DIY Projects & Instructions

Planting Tomatoes

Still sick as f*ck and bored as hell. So today I planted tomatoes (precisely: simple, store-bought vine tomatoes) as I did last year. Just slice them into 3-4 mm slices, cover with 1 cm of soil and water.

I hope they’ll germinate in the next few days.

Kitchen Countertop

Finally the top for the kitchen counter ist done and mounted – I even got it level! It’s a solid board of wood, 4 cm thick and 1 m long with the edges left natural.

Key Hanger for the Northern Germany Refuge

Scrap wood – need of a key hanger close to the main door – some stain – some laquer: Done. I even found some neat and beautiful copper nails! So, for the small available space I think is is a suitable solution.

The Pallet Couch is Finally Done!

So finally I got hands on some feasible cushions for the pallet couch posted earlier. This has become a real relaxing corner for me. I like it!

De-Construction Work in the Northern Germany Refuge

So today they removed the part of the wall that’s going to be the new kitchen counter. There’s a super cool wood trading company only a short distance away, where I plan to purchase a solid slab of wood for the countertop.

Cellphone Holder

Another simple little project for the northern germany refuge. I used a wooden cigarillo box to make a cellphone holder for charging overnight. Unfortunately the white paint that I had still standing around was too thick to make a smooth surface while drying, so I had to sand it off a little and give it a layer of white spray paint. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out very pretty, but I think it’ll do its job.

Pallet Couch

Everyone seems to repurpose old pallets, and I wanted to try that too. I couldn’t find a suitable couch for the location I wanted one for, I wanted it to be a cozy man-corner but also suitable for one person to spend a night on it. So I finally got hold of 2 well preserved pallets from a local transporting company and turned them into a couch. I’m still missing the cushions and a matress, but the basic work is done so far.

How to: Change Door Handles

After the windows were upgraded, I wanted to change the old-fashioned door handles for newer and little discreeter ones. Changing door handles is also not a big deal – a little bit more complicated than the window handles, but not much of a challenge and not much work either. You’ll need some more tools – I strongly advise a power drill – and a little more time.

How to: Change Window Handles

I’ve done some touch-ups in the northern germany refuge yesterday. One thing was changing the 20 year old window handles for new, lockable ones. It’s really easy, also for the inexperienced and here’s how:

January Bacon is done

The new batch of home-cured bacon is finally done. Took them out of the smoker yesterday in the evening after two 2.5-hour-runs of smoking with the small burner.

New Batch of Bacon

A new batch of (hopefully) delicious, yummy and scrumptious bacon is on it’s way! They’re four pieces of about 750 g each, salted with my standard meat curing formula and vacuumed tightly. They’re now resting in the fridge to cure for about eight days. My mouth is already watering…

Kitchen Remodeling for a small Buck

We’ve been in the new house in northern germany for a couple of days now and the first thing we wanted to go about was the kitchen. We just added a little color, rearranged the furniture and gave it a reasonable lighting. It feels much cozier now and it suits our needs.





Balcony Fire Bowl

I decided to try to only smoke on the balcony from now on, simply because you smoke much less when you have to go out every time. Since it’s winter here and temperatures easily drop below zero, I dug out the old fire bowl that I made from a cheap dollar store Wok and some scrap metal two years ago. Still works fine and makes a comfy, cozy feeling on the balcony.

Outdoor Pizza Oven

These are the plans for the outdoor pizza oven I mentioned in an earlier post. Still not sure if this will be the final version, but if not it’ll at least be close.

Since I’m not experienced with masonry, I don’t want the first try to be one of the most complex of all things you can make in this field: a dome. So I’ll rely on an oil drum cut in half as the round shape and then add alternating  layers of concrete (portland cement) and insulation. 

Can’t wait to try it out! I’ll post the building process as soon as I’m at it.

Outdoor Kitchen Plans – Updated

I have invested a lot of brains and thinking in this project and now I have the (semi-) final concept ready so far.

