Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

Mechanical Elements is a DIY portal of helpful information for people that like to Build Things themselves.  Our website is a feature of Synthesis Engineering Services, inc., and Privacy is important to us.

We respect your privacy — we always have.  We request information in 4 areas of the site in order to provide specific services:

  1. To send questions or comments from the Contact Us Page, so we can respond.
  2. To leave comments on a page or blog post.  Real contact info helps cut down meaningless spam.
  3. To make an Account to purchase and download plans.
  4. To submit A Story or comment to share with the DIY community.

This policy covers privacy on the site, information requests, information we gather, and your agreement in using the plans.  For more information about policies and site interaction, please also read the Merchant Policy.

Information Privacy

Mechanical Elements (via Synthesis Engineering Services) does not share, sell or otherwise distribute customer information to any other company or organization for any reason.  We respect your privacy, work to minimize the information gathered (enough to provide you the services you request), and to keep the information we gather secure.

If you want us to completely delete information you give, then just let us know.  We have no desire to bug customers that are no longer interested in hearing from us.  Our services are for you, so if you don’t want them anymore, that’s perfectly fine.

Privacy through PayPalWe use for payment transactions on the site so we do not see, or touch, or know your payment information.  We cannot take payments over the phone or via email because we can’t and don’t want to see your payment information.  Please see the website for their policies about privacy.  PayPal is much more secure than we can ever be, and they do not share information with third parties either.

Gathered Information

To purchase plans, your contact information (name, address, e-mail and zip code) is for verification, for credit card transactions, and to send orders.  A telephone number gives an option for contact in case there is a problem.  As stated, we do not share this, ever.

Please be careful entering information.  If something is incorrect, an email address for instance, you will not receive the receipt, nor responses to questions, etc..  We are not responsible for incorrect information.

When visitors leave comments or enter info on the site, we collect the data shown in the form fields, as well as the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent to help spam detection.  All visitor comments and contact requests check through automated spam detection services.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) is verified.  The Gravatar service privacy policy is at:  After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Content in the information you provide is your responsibility.  For instance, if you upload images to the website, please avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included.  Visitors to the website can download and extract location data from images on the website.

Credit Cards

All credit cards are processed through  Please note that either PayPal or Synthesis will appear on the credit card billing statement.  Mechanical Elements is a feature of Synthesis.

For security, we do not handle, receive or process credit card information in any other ways.  All transactions are through the website.  We use the services of PayPal because their security is far better, and because we don’t want to know your Credit Card info.  We cannot and do not process Credit Cards over the phone or via email.  Perhaps more important, we do not have access to any Credit Card info before, during or after a sale.  We’ve built it this way for your privacy and your security.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies.  These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in details again when leaving another comment.  These cookies last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies.  This cookie contains no personal data and discards when you close the browser.

When you log in, we will also set cookies to save login information and screen display choices.  Login cookies last for two days, and screen option cookies last for a year.  If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks.  Logging out of your account will remove login cookies.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie saves in your browser.  This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article just edited.  It expires after 1 day.

When you select products using “Buy Now” or “Add To Cart”, cookies identify and save the items you select.  These cookies last for one year or until you remove the items from your cart via purchase or deletion.

Embedded Content From Other Websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.).  Embedded content from other websites behave in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, or monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account with that website.

Google Analytics & Other Tracking

To best understand how our website is used, what pages are visited and how we can serve you better, we use tools like Google Analytics.  We also use Google AdWords for marketing as a means of bringing our services to the attention of searchers.  These tools track site interactions for analysis and for billing us as anonymous analytics data.  You may opt out of Google Analytics by using their Opt Out Tool.  To opt out of other 3rd party cookies visit the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page.


Identifying information gives us the ability to provide the requested services.  Additionally, contact information is to notify individuals of changes or additions to services and for very occasional news announcements.

By purchasing a product, or by commenting, or by contacting us via the website, you are requesting that we connect with you to answer questions, send purchase receipts, etc.  We will use your contact information for these purposes.

You may request removal from email or other lists by deleting your account, by making a request using the Contact Us page, or through a link at the bottom of a newsletter.

Data Retention

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely as a historical marker and to assist in recognizing and approving follow-up comments.

For users that register or purchase items in the store, we store the personal information provided in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username or delete the historical record of a sale).  Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us.  You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you.  This does not include data we are obliged to keep for aggregative, administrative, legal, or security purposes.

We do not track time of account existence or longevity since use, so we do not automatically delete accounts or comments or other data you provide based on time, activity or inactivity.

All information is stores with industry standard procedures for backup, protection and security.  All of Mechanical Elements is under the HTTPS protocol.

Content & Comments Disclaimer

Articles, information and comments on this website are for informational purposes only.  Opinions of the author are always present.  Please enjoy the website and use it with a filter of personal judgement for the specifics of your situation.  You are responsible for how you use the information.

Visitors leaving comments on the site also have their opinions.  While we welcome other viewpoints, we will not approve comments of a vile nature whether racist, hate, violence or other degradation.  We do not approve comments that are advertising or spam-ish in nature.  Approval is the sole discretion of Mechanical Elements, and we will not notify folks when comments are not approved — we just delete them.

Comments that include URL’s as backlinks subversively left to “fool” search engines are deleted.  We don’t appreciate being used.  If you want to discuss mutually beneficial link trades, please contact us.  We are definitely open to that if the situation is right.  If your SEO helper does this kind of unethical thing, we suggest you fire them.

Plans Use Agreement

Plans purchased through are for individual use only.  Any use of these plans for resale or for producing products for sale is strictly prohibited.  Licensing for production and/or resale is available on request.  Thank you for honoring these terms.

All customers purchasing plans from our site must agree to the above conditions.  While we hope you enjoy them for your project, we do hunt for those violating this agreement.  Thank you for honoring these terms.