The Gizmos & Gadgets Special Issue
I was asked to contribute an article to a special issue magazine called Gizmos & Gadgets. Not to be confused with the technology magazine of the same name, this one is put out by the same folks that publish Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine as well a many of the best carving, woodworking, and craft books you will find. They have to be one of my favorite publishers, so when I was asked to write for them, I was really excited.
The magazine was a year in the making and they did a fantastic job. The projects are awesome and the documentation excellent. They did the job right. The video above shows the projects in action. The automaton I designed may be seen at the 00:53 second mark. There is a wealth of useful techniques within these pages and more than 10 cool projects. What follows is a list of the projects in the magazine.
1 - Kicker Gumball Machine
This fun gumball dispenser will test your hand-to-eye coordination, give you a great project to build, and reward you with a treat. Lots of fun!
2 - A wooden chest with a working wooden lock
Notable wood clock-maker Adrian Iredale shows you how precise cuts and careful sanding can produce a working padlock made almost exclusively of wood. I'm looking forward to making one myself.
3 - Rapid-fire rubber band gun
The ultimate in wooden rubber band guns, this one is fired by turning a hand-crank much like the old Gatling gun. It's incredible.
4 - Simplest possible working wooden clock
Master of the wooden clock, Clayton Boyer, provides detailed instructions on how to make a wooden clock. If you have always dreamed of making a wooden clock, but were intimidated, this is the one start with! It's unconventional design makes it a unique timepiece as well as a work of kinetic art. FULL SIZE plans for this project are included in the magazine centerfold. This is a great value -- more than worth the price of the magazine alone. Trust me.
5 - Tiny ship automaton
Fellow automaton-maker Wanda Sowry contributed this really cute automaton featuring a tiny ship rocking on the waves of the ocean. This would be an ideal choice for one's first wood automaton. It would also make a nice gift.
The Unwelcome Dinner Guest - Automaton by Dug North
6 - Dog and bird automaton
My own contribution to the magazine is a scene featuring a bird stealing a dog's food. The poor dog is tangled in his own leash, so all he can do is wag his tail and bark at the winged thief who pecks away at the food. I worked hard to use materials that could be found easily online and at local home improvement stores. I'm quite pleased with the dog's barking action which uses a four-bar linkage.
7 - Bouncing buggy toy
This charming pull-along toy features a horse and buggy with two riders. The riders are having a bit of bumpy ride. This piece has a strong ties to a long tradition of folk toys. Why not be a part of that tradition?
8 - Wood spitting whirligig
No written work on wooden gizmos could be complete without a whirligig. The Gizmos & Gadgets issue delivers with this fine example. A very traditional scene -- a man chopping wood -- is animated by wind power alone. A classic.
9 - The 'Smoke Grinder'
This is a fun little do-nothing gadget that is loads of fun. It's a great beginner project that will also make a nice gift for kids.
10 - The mother of all gear machines
Ed Legler documents how he made this intricate kinetic sculpture that graces the cover of the magazine. The author uses some tools that may be beyond what you have in the workshop, but you can cut the gears on a scroll saw. I'm going to tackle this one sooner or later.
11 - Marble track tower
A nifty marble machine is also described in detail at the end of the magazine. Because of the complexity, the plans themselves have to be purchased separately. Still, you can get a good look at what you would be buying or perhaps be inspired to come up with your own design.
That's one great magazine if you ask me!
Have I got your attention? If so, here is where you can order a copy of the Gizmos & Gadgets special issue. You can also get the issue for free by signing up for a two year subscription to Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine. If you like scroll saw projects, that would be the best value. You will get 8 issues of the magazine plus this special Gizmos & Gadgets issue which sells for $10 alone.