- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (October 24, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596519524
- ISBN-13: 978-0596519520
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best of Instructables Volume I: Do-It-Yourself Projects from the World's Biggest Show & Tell (v. 1) 1st Edition
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About the Author
The Best of Instructables was compiled by site founder Eric J. Wilhelm and the staff of Instructables, and the staff of MAKE, including editors Gareth Branwyn, Brian Jepson, and Patti Schiendelman. The real stars of this book are the dozens of project authors who built, documented, and posted their how-tos on the Instructables site.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think they picked a nice overall summary of the style and range of projects they feature and there are quite a few that I'm adding to my To-Do List. I've been wanting to build a CNC of my own for a while, and the example in the book is a nice start. I also have wanted to build my own Hands++ to hold small parts while I work on them - the one in the book is perfect.
If you're a fan of the website, you'll enjoy the book. If you're not familiar with the website, the book will give you a jump start and help you avoid sifting through the 1000s of projects on their, looking for the best ones.
Scattered throughout the book are smaller collections of mini-projects that have a theme - an example is a list of projects you make using a simple Altoids tin. The book is in color, too, and has a nice layout and style to it that is easy to read.
The book also has a nice list at the end of projects that didn't make it into the book but they do provide the name of the projects so you can search for them at instructables.com.
Nice book - I hope they do more volumes.
So, it was a happy day when the Best of Instructables Vol 1 e-book showed up in my in-box. The book, with its clear approach to a wide variety of projects, is an invaluable collection that will keep makers of all levels busy and intrigued for months.
The 300+ page book is split into sections like Food, Robotics, Photography, Entertainment - 12 chapters in all from simple like preparing a bento lunch to fairly complex robotic projects.
In the end I decided to tackle on e of the simplest projects - the "Super Simple Light Tent" (pg 74). Although I was salivating at some of the more intricate projects - the LED pens for light painting photography for instance, we we re coming off building an electric kalimba in a Altoids tin a project wherein the kid saw my hands shaking as I soldered and shook her head sadly. "Poor old dog," she said and kindly finished the rest of the connections. And I needed a new simple light tent, my previous one having met an ignoble end while photographing my mother's ferrets. (I'll avoid the gruesome details - the tent had to be burned; we'll leave it there).
The tent went up quickly - we were taking photographs an hour after we started. As an English Prof who often teaches Technical Communication, I spend a good deal of time harping to my undergrads that "how to" writing is the greatest challenge. The coolest project is useless if the audience can't figure out how to re-create it. And this is the overall strength of the book. Best of nails it with clear tools and materials lists. The graphics accompanying the directions are clarifying rather than simple illustrative and the book itself (although not in this project) often includes other makers' riffs - showing off twists on the base project.
Best of Instructables Vol 1 belongs to the long line of project books like the reprints gracing my library: books with titles like Windmills and Wind Motors: How to Build and Use Them. But while the older books took for granted a fairly deep knowledge of wood and metal working that can sometimes frustrate modern amateur makers, Best of lays it all out in a fashion so that even a shaky, math challenged guy can feel accomplishment.
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is just okay, though.Read more