Thursday, April 01, 2010

Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed

Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed
Here is a highly-rated book that explores Leonardo's inventions from flying, hydraulic, war, and theatrical machines to musical instruments. This uses Leonardo's orginal artwork and annotated computer diagrams to show how each of his inventions might would have worked.

It seems to be out-of-print, but can be found used at Amazon. Here's a link to Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed


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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Invention of Hugo Cabret film stars cast

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
I did a post in 2008 about the children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which features a sophisticated automaton based on the Maillardet automaton at the Franklin Institute.

Martin Scorcese is in the process of making the book into a film. A recent announcement reveals that the human cast members will include Ben Kingsley and Sascha Baron Cohen.

Here is a link to the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.


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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Video showing how to make a working wooden lock

Here's a great little video by Adrian Iredale showing the steps in making one of the projects from the book Making Working Wooden Locks. I've been eying that book for years; now I really want it!


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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book: Tinplate Toys from Schuco, Bing, & Others

Tinplate Toys from Schuco, Bing, & Other Companies
Here is what looks to be a very nice book on tinplate toys from Germany -- Nuremberg, in particular -- during the mid 1900s.

From the book description:
The chapters include 300 color photographs, information about the manufacturers (especially Schuco and Bing) and their markings, and essays on the past, present and future of this special toy industry. The mechanical figures, automobiles, trucks, trains, machines and associated buildings that are presented will remind many of the best toys of their youth.

Here is a link on Amazon.co to Tinplate Toys: From Schuco, Bing, & Other Companies


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Monday, March 15, 2010

Book: Practical Clock Repairing

Practical Clock Repairing
For those of you interested, here is a top-rated book on clock repair, ...

From the book description:
In this book, the author has dealt with the usual faults likely to develop in each type of movement in a clock's general use, from the lordly grandfather to the humble alarm. All the tools and equipment are described and illustrated, together with the ways of using them. The craftsman's most important and valuable tools of all — his skillful fingers — are shown in use in the clearest manner. Over 400 line drawings have been specially made from parts under working conditions.

Here's where to get Practical Clock Repairing (3rd Edition)


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Friday, January 22, 2010

Book: Making Simple Model Steam Engines

Making Simple Model Steam Engines
I don't have this book yet, but it is most definitely on my wishlist.

From the book description:
A highly illustrated, step-by-step guide to constructing a range of simple model steam engines, aimed at both beginners and the more experienced. This book details the construction of a range of simple miniature steam engines and boilers. The projects, each of which can be completed with only a basic workshop, range from a single-acting oscillator to more sophisticated twin-cylinder double-acting engines and a variety of boilers. A final project brings together engine and boiler for a simple steam railway locomotive. These projects are a perfect introduction to model engineering and an enjoyable exercise for the more experienced engineer or those who wish to pass on their hobby to a younger generation.

Here is a link to the book Making Simple Model Steam Engines.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Book: Making Working Wooden Locks

Book: Making Working Wooden Locks
This book provides plans and instructions for building working locks from wood. The book includes step-by-step instructions, color photos, measured drawings, and advice on wood selection, tools, and finishing. Projects include a warded lock, a combination lock, an antique lever lock, a railroad switch lock, and an antique push key lever lock.

Here is a link to the book Making Working Wooden Locks).


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Book: How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts

Book: How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts
This gem of a book teaches you how to reproduce or create new casts of brass, bronze, many other metals, and rubber. It covers metal selection, molding sands, mold-making, and how to repair castings. It also features information on core-making, troubleshooting problems, grinding, polishing, and buffing.

From the book description:
Just some of the countless uses you'll find for this potentially profitable skill: making obsolete or vintage car parts, hood ornaments, garden and fireplace tools, kitchen utensils, automotive parts, replacing broken antique parts, reproducing sculpture, plaques, and other art ... all kinds of decorative and useful objects...

Here is a link to How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts (2nd Edition)

[ Thanks Neil! ]


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Karakuri: Make Moving Mechanical Paper Models

Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move
Here is a book on how to make paper automata by Keisuke Saka.

