their


instruments. Besides the rudder for steering, theres a daggerboard that gets put
into position when theres wind coming
from the side, to keep the boat stable.
Food will come in the form of dehydrated freeze-dried food packs, very similar to
what the two used in Antarctica. Those
are meals in themselves, but they dont
taste that great, so you take a lot of little
presents. Little bottles of Tabasco, sweet
basil pesto, just to give some flavour. And
you want light weight of course. And we
are sponsored by a fantastic group of guys
called Lean 95, who have a range of full
meal replacements in sachets. All the kilocalories you need, but pretty much vegan.
Physical preparation for Malherbe has
started with rowing. Lots of rowing.
Mentally, he believes his prior experience
has prepared him well. The longest event
Ive done to date was the Great Wall,
4 200 kilometres. David Grier and I did
that at the pace of a marathon a day for
98 days, in the most gruelling terrain.
This thing is, the sea is its own mistress.
Even in the Gobi Desert, you could go and
find a village somewhere, relatively close
to the wall that you could see from high
up. Out at sea, its not the same. In fact,
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Antarctica was harder: extreme cold and


sensory deprivation. On the high plateau
of Antarctica, theres nothing, not even
bacteria. Wed each be pulling for 12
hours a day, four hours at a time, and you
dont see anything but white ahead, white
above and white below. I couldnt drive a
car for a month when I came home.
A focus of their expedition is the Dot
app, which is being developed free to
download. The app is like Facebook for
the planet. If you look at Facebook, what
gets people going? Reward and recognition, like birthday wishes. The app is
based on the premise on recognising you
for doing good.
There are four elements to the app.
l Waste.
l Energy.
l Conservation.
l Water.
Why Dots? Our planets a dot in the
universe. We are just dots on the planet.
So if we do just one small thing, it will
make a collective difference. And its not
just about how many dots the individual
can accomplish. Its how people respond
to it like it. Individuals, celebs and
organisations will challenge each other.
The two have worked out that it will
take approximately 2,3 million pulls to
get across the Atlantic. So wed like to
get at least a million on the app before we
start. When we are rowing, wed like to
say we are all pulling together towards a
sustainable future we dont reach Rio on
our own.
We believe the world is ready for
change and the next five to ten years will
be a turning point towards a sustainable
future because we realise the dangers of
greed and consumption.
He points out to sea from where we are
sitting at his home near the summit of
Cape Towns Lions Head. You look at
this pretty ocean in front of you today.
You might see a whale there was a
humpback out there yesterday but you
dont see whats underneath.
Ive studied climate change for 17
years, so Im well versed in it. Its singularly the biggest challenge to humankinds
survival. In 2048, you are looking at the
end of fishing as we know it. Were talking about ocean acidification, which is
destroying gigatons of phytoplankton.
And its not just the ocean. What are
we doing about the rhinos? What about
the wild dogs, pangolins, the vultures?
Its not just the two of them, Malherbe
is at pains to point out. Ive got a great
rowing coach, Guy Biscoe, and Cathy
Chambers has been my physio through

Going solo
Chris Bertish is attempting to go unsupported and unassisted on a custom-made
six-metre stand up paddle board/craft, for
four straight months in support of charity.
The SUP Crossing will surpass anything
Chris has ever attempted before and will see
him paddle across 7 500 km of open ocean
setting off from Morocco, in mid-December
2016 and then finally landing in northern
Florida, doing the equivalent of a halfmarathon a day for over 120 days straight.
His craft is based on elements of the
ocean racing SUP board used by Bertish
for his 24-hour all Africa record and incorporates many design elements from the ocean
row craft used to cross the Atlantic.
The crossing is described as a multilayered project that seeks to change the
lives of millions in Africa and South Africa,
leaving a lasting legacy. Its said to have
taken Bertish more than five years to bring
to life.
The core goal is to create a positive impact and to leave a legacy that raises money for
hot meals, life-changing surgeries, and building schools for young children in need throughout South Africa via a sustainable giving initiative. Bertish has selected two charities:
l The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organisation that focuses on fostering education
via nutrition and providing a daily meal for orphaned and at-risk schoolchildren in
townships and rural areas across South Africa.
l Operation Smile South Africa (OSSA), the initiative that provides free surgeries to
children and adults throughout Southern and Central Africa, as well as educational and
training opportunities that promote sustainability and self-sufficiency throughout the
region.
Two separate crowdsourcing initiatives have been launched on Thundafund and
Indiegogo.
Aside from supporting charity, the SUP Crossing will also give researchers in South
Africa the opportunity to track Bertish, his environment and his experiences. Bertish is an
official ambassador for Cape Towns Two Oceans Aquarium and will collect data throughout the crossing, to be used in classes to educate, engage, and inform children.
Data uploaded by Bertish daily will be used by the Sports Science Institute to formulate
a full case study that will be used for research.
Bertishs surfing and sailing exploits have become legendary. He won the 2010
Mavericks Big Wave Invitational, held in the biggest surf ever recorded in the history of
the sport, merely hours after touching down from a 36-hour flight from South Africa, on a
borrowed board. He has sailed across the Atlantic, raced boats all over the world and
competed in the ISA Stand Up Paddle World Championships, twice finishing in the top
10. In 2012, he completed an unsupported solo journey on an SUP of 320 km from Cape
Point to Lamberts Bay and, subsequently set three SUP world records.
Ocean Driven, a movie about his life story, was completed in 2015 and his book,
Stoked!, was runner-up for 2015 book of the year in South Africa.

several expeditions. We have been doing a


lot of specific core workouts along with
David Fabricius for biokinetics. And
Jeffrey Rink, a psychologist.
For those who see him as either crazy
or attention-seeking, he says: Having a
purpose beyond ego is my answer. I will
not do an adventure or expedition unless
its making a beneficial contribution to
the whole.
I would say to an invidual, there is no

such thing as a great adventurer. I am not


a hugely well-built mega-athlete with a
genetic heritage with an Olympian background. Nothing of the sort. Its the purpose that drives me. My dream is to be
the greatest asset I can be to the planet. It
becomes a state of mind and if it becomes
that for long enough it becomes a state of
being.
Im not an extraordinary person. I might
do extraordinary things with a purpose. PM

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 43

44

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

E X C L U S IV E

Hell make you laugh, hell


make you cry (from laughing),
hell make you a birdhouse.
Hes NICK OFFERMAN, comic star
of movies (The Founder) and
television (Parks and Recreation)
and proprietor of a very, very
serious woodshop.

BY MATTHEW B CR AWFORD
Photographs By Emily Shur

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

45

W HO I S
T H I S GU Y ?
Most people know Nick
Offerman from the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation
(A), on which he played an
anti-government, whiskyand-steak-adoring outdoorsman with a closet full
of plaid who leads a small
Indiana parks department.
He won a Television Critics
Association award for that
one. Or maybe you watched
him last year, when he
donned an Amish-style
beard and became Karl
Weathers, the charmingly
drunk and loquacious town
attorney on FXs Fargo (B).
A few more places you
might have seen him:
HBOs Deadwood
21 [and 22] Jump Street
Nick Offerman: American
Ham (C) (a Netflix comedy
special)
Ask This Old House (In
May 2016 he appeared
on the show to offer
woodworking tips)
Fine Woodstrip Canoe
Building With Nick
Offerman (a 2008 instruc tional DVD)

46

I stepped into the Offerman Woodshop in East


Los Angeles, I stepped into a deep hush. The
table saw sat quiet. The band saw was motionless
and so were the people ten of them, variously
seated or standing about. A tense silence hung in
the air. Occasional words were exchanged in low
voices. Unsure what I had stumbled into, I made
a discreet enquiry of the person nearest me. It
seemed the bird was not having a good day.
The bird is not a typical feature of the shop. It was a prop for the
photo shoot and luckily something I had nothing to do with, so I
edged my way past an outfeed table and towards a rack of Bessey
clamps. A workshop-built canoe hung from the rafters and all manner of knick-knackery adorned the walls. Half a dozen people work
here in a co-op arrangement: a woman named Lee runs the place and
each of the members takes his or her own commissions. The shared
facility makes for constant collaboration and a camaraderie that you
can feel when you walk through the open bay door at least when
theres not a photo shoot going on.
Nick Offerman learnt basic woodworking
skills from his father, uncles and grandfathers. As a teenager in small-town Illinois
he earned spending money by framing houses.
At university, where he studied drama,
he supported himself by working at the
University of Illinois scenery shop. After
school he moved to Chicago and opened his
own woodshop, building sets and scenery
for local theatres while pursuing acting gigs
of his own. When his career took him to Los
Angeles in the late 1990s, he supplemented
his acting pay cheques with money he earned
building decks and cabins. Then, in 2001, he
opened Offerman Woodshop.
By that point, woodworking was more of
a passion than a necessary income. Offermans
acting career, which he refers to as his
clowning career, flourished. Small roles in
movies turned into small roles in movies
and TV. And then he got the role that most
of us know him by: Ron Swanson, the bighearted and tight-lipped anti-government
outdoorsman who leads a small Indiana
parks department on the sitcom Parks and
Recreation.
After the shoot, the bird apparently satisfied and under control, Offerman came over
to say hello. His manner is warm and gentlemanly. Hospitable. He has the confidence
to execute a certain formality without
embarrassment. We sat on the table saw, a
SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw. It took
only the first five minutes of conversation
to see that Offerman is someone you
wouldnt mind working alongside for eight
hours a day. Hes not an actor in a woodshop. Hes a woodworker in a woodshop.

And though he is primarily known for his


comedy, in person he is a serious man who
cares deeply about wood, craftsmanship and
the kind of community that becomes possible
among people dedicated to doing good work.
Offerman and his crew have become
known for their tables topped by massive
slabs that the shop mills from trees that
have come down in storms or been removed
from construction sites. This is wood that
would otherwise be discarded, but Offerman
prefers it to hardware-store lumber. For
him, this method of sourcing is part of a
larger philosophy that informs the work of
the shop: salvaging something beautiful
from societys waste.
As the photo crew bustled about, packing
up after a five-hour shoot, Nick and I moved
to another part of the shop. This room was
dominated by layout tables, workbenches
and stacks of those massive slabs of beautiful
wood, standing on edge. The high-pitched
whine of a table saw filtered in from the
adjoining room as the shop got back to work.
(Theres nothing like the threat of sawdust
to get photo equipment packed up quickly.)
Offerman began talking about making
furniture. At one point, he mentioned
something he calls delicious living, which
seems to include the cultivation of certain
pleasures the kind that express a persons
taste for self-reliance and a spirit of gratitude towards others. His voice is one of
gravelly gravitas, occasionally punctuated by
a deranged-sounding giggle. The giggle seems
to erupt from a deep place, the commentary
of an inner mini-me who is bemused by
whatever the public face of Nick Offerman
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

N I C K S N E W M O V I E
In The Founder, Offerman plays Dick
McDonald, one of the two brothers who
founded the McDonalds hamburger chain
before, as the movie tells it, the company
was stolen by businessman Ray Kroc.
Offermans character is a surprising combination of two apparently conflicting mindsets:
an engineer who wants to maximise hamburger-making efficiency, but who also
cares about the quality of the food. Its
good a quiet rebuke to foodies who think
technology can only vandalise the things
we care about although it might make you
rethink your next trip to the drive-through.

has just said. That giggle showed up a few


times as he answered my questions.
At one point in your new book, you
mention that by becoming proficient
with tools youve been able to earn a
living and also that using tools has
taught you a way of living.

Choosing to make things, or having the


skills to fix things in your life, whether
its your vehicles or your home or your
clothing thats what I mean by a way of
living. Because of the way I was brought

up, Ive always been surrounded by skills.


When something is broken or there is
some sort of deficit, I dont think, Who
am I going to call? My first thought is,
How am I going to fix this? And that
cant help but infect the rest of my life.
It makes me much happier.

Do you think people are becoming


more passive and dependent?

I hate to think there are corporate minds


actually plotting to use human nature
against us to make money. But whether

its on purpose or not, the world of global


industrialisation is capitalising on that
part of human nature. Those of us in the
know understand that in the long run
youre better off getting out a map and
looking up your route instead of depending on a robot to just blindly guide you.

Taking things in for yourself offers a


kind of satisfaction that isnt available
any other way.

And Popular Mechanics is at the root


of it. If the sh-- goes down and all of the

His third book, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at


Offerman Woodshop, comes out 18 October. In it Offerman offers
N I C K S
detailed projects, shop tips and tricks, wider reflections on his career
and craftsmanship and stories of some of the grab-ass and tomfoolery
N E W B OO K
that happens at the woodshop during the off-hours. During the on-hours,
too. Youll learn from all of the craftspeople who build at the woodshop,
including Offermans father and brother. He goes through the basics of
setting up your shop and the tools you need, offering insight and wisdom for any level of craftsman. Through it all, he constantly comes back to one thing: Offerman really loves wood. By the
time youre finished, you will, too.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 47

W H AT I S T H E
OFFERMAN
WOODSHOP?

In 2001, before Offerman could pay the bills by being an actor, he opened his eponymous woodshop in an industrial stretch of East Los Angeles. He built furniture commissions, trestle tables out of
tree slabs and canoes. When his career took off a few years later, he brought on a manager to keep
the shop running, along with half a dozen other craftspeople. You can buy whisky coasters, slab
coffee tables, a hand-turned baseball bat, a Build Your Own D-mn Stool Kit, and even something
they call a pixel plinth at offermanwoodshop.com.

grid goes down which, you know, its


made by humans so it well might
[deranged-sounding giggle] come screeching to a halt its those thinkers who
cant help but still know how everything
works, even though were no longer
48

required to. I try to maintain a preparedness for just that occasion. Its why I
maintain my education in tool use, why I
learnt how to build boats. I havent fully
memorised this set of plans for a water
wheel to power a shop full of tools but

Ive got a pretty good grasp on it.


Are you seriously going to make a
water wheel?

If the sh-- goes down, yeah.


But youd need water. Youre in LA.

[Giggle] Id have to head north.


www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

WHY ARE
T H E Y AT A
H IG H
SC HOOL?

Whenever possible, Popular


Mechanics likes to pair people who
build things with organisations in
their communities that need things
built. In this case, Offerman and
his crew donated their time and
the necessary materials to make
six raised redwood flower beds
for the students at Augustus F
Hawkins High School in South
Central Los Angeles. Not only did
the kids get the chance to learn
basic woodworking skills, improvisation and problem-solving from
professionals, now they have a
great place to grow vegetables.

The following day, I met Nick and his crew at Augustus F


Hawkins High School in a less affluent neighbourhood of
South Central Los Angeles. They were there to install some
flower beds the shop had made out of redwood. (See page
65 to learn how to build them yourself.) The students
would use them to grow vegetables. This type of community involvement is a regular thing for the Offerman
Woodshop. (In fact, when Popular Mechanics suggested the possibility of building something for a local group,
the woodshop suggested Hawkins High. They already had
a relationship with the school.)
As I watched these tradespeople instruct the kids in
basic skills such as using a handsaw and demonstrate the
spirit of improvisation and problem-solving, I was
reminded of something Nick had said the day before. He
was describing the ancient practice of coppicing, which
means managing a stand of trees with a view to eventually harvesting the wood for building. Its a long game, he
said. Theres a stewardship involved. Youre part of a
cycle that hopefully will be unending. There was no giggle.

ABOUT
THE
AU T H O R

Matthew
Crawford is the
author of Shop
Class as Soulcraft:
An Inquiry Into
the Value of
Work, which
explores the
diminishing popularity of trades
in favour of
office jobs. A
former electrician,
Crawford is now
a motorcycleparts fabricator
and a research
fellow at the
University of
Virginia. Offerman
has listed Shop
Class as Soulcraft
as one of his alltime favourite
books, so we
thought the two
of them might
get along.
PM

To learn how to
build these flower
beds yourself,
turn to page 65.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 49

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DINA LITOVSKY

Andrew Wakefield,
leader of the antivaccine movement
and one of the
marquee lecturers
on the ConspiraSea Cruise.

