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Eccentric Cubicle (Make: Projects) [Paperback]

by Kaden Harris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 5, 2007 0596510543 978-0596510541 1

Who says office cubicles need to be dreary? In this book, author Kaden Harris (creator of Eccentric Genius) introduces aspiring and die-hard Makers to a highly entertaining parallel universe of surreal office-based projects that are sure to pique the curiosity of even the most jaded office mates.

From desktop guillotines and crossbows to mood-enhancing effects and music makers, each project presents a different set of challenges and opens new avenues of Maker lore. There's a strong emphasis on the basic mechanical theories and principles of the devices presented in the book, as well as the fabrication techniques you need to use. But this is far more than a book of project "how-tos". Eccentric Cubicle offers oblique industrial design and fabrication philosophies, countless cultural reference points, and innumerable bad puns.

This book is a dream come true for you office-bound souls who are tech DIY enthusiasts, hobbyist engineers/designers, and Makers at heart. Imagine having your cubicle sport projects such as:

  • A mechanical golfer
  • Lucid dreaming induction device
  • USB-powered bubble blower
  • Fog machine
  • A desktop guillotine
  • And a whole lot more
In the Eccentric Cubicle, Harris starts with classic, time-honored principals, then modernizes and augments his designs with performance enhancements and updated feature sets -- all while precariously balancing form, function, and oddness. Scavenging and repurposing materials and components at every opportunity, he challenges and inspires you to modify and adapt the projects and designs to meet your own scale, performance, and aesthetic requirements.

Bring character and life to your office desktop with Eccentric Cubicle!

Frequently Bought Together

Eccentric Cubicle (Make: Projects) + The Best of MAKE (Make 75 Projects from the pages of MAKE)
Price for both: $48.23

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kaden Harris (a.k.a. the Eccentric Genius: makes antiques from a parallel universe: museum-quality miniature catapults and machina arcana, handcrafted corporate gifts, and executive rewards. He lives in Vancouver, B.C., with his wife, "The Sourceress," and six shopcats: Tolka, Miqo, Aggie, Jasper, Pugsley, and The Giant Cat-Bear.

Product Details

  • Series: Make: Projects
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (November 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596510543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596510541
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book makes me happy November 26, 2007
I definitely don't have the chops, supplies or tools to make the projects in "Eccentric Cubicle," but I still love this book. It's a blast to read through the instructions for gems like this one:

"Fugly? Uh huh. Useful? Yeah, that, too. Recognizing the potential alternative uses for garden-variety stuff is an essential part of improvisational fabrication."

See, I'm pretty sure I'll never need a drill pattern for a rachet, but dang, it's cool to see how it *could* be done if I ever wanted to. I pick up this book the same way I flip through my baking, knitting, quilting books. To see what I'm in the mood for. To fill up the idea coffers. Or maybe to get some creative sparks going. If you know what I mean when I say that I don't have to start a new quilt project to need dozens of quilting books, then you'll know that you don't need a metal shop to enjoy reading "Eccentric Cubicle."

Plus, Kaden Harris' prose is clean, spare and danged funny (witness such section headings as "A Warning to Woodworking Purists" and "The Rites of Springs: Roll Your Own Boinginess"). It just does my heart good to know he's out there, thinking of ways to keep stuff out of the waste stream, and better yet, returning it to use. I almost wrote "good use," but didn't -- only because not everybody needs a mini guillotine on her desk. Seriously though, it warms my heart to think that somebody somewhere spent the time to make a desktop chopper and document the process so other out-of-the-box thinkers could follow along. That Harris was the one to do it is outright providential.

If you like the guerilla DIY style of Make and Create magazines, you'll like this book. 'nuf said.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cool stuff, but you better have some experience... November 24, 2007
Following up on my review of The Best of MAKE, I also got a chance to read Eccentric Cubicle by Kaden Harris. You can think of this as MAKE magazine in overdrive. From a pure reading perspective, it's outrageously funny and very well documented. In terms of actually *building* the items here, you had better have some level of background when it comes to hacking and building things on the fly, making the rules up as you go along. And in some offices I know of, you'd probably get put on probation for having these items on your desk...