From the book description:
Detailed explanations, accompanied by diagrams, explain the physics behind how karakuri move and operate, so you really learn about the properties of the different types of gears and cams. And to inspire you, also included are four fun, full-color karakuri models designed by the author, a well-known paper engineer.

Here is the link to Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move


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Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Complete Modern Blacksmith book

The Complete Modern Blacksmith book
I recently gave this book to a friend for his birthday. An anthology of three out-of-print books, this book is a great value. The book covers much of what you might expect from a book with this title. What makes it really cool is its emphasis on making, repairing, and maintaining useful tools of every sort. I haven't found this information elsewhere yet. Very nice pencil drawings accompany the text. If you want to take your "making skills" to the next level, you should check this book out.

Here's amazon's info page on The Complete Modern Blacksmith.


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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Video of 'Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood'


Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood
If you've ever wondered if the book Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood contains projects that would appeal to you, check out the video above sent by Richard Thorne. Richard has made four of the book's 17 projects and demonstrates them briefly in the video. Well done!

If you are up for working on some challenging, but rewarding woodworking projects, here is a link to where you can pick up a copy of the book Making Mechanical Marvels In Wood.


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Friday, September 11, 2009

Great Book of Wooden Toys: 50 Easy Projects

Great Book of Wooden Toys: More Than 50 Easy-to-Build Projects
This looks like a good book on making wooden toys. Anyone out there have this one?

From the book description:

Detailed and copiously illustrated, this in-depth handbook offers instruction for constructing more than 50 wooden toys designed to appeal to a child’s sense of imagination and playfulness. A brief introduction covers the basic techniques—gluing, sanding, and making wheels—and each project presents a meticulous diagram, a handy materials list, step-by-step instructions, and a photograph of the completed toy. Designs include stylized versions of a Model T car, a crane, and the Spirit of St. Louis airplane, as well as projects specifically for beginning woodworkers, such as pull-along trains and circus animals. Instructions for finishing and detailing ensure that the completed crafts will last for years.

Here is the link for more information about Great Book of Wooden Toys: More Than 50 Easy-to-Build Projects


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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly

Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly: 28 Top-Secret Projects You Can Build from the Toy Inventor's Workshop
This book looks fantastic! I just ordered it.

From the book description:
Inventive and unique, this dynamic collection of woodworking projects teaches the basic skills needed to make exciting, action-packed toys. From rapid-fire nickel launchers and ball-and-socket robots to a monkey-toss gumball machine, each project includes a color photograph, a tools and materials list, a full diagram, woodworking plans, and instructions for using the finished product. Covering all the methods necessary for creation—selecting wood, drilling and shaping, making wheels and axles, and decoration—these constructions are simple enough for children and parents to complete together, all in an afternoon's time.

Here is the link to Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly: 28 Top-Secret Projects You Can Build from the Toy Inventor's Workshop


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great used book - How to Make Animated Toys

Great used book - How to Make Animated Toys
A very affordable volume (purchased used) this book features detailed plans and scaled drawings for 30 different animated wooden toys. The author also goes into some detail about the processes of designing and building good toys -- including writing about child-safe materials and finishes. Projects include a waddling duck, a hopping rabbit and a lumbering gorilla.

Here's Amazon's page where you can buy a used copy of How to Make Animated Toys


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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Changing Faces - optical illusions with paper

Changing Faces - optical illusions with paper
This book on optical illusions using paper certainly looks interesting!

From the product Description
Changing Faces presents an idiosyncratic and humorous collection of paintings, drawings, cartoons, masks, toys, advertisements, and other works of ephemera that -- either by flipping or flopping or just plain staring -- somehow transform the human physiognomy. Here you will find optical illusions from the Renaissance, Enlightenment-era political cartoons, and Victorian toys that all start off as one thing and end up as another. Sometimes these mutations were made for fun (give magnetic hair to a bald man!) sometimes for profit (buy a Studebaker!), and sometimes to score a political point (watch a French king turn into a big fat pear!), but the results are always an intriguing pleasure to watch.

Here's the link for the book Changing Faces


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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Book - Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED

Book - Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED
Featuring 16 sculptors with a mechanical fascination, the newly publsihed book "Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED" is sure to be a treat for those who love the combination of art and machine.