50

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Conspiracy theories are more popular


than ever. Over half of all Americans
believe in one. So what do you get when
you stick some of the conspiracy worlds
biggest celebrities and their die-hard fans
on a cruise ship in the middle of
the Pacific Ocean for a week? Some
fascinating insight into our strange
times. And one near fistfight.

BY BRONWEN DICKEY

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 51

IT WAS A BIT AFTER SEVEN and

I should have been downstairs on


Plaza Deck, dressed in formal attire
and enjoying dinner with the
conspiracy theorists. There were
about a hundred of them and they
were nearing the end of their week
the last week in January aboard
the Ruby Princess. Many of them
were older people and each of them
had paid the dollar equivalent of
R40 000 (not including airfare and
beverages on board) to participate
in the first-ever Conspira-Sea
Cruise, a week-long celebration
of alternative science hosted by
a tour company called Divine
Travels. For the past five days,
they had debated UFOs, GMOs,
government mind-control programmes, vaccines, chemtrails,
crop circles and the Illuminatis
plan for world domination, all
while soaking up the mystical
energies of three Mexican tourist
towns known mainly for wet T-shirt
contests and Seor Frogs.
But I was not on Plaza Deck. I
was locked in my stateroom on Baja
Deck, picking at a room-service
cheeseburger. Earlier that afternoon, a pair of Conspira-Sea presenters had chased me chased
me from a conference room. This
wasnt our first confrontation and
now I feared they were tracking
me around the ship, waiting to
spring out from blind corners
and empty doorways.
Understand that I dont consider
myself the paranoid type. Although
when I had come across the Conspira-Sea Cruise on a science blog
a few months earlier, Id known I
wanted to go, but not because I
fear dark forces are out to get me.
I used to love The X-Files and the
prospect of discussing Roswell and
JFK over pia coladas sounded
like fun. So did getting to know
some devoted conspiracy wonks.

52

Wondering whether the world is


actually as it seems is a uniquely
American sport and theres plenty
of evidence thats worth wondering
about it is after all the country
of Watergate and the Tuskegee
experiments and the NSA tapping
your phone.
But the Ruby Princess was no
place for casual wonderers. The
Ruby Princess was for people who
scraped together forty grand to
be reassured that their fears and
suspicions and theories arent the
lonely fever dreams of basementdwelling outcasts, that those fears
and suspicions are valid and that
others share them. It would be like
a week-long, in-person Internet
chat room.
Not that thats necessarily a good
thing. Chat rooms can be terrifying
(virtual) places, rabbit holes of selfreinforcing misinformation. Dip
your toe into Reddit or Disqus
and you will be bombarded with
proof that Bigfoot lives in the
mountains of the Pacific Northwest
and that governments are run by
giant lizards posing as politicians.
Charlatans with slick websites
can now manipulate data, doctor
images and fabricate documents,
collecting thousands of followers.
But its not fair to dismiss all conspiracy theorists as web-dependent
crackpots and theres a difference
between caution and paranoia
between reasonable scepticism and

thoughts return to work and family and whether to


take the freeway or the local roads. And then there
are people who fly far from home, at great expense,
to spend a week on the Conspira-Sea Cruise.

DEATH IS NOT REAL, HE SAID. THATS


THE BIGGEST BUNCH OF CRAP ON EARTH.
a wholesale rejection of scientific
method. I didnt know what Id
find on this cruise. One of the
great blessings of the Internet is
that it helps us find people who
are like us, or who seem to be like
us. For example, there are casual
baseball fans and then there are
the kind of baseball fans who spend
endless hours on baseball fan
websites e-conversing with the
equally obsessed. Likewise, there
are people who kind of wonder,
fleetingly, whether Lee Harvey
Oswald acted alone before their

Somewhere in the middle was me, deadbolted in


my room. Paranoid.
On a brighter, happier afternoon five days earlier,
I boarded the Ruby Princess in San Pedro, California.
Flanked by the ports grimy regiment of industrial
smokestacks, the ship gleamed majestic white and
soared sixty metres into the air. She could accommodate more than three thousand passengers, occupying
them with four swimming pools, twelve dining rooms
and restaurants, an outdoor movie screen, two nightclubs, a full-service spa and enough rococo baubles
to satisfy Liberace. The ships central atrium and its
giant spiral staircase glittered like a pageant crown.
Every corridor stretched into eternity, with identical
stairwells crosshatching all nineteen decks.
www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

A predinner prayer in the ships


Michelangelo Dining Room; one
of the maze-like hallways on
the Ruby Princess (right).

Im so glad you made it! said Adele McIntosh, the


tour companys travel agent, when I finally located
the Conspira-Sea check-in desk. She gave me a tight
hug, then handed me my name tag and an orientation
packet. When I wrote Popular Mechanics on my
sign-in form, a woman to Adeles right shuffled some
papers and nodded approvingly.
Wonderful to have you with us, the woman said.
Were only now beginning to understand the quantum realm.
The weeks seminars appeared to be split into two
broad categories. There were those with a magical or
highly new age component: Astral Possession, Psychic
Vampirism and Exorcism, Gaia-Sophia, Timelines
and Global Alchemy, How to Control the World with
Mind Machines. And then there were those that
detailed concrete, terrestrial dangers: Are GMOs and
Roundup Causing Disease in Millions? Vaccinations:
Do You Really Know Whats Coming Through That
Needle? A subset of the second group concerned
itself with the US legal and banking systems.
Unfortunately, the nightly UFO watches had to be
cancelled because the man who was to lead them
had recently suffered a stroke.
Inside my orientation tote bag was a shiny blue
bracelet I was supposed to wear at all times. Makes
it easier to find members of the group, Adele said.
But that wasnt necessary. Most of the cruisers the
vacationers, not our group were generally outfitted

in bright colours and loud prints.


As the days passed, a lot of them
began wearing novelty captains
hats from the gift shop. The conspiracy group, on the other hand,
was mostly serious-looking senior
citizens in Infowars T-shirts.
Some of them wore casts, others
walked with canes. Two relied on
motorised scooters. None looked
like he or she could afford to spend
money frivolously. One eighty-yearold mans toes poked through the
tops of his worn leather loafers.
I headed to the windowless
conference room that had been
temporarily renamed the Liberty
Lab.
Welcome everyone, said Dr
Susan Shumsky, the founder of
Divine Travels and (claim to fame)
one-time personal staff member
of Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi. (Her doctorate in divinity is
from the Teaching of Intuitional
Metaphysics in San Diego.) Id
like to begin with a prayer. Nearly
everything the woman wore was
either bright pink or sparkled.

Breathe in divine light! she said.


We closed our eyes and inhaled.
Across the hall, in Gatsbys Casino,
slot machines clanged to a pipedin soundtrack of Taylor Swift
and Rihanna.
Then sixteen presenters introduced themselves and gave brief
synopses of their seminars. Laura
Eisenhower great-granddaughter
of Dwight! said she had been
invited in 2006 to join a secret
American colony on Mars and that
aliens, including some prominent
US politicians, are already living
on Earth in disguise. Dannion
Brinkley, a New York Times bestselling author, announced that
he had risen from the dead three
times, the first after a lightning
strike that sent him on a twentyeight-minute sojourn through
the afterlife. Death is not real,
he said. Thats the biggest bunch
of crap on Earth. Winston Shrout
spoke of commercial redemption,
a philosophy that promises each
American citizen access to giant
piles of secret money.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 53

Generally I do speak from a little bit of a higher


level, Shrout drawled in a thick Kentucky accent.
Because to understand commercial redemption, you
have to go into the fifth, and even sixth, dimensions.
The attendees scribbled in their notebooks and
eagerly circled items on the schedule. There were
pitches for wishing machines, astrological charts
and dowsing rods, followed by screeds against Big
Pharma and Monsanto. Sean David Morton, whom
AM radio host Art Bell called Americas Prophet,
vowed to help us get out of debt while sticking it to
the American court system. (He did not mention
that in 2010 he had been sued by the Securities and
Exchange Commission for telling a group of investors
that he could psychically predict the stock market or
that he tried to escape fraud charges by declaring
himself the ambassador of a non-existent country
called the Republic of New Lemuria.)
The biggest name on the programme was Andrew
Wakefield, the discredited former British gastroenterologist who wrote a highly controversial (and since
retracted) 1998 paper that claimed to find an association between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
vaccine and autism in twelve children. After the UKs
General Medical Council stripped Wakefield of his
licence, he moved to the US, where he has assumed
rock-star status among the growing American antivaccine movement.
Wakefield was superficially charming, if a bit weary.
The story of my life is basically how to take a perfectly
good career and flush it down the toilet, he said.
LATER THAT NIGHT, in the Michelangelo Dining Room,
Dannion Brinkley was sitting under an airbrushed
painting of Poseidon. He stands 1,9 metres tall and
the flowing scarf under his sports jacket gave him the
appearance of an ageing linebacker who had just
re-turned from an ashram. Several fans were gathered around him. He motioned me over warmly
and I sat down.
What is your motive for being here, he asked,
and what is your intention?
Puzzled, I looked to the young man on my left, who
said he was an orthodontist from Calgary named Leo.
He leaned over and whispered in my ear, Dannion can
immediately tell if people are on the right frequency,
like tuning a radio. Hes trying to figure out what
frequency youre on.
Im a reporter for Popular Mechanics, I told
Dannion, and Im here to learn about the conspiracy
community.
He beamed and started telling me about his lightning
strike. Whether or not you believe me doesnt matter,
Dannion said. Because ultimately Im going to win
the argument. You are not going to die and some of
us can get up from the dead.
Before he could elaborate, a pair of presenters,
Leonard Len Horowitz and his girlfriend, Sherri
Kane, breezed into the room and sat down at our
table. Online, they call themselves The Horokane.
Len bore a strong resemblance to the Count from
Sesame Street, if you had frozen the Count in 1974
and dressed him in Hawaiian shirts. A former dentist
from New Jersey with a degree in public health from
54

THE ROCK STARS OF CONSPIRACY THEORY


Other than Andrew Wakefield (pictured on page 50), a few of the
biggest draws on the Conspira-Sea Cruise.

LEONARD HOROWITZ

LAURA EISENHOWER

Theorises Aids is a genocidal weapon created by


the US government. Sells
crystal pyramids for pain
relief. Has a degree in public health from Harvard.

UFO fanatics think her


great-grandfather Dwight
held meetings with aliens
in the White House. She
claims many current
politicians are aliens.

DANNION BRINKLEY

SEAN DAVID MORTON

Doesnt believe in death.


His book about getting
struck by lightning and
meeting angels in the
afterlife was a New York
Times best seller.

CalledAmericasProphet.
Psychically predicts the
stock market. Recently
arrested on charges to defraud the IRS. Has amazing
taste in neckties.

Harvard, he is most well known


for writing a 1996 book that theorised the Aids and Ebola viruses
are genocidal weapons engineered by the US Government to depopulate the planet
through vaccination programmes.
On the cruise, however, he would
be lecturing on the key to lifelong health and world peace: the
miracle frequency of 528 hertz.
According to Len, everything in
the universe emits vibrations and
all the positive, life-affirming forces
(including the green/yellow light in
rainbows) resonate at a frequency
of 528 hertz. Therefore, all music
should be tuned in 528 hertz, rather than the 440 hertz of standard
tuning, which he asserted was an

evil plot imposed by the Rockefeller


Foundation to militarise the worlds
populace. Len believes that standard tuning aggravates the pineal
gland, making all of us emotionally
distressed, sicker and more destructive. He called this musical
cult control.
You, he said to me and then
paused. Area digital, bio-holograph-ic, precipitation, crystallisationmi-rac-ulous manifestation!
Of divine frequency vibrations,
forming harmonically in hydrospace.
Okay, I said.
Thats the frequency that monks
used to chant in while making
brandy, Dannion added.
Lens face lit up. When was
that?

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

In the 1340s, Dannion said.


And how do you know that?
Len asked.
Dannion dabbed at the corners
of his mouth with his napkin and
said, Because when you die, you
know these things. I saw it when
I crossed over.
Sherri introduced herself as an
investigative reporter who defected from Fox News. A pretty blonde
much younger than Len, she seemed to be the great love of his life.
If it werent for her, Len said, I
might not have known that my
ex-wife was working with the CIA
to undermine me. (Reached by
email, Lens ex-wife denied these
allegations.)
How do you know Im not
working for the CIA? I joked.
Sherri waved the question off,
laughing. Because trust me, it
would be obvious. If you were a
plant, I would know.
When the ship lurched away
from the dock and the ice cubes
in our water glasses chimed
under the drone of the propellers,
Dannion requested that we all join
hands to pray. Len lowered his
voice and leaned across the table.
The real question, he said, is
whether, after youve learnt the
truth about all this stuff, your
editors at Popular Mechanics
will even let you write it.
THE NEXT MORNING, shortly
before Wakefields lecture Whistleblowing in the Public Interest, a
tall, lean man wearing a shiny blue

THE
TRUTH
IS IN
HERE
Popular
Mechanics has
a long history
of covering
conspiracy
theories. Some
of our more
notable work:

Cruisegoers paid around R40 000 for the weeklong trip. Not including umbrelladrinks.

bracelet stood near the elevators.


His name was Larry Cook. A softspoken fifty-one-year-old antivaccination activist from Los
Angeles, he said he had joined
the trip specifically to meet Wakefield, whom he regarded as something of a personal hero.
The media has tried to destroy
Andy, Larry said as he walked
towards the back of a dining room
where about fifteen other people
were clustered. But its all lies
and character assassination. We
dont need drugs and vaccines.
If we adopt a healthier lifestyle,
we can regain our health without using them. Think about it:
if vaccines actually worked, then

why do these diseases still exist at all?


The seminar began. For an hour, Wakefield paced
in front of a projection screen, which ballooned his
shadow to giant proportions. Slides of children born
without arms and others screaming in pain flashed
behind him.
Your bodies are owned by Big Pharma, he said. Its
turning into a science-fiction movie. The audience
gasped and shook their heads in disbelief. This will
be the end of the United States of America. During
the Q&A portion, Wakefield added, This is a deliberate
eugenics programme, a deliberate population-control programme.
I looked around the room. People were sitting and
listening attentively. For the first two days, I was
heartened by how open and friendly most of the
group was, even if they sometimes said surprising
things. They told me about their lives and how they
were drawn to the conspiracy community.

JUNE 1907

JUNE 1961

MAY 2001

JANUARY 2005

MARCH 2005

The Truth
About Burning
Ashes
According to a
popular rumour, you
could mix a compound with ashes
to make a fuel with
more energy than
anthracite coal.
Uh, no.

Facts and
Myths About
When to
Change Oil
Stop trusting your
dipstick.

When UFOs
Land
Most scientists tell
you theres no evidence of UFOs.
Turns out
thats not true.

Whos Spying
on You?
An exploration of
the fragile state of
personal privacy
with the rise of
GPS, sensor, and
data aggregation.

9/11: Debunking the Myths


We consulted more
than 70 professionals
in aviation, engineering, and the military to disprove 16
common 9/11 conspiracy theories. We
still get crazy
emails.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 55

Attendee Larry Cook (left) defends the


Popular Mechanics team from presenters
LenHorowitz and Sherri Kane.

