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 automaton makers. Both books feature basic wooden machines as finished projects in themselves.
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 elements often found in an automaton.
The projects in this book are very handsome and would make nice gifts. There's something inexpressibly classy about machines made of wood.
I bought Making Mechanical Marvels bundled with Making Wooden Models from Amazon.com and I'm glad I did. The two books really compliment each other. I 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 equivalent to Volume 2 in which you tackle some more complicated projects.
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 -- a nice bonus. I have learned a great deal from this book. Don't overlook it as a resource for building wooden mechanism.
Here is where you can order Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood.