Creating Plasma in a Microwave

Plasma PreviewAfter speaking with John Cohn and hearing about this experiment I just had to try it. Video recording is rough but you’ll get the idea. Soon I will be ramping this up when I start my series of microwave oven experiments where we will build everything from a high voltage power supply to a smelter and maybe just maybe a Microwave Death Ray (ok maybe just a herf gun).

Don’t try this at home!

Click here to browse through posts written about my interests in Microwave Projects


Robotics Demonstration

I’ve been giving robotics demonstrations to an Interfaith Summer camp being held by the ITSSM Interfaith Center while sharing some love for the AR Innovation Hub. The Hub has been such a blast to volunteer for and interact with and in addition they are always willing to help.

I wanted a way to demonstrate and provide immersion for children to learn a little about robotics so I threw this together. It’s not pretty but it sure is effective. Upon request I’m willing to write up details on the components, wiring as well as share the code used.

In addition I also toted along the R2D2 trashcan that my daughter and I built. This was a huge hit but also caused a mess when the children used R2 to transport popcorn.

A simple push button interactive arduino setup



The R2D2 trashcan that I wrote about previously controlled via bluetooth and app on an android.



Come on Halloween – Rick & Morty Pumpkin Stencil

We love Rick and Morty here at MickRed but know it’s not kid friendly. There are currently plans for several Rick & Morty inspired projects and they just keep coming. Adult Swim has published a Rick and Morty pumpkin stencil on their site. I’m definitely doing one of these this Halloween and maybe even a watermelon before then.




Manscaping – You can be a man and not be an animal

Manscaping not just hair removal and not just hair growth. Although for me RedBeard a beard is essential. What to use for scents, beards, grooming and cleaning the essentials.

I’m not a fan of most smells that are marketed for men and on top of that after using most scented products, especially deodorants, my skin becomes sensitive or irritated. To combat this and not smell like a hobo I started using lye soaps, natural deodorants, unscented deodorants and castile soaps.

I tend to prefer some of the deodorants marketed to hunters and the Arm & Hammer unscented. I will note that I’ve tried a lot of all natural deodorants with no luck. If you’ve found natural deodorants that work for you please let me know using the contact form.

Lye soap is awesome but Pine Tar soap is even better. I have an article dedicated to Pine Tar soap coming out soon. Until then just know a good source of natural soaps and skincare products is Bee Natural Soap. Tracy the owner is awesome and makes the best Pine Tar soap I’ve ever used. If it isn’t listed in her Etsy store shoot her a message and request it saying RedBeard sent you.

Beard Wax, Beard Butter & Beard Oil. I have tried so many products out there but to be honest most of the ones that I liked or found most effective were too expensive to keep buying so I started making my own. It started by finding several Amish recipes and old balm recipes that have been passed down for generations. I then experimented with almost all of them until I came up with what worked best for me. You can find my beard care products in our store.

As far as scents I tend to stick with woodsy essential oils including cedar, pine, eucalyptus, mint and patchouli. When hunting I use primarily cedar and it really seems to do the job in masking scents especially in wooded environments where cedar trees are present. Watch the store because later this year I will also be selling a cedar spray that can be applied to clothing before and during your hunt.

If you have questions or topics you would like to see covered please contact us.


MrRedBeard’s Beard Butter

In addition to my Beard Wax I am also making my Beard Butter available. This is another recipe I developed and use for myself. Made from all natural ingredients and works. This Beard Butter is for the evening man. Beard Butter is formulated to stop itching, soften your beard and skin. Put a small amount in your beard before showering to assist in cleaning. Smell is neutral while moisturizing, conditioning, softening and aids in cleaning your beard.

I’m trying to keep to cost low so I’m making these to order. Contact me if you want custom scents or custom products.

Beard Butter

[purchase_link id=”989″ style=”button” color=”inherit” text=”Add Beard Butter to Cart”]


MrRedBeard’s Beard Wax

I’m making my Beard Wax available to those interested. This is recipe that I made and use for my own beard using all natural products. I’m trying to keep to cost low so I’m making these to order. Contact me if you want custom scents or custom products.

Beard Wax Products



Industrial Shelf to Awesome Bed Build

Instead of buying an expensive frame that was large enough for a queen size mattress and provided storage I decided and be cheap and build one dubbed The Princess Bed or Big Girl Princess Bed because it’s so tall and my wife is so short.

Video below


  • Shelving
  • 6x 2×4
  • 4×8 sheet of half inch plywood
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Circular saw

The sides of the shelving came whole instead of 2 pieces so I had to cut out the supports using a reciprocating saw then cut them in half using a metal cutoff wheel on my circular saw. The bed was a bit too tall after this so I went back and cut another 2-3″ of each leg. Because the supports were welded in place I had to cut new 2×4 angled supports to make the bed more rigid. The 2×4 supports for the mattress are just the right height so that the cuts on the shelving did not have to be exactly even. The plywood was cut to fit the platform and then covered with canvas to protect the mattress.

Next for this project is a small staircase with additional storage inside.


R2 Trashcan

This was a fun little Arduino Robotics project that I built with my daughter at the AR Regional Innovation Hub an awesome place I mentioned in the Maker Faire post a while back. Come to think of it I need to post about this year’s Maker Faire. Anyways the robot can be controlled via bluetooth using an Android app.

We have everything mounted to a chassis from another robotics kit much like the Ardokit but only to hold the parts. The motors were aligned with arms of R2 that were printed on the trash bin which turns out are not entirely even with each side. It should not have been a surprise but hey we wanted it to look cool. This posed additional problems with the motor mounts being flat which canted the wheels out. R2 moves a bit awkward. The plastic trash can from Target is a bit brittle so I had to tape the drill marks first and drill with care. A caster was mounted under the front of the R2 to stabilize.


  • R2 trash can from Target
  • IEIK UNO R3 Board ATmega328P from Amazon – Not an authentic arduino but works great and is cheap.
  • Motor Controller – I think this came from an ebay purchase
  • JBtek HC-05 Wireless Bluetooth from Amazon
  • Battery Pack
  • Motors and wheels from something like the Ardokit from Amazon but I’m not a fan of these because the terminals are real week and broke with very little stress.
  • Caster

I have better parts most from Adafruit coming in soon for a cooler more thought out project. Better wheels, better chassis and better motors.


Cheap DIY platform bed with storage

Everyone needs storage especially my daughter. Raised platforms with storage can be pricey so I grabbed shelving from a local hardware store and got busy. This particular shelving can be put together tall or side by side which made assembly so much easier and the bonus is that the shelving is almost the same width as the mattress.

  • 6 x 1×4
  • 1 x 1/4″ 4’x8′ plywood
  • Shelf
  • Wood or decking screws
  • Canvas drop cloth to protect the mattress

I assembled the shelving then laid out the boards to get an idea of where to go next. Then a quick layout of parts, measuring the area needed for the mattress and cut down the plywood to fit. The 1×4’s helped square the decking and once the desired alignment was achieved (using the wall,  a level and a square) I fixed the square in place by screwing the plywood to the slats. So now even if I took the bed and decking off, moved the bed then making everything square again is just a matter of adjusting enough so that the decking fits in place again.

At least once a day my daughter can be found hanging out underneath the bed because awesome.