Ever since I was little, Ive just known that something was off, a fit, stylish forty-seven-year-old office
manager named Cary told me. That we arent being
told everything. My family doesnt believe me, but
they are totally brainwashed.
I asked her why she thought the government was
poisoning its own citizens with vaccines and GMOs.
Because they want to f--king kill us! she said.
Not everyone was as cynical. Missy and Ron Hill
were a married couple from Florida. Missy had a
tousled thatch of short blonde hair and wore a black
leather jacket. Ron wore sandals and floppy fishing
hats. The two had met in church roughly fifteen years
ago. When Ron, a truck driver for a cryogenics company,
was assigned longer runs, Missy went to truck-driving
school so that they could see the country together.
It was out on the open road that the couple began
listening to the late-night AM radio show Coast to
Coast AM, hosted by Art Bell, who is best known for
broadcasting interviews with UFO researchers from
a remote station in the middle of the Nevada desert.
There was so much stuff I had never realised was
going on, Ron said. After that, we were kind of
hooked, I guess. The couples interest in star gates
and global energy fields inspired them to travel to
places such as Ireland, France and Spain. Unlike some
of the other cruisers, they explored the world rather
than hiding from it.
As the week went on, word spread among the participants that I was writing for a magazine that often
covered the world of science. First, Susan Shumsky
informed me and Dina Litovsky, the photographer
on the story, that Wakefield had requested we not
attend the preliminary screening of his documentary,
Injecting Lies, which alleges that the Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention has ironclad evidence that
56

Despite widespread seasickness,


most of the weeks presentations
in the Liberty Lab were full.

vaccines are linked to autism,


but has chosen to hide this alarming connection from the public.
Months later, the film its title
changed to Vaxxed: From Cover-Up
to Catastrophe would cause a
heated national debate when it
was accepted, then rejected, by the
Tribeca Film Festival. In reviews,
Variety called it a scientifically
dubious hodgepodge of free-floating paranoia while The Guardian
said it was probably headed
straight to the junkheap with
all the other conspiracy films.
Only when contacted by Popular
Mechanics research department
five months later did Wakefield
through his publicist offer to send
me a link to the film. Then we
were asked by Jeffrey Smith, an
anti-GMO activist whose previous
career involved yogic flying, to
leave two other panels. After that,
attendees began ducking out of
photos and complaining about
Dinas flash.
On Tuesday morning, we sat
down in the front row of a presentation we had not yet been barred
from: Len Horowitzs lecture on
528 hertz. While Len fussed with
the projector, Sherri set out boxes of
nutritional supplements and crystal
pyramids for sale. Their flagship
product, OxySilver, retailed for a

little under R700. It contained one


listed ingredient: purified water,
though its nutritional table also
included 5 micrograms of colloidal silver.
I took some OxySilver and Im
already feeling better! a woman in a
scooter whod suffered a recent bout
of cancer announced to the room.
Dressed in a black velour jacket
and white shirt with a butterfly
collar, Len walked over to me. I
just want you to know that if you
degrade and disparage me and
libel me in your article, he said,
I will devote everything I have
to exposing Popular Mechanics
and the people behind it.
Im not here to degrade anyone,
Len, I said. I was somewhat in
shock, because our conversation
at dinner the first night had been
so pleasant. And certainly not to
libel them. What is going on?
I am living a nightmare! he
sputtered, his voice rising like
water starting to boil. Every day
of my life is like a roller coaster
in The Twilight Zone. But I do this
because I will not stand by and
watch this genocide! His eyes
began to fill with tears. I think
that people should be able to
choose how they are going to
die and not be wiped out by the
government!

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ciphers to be vanquished rather


than human beings with legitimate
questions and concerns. Its much
harder to dismiss someone right
in front of you, a person whose
story you know.
That night the ocean whipped
itself into four-metre swells.

that Lagardre must have orchestrated the attack


with the help of Ari Emanuel.
When the film ended, Sherri grabbed the microphone. Her face had turned into a grim, ugly mask,
the corners of her mouth pulled downward as if by
strings.
I dont want anybody to leave the room right
now, she said. I have a question. She pointed at

WE WERE BOBBING ON THE


WATERS OF PURE INSANITY .

The initial thrill of a tropical


vacation soon curdled into tension and distrust.
Maybe it was the claustrophobia
of all those small, windowless
rooms. Or the seasickness that
seemed to claim more ConspiraSea participants by the day. I saw
fewer of them relaxing by the pool
or playing Texas Holdem. At breakfast one morning, a woman whose
father had survived the Holocaust
told me that she broke down in
tears when another cruiser claimed
it never happened.
One bright spot: during a day
trip to the Las Labradas petroglyphs
carvings etched into large boulders on a beach near Mazatln
Larry Cook calmly mentioned that
the reason few people were now
talking to me was that I was provaccine. We had a civil conversation about the issue me conceding
I was swayed by scientific consensus and the mountain of rigorously
controlled peer-reviewed studies
that have proved vaccines to be safe
and effective, Larry remaining
sceptical. Neither of us changed
our minds, but we didnt get into
a heated shouting match or assault
each others motives. In the twodimensional world of the Internet,
it is easy for people on the opposite
sides of a controversy to become

Even more people grew seasick.


Still, there were enough to pack
the Liberty Lab for the Horokanes
screening of their documentary
about the Paris terrorist attack
on the Bataclan concert hall in
November 2015, which they
maintained was part of one large
false-flag operation. It turned out
to be a plotless pastiche of Hollywood movie trailers (Wag the Dog,
Our Brand Is Crisis), interview
segments with survivors of the
Bataclan theatre attack downloaded from YouTube and clips
of Sherri and Len talking in front
of a green screen that had been
digitally rendered to look like a
news desk. Drawings of Satan and
banners denouncing the militant
media scrolled behind Sherris head,
as did several advertisements for
Lens supplement company,
Healthy World Organisation.
The films central thesis went
like this: Hollywood superagent
Ari Emanuel (who represents
Eagles of Death Metal, the band
that was playing at the Bataclan
when it was attacked) was in
cahoots with the Lagardre Group,
a French media conglomerate that
had purchased the Bataclan in
September 2015. Because Qatar
Holding has a stake in Lagardre
and because the government of
Qatar has been criticised for tacitly
allowing terrorist groups to do
their banking in the United Arab
Emirates and because and this
is where they totally lost me
Ari Emanuel is the brother of
Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of
Chicago, the Horokane believed

Dina, our photographer, who was circling the room


taking pictures.
Come up here, Sherri said. I want you to tell
everybody who you work for.
Im with Popular Mechanics, Dina said.
Everybody knows that.
As though she were talking to a small child,
Sherri continued, And can you tell everybody what
Popular Mechanics has to do with a conspiracy
cruise?
Someone in the audience interrupted, You know
shes the photographer, not the reporter?
Let me ask the questions, okay! Sherri snapped,
turning back to Dina. And can you tell everyone
why Popular Mechanics would be interested in
people like us?
Dina just smiled. What, you dont think you are
interesting?
Youre taking photos so that you can label us
conspiracy theorists!
Dannion Brinkley groaned. Lets keep it in 528,
yall, he said.
A woman named Abbie, who taught free yoga
classes every morning, also stepped in. Thats
enough, guys, she said.
And who are you? Sherri said.
Shes a plant! someone yelled from the audience.
Eyes rolled. Heads shook. People filtered out.
Someone muttered, Shes the yoga teacher.
WHEN WE ARRIVED at the Liberty Lab the next

afternoon, Len accosted Dina in the doorway. His


eyes were the size of dinner plates.
I want you to see something! he shouted as he tried
to force a packet of papers into her hands, then mine.
They were articles from Popular Mechanics debunking bad science. Apparently Len and Sherri had
been up all night Googling the magazine and printing
out documents in the ships computer centre. There
was also a Wikipedia entry that linked the magazines
parent company, Hearst, to the Lagardre Group.
I tried to laugh it off and go around him, but Len
wouldnt let me pass.
Look at this! he shouted, his face contorting

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 57

with rage. Look at this! This is why youre here! Youre


here in bad faith!
Larry Cook, who had also been milling around in
the hallway, stepped in front of Len to keep him
from lunging at me.
Get your hands off me! Len shouted at him. Get
your f--king hands off me!
Armed with a camera, Sherri darted out from behind
Len and chased me around the hallway, demanding
that I explain myself. As I tried to block my face from
the camera, I got trapped against the wall between
Len and Larry, who seemed seconds away from a
full-on brawl.
If you dont stop this, Im calling security, Larry
said. Len then challenged Larry to a fistfight in the
ships gym.
Thats when I ducked out of the corridor, fled Fiesta
Deck and dead-bolted myself in my cabin for the rest
of the night. We had sailed far from the Mexican
coast, over reasons horizon. We were now bobbing
around on the waters of pure insanity.
THE HALLWAY SHOWDOWN turned the rest of the
trip into a blur. Wakefield chummily invited me and
Dina to his third presentation, which we declined,
only to learn from others who attended that he had
planned to ambush us by reading aloud from Popular
Mechanics. Dannion Brinkley read my energies by
giving me a long hug. You were flowing beautifully
just then, he said. But youre putting love out there
to someone who isnt giving it back. Youre giving
this person too much power. You need someone who
can appreciate you like me! Winston Shrout, in his
farewell lecture, reasserted his position as the thirddimensional delegate to the Galactic Roundtable, noting
that many of his clients were fairies and elves. I
learnt from Laura Eisenhower that Hillary Clinton
may have a supernatural agenda for world domination.
Shes not even human, Eisenhower said. You dont
want to know what she is.
I also witnessed something called the Baked Alaska
Parade. It was the final night of the cruise. I was

A sign that was held up to


presenters to keep them
on schedule.

58

eating dinner with Dina in the


Da Vinci Dining Room, taking
long pulls on overpriced beer.
The lights dimmed. The waitstaff,
holding LED-lit trays of meringue
cakes over their heads, formed a
conga line and began snaking
around the tables to the song
Hot Hot Hot. Someone with a
microphone shouted, Ladies and
gentleman, get those napkins
up! And they did. Everybody in
the dining room except Dina and
I twirled their napkins in the air
while singing along. Ol, o-l, ol,
o-l. It was kind of silly, but I think
the point was to make people feel
they were a part of something
bigger.
The conspiracy community does
the same thing. Its emotional
power is much stronger than
facts. It offers a worldview in which
chaos, randomness, happenstance
the messy, frightening qualities
of life that science depends upon
and our minds find so hard to
accept simply do not exist. For
some, a sinister reason for lifes
disappointments is more satisfying
than no reason at all.
When we finally disembarked,
after Dina and I had driven away,
a team of special agents with the
US Internal Revenue Service arrived
at the port and arrested Sean David
Morton and his wife, Melissa, on
fifty-six counts of fraud, including
filing a false tax return that sought
a refund of $2 809 921 (about
R38 million). If convicted, the two
face more than six hundred years

in prison. (Both have pleaded not


guilty.) A couple of months later,
Winston Shrout was indicted for
allegedly printing more than R13
trillion in fake financial documents.
(He has also pleaded not guilty.)
Len and Sherri returned to their
home in Hawaii and wrote a long,
angry blog post charging me with
war crimes and claiming I was part
of a top-secret cell of Pharma
Trolls. They also charged Larry,
who tried to protect me, as being
a double agent for Big Pharma.
Even then, I had a hard time
feeling angry at Len.
I had a brilliant mother who
scrubbed the streets at Nazi gunpoint in Vienna, he revealed during one of his last panels, which I
attended only after Adeles assurance that she would call security
if the Horokane caused any more
scenes. By a miracle my mother
made it on to one of the last ships
out of Europe. By a miracle I am
sitting here today. My mother
used to say, Lenny, you have no
idea. Corporate fascism and neoNazism could arise at any time
and anywhere, in any country.
And I said, Mom, I understand
your pathology. Youre neurotic.
Had I been through what you
went through, I certainly would
feel the same way. You see Nazis
everywhere. But Im sorry, I cant
go along with that agenda. I would
recommend some good therapy.
Then Lens mother received the
1976 swine flu vaccine. After that,
she developed Guillain-Barr
syndrome, a disease that attacks
the peripheral nervous system.
She also developed uterine cancer.
When she died, Len became convinced that the vaccine which
was linked to a small uptick in
Guillain-Barr, according to the
CDC was responsible for her illness and subsequent death.
Len Horowitz saw something
troubling in the world. When bad
things happen without cause, some
people turn to religion for comfort.
Some look for a scientific reason.
Some conclude that bad things
happen and theres nothing we
can do. Not Len. Len wanted a
direct explanation. There had to
be one. You just had to know
where to look.
PM

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

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BRUSHLESS

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SPECIAL DIY SECTION


Sure, you dont have to make anything anymore, what with 3D printing, apps that
instantly hire handymen and online stores that sell nearly everything. But then youd
miss out on one of the greatest joys of being human: the satisfaction that comes with
standing back, wiping the sweat from your brow, and admiring something you created
out of nothing. Whether its as ambitious as a 2 000-kilogram telescope (page 62) or
as simple as a lamp made out of an old whisky bottle (page 67), go out and
build something. That rush of pride you get when you use something
you made yourself just doesnt come with one-click shopping.
TYPOGRAPHY By SPOOKY POOKA; ILLUSTRATIONS By JON GRANT

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 61

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

WNE
O
R
P
YOUE S C O
TEL
BY JOHN WEIS, NASA EDUCATOR
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SPECIALIST AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

1 THE LENSES

Buy two lenses one convex with a focal length


of 20 cm and one concave with a focal length of
5cm. (Available at amazon.com.) The concave
lens should have a smaller diameter.

2 THE TUBE

Buy a telescoping mailing tube the kind with an


inner tube that slides out for larger documents.
(Available at most office-supply stores.) Cut the
inner and outer tubes to 15 centimetres each.
This will put your lenses near the correct position
to focus.*

3 THE LENS FRAMES

Cut a circle of manila paper to the diameter of


each tube. Cut out the centre of the circles so
that the lenses fit in them. Using rubber cement,
glue the paper to the lenses.

4 THE EYEPIECE

Glue the smaller lens to the end of the interior


tube. This is the eyepiece. Glue the larger lens to
the other end, with the curve to the outside. To
focus, look at a distant object through the eyepiece and slide the tubes until the image is clear.

Convex lens
with 20 cm
focal length

Rocket stoves are highly efficient, thanks to a strong


draught. Sticks and leaves produce a flame hot enough
to boil water or cook breakfast. And they can be easily
built with three concrete blocks, two pavers and a brick.
Just add a trivet or burner grate as a cooking surface.
Telescoping
postal tube
Concave lens
with 5 cm
focal length

*For a stronger telescope, buy a convex lens


with a larger focal length. Add this length to
the 5cm of the concave lens, divide the
number by 2 and add 1 to it. That number, in
inches, is the length of the inner and outer
tubes.

62

1. On flat ground, lay one block with the holes facing out.
2. Stand another block vertically against the end of that first block.
3. Form an H-shape with the brick and pavers on top of the first block.
The brick standing on end should be the same height as the pavers
standing on their sides. (Approximately 20 centimetres for standard
bricks.)
4. Stack the final block on top of the H-shape.
5. Build your fire in the top hole nearest the vertical block.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN

Manila-paper
lens frames

A lot of swings involve elaborate woodworking with dado joints, half-laps and the like. But not this one.
We tried to make it as simple as possible. Just cut the pieces, and assemble as shown. The only tools
youll need are a circular saw and a drill.

MATERIALS
KEY QT Y

DESCRIPTION

11

24 x 100 x 1 200 slat

50 x 100 x 680 back


support

30 x 100 x 48 armrest

50 x 100 x 310 armrest


support

50 x 100 x 1 560 bottom


support

25 x 100 x 1 150 front rail

50 x 100 x 540 seat


support

No. 8 x 38 mm
wood screw

A
B

No. 10 x 75 mm
wood screw

Eyebolt

Slat
overlaps
20

G
C

SHOPPING LIST
QTY

DESCRIPTION

25 x 100 x 2 440 timber

50 x 100 x 2 440 timber

30 x 100 x 2 440 timber

M6 x 125 mm wire eyebolt

6 x 30 mm fender washer

M6 nut

63 mm open S-hook

8 mm quick-link chain
-connector

2-bolt swing hangers

M8 x 756 mm hex bolts,


washers and nuts

10 x 100 mm carriage bolts

ILLUSTRATION BY JON GRANT

3/0 chain, length to suit


1

box Spax No. 8 x 38 mm


flat-head exterior wood screw

box Spax No. 10 x 75 mm


flat-head exterior wood screw

litre exterior wood stain

bottle exterior wood glue

1. Crosscut supports for the seat


back and seat. Bore holes for bolts
and screws as shown. Spread glue
at connection points between the
supports, then bolt together to
form the frame. Apply stain.

