Project Goldfinger

So, every year many of my friends come out to participate in our annual ski-weekend, which has grown to include “The Experiment” as well as a snowball launching competition. My first entry into this competition was a variation on a potato launcher, modified slightly to accommodate snowballs without obliterating them. The initial design was roughly 7 feet long, and was mounted on a small turret that I made from an old bar-stool. The construction was almost entirely schedule 40 PVC plumbing, with an internal shuttle valve that I made from a toilet plunger and some rubber gasket material. Overall, it did quite well, and ended up being the winning machine. However, my fabrication method was a bit lacking, and the cold pretty much did her in, breaking most of the seals near the barrel end of the launcher.

Goldfinger version 1.0

Fortunately, I had a year to re-work this design, and using most of the original design, I was able to not only cut it down by almost 3 feet, but I also was able to more carefully seal all the joins of the PVC, making it much more efficient and lightweight in the process. I no longer needed the turret, or the original pump I had built, and could now rely on a standard bicycle pump to power it. Average range on a 8-10psi charge is about 100 yards, with a variable projectile speed of about 90mph.

Goldfinger version 2.0

2012 BoardMeeting catapult

Every year at BoardMeeting we have a snowball launching contest. This year I built a catapult.


I put together an intial mockup of the catapult in about half an hour. I never actually got round to producing the actual catapult, so the prototype was pressed into service on the trip.


A couple of test fires got decent results, but the third test fire was catastrophic. the arm split lengthwise and required some significant repairs with a bag full of zip ties. This worked well enough to get 2 or 3 actual shots off. Unfortunately more structural failure was imminent as the screws holding the frame together proved to be too weak for the impacts. They sheared and let down the whole team.

The Catapult may work if re-engineered, but I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to bring this design back for 2013.






Light box

Christina sometimes traces inspiration artwork for her paintings. I decided to build a light box for her.

I used a spare 10″ round fluorescent ceiling fixture and a translucent box top I had salvaged.

I built the box from 1×6 board scrap. the box works reasonably well, but I think a 2×2 fluorescent ceiling fixture would give better illumination throughout.


Rolling Workbench

I needed a workbench that was mobile so I could move around the building and still have all my tools and a worksurface handy. This bench was built from a sheet of 1/2 ply (plus an offcut) some 2×2 and some 2×3. I used castors that were big enough not to stick on elevator entries.







Giant knife switch

I was tasked with building a giant switch for the Cruzio fiber night ceremony



Entertainment Center Build

I decided I needed a new piece of furniture to hold the various AV pieces in our entertainment setup. all of the available units were expensive and set in the wrong dimension for a wall mounted TV. The only solution was to build my own.

I built the unit from 3/4 MDF with no frame. The MDF is edge routed and fitted with T-Molding for finish.

James and Aimee’s Wedding 10-10-10

For My Friends’ wedding My Wife and I made some carnival games;

Fauxto Wall: Plywood on 2×3 frame. We built a wall and used 3 frames around holes cut through the plywood for posing. The piece de résistance was the addition of family photographs from the bride and groom.

Hat Toss: Plywood on 2×3 frame. A deer, a Jackalope and a hat stand made for a fun hat toss game.

Ring Toss: MDF, coca cola bottles. Beautiful painting made this piece really pop.

Bean Bag Toss: We had the Bride and Groom visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and have some caricatures drawn. My wife copied the caricatures onto a white painted backdrop and finished the piece with some excellent framing scrollwork.










100ft Slip ‘n’ Slide

During summer we set up a 100ft long Slip n slide at our weekly ultimate frisbee game. We use construction plastic and a backpack designed for landscapers to spray the slide down.

Make sure you use Eco friendly dish soap!

Charlie: An Adventure Set Build

Dangerclub produced sets for Red Egg Theater’s production Charlie: An Adventure in 2012

Rotating Backdrop for Charlie: An Adventure

Columns: Luan on 2×2 frames, pivoting on 1″ diameter metal conduit.

Bed: Repurposed child’s bed with extended legs.

Tree Branches: Plywood with hinges.


I had the idea for these columns bouncing around in my head for a long time before I found the ideal application. They appear to hover above the stage and are mounted on central pivot pins and rotate on inverted castor wheels fixed to a central bar.


Book of Tink Set Build

Dangerclub produced sets for Red Egg Theater’s production Book of Tink in 2011

Book of Tink set


Lost Boys’ Home: Plywood and 2×4 structure. Rope ladders built from 2×3 and climbing rope.

Mechanical Crocodile: Cardboard structure with Aluminium tape wrapping and Aluminium handmade scales.

Geoffrey the Crocodile was inspired by the articulation found in Lego Crocodiles. He is a wholly cardboard structure with wooden pins for articulation and manipulation. He is skinned with Aluminium HVAC tape for a metal finish without the cost or weight, and is finished with hundreds of handmade aluminium scales fixed with screws.

The director asked for “A Human Sized Cat Tree” for the home of the Lost Boys. This structure had to be substantial yet movable as the stage had to be cleared each night. The structure has two caves built into it and Three different platforms on top. A single fixed ladder and two rope ladders provide access to the top platforms and crow’s nest.

This set has found new life with another theater company and is currently used for children’s improv classes.