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Modding and building customized gadgets isn’t really a new hobby. People have been doing it since electricity first became widely available. It’s pretty much how everything electronic got to be where it’s at – people working in their basements and forgetting to shower for weeks on end. But with the sheer availability of tech mod guides now on the internet, the hobby really has changed forever. Pretty much anybody can go out to their tool shed, spend a few hours hammering and sawing away with the end result being a terrific creation that’ll make life just that little bit easier.

While Googling pretty much any object followed by the word “˜hack’ or “˜mod’ will yield results showing you how to mutilate them into some powerful little device – I thought I’d share with you three great sites packed full of guides and how-to articles which show you how to perform tech mods on just about anything from iPhones to routers to staplers. Yes, staplers.

Instructables.com

This website is entirely user generated and it’s quite possibly the largest directory of hacks and tech mods out there. People submit guides to show you how to build these incredible gadgets. For example, on the homepage at the time of writing this article, I’ve seen guides showing you how to make a “˜Laser Monocle Headpiece’ and an “˜Electromagnetic Actuator’.

All of the guides listed on this site can be built on a workbench at home. There is rarely a need for specialist tools or materials and when there is the author of the guide tells you where you can get them cheaply online.

instructables

Each guide is broken up into several parts as you can see from the screenshot above. Also, any files such as schematics, templates and detailed layouts are uploaded alongside the guide and can easily be downloaded (mostly as PDF format).

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While you do have to register to submit guides – you can read and download guides without registering for free.

HackaDay.com

Hack a Day is a small blog set up to profile hacks from around the web and also to feature their own large guides once per week. Some of the guides range from the utterly simple yet useful such as making gloves that work with touch screen phones.

In their weekly how-to section, there are some detailed “how-tos” which could actually come in very useful such as building your very own spot welder.

hackaday7

All the guides have good instructional images and clear step-by-step points along with tools and parts guides.

This site has been running for quite some time now and is updated daily. There are well in excess of 1,000 great hacks and guides listed here.

HacknMod.com

This website is basically a combination of the best hacks from all over the internet. During my research for this article, I came across some God-awful sites with maybe one or two good guides on them. So instead of wading through tonnes of horrible (and even some very questionable or incorrect) guides, visit HacknMod to find the top guides that they plucked out from the sea of rubbish.

Below is a section of the homepage and as you can see the offer a variety of hacks – not all of which are restricted to the tech savvy. For example, they have an abundance of articles on kite photography, LED display tutorials and games consoles mods. There are also some practical guides for problems many of us run into such as extending the reach of your WiFi signal and home entertainment mods.

hacknmod

HacknMod also run their own store which is perfect for cheap parts and cosmetic features.

The three sites above combine the best guides, hacks and tech mods on the internet for you. Pretty much any problem tech related or not can be solved with a few hours of tinkering in your garden shed.

Have you been known to create your own little gizmos? If so what have you created? Please share with other MakeUseOf readers in the comments!

Image credit: HawkesandDoves

  1. 3D-Games
    November 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I love instructables, I've been reading that site for years.

  2. Thomas
    November 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    These are some very interesting ideas (i.e. running a lawnmower remotely, turning off a PC with a cell phone, etc.), but why would anyone go to such extreme measures to do so?

  3. Jacob
    November 29, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Great article! Great Site!

    Question: Where did you get the first pictures with the peg board with the tools ?

    Reason I'm looking for ideas to build my work shop...

    Thanks,
    Jacob

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