It consists of a working area with a storage underneath (left part), then the grill with a height adjustable grate and shutters on front an top to simulate a weber grill. Also, with a removable frame for inserting a roasting spit (middle part). Finally, my oil drum smoker contraption (right side) with a separate firebox. Since we found a real ton of bricks unexpectedly, I plan to build everything as brick walls and only pour the countertops from concrete.

The next step will be planning a wood fired outdoor brick or concrete pizza oven. 

Casually Made Serving Tray

I had a leftover piece of plum wood lying around from bass building. Not usable for instrument making anymore, but suitable enough as a kitchen utensil. I like the wood grain, although it has a bad spot in the middle and the olive oil coating really made it look cool.

Pallet Dismantler

As soon as I get my welding equipment clean and functional again, I will make this little tool for dismembering euro-pallets.

Euro-Pallet Dimensions

Since I’ll be needing this most probably in the near future, here’s a scheme. Taken from Wikipedia (de).

Outdoor Kitchen Thingy

Now that I’m looking forward to have much neighbour-unobtrosive space in the yard, I’m planning to build an outdoor kitchen… or at least something the like 🙂 Here’s the first drawing. Most probably it’ll be changed, adapted or completely redrawn until I’ll finally build it, but this is the start.

More to come.

I did a Thing…

Signed the contract yesterday! I finally bought a house in a very beautiful, rural and quiet area in northern germany. Now imagine how fed up I am with the big bad city, that I – a cocksure born and raised bavarian – am at least partially moving up to the north… 🙂

Squirrel Feeder

My neighbour, who is a biologist told me that squirrels have had a hard time the last winters here in urban southern germany and that she doesn’t think the situation will improve much this year. Seems the little critters are so excited about the long and hot summer that they simply forget to collect their nuts as supply for the winter. So I made a “squirrel-nut-depot-all-you-can-eat-bar”.

Outdoor Wood Storage

We made this wood store this morning. It won’t win any beauty contest and it looks… umm… a little patchy, but it’s made based on the simplest possible late night sketch and also exclusively from material we had at hand. We didn’t buy a single screw. Hey, no extra euros and more space in the shop!

My “Grab’n Flee” Kit

This is what I always have packed in a convenient pouch in case “I just want to get out of this shit”. Just grab this, money, a jacket and a toothbrush and get the hell out of here.

Simplest Possible Rope Tensioners

Well, I was a boyscout when I was young and, yes, I did learn some useful things back then. So when we set up our new awning lately, I recalled the simple line-tensioners we made back in the days when we went camping with the boyscout group. They’re easy to make, simple to set up and cost next to nothing. Here’s how they work:

Sprouting Glass – Results

The result after 4 days of letting them grow. Cool, I hope they taste good.

Sprouting Glass

So they sell what they call a “Sprouting Glass” for growing e.g. mung bean sprouts etc. in my local garden market. Basically, that gadget is not much more than a glass jar with a slotted lid and an attached stand. I think you could easily make one yourself, but it was only 5 bucks and I liked the idea, so I really didn’t care.

Simple Pergola for the Hamburg Garden

We made a simple pergola from an old garden tent to sit under and drink some beer 🙂 – we wanted to give it some “beach bar look”. We used the frame of an old party garden tent and attached several 2 x 5 cm bars as a roof construction. 

Makeshift Smoker-Addon for the Barrel Grill

A friend made me a steel divider sheet for the barrel grill (if you like: See here, here, here and here) so I can use it as a simple smoker. Basically it works like those Weber-fireboxes you can buy at the hardware store: The idea is to put the coals into the left half of the firepit, setting the divider and thus having a zone of indirect heat and smoke on the right side. Simple, effective and it works (somehow) 🙂

Windowsill Nursery 2018

Some images from my windowsill these days. I’m trying to grow some herbs for the kitchen from seeds. Most of it works out rather well. It’s only the Rosemary that is is a little peaky and doesn’t really seem to like growing very much. The Tomatoes were planted (from plain supermarket-tomato-slices) only about a week ago and I’m pretty satisfied with the progress. Those Chilies grow like hell and I’ll have to germinate the blossoms with a soft brush these days when I have the time and ease to do it.

