A Faraday cage can be made out of any metal container such as tin canisters, filing cabinets, metal desks, garbage cans, or ammo cans. Start with a metal container and something to insulate the items inside from coming into contact with the metal: newspaper, magazines, cardboard, or styrofoam, which is my preference.
Some people say that if you wrap an item in a plastic baggie as your insulating layer, then wrap the baggie in tinfoil, that's all you need to do. Another reason for the extra layers of protection is that I'm going to be grounding this Faraday cage by attaching it to plumbing pipes. Next I've sealed up all the cracks and crevices in the metal box using aluminum tape, which is on the same shelf as the duct tape at your local hardware store.
Here I've clearly labeled what's inside the sealed box, to make it easier to locate stuff on the day after Doomsday.
A closer view of the twisty wiring wrapping numerous times around the handle of the box and the copper pipes. For nearly 50 years the Bay Area has been home to a indigenous movement of do-it-yourselfers and creative hacking. I am not sure what it is about the Bay Area that has generated this larger movement of hands on culture, but given its history, it certainly has. At the Maker Faire it is fantastic to see thousands of young school kids and old graybeards and moms all elbowing each other to see the latest in workshop tools, science kits, how-to books, demos, seminars on making drones or tempeh, and cool stuff made just because you can.
A hot foundry run by the Crucible can produce an art bell like this one, which bongs deeply.


This is a big question for many, as the proliferation of cell and data transmission and other towers increases. It's true that when you treat a radio or cell phone this way, the signal is lost, which indicates that electronic waves are not able to get through the barrier. Not only does this prevent stray ions from penetrating the box, but it also prevents water from burst pipes from getting into the box. The easiest way to do that is to attach it to copper plumbing pipes, which go into the ground, thereby bleeding the electrical charges away from the box.
I have several places in my home where the copper plumbing is accessible and I try to spread my various Faraday cages out so that if one gets crushed or drowned in a quake, I still have the others to fall back on. The Whole Earth Catalog captured much of that do-it-yourself, self-education, home-made ethic back in the 1960s and 1970s. I prefer a more substantial Faraday cage than a single layer of ungrounded tin foil, but I tend to be a *little bit* OCD about my preps, so I'm going to hedge my bets and use BOTH tinfoil AND a metal box, so I'll be doubly protected. If you do not have copper pipes conveniently exposed, you can tie your wire to a stake driven into the ground or a metal fence post or some such. The real challenge is making a bug out bag that not only has everything you need to survive, but is also light enough to carry for hours on end. Frank Oppenheimer launched the hands-on Exploratorium at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts in 1969. There is a lot of evidence that the maker culture is spreading, which I take to be good news.


I don't want my EMP preps to get ruined by flooding, so the extra layers are worth the extra effort. Even if you cannot ground your Faraday cage, it should still offer you more protection than no Faraday cage at all. In the 1980s the Cacophony Society renewed the counterculture spirit of making stuff, which later morphed into the ongoing Burning Man scene.
Here I've made sure everything is thoroughly labeled so that if I'm frantically searching for my walkie-talkies, I don't have to rip open package after package in order to find them. Recently, beginning in the 2000s, ReadyMade and Make magazine took up the torch of home grown society.
About 5 years ago Make magazine hosted the first annual Maker Faire, and each year this rendezvouz of maker culture has grown in volume. The themes at the Marker Faire, which just ran this weekend, overlaps many of the themes and subcultures at Burning Man, and the how-to-do it fascination of the Whole Earth Catalog – while adding a few new threads like the Steampunk whimsy. Many of the other Bay Area leaders in the maker movement are represented at the Faire as well including the Tinkering School, Instructables, the TechShop, the Crucible, the Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, and so on.



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