F
D
Eyebolt

Notch 38 x 100 mm

2. Crosscut seat slats, arms, arm


supports, front rail and bottom
support. Apply stain on all surfaces.
3. Fasten seat slats, arm supports,
arms and bottom support as shown.
4. Mount the ceiling supports on
rafters or floor joists above your
swing. Depending on the amount
of weight you want your swing to
support, you can use lag screws
and swing swivels screwed vertically
into the joists. But for optimal safety,
we recommend through-bolting to
50 x 150 blocking. Over time, a lag
screw can loosen. A through-bolted
connection never will.

Back tilts at 83

estimate your chain length, test-hang


the swing using rope.
6. Take the swing down, cut the
chain to length and install.

5. Install swing hangers and mounting


hardware on the swing as shown. To

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 63

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

BY JAMES SCHADEWALD

Spindle sanders are indispensable tools for fine woodwork


with curved surfaces. But they can be unnecessarily pricey,
especially considering that the motor in a R600 blender can
match the motor in a twice as expensive sander in power
and r/min. A blender even has prewired speed controls.

blender
38 mm drum sanding kit
1,2 metres of 25 x 250 x 2 440
timber board
20 mm plywood project sheet
laminate (optional)
shaft coupler
Two-part epoxy
wood glue
finishing nails

1. Remove the control panel


(speed-control buttons) and
motor (in its mounting bracket) from the blender. Keep
track of any disconnected

64

wires and save the fasteners


that held the motor in place.
Use a coping saw or a hot
knife to cut out the faceplate
for the control panel.
2. Cut four 250-mm lengths
of timber. On one piece,
trace and cut out the shape
of the control panel. On
another, drill a hole large
enough to fit the power cord;
then drill additional holes for
ventilation.
3. The control panel is often
wider than the faceplate, so
cut a piece of laminate to
put between the controls
and faceplate. Mount both in

the control-panel hole. Use


wood glue and finishing nails
to assemble the four pieces
of timber into a box.
4. Determine the size of the
motor and sanding-drum
shaft, then attach them with
a screw-on shaft coupler of
appropriate size. For added
strength, put a little epoxy
on each shaft.
5. Cut a 400 x 400 piece
from the 20-mm plywood
and drill a 50-mm hole on
centre for the sanding drum
to protrude through. Hold
the motor/sander assembly
in position and measure the

distance from the motormounting bracket to the plywood. Cut wood spacers to
this size and attach them to
the plywood.
6. Use the original mounting
hardware to mount the
motor on the spacers, making sure the sander is centred in the 50-mm hole.
Reconnect all wiring, securing loose or hanging wires to
the side of the box, where
they wont interfere with the
motor. Glue the plywood top
to the wooden box.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN

MATERIALS

S AW
G
I
J Z ZLE
PU
1.
Choose an image for your
puzzle. Keep in mind that
images without major
variations in colour or
texture are harder to solve.
Print the image on an 8 x
10 sheet of photo paper
using your home printer.
(For printing larger or
high-resolution puzzles,
you're better off going to
an office-supply store.)

flower bed

2.
MATERIAL S
QTY

DESCRIPTION

SHOPPING LIST
USE

DESCRIPTION

50 x 100 x 2 350 cap

sides

50 x 100 x 2 500 timber

50 x 100 x 1 250 cap

ends

50 x 150 x 2 440 timber

50 x 150 x 2 400

side
panels

100 x 100 x 2 440 timber

32

Spax No. 10 x 75 exterior/


deck screws, flat-head

1 800 x 2 500 length of filter


fabric

box 12 mm galvanised staples

50 x 150 x 1 200

end
panels

100 x 100 x 600

posts

1. To form a side panel, place two 60-centimetre lengths of 100 x 100 mm timber parallel to each other on the ground, 2,4 metres
apart. Rest a 2,4-metre 50 x 150 across both
boards so that the side of the 50 x 150 is
flush with the end grain of the 100 x 100 at
the top and the end grain of the 50 x 150 is
flush with the side of the 100 x 100. Affix the
50 x 150 to the 100 x 100s using two lag
screws per side, 38 mm from the top or bottom of the board. Repeat with a second 50 x
100, adding 6 mm below the first. Do this
process again to form the other side panel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN

QTY

2. Place the two side panels parallel to each


other, 1,2 metres apart, with the 100 x 100s
pointing up. Attach the 1,2-metre 50 x 150s
to the 100 x 100s using lag screws to form
the other sides of the planter. Make sure the
end grain of the 50 x 100 is flush with the
side of the 100 x 100.
3. Flip the planter so it rests on the 100 x
100 feet and place it in the desired location.

Mark the feet in the ground, move the planter


and dig four holes, approximately 30 centimetres deep.
4. Place the planter in the holes. Grade as
necessary so that the bottom 50 x 150s rest
on the ground and fill in the holes.
5. Line the planter with filter fabric and staple
along the top of the upper 50 x 150s.
Remove any excess with a utility knife.
6. Place the 1,25-metre 50 x 100s on top of
the shorter sides of the planter. Their sides
and ends should hang 2,5 cm over the sides
of the planter, creating a lip. Place the 2,35metre 50 x 100s on the longer sides of the
planter in a similar fashion. After ensuring
that the boards meet neatly, attach to the
frame using exterior-grade wood screws.
7. Fill the planter with slightly less than one
cubic metre of topsoil or planting mixture.

Using a light layer of


spray adhesive, paste the
image to a same-size piece
of 2 centimetre chipboard
a dense, recycle-friendly
cardboard. Let the adhesive dry, then seal the
image to the chipboard
with protective photo-safe
coating such as Krylons
Preserve It spray.

3.
Let the lacquer set for a
few hours. In the meantime, create the puzzle
template. On another
piece of 8 x 10 paper
draw a grid of 2,5 cm x
2,5 cm squares. (This
equals about 80 pieces.
Puzzles under 100 pieces are easy to solve. For
more of a challenge,
make the squares smaller.) Use dotted lines for
the squares. Then, in
solid lines, draw balland-socket shapes on
the borders of the
squares.

4.
Attach the template to
the back of the chipboard with double-sided
tape. Then use an X-Acto
knife to cut out the puzzle pieces.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 65

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

BY KEVIN DUPZYK

torpedo on land. That


was the Pennsylvania
Railroad T1 steam locomotive. The dual-engine,
4 500-kW train could hit
225 km/h, not much slower
than todays high-speed intercity trains.
Then diesel came along, cheaper and lower
maintenance, and the steam era suddenly
ended. In the 1950s the T1s were scrapped.
In 2013, a group of people who call themselves railfans formed the non-profit T1
Steam Locomotive Trust. Their mission
is to build a new T1 and to give it the
attention and place in history they say it
deserves. But to resurrect the train, they
first had to resurrect the steel that built it.

66

The alloy originally used to build the


T1s was a nickel steel cast by a nowdefunct Pennsylvania company, General
Steel Castings. The trust was able to find
the recipe, but no one had poured it in
40 years, so they resorted to trial and
error. A foundry outside Pittsburgh,
Beaver Valley Alloy, had the expertise
and the Pennsylvania heritage for the
job. It heat-treated the original recipe
with a two-part process of normalising
heating the steel to a critical point, then
letting it air cool and drawing (a second, lower-temperature heating). Then
it tested the results for hardness by
pressing a diamond-tipped rod into the
steel and measuring the resulting inden-

tations. To fine-tune tensile strength


and elongation rate (how much the steel
stretches before breaking), a separate lab
put 30-centimetre test bars of the steel
through a battery of medieval tortures.
Over six long months, samples went
to the lab and were tested. The steel was
constantly repoured and heat-treated in
slight variations until it was perfect:
held at a peak normalisation temperature of 710 degrees. The train wont be
finished until 2030, but in February the
trust cast the first of eight drivewheels.
It was an impressive specimen: 203
centimetres in diameter. Its the first
such drivewheel made in America in
70 years.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPH BY RYAN SCHUDE; TYPOGRAPHY BY SPOOKY POOKA

Each batch of steel


was heated to 2 800
degrees at the Beaver
Valley Alloy Foundry
in Monaca,
Pennsylvania.

STRAIGHT LINE

A simple guide to the tools used for one of the most


fundamental steps of anything you make.
NO. 2 PENCIL
Used on: Paper,
wood, concrete

Hold the pencil at a


45-degree angle from
the surface you need
to mark. Keeping the
pencil perpendicular
to your straightedge,
with your hand resting on the surface, slide your
hand towards you.

MARKING
GAUGE
Used on: Wood

A sliding fence rides


along a rod with a
steel pin in it. The
distance from the fence to the
pin is how far the line will be
from a boards edge. Loosen
the thumbscrew that holds the
fence to the rod. Move the fence
until the pin is at the desired
distance and lock the thumbscrew. Butt the fence against
the board and pull towards you.
The pin will want to move with
the grain, forcing the fence away
from the boards edge, so youll
need to apply pressure against the
fence to keep it sliding smoothly.

K
HI S

TORCH: PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN

TO

RCH

When youve polished


off a nicely shaped
bottle of whisky (or
your preferred drink),
wash it and peel off the
label. Fill it halfway with
torch fuel. Feed a glass
fibre wick through a
small copper coupling
(12 to 15 mm). Fit this
into a larger coupling
(15 to 20 mm). Place
this in the mouth of the
bottle. Set it on your
patio table, light the
wick and open
another bottle.

LASER
Used on: Floors
and walls

Lasers are useful


for marking longer
spans or, if the
laser rotates quickly enough on
its tripod, projecting a line
around an entire room. This is
helpful for setting a chair rail or
suspended ceiling, even if the
floor is not perfectly level.

MARKING KNIFE
Used on: Wood

Its lines cant be


smudged and the groove
of the line gives you a
place to rest a chisel or
seat a saw. Place the tip of the
marking knife against a square. The
flat side should face the finished
side of the cut and the bevel should
face the waste side. Draw the knife
along the square to mark your line.

CHALK LINE
Used on: Wood,
concrete

A chalk line is an
enclosed spool of
string with a hook at
one end. Every time you pull the
line off the spool, you run it through
a powdered chalk reservoir.
First, use a carpenters pencil
to make two marks where you
want the line. Place the hook of
the line on the mark at the edge
of the surface, or tap in a nail and
hook the line over that. Pay out
the line to the other mark and
hold it tightly against the surface.
Pluck the line straight up. When
you let go, it will snap down and
leave a crisp straight line.

LAYOUT DYE AND


A CARBIDETIPPED SCRIBE
Used on: Metal

Layout dye is a fast-drying blue, black, or red ink. When


you cut through it, the scratched
metal leaves a bright, high-contrast
line against the dye.
To use it, first brush on the fluid.
Then cut through the dye and down
to the metal by running a carbidetipped scribe along a metal straightedge. The carbide tip is hard and
sharp enough to mark any metal,
even hardened steel and cast iron.
If youre marking aluminium, an
ordinary steel awl also works.

GUITAR
Or, in this case, have one made for you by one
of the best guitar-makers in the world. Musician
Ben Harper describes the work that will go into
the guitar currently being made for him by John
Monteleone in Islip, New York.
JOHN MONTELEONES instruments are like hens teeth
out in the wild. This will be the first carved-top lap steel
guitar that I know of. The difference between a flat-topped
and a carved-topped guitar is the effort that goes into
making the carved top. A good guitar top should be in the vicinity of 3 millimetres thick. With a flat top,
you plane the wood flat. A carved top starts with the same block of wood, but the contour is meticulously shaped with chisels and sandpaper.
The top should be made of cedar or spruce. Spruce is a magical wood. Its a soft, sponge-like wood. It
breathes. Maple and rosewood are more rigid, so theyre better for the body. They make a great resonance
chamber, but for the top, they cant move with the strings like spruce can. Spruce is hard enough to
withstand the 400-plus newtons of pressure that the strings exert, but soft enough to move and vibrate
with them.
The process, which will take the better part of a year, starts with the backside, top and single board.
For the backside, maple is a go-to for projection, clarity and resonance. You can also use Brazilian
rosewood, but that is protected and hard to get. The wood for the sides of the guitar is soaked and
steamed so it is as hot and damp as you can get it. Then it is bent with a mould that is the outer shape
of the instrument. Boy, that is a task. AS TOLD TO MARK WARREN

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 67

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

K
C
E
D AY
TR

Increase the usable


space on your deck
by making a tray for
your railing, with
rotating tabs to
secure it underneath.

A good wall is two


things: straight and flat.
Heres how to make
yours both.

BY JAMES
SCHADEWALD

1. Use a level to mark a plumb line


on the existing wall at the point at
which the new wall will meet it. Have
a helper hold a tape measure where
the line hits the floor and, using a
framing square to ensure a 90-degree
corner, extend the tape measure to
the point on the floor where the
new wall will end. Mark that end
point and a few spots along the
tape measure on the floor.
2. Use a stud sensor to locate the
direction of the ceiling joists relative
to the new wall. If the wall runs
parallel to them, youll deal with that
later. If it runs directly under a joist,
mark the sides of the joist in a few
places along the length of your new
wall. If the wall is perpendicular to
the ceiling joists, mark a couple.

MATERIAL S
QT Y

DESCRIPTION

25 x 50 x 2 440 timber board, cut to one


900-mm length, two 265-mm lengths and
four 50-cm lengths

25 x 30 x 2 440 plank, cut to two 900-mm


lengths

50 x 50 x 1 200 beam, cut to two 600-mm


lengths

32

50-mm round-head wood screws

3. Stand on a ladder and sight along


the ceiling where your new wall will
run for any dips or bulges. Place a
levels edge on the plumb line to see
if the existing wall is plumb. The more
irregularities you find, the more airspace youll need to leave around
the wall. And the more creative youll
have to get with your drywall work
to cover these gaps.

1. Measure your railing width, then centre the


two 50 x 50 x 600 boards lengthwise along
the underside of the 25 x 30, with enough room
to accommodate the railing. (If the railing is
capped with a 50 x 150, then space the boards
135 mm apart.) Attach with wood glue from
the bottom and finishing nails from the top.
2. Use the 25 x 50 lengths to create a ledge
around the rear and sides of the tray. Glue in
place, then round the edges of the ledge on
the open side of the tray with sandpaper.

4. Crosscut two 50 x 75 mm planks


to match the new walls length.
These will be the top and bottom
plates of the wall. Clamp the plates
together, face to face, so that their

Bottom
view

68

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN


ILLUSTRATIONS BY JON GRANT

3. Measure 125 mm in from each end of the


50 x 50 boards and predrill a hole through the
50-mm tabs and the 50 x 50 board. Attach
the tabs to the 50 x 50 board using 2-inch
roundhead wood screws. Tighten enough so
that the tabs are secure but still able to rotate.

US STYLE
JERKY

1.

ends are flush, then measure 380 mm


from one end. (This allows you to
neatly mark and nail studs 400 mm
on centre.) Use a square to draw a
line across the two plates. Mark an
X on the right side of the line.
5. Drive a stubby nail or screw in
that spot. Hook the end of a tape
measure to it and stretch the tape
down the length of the plates. Mark
every 400 mm until you reach the
plates end, then go back and use
a square to draw a neat line at every
mark, across both plates. Mark an
X on the right side of each line.
6. Separate the two plates and
turn them so that their 87,5-mm
width is facing you. Align their ends
with a square, clamp them together
and continue the edge marks you
made across the face of each plate.
7. Separate the plates. Measure
the floor-to-ceiling height at the
corner and end of the new wall.
Take the shorter dimension of the
two and subtract 8 cm (the thickness of the two plates and a small
airspace). This is the length of your
studs.
8. Crosscut the studs to length.
Place each one to the right of every
line, on the X. Since all studs have
a small bow, place the bow face up
to ensure a uniformly shaped wall.