From the book description:
Using popular culture imagery and objects to explore such themes as mythology, nature, inner fantasy and technology. Artists featured include Greg Brotherton, Steve Brudniak, Christopher Conte, Nemo Gould, Stéphane Halleux, Tom Haney, Kris Kuksi, Mike Libby, Paul Loughridge, Michihiro Matsuoka, Jeremy Mayer, Rich Muller, Olivier Pauwels, Andrew Smith, Lewis Tardy, and Jud Turner, with the forwarded written by Gareth Branwyn.

You can order the book from the Device Gallery online store.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cabaret Mechanical Movement in Spanish!

Cabaret Mechanical Movement in Spanish!
The good folks over at Cabaret Mechanical Theatre have recently shared some great news: their seminal book Cabaret Mechanical Movement is now also available in Spanish.

From the book description:
El libro 'Cabaret Mechanical Movement' (Version Español). 'Autómatas. Arte y Mecánica'es traducción y una adaptación del Parque de las Ciencias en Granada, España.

Del movimiento y de cómo fabricar Autómatas.

El libro incluye una buena parte de teorí a y también proporciona consejos prácticos e ideas para crear tus propios autómatas, mover juguetes o esculturas mecánicas.

pp.124

Here is where you can order copies of Autómatas. Arte y Mecánica.


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Friday, July 03, 2009

The Way Toys Work - book on the science of toys

The Way Toys Work book
The full title of this intriguing book is The Way Toys Work: The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch A Sketch, Boomerang, and More. The book covers 50 well-known toys examining their history and the technology that makes them work. Throw in a mention of DIY experiments and some reverse engineering (see below) and this book is definitely on my reading list!

From the book description on Amazon:
Discover how an Etch A Sketch writes on its gray screen, why a boomerang returns after it is thrown, and how an RC car responds to a remote control device. Leaving no detail unrevealed, the guide includes original patent-application blueprints and photos of the “guts” of several devices. Inventors and museum curators also offer their observations of favorite gizmos while dispelling (or confirming) several toy legends. Complete with explanations of do-it-yourself experiments and tips on reverse engineering old toys to observe their interior mechanics, this entertaining and informative reference even provides pointers on how budding toy makers can build their own toys using only recycled materials and a little ingenuity.

Here is the link to The Way Toys Work: The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch A Sketch, Boomerang, and More on Amazon.com.


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Monday, June 29, 2009

Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture book

Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture book
OK, I am basing this on the table of contents (see below)...but this has got to be one of the definitive treatments on topic of gears. Any engineers out there to verify my guess?

Chapter 1 - Basic Understanding of Gears
Chapter 2 - Gear Tribology and Lubrication
Chapter 3 - Ferrous and Nonferrous Alloys
Chapter 4 - Plastics
Chapter 5 - Machining, Grinding, and Finishing
Chapter 6 - Casting, Forming, and Forging
Chapter 7 - Powder Metallurgy
Chapter 8 - Through Hardening
Chapter 9 - Carburizing
Chapter 10 - Nitriding
Chapter 11 - Carbonitriding
Chapter 12 - Induction and Flame Hardening
Chapter 13 - Gear Failure Modes and Analysis
Chapter 14 - Fatigue and Life Prediction
Chapter 15 - Mechanical Testing

Here is Amazon's listing for Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture



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Monday, June 22, 2009

Decoding the Heavens: Antikythera mechanism


Book - Decoding the Heavens: Antikythera mechanism
Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer--and the Century-Long Search to Discover Its Secrets is about the the Antikythera mechanism a mysterious and sophisticated mechanical device recovered in 1901 from an ancient Mediterranean shipwreck. It is now thought to have been built about 150 - 100 BC and represents the first known analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It's an astonishing piece of ancient mechanical technology with a fascinating history.

