Saturday, March 10, 2012

DoItYourself at The Urbana Free Library!

Learn how to make stuff!

Warmer weather means time outside, which for some of us means migrating to the garage to justify why we bought that scroll saw in the first place. Visit The Urbana Free Library for resources on just what to do with that saw and all the cool things that you can make.

If you want to go “old school” with your creation, there is no better place to start than Rodney Peppé’s Automata and Mechanical Toys. Peppé has won numerous awards in Britain for creating toys, and has had exhibitions of his work at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood. This book includes tons of photos of modern and automated devices. More importantly, Peppé includes plans for how to construct the basic building blocks of automata such as cranks and friction drives. The explanation of different cam shapes and their function makes the process of design much easier to understand. More movable pieces of art than toys (in my opinion), these projects are no easy feat to complete, but would be a great way to hone your woodworking and design skills.

Another “Old School” resource is the re-issued The Boy Mechanic. Compiled from articles in Popular Mechanics over the first half of the twentieth century, these projects assume a certain amount of mechanical ability, even though they are written for kids. Projects range from sleds and “fun with engines” to wooden boats! A look back at a simpler time…

If you prefer electronics, the “evil genius” series are a great place to start. Written for hobbyists, these books began as a series in 2006, with the latest book tackling Arduino interactive objects.

Other nifty ideas for the home solderer can be found in the book Hack This! Besides being a book that covers 25 incredible projects, it also looks at the people and spaces that created them, and gives a nice overview of hacker/makerspaces, To learn more about our local maker space click here.

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