MAKE THE MARINADE


Combine the following
in a bowl and mix
until fully dissolved.
cup molasses
cup maple syrup
1 cup soya sauce

1 tbsp Liquid Smoke


cup
Worcestershire
2 tbsp fine-ground
black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder

BY FRANCINE MAROUKIAN
AND TONY AIAZZI

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

9. Nail through each plate and into the end of each


stud with two 16d common nails.
10. With the studs in place, measure the new walls
diagonals. Normally, theres a small difference between
the two, causing the wall to be shaped slightly like a
parallelogram. To correct this, move the top or bottom
plate left or right (youll really have to shove it) as
required to make the dimensions match.
11. Stand the wall up and align it with the plumb line
on the wall and the marks on the floor. Hold it in
place with a pair of wood shims above the top plate,
about 60 cm apart. Hold a level in the centre of the
wall and at both ends to check the wall for plumb.
12. If the wall is under joists, attach it to them with
screws. If not, use large hollow wall anchors or toggle
bolts to attach it to the ceiling sheetrock.
13. Anchor the wall through the bottom plate into the
floor. Use concrete screws for a basement floor and
wood screws for a wood floor.
14. Cover with drywall. Use paper tape and drywall
compound at the intersection of the new wall and the
ceiling or adjacent wall. The wavier the intersection,
the wider the taped joint youll have to make.
15. After drywall is complete, trim and paint.

2.

SLICE THE MEAT


Put 1 800 g (yields 600
grams) of flank steak in the
freezer for an hour. This
makes it easier to cut. Slice
each steak across the grain
in half-centimetre strips,
holding the blade at a
45-degree angle.

3.

MARINATE THE
MEAT
Fully submerge
the meat in the
marinade in a
container. Cover
with plastic wrap
and refrigerate
for 24 hours.

1. Pick a hardcover book that has at least 300 pages, one that people
arent so likely to pick off the shelf. Like the dictionary.
2. Open the cover and first few pages and secure the remaining pages with
clamps.
3. Use a ruler and carpenters pencil to mark your cutting area. The border
should be at least 25 mm wide, measured from the pages edge.
4. Cut the rectangle out with a craft knife, removing about 20pages at a time.
Or if you really want to have fun, put on safety glasses and a dust mask and
use an oscillating tool with a semicircular blade to saw along the perimeter
of the rectangle. Stop once the cuts are 20 mm deep. Switch to a straight
blade to get the corners.
5. Flip the book upside down to dump out the cut-out pages. Remove dust
with a brush or workshop vacuum cleaner. Clean the edges with a craft knife.
6. Mix white glue with water to create a brushable mixture. (It should be
roughly 70 per cent glue, as too much water will cause the pages to pucker.)
Paint the edges of the clamped section of pages as well as inside the cut
surface. Remove the clamps and let the glue dry under a weighted object
(at least 5 kg).

4.

DRY THE MEAT


Turn the oven to its lowest setting, which should be somewhere around
100 degrees. Drain the meat, then lay it out on paper towels and blot dry
on both sides. After lining the bottom of your oven with aluminium foil to
protect against drips, lightly oil the baking racks and set the strips of meat
directly on the racks, leaving space between each strip. Leave the oven
door open a crack to allow humidity to escape as you cook. Every two hours,
flip the meat and rotate the racks from top to bottom. When the jerky is
done (between 6 to 8 hours), the strips will be pliable enough to bend
without breaking. Remove from the rack and let cool for 2 to 3 hours.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 69

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

BY BILLY LOSLEBEN,
CONCRETE-PROJECT.COM

MATERIAL S
QTY DESCR IPTION

bag quick-setting mix


without gravel

mixing bucket

stirring stick

roll 50 mm-wide packing tape

roll double-sided tape

sheet 6 mm foam core


or cardboard

acrylic sheet at least 50


per cent larger than the frame
youre making

craft knife

2,7 x 1,5-cm single-hole


triangle-ring picture-frame hanger
hooks

1. Set a sheet of acrylic on your


workstation. This will be your casting
surface.

3. Use double-sided tape to stack the


two smaller pieces. Seal the edges with
packing tape, then fasten the resulting
block to the casting surface with more
double-sided tape. Seal the edges of
the larger piece of foam core and affix
it squarely over the block on the casting surface with double-sided tape.
4. The dimensions of your frame will
be determined by where you set the
edges of your mould. To create the
edges, mark where you want your
frame to end on the acrylic, then cut
out three 50-mm-wide strips of foam
core to length for each of the four
sides. To create the edges, stack
three pieces of foam core using
double-sided tape. Seal the strips
with packing tape and affix them to
the acrylic with double-sided tape.

70

5. Slowly add water to the mix until


you reach a consistency of pancake
batter. (If possible, do this on a cool,
humid day so the mix doesnt begin
to set in the bucket.)
6. Slowly pour the mix into the
mould, taking breaks to pick up the
acrylic base and shake it to eliminate
bubbles. Continue pouring until
youve just reached the top of the
mould. Shake the mould one last
time to level the mix.
7. After 5 to 20 minutes, when the
mix is slightly stiff, screw a single tri-

angle-ring hanger to the back of the


frame. The mix will harden around
the screw to create a strong bond.
8. As soon as the mix begins to firm
up, cover it with plastic wrap to help
it cure. Dont touch it for at least
24hours.
9. Once the frame is dry, remove the
foam-core pieces, then gently lift the
mix off the plastic. Use 120-grit
sandpaper to clean up any sharp
edges or imperfections. Attach art
using tape and a piece of foam-core
backing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN; TYPOGRAPHY BY SPOOKY POOKA

2. Cut a piece of foam core to the


dimensions of the art you wish to frame.
Subtract 6 mm from the length and
width of that piece and cut two more
pieces of foam core to those new
dimensions.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ILLUSTRATION BY JON GRANT

Using found supplies and a few basics from the hardware


store, we built a live baitwell for a season of fishing in the
lake behind our house. BY CJ CHIVERS
AS LONGER DAYS and rising
temperatures warmed the lake
behind our house this spring
and the lakes fish, frogs and
reptiles gathered in the nearest
cove, three of my boys began
scouring the shallows for prey,
using dip nets and minnow
traps to capture all manner of
life. Soon they had an assortment of creatures in aquariums
in one of their bedrooms and a
proposal for their parents to
consider: can we build large
outdoor tanks to keep bait
alive and ready for fishing
season? The lakes largemouth bass and pickerel, they
said, would be more likely to
strike fish from their own habitat bait that also happens to
be free.
The idea had merit, as long
as costs could be contained.
And so we took it on.
Mick, who is 14, did the
planning. First he took stock of
what was already available at
home or on our next-door
neighbours property a pair
of plastic lobster-bait barrels
that we had picked up over the
years, several old pressuretreated beams, an abundance
of 1,8-metre slats from a fallen
cedar fence, a rectangular
plastic basin about 40 centimetres deep, boxes of varied
fasteners, a slightly bent roll of
galvanised wire mesh, about
1,2 metres of white polymer
trim board and a small pile of
75-centimetre lichen-encrusted
drops from a dock built years
ago with composite deck boards.
He then set to sketching a
design and compiling a list of
what we would need to finish
the job. His plan called for
shortening the height of the
barrels and securing them in a
simple wooden-and-composite-board frame. The rectangular basin would be seated
between them. It would be
divided into three chambers
and serve as the systems
heart. One chamber would

Water flowing out now matched water


flowing in an important point,
or the centre basin would end
up dry and the pump dead.

receive outflow from the bait


barrels, another would be filled
with gravel for filtering and a
third would house a pump,
which would send freshly filtered water back into the two
barrels via hoses joined at a
T-junction. The system would
run in a figure-eight loop, with
the pump powered by an outdoor outlet at a tool shed, next
to which the apparatus would
be built. I offered one modification: why not place a portion of
the tanks below ground, in the
cooler earth, to keep the water
from overheating on hot days?
My wife required another: a
child-safe top.
To complete such a system,
we bought several items from
the timberyard and pet-supply

store a pair of pressure-treated studs (rated for ground contact), a bag of clean gravel, a
2 000-litres-per-hour electric
pump and a tube of aquariumgrade silicone. A stop in the
plumbing aisle yielded hoses
and fittings to connect it all
together.
The early stages of the project went smoothly. I trust Mick
with tools and he knows how
to use many of them quite well.
With a jigsaw he reduced the
barrel heights, then measured
their diameters; with the mitre
saw, he cut pieces of pressuretreated studs for a frame. The
dock drops were refashioned
as side braces that matched
the barrels contours, holding
things snug. Next he cut the

composite trim board into


panels to divide the basins
interior. Once he secured them
with silicone, the filter was in
place, with gravel in the centre
compartment.
The work became trickier as
Mick shifted to the plumbing.
In a perfect world everything
would fit and be level, allowing
the pump and gravity to work
in practice as they had in
design. But as we dug the
holes where the tanks would
sit we were surprised by what
we should have expected: a
thick tree root. This caused
one tank to sit higher than the
other. The plumbing holes
were no longer level with each
other. An afternoon of jury-rigging ensued, as we cut fresh
drainage with a holesaw and
tinkered with hose lengths and
placement until the flow into
the barrels was equalised. We
added another pair of drainage
pipes to achieve equilibrium
between the pump and the
barrels drainage. Water flowing out now matched water
flowing in an important point,
or the centre basin would end
up dry and the pump dead.
The child-safe top was
formed by making a lattice with
fence slats, which sandwiched
the wire mesh and then building a 50 x 150 pressure-treated
frame that stood on post legs
just above the height of the
tanks. A pair of aged door
hinges provided the last touch,
allowing the lattice lid to be
opened and closed like the lid
on a huge cooler. This would
do more than stop small children, it would discourage
thieving little four-legged creatures.
Our bait tanks were done,
ready for use.
The next day, when I
checked on the pump, I saw
the first fish swimming inside,
along with a painted turtle. The
boys had already been busy.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 71

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

YOU

R
A
C

UP G

that scratch

E
RAD

Touch-up kits promise to erase


decades of scratches in an afternoon. They work well. Too well.
BY EZRA DYER

SUPPLIES

OPTIONS FOR PAINT REPAIR RANGE from simple tinted waxes and As-Seen-On-TV
miracle pens to multistage treatments matched to your cars exact colour. As someone
whos capable with a spanner, I went with the latter and tested an automotive touch-up kit
on my pockmarked 1993 Ford SUV. It costs about R600 depending on which supplies
you need, compared with R60 000 for a professional all-over repainting. This collection of
aerosol cans and sandpaper is as close as you can get to an appointment at the paint
booth. Heres how it works, and whether its worth it.

1. ABRASION
It feels very wrong to lean
into your cars bodywork
with a folded piece of 180grit, but thats what you
have to do. You make the
scratch much, much worse
before making it better. I get
big, horrible white blotches
on the fender, door, bonnet,
and rear quarter-panel. But
its cathartic, in a way, to
grind down to bare metal
in the name of making your
car beautiful again.

reassuring
me. I add
three coats
to the metal
in total,
waiting
five to ten
minutes
for each to
dry before
applying the
next. This is a
running theme of touch-up
work: spend two minutes
painting and then ten minutes waiting to do another
two minutes of painting. In
this manner, a man could,
hypothetically, consume
several beverages, preferably of artisanal origin, in
the course of a job.
3. COATING
Primer gives way to base
coat, which means more
aerosol cans. Each application seals in the pigment
and protective layers
beneath. Between sprays,

2. PRIMING
On to the sprays. First is
the black-tinted sandable
primer (top right). It fills in
the sandpaper scores with
something that resembles
the original black, instantly
72

you sand with ever-finer


paper. By the end, youre
wet-sanding with 1 500grit, which feels smoother
than a sheet of construction
paper. At each interval, you
get closer to a factory-finish
gloss. The last clear coat
finalises your work with a
shiny shell.
4. RESULTS
The clear coat dries overnight, and I hit my handiwork
with the rubbing compound
to bring out the shine. And
shine it does, which brings me
to an unexpected dilemma:
the touch-up work looks
better than the original
paint. Inevitably, nine layers
of new paint look better
than decades-old factory
black. For the job overall,
I say, success. In fact, too
much success. The instructions say an all-over wax
will help it blend. Final step:
give it hell with the orbital
buffer and hope it blends.

As with any serious


touch-up kit, there
are a lot of materials. The box for my
black SUV includes
prep solvent,
rubbing compound,
sandpaper of
various grits, rubber
gloves, a tack rag
to pick up dust,
pretaped plastic
to block messy
overspray (like blue
painters tape for
your car), and cans
of primer, base
coat, and clear
coat. It all suggests
a lot of work, which
turns out to be
accurate. I watch
a how-to videos
and print out the
instructions. I take
everything outside,
then pick the most
unsightly scratches
and a rust spot on
the bonnet. I wipe
them with the
solvent and rag,
then tape a
perimeter to
protect brightwork.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Protect your loadbed yourself


IT WASNT SO LONG AGO that

an expensive dealer-installed
load bed protector or mat was
the only bakkie protection solution. Fortunately, now there
are several money-saving DIY
options on the local market.
One of the biggest names in
paints, Plascon, describes its
Bakkie and Trailer Coating as a
hard-wearing, water-based coating
that protects the underbody of
vehicles from stone chips, and
helps to prevents damage to the
painted work areas of utility
vehicles. A spray-on alternative is
Tuff Guard, a polyurethane liner

that covers the bed up to 5 mm


thick, bonding directly to the
surface to form a permanent,
watertight and airtight protection
against rust and corrosion.
Either brush or spray formats
are available for Durams Durabak. Its single-pack polyurethane
formula offers textured protection
from abrasion, corrosion, weather,
chemicals and solvents. Although
tough, its said to be flexible
enough to yield instead of chipping or flaking on impact. The
product will not taint water or
food once cured and can be
overcoated because it bonds to

itself, it is repair-able. It comes in black or grey in a convenient


fast-drying spray- or brush-on format. About four litres
worth will do for the average short wheelbase bakkie.
Pretoria Mat and Rubber says its Hardliner kit, unike polyurethane or two-part kits, contains no toxic substances or volatile
organic compounds (VOCs). Hardliner, which needs no primer,
is described as the most affordable diy bakkie liner kit.
Selfcoat Eco Paint plays the environment card even stronger
with what it says is revolutionary technology applied across
its range of products. Besides having zero volatile organic
compounds, theyre said to be extremely pliable waterproofing and protective coatings of high density.

TOUGHEN UP YOUR BAKKIE IN 3 EASY STEPS

PREPARATION

Clean the area thoroughly,


and mask off areas not
to be coated.

APPLICATION

Apply Duram Durabak


with sponge rollers.

DRYING TIME

Allow 1-3 hours between


coats. Vehicle ready for
light use after 9 hours.

Make sure your bakkie is rough, tough and ready to work


with Durabak, the do-it-yourself, non-slip bakkie liner that
can handle anything you throw at it.

OCTOBER 2016 _

Available at leading hardware stores.


Call 0800 500 222 (toll free) - www.duram.co.za
www.popularmechanics.co.za 73

HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING


2016

E
R
E CU

ONLINE BUSINESS

3 STEPS TO SAFE
CYBER-SHOPPING.

STEPHEN BALLOT, OLX SOUTH AFRICA


CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

MORE AND MORE people are


opting to buy online rather than in
traditional brick-and-mortar shops.
Which is why more and more
scammers are heading online.
OLX recently implemented mobile
OTP verification because the now
outdated email verification method
allows too wide a margin for suspicious behaviour (think multiple, fake
email addresses). But there are
things you can do, too:

GET A SENSE OF THE BUYER or


seller before making arrangements to
meet. OLXs app offers chat functionality to get to know the person.
Buyers who are the real deal will
never offer to transfer money before
viewing what you have to sell.
DONT POST A PRODUCT to
someone without verifying that the
money is in your bank account first.
MEET BUYERS at your place of
work or in a public place, or make
sure you have someone with you if
meeting at home.
OLXs market-leading mobile
verification system requires all
users to have a valid and working
(namely, RICA-compliant) South
African cellphone number before
they are able to sell via the platform.
We launched as soon as we were
ready and are proud to not only
be the first in the country to offer
this additional layer of authentication, but also to provide a
very secure trading platform
for our users.

