Book Review - The Best of Instructables Volume I: Do-It-Yourself Projects from the World's Biggest Show And Tell
I love this renaissance in "do it yourself" projects and building things out of available parts. Doesn't mean I'm necessarily any *good* at it, but it opens my eyes to how common things can be used in uncommon ways. Make magazine from O'Reilly has put together some of the best and most popular projects from the instructables.com site to create the book The Best of Instructables Volume I: Do-It-Yourself Projects from the World's Biggest Show & Tell. There's enough stuff here to keep you occupied for weeks, and you don't have to be a engineering genius to do many of them.
The book is divided up into sections that touch on general themes: Home & Garden; Food; Photography; Science; Computers; Electronics; Robotics; Ride; Craft; Entertainment; Fun & Games; and Tools. For instance, the book gets off to a quick start with a two-page layout on Ikea hacks. I was immediately intrigued with the Tool Box Hack, using a Fira minichest and a pair of Kosing handles. I can do that! The ice straws were a nice touch, also. Moving on, I learned how to make "carbonated fruit" with a plastic water bottle and dry ice. One of my spare USB thumb drives might be destined for a LEGO casing. And who knew Altoid tins could be used in so many ways? Everything from a survival kit to a miniature barbecue unit (for those very small hamburgers). For those who are used to welding, the Ride chapter has plenty of cool bike mods that could be fun. Heck, even learning how to make an earbud headphone cord wrapper from an old credit card is worth the price of admission (not to mention the time savings of having to unravel the cord every time you use it).
As with all books of this type, some of the projects will strike you as "I must build that now!", while others will have you thinking "why would I ever want to do that?" I will not be making stuffed animal headphones now or at any time in the future, thank you very much! But the overall package of projects selected here will appeal to a wide range of interests and skill levels. And since all these projects have been part of the Instructables website, you can always head over there to get additional information or tweaks that others have come up with.
The Best of Instructables is a fun book, and I plan on having a few "toys" with me at the next geek conference I attend...