Name your MacGyver moments


I'll start:

Trying to repair an av receiver, had to discharge a couple 63v capacitors still loaded with 50v after power off. Didn't exactly have the proper equipment... so i stuck 2 cables into an apple (the fruit), measured out about 7kohms, put the other ends of wires on the capacitor and it discharged to a few volts over a couple minutes
My greatest MacGyver moment was accomplishing a doctors request to build him a spiral staircase out in his open garage from scratch, using treated materials because this garage sometimes flooded with up to 6" of water from the pond next to it.

It was built over 20 years ago and still looks exactly the same today.

That was my MacGuyver moment because at the time I did not have a clue as to how to build a spiral staircase from scratch, much less from treated material that shrinks and cracks over time.

FYI: I built it completely by myself.


May 1, 2011
Wow, Ry, that actually is impressive.
I love working on wood (dunno if i can say this in english) even i don't know how to. I'm trying to build an oak shelf. I'll send some pics.

Share your tips, mate, how did you worked on this part ?

Did you 'arch' this part by yourself ?

Hi gropouce, Long time no talk, I hope all is well with you and yours! :)

Yes Sir I did, it was all built from scratch.

What you have outlined is multiple layers of wood strips about 1/4" thick glued together or better know as laminated to form the curved arch necessary for the spindles to attach to, it is the same laminating procedure for creating the spiral hand rail.

The actual spiral handrail does not connect at the top, it floats with the rest of the spiral steps, that way expansion and contraction was not a problem.

A 2" steel pipe runs down the center you can see the top of it in the picture, the bottom is anchored in about 400lbs of concrete.

All the step supports and treads were drilled out to slide down over the steel pipe which was threaded at the top 12" so a tightening ring could be screwed down to pressurize the stack.

You cannot see the threaded part of the steel pipe in the picture or the tensioning collar as it is under the plywood last step.
at the top.

IMO the most amazing thing is the spiral staircase is constructed of pressure treated material, except for the handrail and what you outlined and the last step at the top.

The step treads were #1 pressure treated kiln dried and it could have been built out of oak for what that cost, the step supports were out of #2 pressure treated 6" x 6" which shrunk over time, thus requiring the tensioning collar at the top that could be tightened as it shrunk over time.

The shrinkage stabilized after about a year and a half and hasn't needed tightening since then.



Jan 2, 2016
well i don't know how to follow that, dang, that is amazing, you are one hell of a carpenter...

I guess mine would be...lady had a laptop running at her business that she could not live without, not even for a day, and it was running super hot, no time to redo thermal paste and clean fans and what not, and she was going to replace it anyways just needed it to keep going for a bit longer, plus of course there's always the chance of something going wrong but knock on wood (no pun intended) i've never broken a pc in all the years i've been working on them. So, she was opposed to the idea of using a cookie rack from walmart to hold it up off the desk a few mm, so I got a cork from a wine bottle and i cut it into four and taped a piece of it to each corner of the laptop bottom done this a few times for people now LOL.. cheap and fast alternative for a quick temporary fix.. i know this is pitiful, maybe not even worthy of McGyver status...I loved that show as a kid!



That is good McGuyver work, using everyday items to make things work!