I suggest that you start getting legal advice from real lawyers.
Whether or not one makes money is /completely irrelevant/ to IP law.
"Personal use" is no defense to infringement. "Fair use" is, and there
are precedents for what is and is not fair use, but whether the use is
private or commercial is not a deciding factor (for example, quoting
a small piece of a copyrighted work for review is fair use--whether or
not the review is done for profit). Patents and copyrights are the
same in this regard. Building a patented device in your garage for
your own private use /is/ infringement.
Note that I am describing the current state of US law as of 1997. I
make no arguments here as to whether or not such laws are just, or to
the state of any foreign laws. The archives here have much discussion
on the propriety of these laws; I suggest you find a more reliable source
for information on their present state.