74

your security
Go keyless with a lock that can talk to your home automation
SMART HOMES REQUIRE SMART
SECURITY and one of the first to market
is Yales Keyless Connected Smart Lock,
which features an optional Z-wave module,
making it compatible with most smart home
automation systems.
To open this digital wireless lock, you can
choose between an RF card, phone sticker,
tag or PIN code. For multiple users, the system
allows for up to 20 user slots.
All that tech wizardry is wrapped up in a
standard lock format, making it a drop-in
upgrade. Based on a high-security Yale Y3
nightlatch, its standard size makes it easy
to fit on timber doors.
Using the backlit touchscreen keypad,
you can personalise PIN codes to any 4to 10-digit number with the ability to reprogramme at any time. Theres also a single-day
access code for family, guests or tradesmen.
Other security features include a lockout period
for repeatedly entering the incorrect code.
Tested to 120 000 cycles, the unit is weatherresistant to IP55 ratings and unlocks up to 10 000
times on a set of four AA batteries. There is no
memory loss when you replace the batteries.

READER TIP
EASY DUMMY ALARM
INDICATOR LED
Having been in the security field for
more than a decade, I always advise
my clients that the more security layers
you have the better for you and your
familys security and more difficult
for the intruders to pass unnoticed.
But unfortunately that can get quite
expensive and not everyone has that
kind of money. So Ive found a cheap,
effective, small DIY project thats easy
to make and easier to install. Its a
high-bright blue LED light fitted inside
a small plastic enclosure fed by two
penlight batteries. You can use double
sided tape to mount it above your front
door or garage door visible to someone walking past your property to fake
an alarm system installed and always on.
STEFAN VAN DER MERWE
FRANSCHHOEK PM

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

NISSAN BLADEGLIDER, MAZDA'S G-VECTORING TECH EXPLAINED LAUNCHES: HONDA CIVIC, JAGUAR F-PACE, FORD RANGER 2.2 AUTO

DRIVING

Compiled by THE EDITORS


anthony@ramsaymedia.co.za

NISSAN BLADEGLIDER

CUTTING-EDGE INTELLIGENT MOBILITY

Clearly, new-generation powertrains are giving car designers licence to explore


body shapes that depart radically from the conventional while remaining practical.
Electric power lies at the heart of Nissans BladeGlider, a prototype high-performance
electric vehicle that made its debut in Rio de Janeiro. The underlying premise: combining driving pleasure with environmental responsibility.
According to Nissan, the cars advanced full-electric battery powertrain delivers
stunning performance and dynamic handling. The driving experience combines a singleseater feel, with a central driving position and two passenger seats behind.
The BladeGlider was developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto
Show in 2013. The company sees it as a standard-bearer for future technologies that
will combine intelligent mobility, environmental friendliness and sports-car driving.
It sounds like a big ask. Nissans president and chief executive officer, Carlos Ghosn,
said the prototypes epitomise Nissans drive to expand its intelligent mobility philosophy.
Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero-emission future and
BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that, he said. Its the electric vehicle for
car-lovers.
Nissan is, of course, a leader in the EV world with its LEAF regarded as the worlds
best selling zero-emission car, the LEAF. (More than a hint of the Leafs styling cues
are evident in the BladeGlider.) The company says it is pioneering intelligent mobility
systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles in years to come. As well as zeroemission vehicles, there will be new automotive technologies including autonomous
drive systems and connectivity.

76

With the BladeGlider, the companys


vision was for an agile, efficient EV that
would provide new dimensions of driving
fun and excitement a car that would
glide, thanks to the near-silent performance of its electric powertrain and aerodynamic shape.
After two years of design, engineering
and development, the Nissan BladeGlider
evolved into something rather more than
was first envisaged: a real-life study into
the potential of advanced EV performance.
The demonstration models feature an
advanced chassis configuration with a
narrow front track and wider rear track for
optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability. High-waisted, rear-hinged
dihedral doors provide a dramatic entry
and exit to the cabin. The open roof of
BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated
roll-over protection structure, providing,
says Nissan, the exhilaration of an opentopped race car with the safety of a coup.
System controls mounted on the wheel

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON TOURERS

feed into an advanced display showing speed, state of battery charge, regeneration
mode and torque map. Two additional screens relay whats being seen by rear-view
cameras mounted behind the front wheels. Although these electronic rear-view mirrors
arent particularly unusual, they do serve a particularly important function: they
improve the cars aerodynamic efficiency of BladeGlider.
Theres a similar double benefit for the triangular seating position: more legroom for
the two passengers, as well as a panoramic view out for all occupants thanks to the
seamless cockpit windscreen.
The powertrain, developed with Nissans technical partner for the BladeGlider project,
UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering, provides a maximum speed in excess of
190 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking less than 5 seconds. Two 130 kW electric motors
one for each wheel deliver power to the rear wheels.
New-generation handling assist (rather than stability control) by means of torque
vectoring is integral to the system. If the car starts to understeer, more torque is sent
automatically to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance. The torque vectoring
system has three settings: off, agile and drift mode. Power is supplied by a high-performance five-module lithium-ion 220 kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been
developed for both the battery and the motors.

The interior of the BladeGlider reflects


the vehicles sporting intentions, with fourpoint safety harnesses for each occupant.
The seats offer exceptional support to sides
and legs of the driver and passengers. The
seats are trimmed in a highly tactile blend
of fabric and epoxy resin coating, resulting
in a tough and grippy material that keeps
occupants securely gripped in place.
Though the BladeGlider may be silent in
operation, its pretty loud in respect of its
styling. There are two colour trims Cyber
Green and Stealth Orange used the
upper portions of the seat back, framed
with a silver reflective material to create
an eye-catching look. The base of the seats
are in black, patterned material, with a
band of green and orange trim framing
the cushion. Source: Nissan

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 77

DRIVING

MAZDA3 G-VECTORING
GET MY DRIFT

Grizzled old-timers might remember the

days before stability control, when drivers


talked about steering the car on the throttle.
Mostly, they talked about it, because actually
doing it well is quite a skill. And its generally
best shown off in a rear-wheel drive. Call it
drifting, but sedately.
Mazdas modern take on the art of driving on
the throttle is what it calls G-Vectoring Control
system (GVC). Introduced here on 2.0L models
of the Mazda3, GGVC is a product of what the
company calls its human-centred development
philosophy. Underlying that is the idea of using
the engine to enhance chassis performance.
Mazda rather long-windedly describes it as
the worlds first control system to vary engine
torque in response to steering inputs in order
to provide integrated control of lateral and
longitudinal acceleration forces and optimise
the vertical load on each wheel for smooth and
efficient vehicle motion. In plain English, GVC
detects when you make steering inputs and, in
response, slightly backs off engine torque output
to shift vehicle weight forward slightly, adding
more downforce hence more grip to the
front tyres. Result: the car turns in more eagerly.
Its all finely controlled, and is said to result in
better handling for the driver and ride quality
for the passengers when cornering.
GVC is the first innovation from Mazdas
Skyactiv Vehicle Dynamics, a series of newgeneration vehicle motion control technologies
that provide integrated control of the engine,
transmission, chassis and body. The intention
is to enhance what Mazda calls the vehicles
Jinba-Ittai: that sense of connectedness
between car and driver. Given the esteem in

78

which Mazdas MX-5 Miata roadster is held, its clear they know a
thing or two about that sense of connectedness.
As mentioned earlier, GVC has been introduced for the first time
in the new-look Mazda3 2.0L and will be introduced to future newgeneration models. At the same time, Mazda has introduced a new
Mazda3 model, Astina Plus. Available in four- and five-door, the new
Astina Plus model comes with advanced safety features that include
Smart City Brake Support (automated alerts and braking when an
imminent collision is detected); Lane Keep Assist; Lane Departure
Warning; Driver Attention Alert; and Blind Sport Monitoring.
One slightly unusual feature in this price bracket is Adaptive LED
Headlights. The system has three major functions: glare-free high
beam, wide-range low beam and highway mode. Glare-free high beam
recognises leading and oncoming cars, and turns off selected LEDs
to avoid dazzling other drivers. Below 40 km/h, the wide-range low
beam expands distribution and, above 95 km/h, highway mode controls the light axis to increase the distance low beam can illuminate
the road behind a leading car.
Interior upgrades on the new-look Mazda3, which is still available
with 1.6L or 2.0L engines, include standard Bluetooth, Cruise Control
on certain models and the paddle-shifting for six-speed automatic
transmission models.
Price: Astina Plus R407 900.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

3
REPORT

2
1

HONDA CIVIC

JAGUAR F-PACE

FORD RANGER 2.2 AUTO

Innovation is fundamental to the new


Civics design, with advanced smart
equipment and connectivity thats in keeping with todays integrated lifestyles. Still,
Honda says it has retained its focus on
comfort, safety and quality standards.
In common with a trend on many bigger
cars, particularly those at the upper end,
the designers have opted for a sports-coupe
profile. Can this work in a compact car,
though? Well, it helps that the new Civic
is 109 mm longer, which includes a 30 mm
stretching of the wheelbase. Rear-seat
knee space has increased by 55 mm and
shoulder room for the rear occupants has
been improved. Boot capacity is up significantly, by 20 percent. Overall the car is a
little lower, which contributes towards a
lower centre of gravity and consequently,
says Honda, greater stability.
It seems ironic that the company that
built a high-performance road car reputation on engines that revved to dizzying
speeds, with uncanny refinement, has
introduced the new Civic a 1,5-litre turbo.
This all-new engine features Hondas Earth
Dreams Technology: combining outright
power and fuel efficiency, and produces
127 kW and 220 N.m. That is, says Honda,
the equivalent output of a 2, 4-litre naturally
aspirated engine with the fuel economy of
a Honda Jazz.
The new Civic is also available with a
1,8-litre naturally aspirated engine that
produces 104 kW and 174 N.m. Both
engines are paired a new series of CVT
gearboxes as standard.
Price: from R330 000.

The first sport-utility from Jaguar is,


as youd expect, aimed at the owner
who demands driving dynamics. At the
same time, as a product of the Jaguar
Land Rover family, its off-road credentials
arent to be sniffed at.
Like its sedan counterparts, the F-Pace
is based on aluminium-heavy architecture.
Its packed with high-tech electronics,
from cutting-edge driver aids to what the
company calls the worlds most advanced
infotainment system: InControl Touch Pro
offers everything from a central display to a
virtual HD instrument cluster and Wi-Fi
hotspot ability. The F-Pace also marks the
world debut of Activity Key, a waterproof,
wearable technology for active lifestyles,
allowing the keys to be securely locked
inside the vehicle.
It uses chassis technologies derived from
the F-type, including Torque Vectoring,
Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable
Dynamics. Engines include a 132 kW
Ingenium diesel, supercharged 280 kW V6
petrol and 221 kW/700Nm V6 diesel.
The F-Paces torque on-demand all-wheeldrive system is Jaguars most sophisticated
yet and has the highest torque capacity.
Segment-leading traction control systems
include Adaptive Surface Response (ASR),
developed from Land Rovers Terrain
Response technology. For smooth pullaways
on extremely slick surfaces, All Surface
Progress Control (ASPC) automatically
controls the throttle and the brakes, and
Low-Friction Launch (LFL), uses a very
progressive throttle map.
Price: from R779 000

Automatic transmissions are becoming


a big deal in leisure-category doublecabs (two out every three top-end Ford
Rangers sold are autos). But theres not
been anything similar available in a singlecab until now. The Ranger 2.2 Auto is
one of nine versions to be offered with the
6-speed box, in single, super and double
cab and two- or four-wheel drive. Besides
the convenience of auto-shifting there are
additional features, such as standard-fit
towbars and stability control on all but the
lowest model, that Ford believes give its
vehicle the edge over the competition.
On our Southern Cape launch route, the
automatic gearbox seemed perfectly mated
to the engines healthy torque delivery. The
2,2-litre four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi,
which features a variable nozzle turbocharger, exhaust gas recirculation and highpressure common rail diesel injection,
delivers 118 kW and 385 N.m. We drove
both 4x2 and 4x4 derivatives, the latter
putting in an impressive display on the
dunes near Mossel Bay. Off-road, automatic
shifting comes into its own in ensuring
smooth torque delivery. A couple of times,
when it seemed we were being over-ambitious in steep climbs on soft sand, the
Ranger kept up steady forward progress.
The electronically controlled transfer case
has shift-on-the-fly functionality between
4x2 and 4x4 high-range, controlled via a
dial on the centre console. Clicking the
shift lever sideways puts the Ranger in
Sport mode for more responsive shifting
and allows manual sequential shifts.
Price: from R311 900.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 79

RIDING

2017 HARLEY-DAVIDSON
TOURERS
POWER, COMFORT, CONTROL

A mighty new Milwaukee-Eight engine and new

suspension are the headline items in a Touring package


that Harley-Davidson is calling its most powerful, most
responsive, most comfortable and most advanced ever.
An all-new design, the Milwaukee-Eight engine offers
quicker throttle response, more passing power, purer
sound, better fuel economy and a smoother ride.
New emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers offer
15 to 30 per cent more pre-load adjustment than previous standard Touring shocks, with a single knob to
hydraulically adjust pre-load. The front suspension features new Showa SDBV suspension technology, aimed
at delivering the damping performance of a racing-style
cartridge fork with linear damping characteristics and
reduced weight.
H-D says acceleration compared with previous models
is better by two bike lengths from 0 to 100 km/h, and
by a similar margin from 100 to 130 in top gear. Other
improvements include:
l Better heat management thanks to reduced heat
absorption, increased heat rejection and a redesigned
exhaust system
l Better fit thanks to better external design
l Less vibration
l A richer exhaust note thanks to driveline improvements
and less mechanical powertrain noise
l Lower idle speed.

80

Clean-sheet design
The Milwaukee-Eight is the ninth Big Twin in Harleys history. It respects
that history while looking to the future, says chief powertrain engineer Alex
Bozmoski, who led the development team. While respecting the essential
Big Twin character, weve created an all-new motor. Every aspect of performance, durability and styling has been improved as a direct response to
the voice of Harley-Davidson customers around the world.
The engine retains the brands familiar power characteristic, he says:
Strong low-end torque with a broad, flat power curve through the midrange thats ideal for the touring motorcycle rider.
The Milwaukee-Eight engine produces up to 11 per cent more torque
than previous models and yet is more economical. Although starting with a
clean sheet, Harley-Davidson clearly saw no good reason to deviate from
the classic 45-degree V-Twin cylinder angle, at least. Its four-valve cylinder
heads offer 50 per cent more intake and exhaust flow capacity and its
counter-balanced to cancel 75 per cent of primary vibration at idle.
Improved heat management strategy makes for better rider and passenger
comfort, too.
Milwaukee-Eight engines will be offered in two displacements and three
variations: 107 (1 745 cm3), Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 featuring
liquid-cooled cylinder heads and Twin-Cooled 114 (1 870 cm3). Screamin
Eagle performance boosts range from muffler and intake upgrades to
comprehensive Stage I, II, III and IV kits.
PM

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

WIN

1 of 10 Keyless Connected Smart Locks


worth R3 900 each!

