Thursday, October 11, 2012

Building Wooden Machines: Gears and Gadgets for the Adventurous Woodworker -- two classic books combined in one volume

Building Wooden Machines book cover

Among all of the books on how to make wooden mechanisms, two of the best and most advanced have long been the two by Alan and Gill Bridgewater: Making Wooden Mechanical Models and Making More Wooden Mechanical Models: 13 Designs With Visible Wheels, Cranks, Pistons, Cogs and Cams. Originally published in 1995 and 1999, respectively, they have become increasingly hard to find, especially the second book which now fetches high prices in the used book market.

So, it is good news to learn that the two books have been combined into a single edition titled Building Wooden Machines: Gears and Gadgets for the Adventurous Woodworker.

Not intended for automaton makers specifically -- the stately models in this book showcase the inherent beauty of basic machines themselves. Indeed, any of these working models can be taken for kinetic sculptures that would be proudly displayed by the mechanically inclined person. If we were to leave the review at that, this book would be highly recommended.

Many of mechanisms found in Building Wooden Machines can be used for automata making. The following projects in the book are decidedly useful resources for the automata maker:

  • Reciprocating Engine
  • Rack and Pinion Machine
  • Cam Machine
  • Lever and Ratchet Mechanism
  • Wheel and Worm Gear Mechanism
  • Bicycle Chain Machine
  • The Universal Joint

In fact, most of the projects could prove useful. Certainly some element of every project could be of value. The authors have great skill in fabrication with wood. They have a lot to teach in this regard. The methods of cutting, drilling, shaping, fastening, and finishing wood mechanisms can be applied very broadly. One little forewarning: some of the projects in this book require a wood lathe.

The new combined edition contains 28 ingenious woodworking projects with visible wheels, cranks, pistons and other moving parts made of wood. Each project has step-by-step instructions and plan drawings from which to work.

The original two books cost $22 and $25 each when they were published back in the 90s. This new combined edition is selling on Amazon for less than $18 right now. This is a great value no matter how you look at it.

Here is where you can order Building Wooden Machines: Gears and Gadgets for the Adventurous Woodworker. Be sure to check out the "Click to look inside" feature to peruse all of the mechanical wooden goodness within the pages of this new edition.

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Blogger Ken said...

4 short years later and now it's over $100. :(

May 29, 2016 at 8:47 AM  

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