Automata and Mechanical Toys
I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I ordered it from Amazon.com a few months ago. Without question,
it was worth the wait.
What will you find in Automata and Mechanical Toys?
The chapters are as follows:
- A Brief History of Automata and Mechanical Toys
- The Origins of Contemporary Automata
- Tools and Materials
- Making Automata Mechanisms
- Theme Projects
- Painting and Finishing
It's everything you could ask for in book on automata.
The organization of the book is a little unusual. The title of each chapter might lead you to believe that
it covers one 'how-to' topic in detail. Well, not really. Here's the typical organization of a given chapter. First,
the chapter has a brief summary of the topic in question -- say tools and materials.
Next, the chapter moves on to showcase the work of two or three automata artists with many pictures and a page or two of
information about the artist.
The artists featured in the book are among the best known automata makers in the United Kingdom.
Images to Inspire
The photographs of automata in this book are outstanding. You can really get a sense for the devices, their construction, and
most especially finishes. The sections that do cover construction techniques are clear and informative. The bearings box they build would be
great for teaching kids about basic mechanical devices.
Learn About Mechanisms by Doing
One the really cool things about this book is the automata mechanism test platform. The reader is given complete instructions
for making and testing commonly-used mechanism. There are printed patterns for pin-wheels, ratchets, and splined gears. This is
really useful stuff.
If you love automata, want to see more of them, and want to learn about some of the top automatists in the contemporary
scene, this book is a must-have.
This book is somewhere between a coffee table book and a how-to book. This isn't a bad thing per se.
If you buy just one book on automaton making -- I would have to recommend this very book.
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