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Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids [Kindle Edition]

Todd Davis , Nik Shulz , Juli Stewart
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Skate ramps, zip lines, go-carts, and more! In this super-fun book, Todd Davis—extreme sports athlete and host of HGTV's Over Your Head—presents 25 awesome projects for dads to build with their kids. Busy dads can choose projects that range from simple to challenging and take anywhere from five minutes to a full weekend. Readers are given all the directions they need to grab materials that can be found around the house or at the local hardware store and get to work banging up a sweet BMX ramp or half-pipe, building a tree house or tire swing, or throwing together a slip-and-slide or tie-dye station for an afternoon of fun. With plenty of color photographs, easy-to-follow instructions, and detailed illustrations, Handy Dad is chock-full of creative and inexpensive ways to keep kids (and dads) entertained for hours.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Todd Davis hosts the HGTV program Over Your Head. He lives in San Francisco and is the handy dad of 2 boys.

Illustrator Nik Shulz is the founder of L-Dopa Design + Illustration. He lives in Sonoma County, California.

Juli Stewart is a San Francisco-based photographer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 14716 KB
  • Print Length: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC (January 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00719IHSK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the beginner March 23, 2012
Without knowing anything about wood working, I jumped into a "weekend project" in the middle of the book. The pirate treasure chest/toy box looked easy enough, so I copied the shopping list and went to Home Depot. $70 later I had the materials. After 9 hours of work, I had a finished toy box that looks very much like the one in the pics. It's a quality piece, built by an idiot. (attaching pic above)
Handy Dad has tons of helpful pics, and the directions are thorough. The projects vary in complexity, but everyone should be able to do at least half of them. Material costs will vary, but a cost estimate on each project would have been nice. Still, great book.
Edit: I built the skateboard project (pic above), also a "weekend project." It looks great and rides even better. It only took 5 hours, some of which was selecting parts. There's a ton of variety in skateboard stuff, so I talked to the people at a local Zumiez shop. I selected good quality beginner stuff, and spent around $170 after tax including the wood. Keep in mind, a nice longboard starts at $200. Just semi-pro trucks start $100 each. This could be a $600 skateboard, or I priced it as low as $60 if you use all cheap stuff. I guess this is why there are no price estimates; costs will vary depending on the builder. Also, the author likes Ipe wood for some of these projects, but my local WoodCraft didn't have any. They suggested Brazilian Cherry could do the same thing. Finally, I tried to use one smaller size drill bit than what the instructions said. I figured the hardware wouldn't be loose in the deck that way, but then they wouldn't even go in the holes. Turns out the directions are spot on.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids is a user-friendly compendium of construction projects that dads (or moms, uncles/aunts, grandparents, or anyone else!) can create to promote quality playtime activities with children. From a backyard rope swing, to a bird feeder, a tree house, a half-pipe, or even a tie-dye shirt, the ideas range from toys that promote physical activity to delightful personal keepsakes. (Not all of the projects involve woodworking, although many do.) Older children can even participate in the joy of building something with one's own hands, under close supervision of course. Each project listing spells out the needed tools and materials and where to find them, along with step-by-step instructions. Full color photographs illustrate this wonderful guide to tapping into one's creativity to spend quality time with children. The perfect antidote to a world oversaturated with television and video games, Handy Dad is highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for kids and dads February 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My sons gave this to my husband for Christmas to start some male bonding time. There are all types of projects in there from ones that take an hour to much larger ones. They have been able to adapt projects they see in the book to what would best fit their ages, as well. Fun read for dads and an inspiration to get kids excited about planning and building!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids Love It! May 6, 2012
I got this book while looking for fun projects to do with my grand kids. We haven't done all of the exciting projects listed in the book but have had a fantastic time doing the ones completed so far.
Since we've owned the book, we've had it displayed on our coffee table and have had multiple people say that they also have purchased the book and have had great experiences using it. In addition, several friends have scanned through it and have asked how they might purchase one also. We know of three folks who have purchased several copies as gifts for their family and friends.
We have one friend who gives the book to families with children who purchase homes through her real estate efforts.