From the Publishers Weekly
Marchant, editor of New Science, relates the century-long struggle of competing amateurs and scientists to understand the secrets of a 2000-year-old clock-like mechanism found in 1901 by Greek divers off the coast of Antikythera, a small island near Tunisia. With new research and interviews, Marchant goes behind the scenes of the National Museum in Athens, which zealously guarded the treasure while overlooking its importance; examines the significant contributions of a London Science Museum assistant curator who spent more than 30 years building models of the device; and the 2006 discoveries made by a group of modern researchers using state-of-the-art X-ray. Beneath its ancient, calcified surfaces they found "delicate cogwheels of all sizes" with perfectly formed triangular teeth, astronomical inscriptions "crammed onto every surviving surface," and a 223-tooth manually-operated turntable that guides the device. Variously described as a calendar computer, a planetarium and an eclipse predictor,Marchant gives clear explanations of the questions and topics involved, including Greek astronomy and clockwork mechanisms. For all they've learned, however, the Antikythera mechanism still retains secrets that may reveal unknown connections between modern and ancient technology; this globe-trotting, era-spanning mystery should absorb armchair scientists of all kinds.

Here is a link for more information on the book Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer--and the Century-Long Search to Discover Its Secrets


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects

Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects to Make
I don't have this book myself (yet), but it looks like it could be a lot of fun. Making Moving Toys offers instructions and templates to make 30 different types of moving toys out of common materials. The projects range from spinning tops, wind-powered figures, paper airplanes, a carousel, a climbing monkey, a zoetrope, and many more. See? Fun!

Here's the link to Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects to Make.


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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Big Book of Wooden Clocks: Projects & Patterns

Big Book of Wooden Clocks: 25 Projects & Patterns
Here is a new book on wooden clocks scheduled to be released in July of 2009.

The book compiles a number of projects from Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine.It looks pretty good -- especially the wooden gear clock depicted on the cover and detailed in pages 120 to to 134. Those 14 pages alone were enough to convince me to pre-order it.

Product Description from Amazon
Featuring some of the most popular projects from sold-out issues of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Craftsmagazine, the projects in this collection include a wide range of clock styles, such as grandfather clocks with intricate fretwork, classic pendulum clocks, and whimsical desk clocks. Detailed plans for more than 25 projects cover the entire process with step-by-step instructions, complete materials lists, instructions on buying and inserting clock parts, cutting the clock using a scroll saw, assembling the pieces, and applying finishes.

Here's more information on Big Book of Wooden Clocks: 29 Favorite Projects & Patterns .


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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More books on gears, theory, and applications

As a continuation of my early post about books on gear design and fabrication, here are some other books that I have turned up. These definitely fall into the more esoteric and expensive category.

Gear Geometry and Applied TheoryGear Geometry and Applied Theory
by Faydor L. Litvin and Alfonso Fuentes

Product Description from Amazon
"This revised, expanded edition covers the theory, design, geometry and manufacture of all types of gears and gear drives. An invaluable reference for designers, theoreticians, students, and manufacturers, the second edition includes advances in gear theory, gear manufacturing, and computer simulation. Among the new topics are: new geometry for gears and pumps; new design approaches for planetary gear trains and bevel gear drives; an enhanced approach for stress analysis; new methods of grinding and gear shaving; and new theory on the simulation and its application."


Gear Noise and VibrationGear Noise and Vibration, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
by J. Derek Smith

Product Description from Amazon
"Based on more than 40 years of consultation and teaching experience, the Second Edition demonstrates logical gear noise and vibration approaches without the use of complex mathematics or lengthy computation methods. A straightforward source for enhanced gear design, assessment, and development practices;enriched with more than 150 figures."


Gear Drive SystemsGear Drive Systems
by Peter Lynwander



Analytical Mechanics of GearsAnalytical Mechanics of Gears
by Earle Buckingham


Involute Spur Gears - Design and Lathe CuttingInvolute Spur Gears - Design and Lathe Cutting
by Earle Buckingham

Product Description from Amazon
"Chapter titles are ...(1) The Involute Spur Gear and Its Properties ...(2) Design of Involute Gear Tooth Profiles ...(3) Methods of Production ...(4) Methods of Testing Gears ...(5) Strength of Gears."


Gear Hobbing, Shaping and ShavingGear Hobbing, Shaping and Shaving: A Guide to Cycle Time Estimating and Process Planning
by Robert Endoy



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