The Secret Life of Components: Springs

For springtime there’s nothing better to build with than springs

Tim Hunkin is back today with another episode in his The Secret Life of Components series. Springs are covered and it’s fun to watch Hunkin explain the subject with real-world demonstrations of how different springs work and then applying them to his creative arcade machines.

There are just three episodes left in The Secret Life of Components, as Hunkin has already covered chains, LEDs, hinges, and switches, next week we should have access to his thoughts on connectors, then glue, and finally bearings. As always I recommend checking out Hunkin’s site for more details on the series.

The Secret Life of Components: Switches

Before the Nintendo Switch there was the electrical mechanical switch. Tim Hunkin’s new video about the subject is out in his Secret Life of Components series above and we are about midway through the release schedule for these videos as they go up every Thursday. We are about midway through the series of eight episodes having already covered chains, LEDshinges, and now switches, with springs, connectors, glue, and bearings coming up. As I think about that schedule I am just now coming to realize the hope that Hunkin really kinda glosses over the history of glue. I highly recommend checking out Hunkin’s website on the new series and chipping in a few dollars if you enjoy the new series.

The Secret Life of Components: Hinges

Tim Hunkin’s ongoing series about the parts that he uses to make his contraptions continues in episode three: Hinges. Tim is an absolute legend and he can even make hinges interesting. The series has so far covered working with chains and LEDs. You can find out more about The Secret Life of Components at Hunkin’s website.

Hunkin has also re-released machine-learning upscaled versions of the first series of The Secret Life of Machines episodes from 30 years ago and added a bonus chat at the end with recollections from filming and other behind the scenes hints:

The Secret Life of Components: LEDs

The second in Tim Hunkin’s eight-episode series for makers, The Secret Life of Components, is up. This episode focuses on LEDs. A subject I finally know a tiny bit about because some mechanical keyboards can use them, but there is a lot more to learn from Hunkin about LEDs and he goes through a short bit of history through all the options out there to brighten up your projects that he uses in his arcade machines.

One of the things I like about Tim Hunkin’s new demonstrations is that there is no artifice. This is just him in his workshop and he is playing with some components and is happy to share that joy for exploring with others. While it would be funny for a moment if this turned into your typical polished YouTube video and Hunkin was shouting out his highest tier patreon subscribers and saying “…if you liked this video, make sure to give it a like and RIIING THAT BELLL!” he isn’t catering to YouTube that way today and that is a nice change of pace. There’s nothing wrong with the people who do those things, it is the way to succeed on video at the moment and people listen to these calls to action, the systems are at fault for not allowing us to do the things that make us happy like making videos without worrying about the dollars coming in when we live in a time of utter surplus that is dominated by a very few billionaires.

With this new video I’ve also noticed two great updates to The Secret Life of Components web page, the first is a schedule for the upcoming videos, the second update is that Hunkin is going to re-release the original Secret Life of Machines with some kind of AI up-scaling via tapes made from the original film recordings.

The Secret Life of Components: Chain

The first episode of Tim Hunkin’s The Secret Life of Components, which as you may have determined I am very happy to watch, is now available on Tim Hunkin’s YouTube channel. This first episode covers everything you need to know about working with chain to make things. The show’s creator and star, has this to say about the series on his website:

In the past, when people asked me how to learn practical skills, I’ve told them they just have to make things badly to start with but to keep going and they will improve. I made things badly for the first half of my life. However, I now learn a lot from watching practical youtube videos and realise that they can teach the sort of informal tips that used to be part of traditional apprenticeships. So I’m delighted to be contributing to this wonderful new learning resource! I hope my videos, each about 45 minutes long, are entertaining enough to be fun for beginners, but also detailed enough to be useful for pros.

I’m hoping some day to make it out of the “making things badly” stage of making things and I’ve also noticed that Hunkin is asking for donations on his website and at the end of the video. If you have come to enjoy his work as much as I do please consider donating a few dollars.