Introduction; Active Deskchop; BallistaMail; Maple Mike; DeskBeam Bass; The Gysin Device; iBlow; Liquid Lens Meets DiscoHead; The Haze-o-Matic 3000 Fog Machine; Hammerhead Live; Homebrew Wood Finishes

There's a picture of Harris in the introduction, and he looks like someone you'd see on a show like Mythbusters or Junkyard Wars. He specializes in making incredible devices using discarded or trashed items he's found and/or scavenged over the years. I can only imagine what his house and work area must look like. All these projects, such as the guillotine and crossbow, are intricate and fascinating, and show a very high level of creativity and ingenuity to build without resorting to buying brand-new or made-to-order parts. The level of workmanship and detail that Harris puts into each one make them unique and special, especially considering that the parts are often from items that are rather mundane, like vacuum cleaners and record players. It just goes to show that looking at "junk" in different terms can open up a world of possibilities. Each project also has a little "nano-project" associated with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough Projects December 31, 2007
This book contains a series of interesting projects to read, however, unless you have some fairly serious Maker background, I don't imagine they would be easy to pull off (both skill and tool wise).

However, some of the included "nano projects" have applicability to making in general, not just the projects they are lumped in with in the book. Two that specifically come to mind are the foot speed control for a dremel and the pegboard clamping system.

Regardless of project difficulty, the book is an interesting read, due to the interesting subject matter and the writing style of the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope the author writes a second!! March 7, 2010
Amazing creations and stories. Apparently he built a four poster bed with only a rock and swiss army knife and with his skills I completely believe it. Anyone else and I'd be skeptical. He gives more than just plans; he gives a creative philosophy. Great book and great diverse projects!Def recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plans and tutorial for do-it-yourselfers November 3, 2007
By uniq
A well-illustrated book of small modeling projects, illustrated by blueprints, pictures, and step-by-step instructions on how to make a few unusual models using simple components that one can find in a junk yard or garage sale. It seems like the author had a novice in mind (the book has a chapter describing and depicting some simple tools), but, in my opinion, will require a bit more skilled and persistent do-it-yourselfer interested in working with metal and wood. Fortunately, there is no necessity of a large workshop with power tools.

In my opinion, the items are neither eccentric, nor will fit well in a cubicle of the most employers I have worked for, but this should not matter to those of us who enjoy the very process of bulding things and making them work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift
This is a really great gift for someone who is hard to shop for. My Dad really loves the whole series and it gives him ideas of fun stuff to do with his grandson.
Published on December 29, 2009 by K. Krautbauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Witty, Fascinating, Cool!
I saw this book in bookstores and initially skipped it over. I finally bought a copy after reading somewhere about Kaden's great and helpful fabrication tips in this book. Read more
Published on May 19, 2009 by Robert E. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric Cubicle is entertaining, interesting and fun too...
Kaden Harris is an amazingly intelligent "character". Let me start of by saying his book is great and even though I was offered a free copy I went out and bought one anyway. Read more
Published on May 28, 2008 by Perry Kaye
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Brilliant. Utterly bonkers, but brilliant. Instructions on how to build a selection of fun and funky things to enhance your office life. Read more
Published on February 20, 2008 by D. Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Crafts For Bored Cube Dwellers
'Eccentric Cubicle' is a book for hobbyists who have the time to make things and want to develop fun things for/at work. Read more
Published on January 30, 2008 by Dan McKinnon
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for yout typical office worker....
I was basically looking for some fun, quick-to-make projects that would fit in my office. However, to complete many of the projects listed in this book you have to be quite a... Read more
Published on November 13, 2007 by G. Tairov
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