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Popular Mechanics South AfricaPopular Mechanics South Africa

Popular Mechanics South Africa December 2018

The South African edition of Popular Mechanics was launched in 2002 and has fast become the acknowledged voice of science and technology in South Africa. Underpinning its rich sci-tech content is an ever-changing mix of articles covering everything from automotive news and outdoor adventures to DIY projects. In essence, it explains how our world works

South Africa
RamsayMedia (PTY) Ltd
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12 Issues


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50 shades of daunted…

Tings have moved fast since my last ed’s letter. To condense a long story, the place we’ve been renting for the past three-and-a-half years came up for sale, and after giving it some thorough-yet-rapid thought, I decided to buy it. Skip forward a couple of weeks and my offer has been accepted, my finance is just about arranged (just as soon as I’ve signed over my firstborn, given DNA samples for safekeeping in a vault somewhere, and promised the bank my undying love for 20 years), and we’re now thinking about how we’ll improve the place once it’s properly ours. But when you get down to doing that, and you start scouring the web, Pinterest, home-improvement magazines and talking to people with more design acumen than you, it all becomes rather overwhelming.…

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WINNING LETTER DRILLMASTER Hi, PM team. I really enjoyed the article on the hammer drill versus rotary hammer comparison. I have found many seasoned handymen are completely ignorant of the rotary hammer’s existence and purpose. The article was very informative and accurate, except for one vital flaw. The author advised the readers to drill a pilot hole with a rotary hammer and then drill with a larger bit from both sides to prevent breakout. Having drilled hundreds of rotary hammer holes in the hardest concrete, I have experienced pilot holes to be the perfect recipe for endless frustration. There are two major reasons for this: 1. The rotary hammer has immense forward impact that will effectively jam the sides of the drill bit into the hole, and the clutch of the rotary hammer will…

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back on track

A few months ago I was on vacation in Mount Sheba in Mpumalanga, and on the table at the place I was staying was a copy of the July PM issue. The article inside entitled ‘The back pain repair manual’ really interested me, as I have suffered from back pain for several months. I’ve been trying to treat the pain without great success. When I stand up from the couch, my pain is excruciating – after about three or four steps, and a bit of limping, it seems to ease off. However, after reading the article, I proceeded to do the exercises described, and after my first attempt, I experienced a huge amount of relief (maybe in the range of 70–80 per cent improvement). I never thought Popular Mechanics would publish articles to…

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local is lekker

Not too long ago I bought an issue of Popular Mechanics because I was interested in the article ‘Money is coming back into local manufacturing; this is where it’s going’. I was interested to learn about Selwyn van Aarde and his challenge of manufacturing shoes in that declining industry. Even the editor touched on why South African manufacturers are still continuing, despite the numerous challenges. I feel that this is a very interesting topic that could definitely be expanded on. Like Selwyn, I am trying to resurrect an almost dead industry (lingerie manufacturing) as I find it ridiculous that our country should lose this valuable skill set, especially when we have such a high unemployment rate. South Africans are incredibly creative and talented people, and it makes sense that we should…

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sjöbergs nordic plus workbench worth r6 195

Sponsored by BPM Toolcraft – www.toolcraft.co.za WRITE TO US, ENGAGE IN DEBATE, and you could win an exciting prize. The writer of this month’s winning letter has won a Sjöbergs Nordic Plus Workbench valued at R6 195! Sjöbergs’ Nordic Plus Workbench Workbenches are crafted in Sweden, and are undeniably the most sought-after workbenches in the woodworking world. Their iconic design and quality has remained unmatched for the past 90 years. Your workbench is the foundation of your workshop – it’s your principle jig, clamp system and work surface. It should be heavy, absolutely flat, have flawless vices, and be able to accept a variety of hold-fasts, hold-downs and jigs. In other words, it should be a Sjöbergs. The prize sponsor, BPM Toolcraft in Cape Town, stocks a huge range of woodworking machines, power…

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time machine

1 APRIL 1967 ▸ Amazing New Control Stick for Your Car Back in ’67 one of the PM editors was intrigued by a joystick-like device th at ena bled you to accelerate, brake and steer your car, all with one hand! It was said to be a ‘taste of tomorrow’s driving’. We’re rather relieved steering wheels have stuck around instead. 2 JUNE 1962 ▸ This Boat Flies! Here we investigated a flying-boat prototype that could speed across the water, and then launch into flight, and travel hundreds of kilometres at 200 km/h, at an altitude of 15 000 feet! It wasn’t a seaplane, but rather a boat with a large aluminium wing and a 100-horsepower engine. 3 MARCH 1964 ▸ Fold-Away Bedroom With the mag costing 35c, this month we gave detailed instructions on how to build a…