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Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood

In some ways, this book is not unlike Making Wooden Mechanical Models which I reviewed here. There are, however, some important differences between the two books.

Like Making Wooden Mechanical Models, this book isn't specifically written for automata makers. And, again, it's similar to the aforementioned book in that the models in the book are really about basic machines themselves as finished projects. In some ways, the projects in this book are simpler than in Making Wooden Mechanical Models and that is a strength.

Making Mechanical Marvels differs in that many of the projects in this book are key building blocks to making contemporary wooden automata. For example, projects such as the cam and follower, the Scotch yoke, the fast-return actuator, and the geneva wheel are all key elements of many automata.

    By way of example, here are some mechanisms I have used in my contemporary automata:
  • Scotch yoke - Christmas: The Pre-Reindeer Era
  • Fast-return actuator: An Interesting Specimen
  • Geneva wheel: The Birthing Engine
  • Cam and follower: Well...all of them

The Same, But Different

The projects in this book are very handsome in themselves and would look great on a desk. There's something inexpressibly classy about machines made of wood.

I bought Making Mechanical Marvels bundled with Making Wooden Models from and I'm glad I did. The two books really compliment each other. I would consider this book to be Volume 1. This book has very clear instructions and drawings to get you up to speed making wooden mechanisms. Making Wooden Models is like Volume 2 in which you tackle more complicated projects that model more complete mechanical systems. They go together well.

Confession Time

I haven't made any of these models yet. But, I have learned a great deal from this book. I recently finished an automaton and was looking through this book. I wish I had done it sooner, for I found a universal joint that I could have used to great effect. I won't overlook this book as a wood mechanism resource ever again.

The book has well-drawn line diagrams and a series of color pages in the center. The instructions are very well written; I would feel good about giving this book to a new woodworker or youngster looking for a science fair project.

The book concludes with some handy shop tips and jigs. Bonus!

Here is where you can order this book from Amazon Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood

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