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Ask Adam Anything: Most Used Shop Equipment

Every week, Adam takes a question from the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answer them for the Tested member community. This week, Adam talks about his most used tool in his shop, as well as his favorite ones to use for his builds.

LEGO with Friends: Train Engine with Greg Peltz!

We're joined by special guest Greg Peltz, a set modeler at Pixar and creator of Bonelab three-dimensional skeleton model kits! One of Greg's many passions is train engines, so the set we're putting together is a custom locomotive that we hope to get running on the table. We chat about Greg's work, Bonelab creations, and geek out about trains!

Awesome Fallout 4 and Warhammer Space Marine Armor!

We catch up with prop and costume fabricator Shawn Thorsson, who unveils his latest Fallout 4 T-60 suit and Warhammer 40K armor builds. We learn how he made these larger-than-life costumes, how he blends hard armor parts with undersuits, and get up close to the beautiful paint and weathering detail of these suits!

Transcript: Adam Savage's 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire Talk

I've been thinking about what I was gonna say this morning for weeks. I wrote it down this morning. I didn't expect it to go where it went. Here we go.

My life is centered around the stories that we tell each other. It is centered around the products of our making, and the stories that those objects bring with them, as well as the stories they tell.

I have ignored sometimes a key aspect of what happens when we make. That aspect is generosity. Our making in and of itself is a radical and deeply generous human act. When we construct code, sew, or bake something new into existence, we are no longer passive observers or simple receivers of the realities around us. We declare ourselves participants. We are installing light on a path that others may choose to follow. Whenever we put something into the world that didn't exist, we're trying to solve a problem that we see.

Towing Micro RC Gliders, Part 2: The Glider

My goal for this project was to use a micro-sized RC model of the C-47 transport plane to tow a similarly-scaled down replica of the WACO CG-4A combat glider. I've been flying larger models of these iconic WWII airplanes for several years. Shrinking things down to micro-scale introduced several new challenges. I was able to overcome some of these hurdles, but continue to stumble over others.

In part one of this series, I examined Flyzone's new micro C-47. My evaluation covered its performance as a standalone model as well as its potential as a glider tug. I thought that the overall flying qualities of the C-47 were pretty solid. However, I added static flaps, a tow hitch, and longer landing gear before attempting to tow with it.

This time around, I will talk about how I built the tiny CG-4A gliders, explain the wild flight tests, and review the overall successes and failures of this project.

Micro Glider – Take One

My calculations indicated that a CG-4A in the same scale as the Flyzone C-47 (about 1/50) would have a wingspan of just over 20 inches. I scaled down my plans for a 65-inch WACO glider, printed a few templates and started building.

Foam is my preferred material for prototyping because it is so easy to work with. That is especially true when dealing with boxy shapes like the CG-4A. The fuselage is made of .75"-thick blue foam from a home-improvement store. Two layers side-by-side were the perfect width, so I made right and left halves. Using a sanding drum in my Dremel tool, I hollowed out the inner side of each half to create space for the radio gear.

The fuselage of my prototype glider has hollowed-out sides made of .75" foam

Whenever I crash one of my store-bought micro models, I always make sure to salvage as many parts as I can. I pull the electronics, motor, carbon fiber bracing, control linkages…everything. The resulting stash of tiny parts always comes in handy for projects such as this. My prototype WACO used many of these bits, including a brick (integrated 4-channel receiver, brushed ESC, and two servos) from an old Flyzone Playmate.

Kitbashing Model Spaceships with Snap Ships

One of our favorite discoveries from this year's Maker Faire was Snap Ships, a construction kit for designing and building your own miniature space ships. We chat with Jeff from Snap Ships about how the parts connect, the types of ships you can make, and what it'll take to turn 3D-printed prototypes into a real product.