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 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.
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.
The Secret Life of Machines‘ Tim Hunkin announced a new series consisting of eight episodes about components for making things. In the announcement video above Hunkin lets us know that he has been inspired by online crafters showing how they do things, and offers to show us his processes for working with glue, switches, connectors, springs, bearings, hinges, LEDs, and chain and belt mechanisms when the show premiers on March 4th.
Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod’s The Secret Life of Machines it is very important for so many other people who have left comments on Tim’s videos about how it inspired them to become engineers or just make things for fun. The show crossed borders to demystify and let people know how the machines in our lives work. Washing machines, cars, fax machines, there was no topic too simple for Tim & Rex and at some point during every episode they would risk Rex’s life by doing something extremely silly with the parts from inside the machines like flipping Rex over in a moving vehicle using parts from a washing machine for some reason. That was in 1988 through 1993 and since then Hunkin has been creating ridiculous arcade machines that make a hilarious mockery of real life like this machine that teaches you how to work at an Amazon warehouse:
The entire Secret Life of Machines is available online via Tim Hunkin and oddly enough San Francisco’s Exploratorium here if you’d like something to watch while you’re waiting for the The Secret Life of Components to premier on March 4th at Tim Hunkin’s website. If you’re in the United Kingdom and somehow there isn’t a pandemic anymore, I wish I could be there and visit Tim Hunkin’s arcades in London and Suffolk.