- Series: Make: Projects
- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (November 8, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596510543
- ISBN-13: 978-0596510541
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eccentric Cubicle: Projects and Ideas to Enhance Your Cubicle World (Make: Projects) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Kaden Harris (a.k.a. the Eccentric Genius: http://www.eccentricgenius.ca) 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.
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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. These are things that are much simplier, like making a foot-controlled variable power switch from an old sewing machine pedal. A great idea if your Dremel tool needs to be slowed down a bit for what you're trying to accomplish.
While everything is profusely illustrated and documented, I definitely wouldn't recommend these projects to someone just starting into the DIY world. Harris has spent a lifetime collecting and finding a blend of tools that works well for him. Unless you are similarly equipped, you might find yourself making multiple trips to the store to pick up something you absolutely need to keep going. Of course, that sort of defeats the purpose and spirit behind the projects you find here. On top of that, I could imagine that it'd be easy to miss a step or do something "not quite right", and have the whole project fail to work as advertised. Without the experience of doing these types of projects previously, the troubleshooting could be nightmarish for a newbie. And that would be too bad, as being able to show off your own bubble machine powered by a CPU fan does have a certain amount of "geek cred" attached to it...
If you're comfortable working with tools and such, this book will be a fun stretch for you. If you're brand new to the MAKE culture, this is probably a bit beyond your initial capabilities (unless you're just plain stubborn, incredibly talented, or both). But if you're into these types of contraptions and want an entertaining read by a talented builder *and* writer, by all means go for it.
Kaden and I went to an elementary school, with the Makers Faire people to convince kids that making is a great thing to do. Kaden brought his wares, including the Guillotine shown on the cover of the book. I can tell you the guillotine could easily lob off the heads of dolls and a finger too.
So there we stood. Waiting to speak to the elementary school kids. I was speaking as an inventor showing my latest and greatest and Kaden had his projects (guillotine included). At this point I was curious as to how Kaden would describe what the guillotine was used for. Would he be graphic or dismissive? Even I did not know what approach I would take. What do/should you tell Elementary school children about guillotines?
The kids came in and I waited and watched... Kaden then showed them how the guillotine worked and said, "This is a great kitchen gadget. You can cut carrots with it." GENIUS! The kids were amazed! It is a very cool carrot cutter.
Then Kaden answered the questions you'd expect from elementary school kids. The top two questions were, "Can it cut a finger off?" and "Can I try it?" The top two answers were... "Yes" and "No".
We had a great time. Kaden is a great story teller and even better maker. Eccentric Cubical shows neat projects and is well written. Even if you don't make the projects the book is a fun read. Buy a copy OR take one out at the library. I think you'll enjoy it just like I did.
If you like to play around and build stuff, this book might be right up your alley!!
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.