Our editors have compiled a list of the five coolest home-built projects we’ve come across. Don’t agree with our list? Leave us a comment with your own picks.

5. Vacuum Elevator

This “Vacuum Elevator” is a simple yet “interesting way of lifting a small elevator cab”.

When the piston gear depressurizes the area inside the cylinder above the vacuum elevator cab, the cab is then lifted by higher atmospheric pressure below the cab. The inside of the vacuum elevator cab always remains at the atmospheric pressure. As air pressure is lowered above the cab, the cab is lifted


4. One-Lane Garage Bowling Alley

Tim bought an old Brunswick A-2 pinsetter off eBay and made it into a one-lane bowling alley inside his garage.

I would assemble the pinsetter in the back room, knock out a whole in the wall when I was ready to assemble the lane which would extend out into the front room (the original garage), and in the winter, I could pack the lane away, cover up the whole in the wall, and park a car in the garage. Nobody would ever know there was a bowling alley in there


3. Home-Built Flight Simulator

This person decided playing flight simulators on his computer just wasn’t realistic enough, so he built a full-sized 747-400 cockpit, complete with switches, sensors, and motion base. More pictures here.

The approximate size of the simulator is 13ft wide x 11ft long and 9ft high. It will include every switch and panel in the 747-400. The Simulator has been built to accept full motion and visuals at a later date

[Source 12]

2. World’s Largest Home-Built Skateboard Ramp

According to the New York Times, this is the “world’s largest home-built skateboard ramp” — located on Bob Burnquist’s farm in the San Marcos Mountains (San Diego).

The ramp soars eight stories high and is longer than a football field. Professional skateboarder Bob Burnquist built the ramp for $280,000 on his 12-acre farm. The ramp is for professional skateboarders only — it is not open to the public

1. Star Trek Home

What started as a hobby quickly became an obsession for Star Trek fan Tony Alleyne. Shortly before splitting from his wife Georgina , Tony replaced their refrigerator with a “warp coil” because he thought other Trekkies would pay for these types of conversions. Than came molded walls, touch-panel blue lighting, custom command console, porthole shaped windows, and even a life-sized model of the transporter room. He racked up over $174,000 in debt trying to get his idea off the ground. Here is what Tony had to say:

“But I was wrong and just overstretched. Building it in my apartment was the enjoyable and easy bit. But then I got hooked up with marketing and merchandise people here and in America and it all got out of hand. I’m still proud of what I created but it’s been a financial disaster.”

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