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Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It Hardcover – May 7, 2019
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“An imperative how-to for creativity.” —Nick Offerman
Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and one of the most beloved figures in science and tech—shares his golden rules of creativity, from finding inspiration to following through and successfully making your idea a reality.
Every Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you.
Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and breaking, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer—don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance—making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid—it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the friction in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue—mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects.
This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations.
I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.
“This book is creative rocket fuel. Adam is a master maker, and this might be his greatest creation yet - a funny, vulnerable and soulful dive into the beautiful mind of passionate artist. It’s about making stuff, but there is also philosophy, insight, and, most of all, inspiration. This book is so cool!”
“Adam has stocked up a lot of deep thought and deeper wisdom: about how to make things large and small, how to make decisions large and small, and how to make sure you’re making the things that matter. Consider this book as a 3-D print out of Adam’s brain, and be glad you have it.”
–John Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise and Vacationland
"Artists, inventors, and creators of every stripe will find Savage’s work inspiring and informative, while Mythbusters fans and others will savor his many amusing “making” foibles and misadventures." ― Booklist
"A personal look at the importance of creativity in all walks of life." ― The Verge
"The handyman dad will love this book...Adam Savage challenges readers to take a deeper look at what inspires them when it comes to 'making and molding, building and breaking' offering his own tips and tricks along the way about his favorite techniques and tools." ― O, the Oprah Magazine
About the Author
- Publisher : Atria Books (May 7, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1982113472
- ISBN-13 : 978-1982113476
- Item Weight : 1.28 pounds
- Dimensions : 9 x 6 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #94,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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But the main point of the book seems to be much more about encouraging the reader to act on their own interests and to create--to Make--in whatever field they find a deep connection with. As he puts it, it's permission to follow those interests down whatever rabbit holes they lead, that this is a positive thing we can do in our lives and not something to hide away. As well, it's about the tools and techniques that he's found useful in his making--from simple lists to custom-built tool boxes. A few of these are one-of-a-kind-Adam--and those are fun in exactly the way you can imagine--and in other cases he's describing his own take on some proven industrial practices (e.g., the 5S methodology of optimizing a workspace). There's even a section on what kind of glue to use for various materials, and why not to use glue in the first place.
You do not need to be someone who thinks of themselves as a "maker" to enjoy this book. But it seems like Adam's goal would be to give you a push towards following that geeky interest in the back of your mind, to find that family of like-minded people, and to help up the people who follow behind you. An excellent message, especially to young people.
The book isn’t well written, boring and filled with moments of Adam patting himself on the back to make sure we all know how great he thinks he is.
My copy is going to the local library. Maybe the next reader will enjoy it more than I did.
That said, I enjoyed this book immensely. I haven't been a make for some time, but I recognized the truth of his recommendations. He's made such cool stuff!
It's also a fast read. I got the book on Monday and finished it by Saturday. I'm surprised at the negative review that accuses Savage of not actually designing and building his creations. The reviewer must have been in a bad mood. Savage's message is honest, kind and positive. Read this book.
The book is a mix between a biography and a self help book. Unfortunately it lands more on the former, and it's not well written nor structured. Jumping back and forth along the timeline as he sees fit.
With more attention to 'the message' and less attention to unecessary details and filler sentences, this could have been an inspiring book when it comes to the art of making. Unfortunately it is not.
In an audiobook format, this content may be more enjoyable, for me the book was a hit and a miss.
Focused on fabrication (think cosplay or replica making,) Adam makes a point of saying that this book is good for ANY creative, whether they be artist or coder, welder or woodworker, foamsmith or chef.
Really inspirational, and really a nice look into the childhood and formation of a man as admirable as Adam.
Here is the part where readers will think me a little hyperbolic. This book is changing my life. As soon as I finished the chapters on lists I began putting it into practice with astounding results! I have ADHD without the hyperactivity and have struggled to implement any kind of organization to my life for as long as I can remember. Something about how Adam describes it or maybe It’s my admiration made it click. The next day at work I was left in charge of myself and another person with a long convoluted list of tasks to do. I immediately used the tools that are given in this book to reorganize and optimize the list so that we were able to accomplish everything without stress. Myself and my colleague agreed that the lists I made were key to our success.
Top reviews from other countries
Because of that I bought this book on a whim and because of the glowing reviews. Mainly that he is an extraordinary maker of models and other things.
Well, I'm always interested in learning more from highly skilled people who can create something at the very least interesting.
But, there's a 'But.'
I'm an old school marine engineer - an ex Chief Engineer - and I work in the oil industry in offshore construction. I've built houses and have two workshops. My grandfather was a tool-maker and my uncle a fitter and turner in a shipyard. In fact my entire family for generations have been people who worked in heavy industry making things like ships, turbines and precision tools. It's in my blood.
And because of that I'm fascinated by the new wave of what I'm beginning to think of as a bit wishy, washy 'makers' movement.
We used to call it DIY or model making and the people who did it created steam engines, made train layouts, model boats or made incredible bits of furniture. Today to be called a 'maker' you pour a bit of multi-coloured paint on a spinning disc or knock out yet another Damascus knife.
What I'm getting to is that what I consider a 'maker' and what many of the new movement consider it to be are two different things. And that's where this book to me is a bit 'wet.'
I was hoping to learn a bit more about Adam and find out more about his work on movies. And, whilst there is some of that, much of this book is padding and revolves around the modern idea of what a 'maker' is.
To me a maker is someone who can do complicated stuff on machine tools or use a woodworking shop to create an incredible piece of furniture, or designing and fabricating a huge dynamically positioned offshore heavy lift ship.
Much of this boils down to how to make a model 'thing' and there are plenty of actual YouTube video's about that around. There was a lump of this book dedicated to designing and making a replica Blade Runner gun. This involved a whole section on how to make a list of things to do. Hmmm.
In the end I found this to be easy to read, moderately good but ultimately unsatisfying.
I like the guy so for me it was an engaging read and a view into his ADHD like psyche and personality traits.
Oh boy does that guy like lists!
Not much In the way of instruction or meat but if you watch Adam on other platforms this will help you understand his history and methods of thought a little better.
If you want to make or repair stuff, you need to read this book.
If you ever watched & enjoyed Mythbusters, you need to read this book.
If you want to know about Adam Savage for any reason, you need to read this book.
Basically, you need to read this book.
Adam leads you through his life telling you how he got to where he is today, warts and all! It is a refreshing read where he opens his heart and gives it his all.