I made a Thing…

So, over the last few weeks I bolted and welded together some kind of a chuckwagon-kitchen-appliance for my garden firebowl. As usual I tried to use mainly scrap from the shop, recycling what I had but in this case I had to buy some steel rods and small parts.

Parts of an Anvil

Another interesting info image with the english terms for a german DIY-er. Taken from here.

Hauke, Part II

The second day is over. I couldn’t see much change when I added 100g of flour and another 100ml of water today. Also, it didn’t smell sourly yet. So let’s wait for day three.

The trick seems to be to “feed” it day by day, until it bubbles. The naturally occuring wild yeasts and lactobacilli in the flour need some time to wake up, reproduce and populate the mixture thoroughly. When this proliferation has reached a certain level, the developing carbon dioxide makes the dough bubble up and the ongoing fermentation produces a wide variety of aromatics – that finally also end up in your bread.

Looking forward to tomorrow evening and on how it is going on.

Hauke, Part I

Let me present to you: Hauke (a somewhat unusual boy’s name in germany), my first homemade sourdough starter – at least my first try. Since I’ve read that they’re living organisms and thus you’re obliged to give them names, I’ll simply call him – well – Hauke. I started him off today with 50g wheat flour (Type 1050) and 50 ml water @ 27 °C (lukewarm). Recipe taken from here.

Part two and more information on how to make a sourdough starter tomorrow, when I’ll have to fill it up.

Pressure Cooker How To

Since I was an absolute beginner when it came to using a pressure cooker (and I somehow lost the manual…), I looked for instructions on the internet lately. Some were plain BS, some just dramatically told elementary stuff and left out the real instructions and, finally, some (especially the relevant forums!) were very informative. I threw everything together and tried it out (BTW – here’s a good article on what a pressure cooker actually does – I won’t describe the principles of pressure cooking here).

So, here’s my personal “Pressure Cooker How To for Dummies” (tested, illustrated and in full color!):


Rotisserie DIY

I welded together a rotisserie mostly from scraps in the shop! I wanted it to fit into the grate slots of my stone barbecue grill so I had to design it exactly to size. I also had to grind up an idea on where to put the electric motor since, in my case, there are walls in exactly the spot where all the store bought ones have their drive.

Steamer Rack

This is a steamer rack that I made today, the pictures explain what it is good for. Honestly, I was just bored today so I took one of those Ikea-cutlery-holders that I had already misused earlier anyway and just cut 4 cm off. Man, a simple empty tuna can would do the same job, but at least this one is stainless steel and it looks at least a little better…

Japan-inspired Wooden Plates

You can officially call me the great Recycler! I had this leftover piece of beechwood lying around (and constantly in the way) and I saw an inspiring video on japanese cuisine.

Weapon Locker Shelf

A friend of mine who is a sports shooter needed a simple shelf for his gun locker to store his Ammunition. So I made him an IKEA-like construction for self assembly at home 🙂

New Cold Smoker: First real Action

As much of a little weakling my first cold smoker was, as much of a fu**ing hellraiser is this one. I even have the feeling it might do a little too much…

Cyclone Dust Separator

…for the Shop Vacuum. I ordered this piece from Amazon for a few bucks and glued/screwed it to a wall-paint mixing bucket.

It’s desigend to separate larger grains of dust/debris from the airstream in order to keep the actual vacuum cleaner from clogging up. I hope my SO will notice. See the image for the principle.

As always when I do something, I realized AFTERWARDS that my vacuum’s hose it too small to fit on the connectors… 🙂 Let’s see if I can grab one for small money…

Cold Smoke Generator – Next Test

Ma-han! That thing absolutely works!!! As soon as you do it rigtht, it suddenly works…

I used smaller wood chips this time and an additional hole for added draft. It really glows like hell now and I’m looking forward to smoking some bacon tomorrow.

Cold Smoke Generator – New Approach (Prototype)

I know that not all folks out there like those cold smoke generators for smoking meat. Many rather rely on the good old openly glowing wood chips in a bowl at the bottom of their smoke house. But for my small batches in my small smoker, these generators come in really handy. Since, unfortunately, the last cold smoke generator wasn’t so much the bringer of happiness, I tried a new approach:

A7-Notebook Cover

I like Lleatherwork. So i made a cover for the most used notepad in Germany: Size A7 (which is approximately 2.9 x 4.1″ in the english system). I’ll carry it with me in the front pocket of my favourite jacket.

