Friday, June 27, 2008

Jon Kalish: Digital DIY

Digital DIY: Web Helps Do-It-Yourselfers Share Ethic
by Jon Kalish

There's a corner of the Internet now that functions like an old-fashioned general store, where farmers might swap advice on how to fix an ailing tractor. A host of highly interactive Web sites cater to a growing number of do-it-yourselfers who want to do everything from hack cell phones to make their own furniture.

Take 35-year-old Joel Sprayberry. His kitchen countertops are made from granite he salvaged from discarded billiard tables. When Sprayberry's beloved dachshund became disabled, the Dallas musician gathered some aluminum tent poles, some webbing and some wheels, and made a mini-chariot to immobilize the dog's hind legs.

"It was less than $50 that I spent," Sprayberry says, estimating that the doggy-wheelchair took him two hours to build. "And it didn't really take any special tools other than a drill and some normal tools you have around the house."


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