This book makes a great gift and is also a fun book to scan for interesting projects. Kids love it!.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for older kids- maybe 5 and up August 7, 2010
By Sofia B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a detailed book! I guess I was expecting a picture book with IDEAS about things to do with kids. It's instructions, step-by-step, page by page for completing the projects. It's a good resource to keep around for the coming years. Our kids are 2 and 10 months, and most of the ideas are aimed at older kids, so I think it will get used more later.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful but most of it is on the Internet for free November 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think this book is useful for any dad with limited or no building experience. It's worth the price if you're a novice or beginner at projects like the ones listed here. I would not recommend it to anyone with experience in similar type projects
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25 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overly expensive projects June 27, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides no information on cost of projects and results in children getting their hopes up for a project where the cost is very high. While I have not done a cost analysis on all the projects, the rope bridge can cost well in excess of $2,000 if supplies are purchased from the Resourses list in the book. One referenced website sell 600ft of the recommended rope for over $2000 while is it available from other sites for $900. The recommended u-bolts cost almost $1 each. There are less costly alternatives that the book does not address.

One safety failure is the recommendation to use u-bolts where wire rope clips should be used. They show the clips in the photo and u-bolts in the supply list and instructions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable book of projects for a Dad May 15, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a Christmas present for my hubby who is a contractor. I searched through a few different books before landing on this one. I'd say it's geared a bit more towards a construction saavy Dad, the projects can be a bit complex (like building a half pipe) and if you don't have tools around it'd be a better to find a more craft type Dad book. I loved the range of projects in this book and my hubby loves it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I had hope it had more simple projects that my 5 year old could easily...
Seems the projects are more outdoor focused. Not only that, by you would need a lot of land to build the stuff on and money to buy the supplies. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Jonathan Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Gave to a new dad of two, and both ...
Gave to a new dad of two, and both he and his wife are so excited and are already planning! Thank you!
And thanks for speedy shipping! Awesome
Published 14 days ago by Meggan Laucher
4.0 out of 5 stars NIce reference for thigs to add to the "to do" list.
I've make a couple things out of this book. I like the birdfeeder. Want to make the longboard, when my son is ready.
Published 14 days ago by RandyR1963
5.0 out of 5 stars only book he's ever read lol!
I am excited to say that [other than the Bible] I have NEVER seen my husband read any other book. However, he is READING this one and ENJOYS it!
Published 16 days ago by Mellissa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
book was brand new and was delivered on time
Published 18 days ago by Daphne Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars he loved
It was a gift for my son- in-law, he loved it
Published 1 month ago by Randy D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by TT
5.0 out of 5 stars Endless fun
my husband and kids love this. the rocket 2-liter bottle project has been a favorite for the entire neighborhood!! Also, when we go camping. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Momoftwins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
have fun dads and kids!
Published 1 month ago by BA Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lots of great Ideas
Published 6 months ago by EngleD
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More About the Author

Todd Davis (1972-) was born in Walnut Creek, California, grew up in Pleasanton, California and has resided in San Francisco for the last ten years. A former competitor on the World Freeride Tour, for both skiing and snowboarding, Todd is also an active stuntman for various movies and commercials. Clearly no stranger to risk taking and adventures. To relax he enjoys, jumping from planes and flying his wingsuit for as long as possible. Todd graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1996. Mr.Davis is a California Licensed Landscape Architect #5577 and Licensed California Contractor who owns and runs "Epic Spaces" a dynamic design/build firm specializing in unique outdoor environments. Todd was the finalist on HGTV's number one hit show "Design Star", and has hosted other hit shows such as "Showdown", and "Over Your Head". Recently he has taken the time to write "Handy Dad" to share his enjoyment and his passion to design and build, really fun elements of play. Something he seams to understand very well,... we can't imagine why? He is also a proud "Handy Dad" of two little, adventurous boys.


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