 Yes, I know it’s not too nice… But it does what I want. Here are the Dimensions that I made it after.


Great ugly Firestarters

It’s an old trick but it works perfectly. Fire starters made from egg cartons, dryer lint and sawdust, covered in wax.

My SO is is nicely collecting dryer lint and candle remnants over the year, so I can make some when “winter is coming”. It is the hell of a mess to make them but it’s also easy, they cost nothing and burn for half an eternity. Always remember to put in the dryer lint as the last layer, so they keep together well.

Kitchen Labels

These are the labels I made for my kitchen supplies – my god, that man must be bored… No, at least not sooo much, actually 🙂 But I’m cooking a lot and I wanted them to look halfway decent.

For anybody interested in using them: Here’s the .psd-file.

Small Chuck Box

I made this small chuck box for my Lada Niva about a year ago, when I thought it would come in handy some day.

Hedgehog Hilton

My SO wanted a hedgehog box in the garden for the little fellows to have a secure and cozy hideout during winter. I liked the Idea but due to my job situation lately, I neither had the time nor the nerves to make one myself. So we bought this one instead:

It is roughly 28,5 x 48 x 38 cm (H x W x D) and it’s a simple construction – you can put it together in minutes. We gave it a good coat of linseed oil for weather protection and as soon as the oil had dried we placed it outside. We hope it becomes our personal “Hedgehog Hilton” this winter.

Angle Grinder Jig

This is another approach on grinding bevels to my self made knives. It consists of an angle grinder connected to an adjustable arm with a ball joint at the end to allow it to move freely. It can be set to multiple grinding angles and it’s swinging radius is also big enough for large blades.

The Planting Table is done

The shed mounted planting table is also finally done. It has three layers of paint now – eventually we didn’t use oil but a white outdoor wood paint that matches the rest of the shed.

Planting table

I made a planting table for my SO today. The old one finally gave up due to weather, wear and tear. It’s going to be mounted on the garden shed’s wall with hinges so it’s “foldable” to save some space when it’s not in use and also to protected from the elements a little better.

Smoking done… but not good.

So yesterday the four pieces of pork went into the smoker for two sessions with about 4 hours each. Unfortunately, only one of them came out good, the other three didn’t. Very harsh taste, almost bitter. Not really pleasant. At least they looked pretty…


This is the Drying-Box that I made the last few days. Originally no more than a standard wooden box from the hardware store.

Cutting board

Forgot to mention that I made a cutting board from scrap wood this weekend.

I still had a piece of pretty enough and sufficiently heavy kitchen countertop wood lying around that was left over from building my shop workbench. I didn’t really know what to do with it, so last weekend I converted it into a new cutting board.

Self Made Bevel Grinding Jig

I made myself a reasonable jig for grinding bevels on my knives. It’s very hard to do that with bad or wiggly jigs (that I had before) and – for a non-smith like me – virtually impossible to do only by hand. This is the result:

Axe makover

O.K. Call me mad… nuts… crazy… I want to try an Axe-makover. I had this hatchet lying around in my garage, cheap, blunt, neglected and dirty. Aaaand I want to turn it into some object resembling a viking battle-axe (something looking roughly  like this).

New Thermostat

Finally the new item has arrived. I got a new thermostat for my Lada (that’s a fair barter, I know… 😉 ) This one opens at 80 °C instead of the original 85 °C, so I hope the car takes longer to run hot than before. As usual, I also wonder when I will have to time to install it.

Tabletop Fireplace

So I made a tabletop fireplace for my SO these days (she likes shit like that):

Takoyaki welding project

I had Takoyaki some days ago, and I absolutely loved them. Naturally, I want to try to make them by myself, but unfortunately there are virtually no takoyaki pans available for induction stoves 🙁 .

