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Extraordinary Projects for Ordinary People: Do-It-Yourself Ideas from the People Who Actually Do Them Paperback – November 26, 2012
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About the Author
is a bona fide Internet sensation, a web-based community of motivated do-it-yourselfers who contribute invaluable how-to guides to the site on a wide range of topics, from gardening and home repair to recipes to gadgets that defy categorization. The site hosts more than 100,000 projects. More than 15 million people visit the site each month, leaving comments and suggestions on the ever-growing list of do-it-yourself projects.
Noah Weinstein is an editor at Instructables.com, co-founder of SF Media Labs and spends time making things both big and small at his shop in Oakland, CA. He has worked as a white water rafting guide, custom speaker builder, sheep shepherd, and tractor driver. He earned a BA from Brown University where he concentrated in environmental studies and visual art.
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Top Customer Reviews
Extraordinary Projects for Ordinary People ignited some serious conversations around our dinner table. How does "ordinary" differ from "normal"? A lot of the projects in this book may be for people who are "ordinary" but they would definitely not be for people who are "normal". Solar Powered Death Rays and Flame-Throwing Jack-o-Lanterns aren't the kinds of things you find at your Aunt Loretta's house.
In order to do many of the more than 150 projects in this book you will need a workshop, with table saw, drill press, electronics equipment, etc., and the knowledge to use it all. For example, the directions for the Star Map specifically state:
"Be warned, to build something like this is a big project. You should expect to know:
-basic woodworking skills
-how to handle a soldering iron
-how to design LED-based circuits
-how to deal safely with AC voltages"
If you have the tools and space many of the projects in this book are fantastic. Someone looking for a killer science fair project definitely needs to peruse these pages.
Besides the death-ray, flame-throwing jack-o-lantern, and star maps, some of the other projects that jumped out at me included:
-wood-fired ocean hot tub
-building a bass guitar
-making a hardwood floor from your own trees
-convert your Honda Accord to run on trash
-bacon roses, for those who like eating their projects.
Project categories in the book include Home Improvement, Tech, Rides, Robots, Clocks, Computers, Green, Science, Tools, Food, Furnishing, Crafts, Games, Fun, Sound, and more. The well thought out and written instructions include estimated costs, where to find materials, and links for more information.
My twenty-something year-old sons love this well-organized and illustrated book!
One of the funniest passages I have ever read was in the introduction to building the flame-throwing jack-o-lantern:
"A flame throwing jack-o'-lantern keeps the trick-or-treaters a safe distance from your house and is a fine addition to any anti-Halloween arsenal. At the first sign of any sugar-obsessed imp, simply press the trigger button and wirelessly shoot a one-second burst of flames out of the jack-o'-lantern's mouth. This plume of hellfire will make even the most bold of people think twice about approaching your door. Very few people are willing to risk life and limb for the chance of a tiny box of milk duds."
If you know someone who has a shop and loves to tinker, this book will make a superior Christmas gift, providing hours of entertainment for a long, long time.
This reader gives Extraordinary Projects two big, fat thumbs up.