Keyless Connected
Smart Lock
Experience the convenience of Keyfree living with the new
Keyless Connected Smart Lock.
Simple to use, have complete control on how you unlock
your door.
Customize access for 20 users with options of RF cards,
phone stickers, tags or even pin codes. You can also revoke
access at any point by easily un-programming registered
users individually.
Should you already have a Smart Home system in place,
you can now control your security even further by linking
the Keyless Connected Smart Lock, with an optional Z-Wave
module, to your system.
To enter, answer the following question:
Can the Yale Keyless Connected Home Automation
friendly Smart Lock be integrated with an existing
Z-Wave Smart Home System?
SMS the words Yale Keyfree, followed by your
answer, your name and e-mail address to 32697
(R1,50 per SMS)
The Keyless Connected Smart Lock is available in a Satin
Nickel finish and is supplied as standard with two Smart
RF cards and a Y3 Nightlatch. *Additional ID access
accessories can be purchased separately as required.
Competition rules: 1. Entry is open to anyone except employees (and their
immediate families) of Ramsay Media and associated agencies. 2. Competition
runs until 31 October 2016. 3. We will draw the winner(s) by 02 November
2016. 4. You may enter via SMS as many times as you like (R1,50 per SMS;
this service does not allow for 8ta numbers). 5. The prize is not redeemable
for cash. 6. Prizes not claimed within 3 months will be forfeited. 7. The judges
decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 8. Regrettably, only
South African residents are eligible for prizes. 9. By entering this competition,
you agree to receive future correspondence from Popular Mechanics. You can
opt out at any stage by: (a) Sending an e-mail containing the relevant details
with the subject line opt out to pmmailers@ramsaymedia.co.za

Make the smart choice at yalelock.co.za

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PO

AR MECHAN
IC
PUL
S
ESTD
1902

THE NEW MINNOW TRAP


It took an artisanal glassblower and a few prototypes, but in the end we were able to
recreate and improve a staple of classic American fishing.
BY CJ CHIVERS
PHOTOGR APHS BY T YLER HICKS

Glassblower Eben Horton uses


diamond shears to form a loop
that will hold the trap in place
underwater.

82

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

Top left: The trap is heated before


being inflated, then reheated and
stretched. Left: The first prototype
had only one loop, which didnt provide
enough stability underwater. Above:
Modern wire traps tend to clog easily
with algae and weeds.

EBEN HORTON SLIDES open the door of

his workshops furnace. He is greeted with a


low roar and a blast of dry heat to his face
as he pushes a 137-centimetre stainless-steel
blowpipe into the waiting crucible. Working
at a seemingly casual pace that accompanies
his familiarity with an ancient trade, he sweeps
the pipe through the barrel-deep reservoir
and scoops up several millilitres of liquefied
glass. At just on 1 100 degrees, this lemonsize dollop of molten glass, known as a gather,
emanates orange light.
At his workstation, Horton rests the blowpipes midsection on a metal arm. With his

left hand he slowly spins the pipe, causing


the molten gob at its end to rotate within a
wet, wooden shaping tool, called a block, which
he holds in his right. Steam hisses and rises
as the tools and motion combine to work the
malleable glass into a centred sphere. Satisfied,
Horton puts the pipes opposite end to his
mouth. And then, with a measured puff, he
blows. After a brief delay, the gather expands
like a bubble of lava. It is now the size of a
large apple, and ready for the work ahead.
Horton, 42, has been an artisanal glassblower ever since he apprenticed in a shop
27 years ago. Today he is working on the

second round of a design process driven


by an unusual resurrection: the glass
minnow trap.
Glass minnow traps, which date
back to at least the 19th century, were
once a minor staple of the American
fishing scene, and formerly bore many
trade names among them Orvis, Acme,
Shakespeare, McSwain and Joy. In a
common design, one end of a jar-like
glass vessel was shaped like a funnel
leading inside to a main chamber. The
other end bore a larger hole, which was
closed off with a lid or a cork stopper.
Once bait (bread, crackers, pet food,
ground fish) was inserted and the apparatus submerged in a body of water, the
trap assumed the role of a transparent
fish weir. Its plumes of scent would draw
fish to the glass entrance funnel, through
which they would unwittingly pass inside.
A trap owner could submerge the device a
few hours, retrieve it, remove the stopper
or lid, and shake out the live catch into
a bucket.
For all their merits, the traps faded
from the scene after World War II, done
in by mass production and cheaper replacements. These days, commercially
available minnow traps are almost all
made of wire or plastic. Surviving glass
traps from the earlier era are mostly
relegated to the collector scene, more
likely to decorate a cottage mantel
than to be used as designed. This is a
small shame.
Where I live and work, in coastal New
England, live saltwater baitfish are a
coveted commodity. And although wire
mesh and plastic traps do catch them
(as do cast nets and seines, all in their
turn), my sons and I have found that
wire traps quickly clog with algae, weeds
and other aquatic gunk, especially in
warmer seasons, and become less effective and difficult to clean. We wanted
to try glass, but we couldnt find them.
Instead we found Horton, who for 16
years has operated his glassworks, the

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 83

PROJECT

Above: The glass surface must be heated before Horton can puncture it with a tungsten electrode to add air holes.
Below: You have about a minute to manipulate heated glass.

Glass Station, in a converted gas station on


Main Street in Wakefield, Rhode Island. He
reminded me of the glass buoys made to suspend Pacific fishing nets, and shared tales of
glassblowers occasionally finding employment
a half-century ago on large commercial fishing
boats, taking their skills to sea. Space is at a
premium on fishing boats, and captains figured it was more efficient to feed a glassblower and store bags of soda lime, the principal
ingredient in a common form of glass (including the form blown at the Glass Station),
than to store stacks upon stacks of buoys.
Horton has a passion for glass bordering
on religious. Ive
always felt like a
student in a temple,
he says of the artisans
life he has chosen.
He makes all manner
of glass objects, sells
his work widely, and
is often commissioned
for works of intricacy and sublime beauty.
What I wanted was a tool, something that
could be stuffed with chunks of clam or
squid, tossed off a dock, and left overnight.
This would not be for mantel display. It
would be blue-collar glass for gathering
meat, stored in a shed beside bucket, knife
and gaff.
The first trap resembled a large glass bullet
with an inverted funnel at its base; it was
beautiful and looked sturdy, with thick, clear
walls. Horton had attached a single glass
loop to the exterior, midway down the side,
from which the trap might be hung from dock

or buoy, suspended in tide. We discussed


this and thought that two loops might be
better and make it easier to balance the trap
in the water. We also thought the trap could
use a vent hole, to release air when pushed
underwater.
Horton and his partner, Jennifer Nauck,
went to work. He retrieved a blowpipe from
a warmer, scooped out a gather, centred it
on the block, and then blew, inflating the
gather to nearly double its size. By then the
glass had cooled slightly, so he moved to a
hotter furnace, maintained at 1 260 degrees,
opened its circular door with a foot pedal,

electrode with an oxy-propane torch


and gently forced it through the side.
The vent hole was in place. A fresh
gather yielded two large drops of
glass that he attached to the traps
sides, stretched upward, snipped
with shears, and then bent back
down forming loops on which the
trap would hang. Last, he reheated
the traps neck with the torch and
pulled it off the pipe.
Although it looked ready, it was
anything but. As it began to cool
in the room-temperature air, it was
vulnerable to thermal shock. And
so Horton moved
it to a third oven,
which is maintained
at 480 degrees
during the day, but
programmed to
step down to room
temperature overnight. Here the
interior and exterior of the trap could
cool at a gradual rate to relieve any
stress on the glass. This reduces the
risk of the trap shattering when bumped or subjected to changes in temperature, as a minnow trap dropped
into the water would certainly be.
To test them, we sank the traps
in the tidal salt flow of Point Judith
Pond and found they worked, and
sometimes worked very well. But
our prototypes had flaws. They
often held an air pocket, which

Predators will be drawn to the minnows in the


glass traps and strike baits offered beside.

84

slipped the blowpipe inside, and reheated


the glass until it was more malleable. He
then blew again and swung the pipe back
and forth above his feet, elongating the trap
to shape. Horton repeated these steps over
several minutes until the trap was about
35 centimetres long and 20 centimetres in
diameter.
To shape the funnel at the bottom, he
spun it while forcing the base inwards
with a large pair of steel tweezers called
jacks. The glass moved like warm caramel
under his touch. To make the air-release
hole, he heated a small tungsten welding

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

required repeated tilting to clear. And


they released only a little scent and bait
enough when minnows were abundant to
attract a fine catch, but not enough on
leaner days to yield more than a few. Some
days we had good harvests of grass shrimp

(with which we caught porgies) and other


days we caught silversides (useful for sea
bass, flounder and chum). But we knew we
could do better.
For the next version, Horton used a wider
tungsten electrode to repeatedly puncture
two opposing patches on the traps sides.
These are intended to allow air to vent
quickly as submerged, and then for water
to flow through the trap, creating a plume
of fish oil from the bait that we hoped
would attract more minnows.
Meanwhile, we have been pointed to
another potential use for the traps. Horton
posted a photograph of a trap with a banner
catch of silversides on Facebook. Dennis
Zambrotta, a local surf fisherman, promptly
recommended an old-school technique for
using the glass traps to catch large fish.
This required seeing the traps not as traps,
but as lures. Fill them with live minnows,
Zambrotta said, suspend them under the
ice during winter, and hang live minnows
on hooks nearby. Predators will be drawn
to the minnows in the glass traps and
strike baits offered beside. Zambrotta
recalled reading of the idea in the 1970s in
an outdoor magazine. If the lake out back
freezes next winter, well give that a try
another step in the step-by-step movement
towards discovering a device from another
time, and, with the help of an artisan,
bringing it back.

18V Lithium-Ion
Cordless Power
Tools

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za

Batt/06/2016

After a hook is added, it must not be


allowed to fully cool before being
reheated. Otherwise the entire hook
could shift on the surface of the trap.

www.makita.co.za

GETTING
STARTED
IN...

TRAIL RUNNING

Trail running is to road running what fly fishing is to traditional fishing: the main activity
is the same, but the technical aspects are completely different. Youve got to learn to
read the land and trust your instincts. BY KEVIN DUPZYK

Its not the


same as
running
around
the block
yourself
climbing hills or descending
along rivers, all while dancing around obstacles. Lean
in a little when going uphill
so you use the largest muscles in your body your
glutes. Going downhill,
dont lean back and ride
your heels. Thats a good
way to overload your thighs
and end up sore or injured.
When you run through
your neighbourhood, you
probably dont look too far
past your feet. On a trail,
your inclination may be to
stare directly down, but
your feet know what to do.
Dodging those obstacles
is pretty instinctive. You
actually want to look about
five metres ahead, so you
can see approaching challenges with time to react
to them.
Running injuries dont
usually come from doing
it wrong, but from the
stress of repetition, says
Dan Lieberman of Harvards
Skeletal Biology Lab. The
natural environment pushes
runners towards shorter,
varied steps, which helps
the body better absorb
impacts.

YOU MAY FIND

With thanks to Jason Koop


of Carmichael Training
Systems and Forrest Boughner
of Runners Edge in Missoula,
Montana.

86

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

What you need


Even though youll feel like a runner, youve got to think like a hiker: get gear suited to the place you
want to run, and bring some backup for the unexpected.
SHOES

Trail-running shoes balance the light weight and


breathability of road-running shoes with the durability
and traction of hiking boots.
A rock-protection plate made of
hardened rubber or plastic under
the sole guards against the
multitude of sharp objects
youll encounter on the trail.
Lugs, the sections of
tread on the bottom
of your shoes, bite
into softer surfaces
like gravel, mud
and snow for
better grip. The
trade-off: as lugs
get bigger and
chunkier, the
contact area of the
shoe decreases,
making them less
effective on harder
surfaces, like rock
faces. Lugs wear
quickly on tar, too,
so use them only on
the trail.
Some shoes feature a waterproof
bootie that wraps the
foot, typically made
of Gore-Tex. If you
plan on running
mostly in dry conditions and hot weather, youll appreciate
the breathability of a
less fortified shoe.
But if youre going to
be jogging through rain
and over riverbeds, a
bootie will save you from
soggy feet and blisters.

The Under Armour Verge


Gore-Tex has a grippy Michelin
rubber outsole and charged midsole.
R2 200, underarmour.com
Theres a lot more debris on a trail than on the street. For

T IP! about R350, you can get gaiters, cinching collars that cover

the tops of your shoes to keep stuff out. (Some trail-running


shoes even come with gaiters built in.) Of course, you could
also just wear taller socks, which you probably already own.

LACING
TECHNIQUES
FOR FOOT
AILMENTS

GEAR

Jogging in your neighborhood doesnt take much


equipment, but in the woods, the right gear can be
critical. Or at least keep you more comfortable.

YOUR TOES
HURT

Run the end of


the lace from
the bottom eyelet by your big
toe to the top of
the opposite
side. Lace the
other end in a
zigzag fashion.
This lifts the
shoe off your
toes.

You can carry two litres of


fluid among the remaining 13
litres of cargo space in the
low profile Adidas Terrex 15
backpack, which makes it great
for extended excursions. Its
also breathable in all the right
places, which is helpful.
R1 300, duesouth.co.za

Stash a 800 ml water


bottle, cash and keys in
the Capestorm Sprint
Belt on a short run and
forget its even there.
R250, capestorm.co.za

THE TOP OF
YOUR FOOT
HURTS

Working up
from the
bottom, at the
second set of
eyelets, run the
laces directly to
the third eyelets to loosen
the fit over
your arch.

An internal mesh brief guards


against chafing, three zipped
pockets keep your valuables
close at hand and moisture
wicking fabric keeps things
dry. K-Ways Knox 14 has
the perfect combination
for running shorts.
R500, capeunionmart.co.za

Under Armours proprietary


CoolSwitch technology uses
a special coating on the inside of the moisture-wicking
polyester/elastane fabric
which pulls heat away from
your skin. Strategic ventilation and a mesh back will
keep you breezy in the open.
R600, underarmour.com

HEEL
SLIPPAGE

Lace the shoe


as you normally would, but at
the top two
eyelets run the
laces vertically,
creating loops.
Tie the laces
through the
loops to cinch
the upper extra
tight around
your ankle.

Cotton kills is a mountain


mantra that we wont go against
and Core Merino make a few
fantastic lightweight 100 per
cent merino wool shirts that
regulate your body temperature,
resist odour and wick away
moisture. From R400,
coremerino.com

First Ascents Supreme


running jacket is packable,
lightweight and breathable,
but will stop even the most
vicious Cape Doctor and
shrug off a Highveld shower.
R1 000, sportsmanswarehouse.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 87

Getting Started In

TRAIL RUNNING

Where to run
You can run anywhere you can hike. Just be mindful of crowds. Get out there
early, when the air is fresh and most of the hikers are asleep.
T YPES OF TRAIL

Rail trail

Jeep track

Singletrack

Wide, graded trail that uses rail right-ofway to get out into the wild without getting
steeper than a train can handle.

Wide enough for a vehicle to use these


may be fire or access roads but often
rutted and remote.

Narrow, technical, secluded what you


picture in your mind when you hear trail.
The experienced trail runners dream.

WHAT TO LOOK
FOR IN A TRAIL

BY STEPHANIE HOWE, THE NORTH FACE TRAIL RUNNER AND 2014 WINNER OF
THE WESTERN STATES 100, THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS TRAIL RACE IN THE USA.

THE BEST TRAILS ARE THE ONES THAT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY: narrow single-track
that twists and winds up and down mountains and valleys. There are a lot of these trails
that are accessible when youre ready for them. Those trails are usually littered with
rocks, roots and scree, which forces you to be really careful about where you step.
You wont be used to that if you havent been off-road before. So when youre just
starting, look for something a little wider, because that will tend to be less technical.
And when it comes to slopes, theres something a little counterintuitive to keep
in mind: though uphills are harder in terms of stamina, the downhills are what
really can destroy your body, because of the heavy impacts, if youre not used to
them. Youll feel sore the next day. Luckily, theres a way to make sure the
soreness is short-lived: keep hitting the trails.