Making a Garden Table, Episode 3

So the Barrel-garden-table is finally done. It looks nice enough and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Planting Tomatoes

Planting tomatoes the not-so-traditional way. Just buy some meaty, juicy tomatoes with many seeds in the supermarket and slice them up, about 1/2 an inch thick. We had some cocktail tomatoes left over here, but any will work as long as they’re halfway fresh and juicy. Lay the slices into a pot with good potting soil, giving them some space (or using seperate pots) and cover with about 1/2 an inch of dirt. Water lightly and… wait.

Making a Garden Table, Episode 2

Finally the weather was good enough to let me make the paint job on the high table. Black, of course, just like my heart / my lungs 🙂

Making a Garden Table, Episode 1

I had a 200 l Steel Barrel left in the Garage and decided to make some kind of a garden-/bar-/high-table from it for when we have a barbecue. It’ll have space for bottles and glasses, and I’m pondering on giving it a small integrated trash can and/or a cooler.

Roasting Device

Some uniquely ingenious unknown guy on the internet posted this self made gadget and I want to make this so badly! Absolutely great idea!

It reminds me of a “Döner”-grill a little, and I think it’d be fun to try this out with some friends a some beers.

UDS “Roasting Ring”

I can’t think of a better description for this.

New Oshibako put to use

Yep. We tried it again and this time we took photos. The new mould (”Oshibako”) has better dimensions and makes more handy pieces. Also, we tried more nori and wasabi mayonnaise. We were so stuffed and happy yesterday evening.

“Oshibako” – Sushi mold

This is a so called “Oshibako“ – a kind of mold used for making “pressed sushi”. I made it today – as usual from the finest scrap-wood that I had lying around… 🙂

My Notebook-Update

The smaller Midori-Style Notebook that I wanted to create for myself. It’s already in heavy use and I really like it.

Midori-style Notebook

As one can see, I really sort of like my SO…


So I made another wax burner for my SO from an old or antique sort of… thingy… that she found in the attic. I don’t even know what that thing was good for before… 🙂

Cold smoke generator

New approach to a cold smoke generator for my smokebox. Idea taken from here.


Finally got my cold smoke box ready, including a cold smoke generator (idea taken from here). Luckily, it’s all made of scrap that was lying around, so nothing is really lost if it doesn’t work. Can’t wait to try it out.

New UDS, the finals

Final burning out with about 350°C for “decontamination”. Now it’s ready to use.

New UDS, Part 4

Done! Can’t wait to light it up.

New UDS, Part 3

3rd day of making the new UDS: Added a small, removable shelf (for thermometers) with hooks and a moveable lid for the main Air intake. I also finished the firehole door and a drain-hole for when it might get flooded (again). It’s also got it’s first layer of fire-proof laquer. After that, it got de-oiled with a felt litre of Acetone.

New UDS, Part 2

Second step for the new UDS. I even found an old grill lid that fits.

New UDS, Part 1

Began working on a new Ugly Drum Smoker. Smaller in size for easier temperature control and easier handling.

Skewer holder

Made myself a shashlik-skewer holder that fits snugly into the grate slots of my garden grill. Can’t wait to try it out.

Candle eater

Made my SO a wax burner from some copper tubes and a flower pot these days.

Sous vide apparatus, new approach

The next attempt in sous vide cooking.

Sous vide apparatus, Fuckup

Well. Shit.

Sous vide apparatus, Part two

I have refurbished my Sous-Vide-Cooker since I was so excited about the old one. This is the new version – tomorrow I’ll try out a new Steak in it and i will report here.

Sous vide apparatus, Part one

Believe it or not: This heap of scrap is my new self made sous-vide cooker! Cost me exactly € 10.99 for the immersion heater, everything else was lying around in the shop. I was not very convinced of the concept of sous vide cooking in the beginning so it was merely a side-project just for fun, but the steak turned out SO delicious I will definitely do this more often!

Pergola construction, Part two

This is what my Balcony looks like since the Hops has grown and is providing a screen towards my Neighbours. Finally got my balcony-pergola-construction done. Attached a retractable Tarp and destroyed a Multitool.

Pergola construction, Part one

So I have constructed some kind of a pergola on my balcony this week. I will post updates as soon as I have the sunscreen attached.

Bacon rack

Had 3 days off because I called in sick with the flu (or at least as much as I could, since I’m the Boss…)

Fishing Rod Holder

My new Fishing Rod Holder for the Garage. I think I’ll give it a paint job and then mount it.

Juri gear

This is the gear that I shove around when I’m on the way with my “little fellow”. Please note the rubber chicken.

A faraday cage

And – the old semi-prepper that I am – I also made a Farady-Cage for my electronics 🙂 Simple & easy and done in five minutes.

A sundial

I made a sundial from Forex ™ according to this Instructable. Nice. Waiting for a sunny day now to try it out.

Notebook and Cover

I made my own leather Field-Notes-Clone. Not at all perfect (as usual) but I really like it.

Fishing line spooler

SEE WHAT I MADE! My new Fishing-line-spooler. It’s not pretty, it’s not professional, but it works.

Air intake grate

Gave the little fellow in in my driveway a grate for the Air intake. Was tired of taking all the dead leaves out every few days.

Grilling Table

This is my Grilling Table that I want to place beside my Barbecue-Grill and Smoker. It is made solely from the Wood of two Euro-Pallets, and it was fairly easy to plan and build until now. Now comes the really difficult part of somehow heaving it out of my basement shop up to the garden… Update will follow shortly – hopefully.

Beer can holder for Juri

My self made aluminum cup-holder for my Lada Niva (since it doesn’t have one ex-factory). It clips into the glovebox flap and it works fine.

Oil barrel grill in use

So meanwhile the BBQ-Grill has moved to Hamburg as intended. Finally, it was put to the real test and it really works fine.

Another DIY for the SO

A bathtub tray for my SO.

Pallet disassembling

You do burn some calories doing this…

Leather pencil tray

Super simple leather Pencil tray

Oven door

My new front door for the stone grill. Now it doubles as a pizza-oven and it actually works!

Oil drum grill is done

And finally burned out and tested the oil drum grill.

Grill building update


Oil Barrel Grill

Some progress on the Oil-Barrel-Barbecue I’m working on.

Pondering on an oven door

Planning on a door for my brick garden barbecue grill in order to be able to use it as a pizza oven.

Herb rack

Again, something for my SO. A rack for our kitchen-herbs, decorative enough as i hope.

Nine men’s morris

My board of nine men’s morris. Made from scrap wood and, as everything that i make, not perfect (but who needs perfection anyway?). But a nice afternoon’s work last weekend.

Cookbook Stand

And a self made cook book stand for my SO. It has a screen to protect the book from the inevitable kitchen mess, and it is collapsible for better storage.

Stitching vise

A small vise that I made for stitching leather.

My sketches wall

My “sketches wall”

Finally, a decent forge

My brand new gas forge! I’m really excited about it because it’s a professional tool, heavy, sturdy and neatly worked.

Self made belt grinder

… aaand my home made belt grinder. Final work and adjustments have still to be done but up to now it basically works.

Leather Strop

Made a leather strop today for giving knife edges the last touch. I can attach two different strips of leather with different coarsenesses.

Magazine pouch

Friend of mine is a member of a sports gun club. So I made him a belt-pouch for his magazines.

Leather stamps

Aaaand… i made some stamps from old screws for leatherworking. (Colored for a better view). It was the hell of a job to cut and file them into shape.


Integrated toolbox in the motor compartment.

Patio lights

Patio lights from Jars for my SO.

Patio shelf

For my patio.


My new Gearstick-Knob.


Pond-in-a-tub that I made for my SO in summer.

Leather sheath

Stuff for my new hatchet.

Acetone lamp

It`s an acteone-lamp. Got it from here:

Brilliant Idea and fun to make.

Added a padlock to an ammo tin

Simple way of adding a padlock to an Ammo-Tin.

Kydex Press

Homemade press for making Kydex sheaths.

Worm farm

My self made worm bucket. I hope it’ll give an endless supply of worms for fishing! Got the plans from the internet and used an old plant bucket.

Little Boombox from a wooden Birdhouse.

I made a small boombox from a wooden birdhouse from the craft shop.

Ammo can wood-burning-stove.

Ammo can wood-burning-stove.

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