THE TRAIL MAP


The Trail Run Projects
Trail Finder (at trailrunproject.com or as an app) is a
crowdsourced compendium
of trails round the world. In
addition to overall ratings
for difficulty and quality, it
includes stats like distance,
trail type and elevation
change, so youll know
exactly what youre
getting yourself into.

88

ANIMALS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER ON THE TRAIL IN INCREASING LEVEL OF THREAT

HIPPOPOTAMUS

SQUIRREL

Wont bother you if


you dont bother it.

MOUNTAIN BIKER

If it follows you and


doesnt respond to
repeated warnings,
try putting a stick
through its spokes.

PUFFADDER

Retreat slowly. If bitten,


dont apply a tourniquet
or try to suck out the
venom. Stay calm an
elevated heart rate will
spread the venom.

LEOPARD

Make yourself big,


make noise, make eye
contact, and back
away slowly.

Hippos are famously


territorial and easily
startled, always be on
the look out and announce
yourself if you do spot one.
Make sure to stay on the
land side, give it a wide
berth and seek cover
if it charges you.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ASK ROY

Popular Mechanics senior home editor solves your


most pressing problems. BY R OY B ER EN D S O H N

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS PHILPOT

My hammer has a big chip in


its head. That shouldnt happen,
right?
I havent seen a hammerhead chip
in more than 30 years. Given some
of the abuse dished out on construction
sites and on volunteer workdays, all I can
say is that todays hammers are so abusetolerant, it takes a lot to chip one. Here
are a few rules for keeping your hammers
whole. See if one of these situations
sounds familiar:
l Claw hammers are designed to hit
nails, sets for sinking finish nails and
specially made bars that are used to dig
out nails or pry wood away from a surface.
Dont use them to strike hardened steel
or to break up cast iron or concrete.
Those jobs require a sledgehammer.
l Dont use one hammer to strike
another. For example, dont use a claw
hammer to strike the head of another
claw hammer in order to drive its claw
deeper between two pieces of timber.
l Dont use a claw hammer to hit a brick
chisel, stone chisel, cold chisel, or centre
punch. There are specific hammers to
strike those.
l Dont use a claw hammer (or its claw)
to break or chip rocks or bricks.
Regardless of the type of hammer you
buy, get the best you can afford. Ive
owned hammers by Estwing, Vaughan,
Warwood, Craftsman and Stiletto. Theyre
not cheap tools, but not one of them has
chipped and I have decades of use on
some of them.
Good tools last.

Why would long cracks be


showing up in the drywall
ceiling of our garage for the first
time in 12 years?
Garages can be surprisingly vulnerable structures. The house gets
all the attention and the garage is where
the builder cuts costs.
Take fire-taping, for instance. This is
the minimalist technique used in garages
in which the builder finishes drywall with
a single application of tape and drywall
compound, helping the structure achieve
its fire rating (a measurement of resistance to flame spread) while holding
down costs.
Repairing the cracks shouldnt be more
difficult than driving some drywall screws
to ensure that the drywall is properly
fastened, then applying paper tape and
joint compound over the cracks. Although
I think its unlikely that the trusses (or
rafters and joists) were damaged, it
couldnt hurt to grab a torch and poke
around in the attic above the garage. If
you find timber that has cracked or
pulled away from truss plates, consult
with a licensed architect or structural
engineer.

The two decorative posts on


our front stoop are starting to
rot. Are these easy to replace?
Yes. Your first step is to support
the roof load. Position a scrap of
timber near the post you want to remove.
Jack the scrap piece up using a pair of
plastic chainsaw felling wedges nested
against each other. Next, drive the wedges
together just enough so that the old post
dangles freely from the roof assembly.
Using the post as a gigantic lever, twist
it free from the roof structure. Youll
probably have to use a pry bar to coax
it completely out. Ideally, you want to
remove the post without wrecking it so
that you can use it as a pattern to mark
the replacement post. Cut the new post
and insert it in the same position as the
old one. Then gently remove the support
timber by tapping out the wedges to
lower the load on to the new post.
Repeat with the other post.
Decorative turned posts have a top and
a bottom, so make the shortening cut on
the same end on both posts (usually the
bottom). If you dont do this, youll produce two posts of the correct length, but
the turned section will be at a slightly
different height on each. This is visually
clumsy. Your neighbours wont let you
live it down.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 89

BEDROOM DOORBELL!

Difficulty:

EASY

REASONABLE

HARD

Time: 1 hour 
Ages: 10+

A project to build with your children.


DESIGNED By JAMES SCHADEWALD

Shopping list

K ID S

ULA R

9-volt snap connector

9-volt push-button switch

Piezo buzzer

Spool 22-gauge solid


hookup wire

9-volt battery

Package 3M Command
medium picture hanging
strips or double-sided tape

POP

Tin container (Fishermans


Friend or equivalent)

H A NI CS F

EC

DESCRIPTION

1
O

QTY

*RadioShack item number


DIAGRAM

Connector
Switch

Battery
Altoids
container
Hookup wire

PROJECT NOTES

OUR FIRST RUN at this project

OUR BUILDER:
Nicolas Serapiglia
is a 12-year-old
from Pennsylvania.

90

was a little too complex. We tried


to tap into the homes existing
doorbell wiring a cumbersome
job that involved fishing wires
through conduit. It wasnt fun.
But this version is perfect. A
metal container houses a 9-volt
battery and wiring. This base
serves as the platform for a pushbutton switch that we wired to
a nearby low-voltage buzzer. The
results are surprising. And loud.
When you tire of the noise, and
you will, you can reduce the
buzzers harshness by covering
it with a piece of tape.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHS BY REBECCA M C ALPIN; ILLUSTRATION BY GEORGE RETSECK

Buzzer

Instructions
kid only
parent only
parent and kid

1. Use a drill and 12-mm twist


drill bit to make a hole in the lid of
the container. Position the hole as
shown in the diagram.
2. Secure the container in a vice,
then drill a hole in its side with a
5-mm bit. Sand or file away any
rough edges left from drilling.
3. Decorate the lid with patterned
duct tape, paint or decals. Remove
the locknut from the switch, insert
the switch into the hole in the lid and
tighten the locknut on the other side.

4. Cut two 1,2-metre pieces of wire.


Strip 12 mm of insulation from each
end. Chuck two ends of the wires
into your drill and slowly rotate it to
braid the wires, leaving about 30 cm
unbraided at the end.
5. Hook the two free ends of the
braided wire to the buzzer wires
and wrap with electrical tape.
2

6. Pass the other end of the braided


wires through the container. Attach
one wire to the push button and the
other to the snap connector.
7. Cut a 15-cm piece of wire and
strip 12 mm of insulation from its
ends. Twist one end of the wire
around the free contact on the switch
and the other around the open wire
on the battery snap connector. Insert
a 9-volt battery into the snap connector and test your work. If the
buzzer doesnt sound, check each
connection for tightness. If the buzzer
works but is too loud, cover one or
more of the speaker holes with tape.

INSTALLATION

G IV E

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to Popular Mechanics. Go to www.magsathome.co.za

AFFIX THE BOX with adhesive


strips. Use appropriate staples
every 15 cm to run the buzzer
wires down the wall and under
the door. Mount the buzzer low
on the wall on the opposite side
of the door with more adhesive
strips and staples.

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 91

SHOP NOTES
E ASY WAYS TO DO HARD THINGS

A workshop air filter


WHEN IT GETS COOL, the amount of workshop time spent
with the garage door down is going to increase. That means
more sawdust and other particulates in the air and your
lungs. Reader Larry Brannock has a solution: a box fan
rigged with a furnace filter. Brannock simply duct-tapes
the filter to the back of the fan a common size for both
is 50 centimetres square. Placed as close as possible to
the source of dust, his device traps the bad stuff and
outputs clean air. One thing to keep in mind: the higher
the rating of the filter, the harder the fan will have
to work to pull air through.

A TIP FOR SPRAY-PAINTING FASTENERS


If you find yourself spray-painting a batch of
fasteners, poke their shanks through a piece of
cardboard so they stand like lollipops on a
candy-store counter. This allows you to easily
coat all surfaces in one pass with the paint can.

92

LIP BALM WHEN


THE WEATHER
TURNS
Lip-ice isnt only for
lips: apply it to
seams on tents,
shoes, or packs for
temporary waterproofing. Rubbed
into the teeth of
Ziploc bags or the
threads of jars, it
gives them insurance against water
penetration, too.
FIX THE ONE
THING DUCT
TAPE CANT
If there is a problem
with duct tape, its
that rolls of it take
up a lot of space
carrying it in a backpack or glove box
can be a hassle.
Alleviate this problem with mini-rolls
made by wrapping a
short length of two
or three metres
around another
useful item, like a
pencil or AA battery.

How to read resistors


Manufacturers indicate the rating of a
resistor with colour bands. Each band
represents an input for a complicated
formula. Heres how it works for a fourband resistor:
1. The first two stripes represent digits
(see chart, below). String them together. If
stripes are yellow and violet, start with 47.
2. The third stripe is a multiplier. Its
product with the digits is the resistance
rating. In the example, an orange multiplier stripe (1 000) means the rating is
47 000 ohms.
3. The tolerance stripe indicates how
much performance may vary in practice.
Note: On five-band resistors, the first
three stripes are digits. Everything else is
the same. The rare six-band resistor has an
additional stripe that rates the resistors
performance as its temperature changes.
COLOUR

DIGIT

MULTIPLIER

(NONE)

TOLERANCE

+/ 20%

Silver

0.01

+/ 10%

Gold

0.1

+/ 5%

Black

Brown

10

+/ 1%

Red

102

+/ 2%

Orange

103

Yellow

104

Green

105

+/ 0.5%

Blue

106

+/ 0.25%

Violet

107

+/ 0.1%

Gray

108

+/ 0.05%

White

109

M
FROE
H
T
HIVES
ARC 1!)
(194

HOMEMADE BIRD FEEDER


A cheap but effective bird feeder can
be quickly constructed from an old
pan. Cut a half-moon of wire mesh
with a diameter slightly larger than the
mouth of the pan. Fix the mesh to the
pan with a bit of solder, leaving the top
half of the pan open. Remove the handle
and nail the bottom to a tree. Use the
opening to fill the feeder with suet or
other bird food that wont fall
through the mesh. PM

ILLUSTRATION BY MORNING BREATH

NAIL POLISH
REMOVER
REMOVES
OTHER THINGS
For spot treatment
in a minor mishap
like touch-up paint
that has dripped on a
door hinge acetone
nail polish remover
can help. Use it to
dampen a rag, then
hold the rag briefly
against the splotch
before rubbing it
clean.

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

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As seen on DStv

Top Row:
Third Row:
Second Row:
First Row:

JHB 55883/OJ/E

Watch anytime, anywhere.

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available with the
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To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 95

BUYERSGUIDE

96

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

BUYERSGUIDE

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 97

BUYERSGUIDE

98

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

BUYERSGUIDE

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

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OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 99

BUYERSGUIDE

100

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

BUYERSGUIDE

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 101

BUYERSGUIDE

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

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Email: cjvdb@mweb.co.za
Tel: 082 8570324
102

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

BUYERSGUIDE

To advertise in Buyers Guide contact Joanne, Lindi or Patrick on 011 449 1100 or
email: popbuyersguide@ramsaymedia.co.za

OCTOBER 2016 _ www.popularmechanics.co.za 103

DO IT YOUR WAY / USEFUL, CLEVER TIPS FOR YOUR HOME

WIN

WINNING TIP
COMPACT SPACE-SAVER
Maximise your wooden shelving
by utilising the underside of the
shelf (or cupboard) as well as the
upper side. My dad did this years
ago with glass jars.
I thought plastic CD/DVD
spindles are easier to get a hand
into and less prone to shattering. (The church and school where I work have plenty kicking
around).
I cut off the spindle in the centre of the base, turned the base upside down and secured
it with three self-tapping screws to the underside of the shelf. Fill the transparent part of the
CD holder with the type and size of object you want to store and then twist it into place.
Its easy to see, remove and replace storage without extra shelving. This idea can also
be handy in the kitchen for food items (clearly labelled) and in the kids room for small toys.
GERARD RUDOLPH
WATERFALL

DOING YOUR NUT

SUCK IT UP
Most of us have workshops of some kind
or other. Even then, there are times when
you have to push that circular saw outside
to saw large pieces of wood. After all the
sawing is finished comes the pleasant task
of cleaning up, which I am sure you all
enjoy (ha, ha). I have to take my saw on
to the paving, and you know what a task
it is to clean up.
Well, if you have a garden vac/blower it
is an easy task. Simply blow all the dust from
your saw, or planer and blow it all together
(roughly), then set the vac/blower to vacuum
and suck all the dust up. It works beautifully with all the dust being collected in
the bag. A warning, though: remove the
larger offcuts first.

ROBERT COWLEY
SANLAMHOF

After struggling for three days to undo


the damaged cut-off solenoid valve on
my 1998 Isuzu Frontier, I came up with
this idea.
The nut can be reached from only one
angle with an open flat it was already
round at the corners and for some reason
the 24 was just about 0,5 mm too big for
this job and kept on slipping.
Eventually I hit on the idea of filling the
gap with a washer or piece of sheet metal.
After scratching around in the back yard I
found a galvanised plate that fit perfectly
after grinding it a little bit.
With the gap filler in place, I could
undo the nut first time round.

FRIKKIE JOUBERT
WORCESTER

SEND US YOUR HINT


AND SCORE!
Send us your best home, garage workshop and general DIY hints and win!
This months winning tip will receive a
Makita BO4555 Finishing Sander
valued at R1 399.
The Makita BO4555 Finishing
Sander is a great addition to any
tool box, providing a smooth, clean
and comfortable sanding experience.
This sander generates 14 000 orbits
per minute, but still provides low
vibration and a low noise level. The
pad size is 112 x 102 mm and abrasive
paper 114 x 140 mm is easily installed
and removed, thanks to the BO4555s
rolled clamper edges (hook and loop
type paper can also be used). The
convenient location of the on/off switch
allows for comfortable one-handed
operation. Dust extraction is accomplished through six-holes under the
sanding pad and fed into the dust bag
supplied. The sander weighs 1.1 kg
and has a 2 m power supply cord.
For further info on Makita Power
Tools visit www.makita.co.za
Send your tips to:
PM Do It Your Way, Box 180, Howard
Place 7450, or e-mail popularmechanics
@ramsaymedia.co.za. Please include
your name, address and contact number.
Regrettably, only South African residents
are eligible for the prize. Prizes not
claimed within 60 days will be forfeited.

STICKY SOLUTION
Many drill driver bits are magnetised
and, especially when working with metal,
get clogged up with filings/grindings.
Since it is already magnetised, you cannot
(effectively) use another magnet to clean
it. My simple solution is to use a piece of
Prestik to remove the filings. Warm up
the Prestik by kneading it for a minute
and it should be sticky enough to do the
job. Remember to chuck the Prestik afterwards. Getting a metal splinter in the
thumb is not fun.

TOMMIE THERON
BLOEMFONTEIN

PM

RESERVATION OF COPYRIGHT
The publishers of Popular Mechanics reserve all rights of reproduction or broadcasting of feature articles and factual data appearing in this journal under Section 12 (7) of the Copyright Act,
1978. Such reproduction or broadcasting may be authorised only by the publishers of Popular Mechanics. Published by RamsayMedia Pty Ltd for the Proprietors, Popular Mechanics (SA) Pty
Ltd, 36 Old Mill Rd, Ndabeni, Western Cape. Distributed by RNA, 12 Nobel St, Industria West, Johannesburg, and printed by CTP Web, 12-14 Boompies Street, Parow, Cape Town. Apple
Mac support: Digicape tel 021 674-5000.

104

www.popularmechanics.co.za _ OCTOBER 2016

ock up 2.pdf

2016/02/12

10:19 AM