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Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids Paperback – November 29, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Nelson aims to make each project . . . an opportunity to develop a new skill that you could apply to other pursuits. Sewing, sawing, silk screen printing, and soldering: Nelson somehow manages to make then all doable." -- Mark Baard, The Boston Globe


"The thing that I found instantly appealing...is the absence of..."assumed stupidity" on the part of the reader....The underlying assumption of intelligence, caution, and ability in the reader is refreshing." -- Ben Okopnik, Linux Gazette

"This is the stuff that magic and dreams are made of in childhood, at least for those kids who have the idea that magic can be handmade. Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred is a seriously cool book." -- David Middleton, January Magazine


"Seriously: order this soon." -- Rob Malda, founder of Slashdot.org

"Culled from the curriculum of what the author fondly calls 'The Hippie School for Troubled Youths,' these creative projects share a down-to-earth sensibility." -- Bruce Stewart, MAKE magazine.

About the Author

David Erik Nelson is a freelance writer and former high school teacher. He developed the projects in this book at an alternative school, with plenty of feedback from his students. His fiction has been nominated for a Nebula award, and has appeared in Asimov's, The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and the forthcoming Steampunk Reloaded anthology. Nelson is a co-creator and frequent contributor to Poor Mojo's Giant Squid (www.squid.poormojo.org), now in its 10th year of weekly publication.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (November 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272593
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mallory on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred... Seriously Geeky Stuff To Make With Your Kids" by David Erik Nelson is a great book for parents looking for new ways to interact with their kids.
Or just for folks who are looking for some new projects to make.

When I received the book I was super excited about all the projects that there were to make, they are useful things that you can make with your kids so that they can not only have new toys or games to play with, but they also learn about what goes into making things!

Take the $10 electric guitar, perfect for my cousin Kolt, you'll remember him from this post about him playing guitar for Annabella. This was the perfect project for us to make together and I think I had just as much fun making it with him as I did learning about how a guitar works!

Not only can you make an electric guitar for $10, but it teaches you how to play the guitar that you just made, of course its a bit different from a regular electric guitar (Kolt was sure to point that out) But its amazing to see how all the simple parts of the guitar come together to make music!

These projects are easy, they do require some time and a few tools. Of course usually a trip to the hardware store to get the required elements. But they are almost always cheap and the projects that you can make from the book are fantastic.

Another great project? How about a "dirt cheap amp"? Yes, we do focus on music here in our neck of the woods. Lean how to work with circuits (yep I 'm learning too) If you hit up yard sales (or in our case the basement) for old speakers and switches you can make it for about $2

My favorite project in the book? The "Cheap Mesh Screen Printing" So simple I had everything I needed except for the mesh screen.
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Format: Paperback
This book is full of great innovative ideas to engage you and your kids for quite some time. What I loved most was that this book provided step-by-step directions that left nothing to chance. Instead it spelled everything out making it simple, even though your kids will simply think that you are cool! I mean how many dads can say that they built their own electric guitar? I don't know many that is for sure!

The ideas/projects within this book are great and are ones that will leave indelible memories for you and your children.

I highly recommend this book as I know you will also find some great projects to try out for yourself!
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Format: Paperback
This book is full of imaginative projects that will teach you the parent as much as it will your kids. In fact, I showed the book to my dad, who's now in his 60s, and HE got excited about some of the projects.
The technical writing is clear and faultless, punctuated with hilarious asides from the author. For whatever you child is into, there is a project to spark their imagination and give them the simple (and cheap) elements to create something fun. In an age when buying kids Things seems to be the way of life, I endorse using a book like this to help create Experiences with your child.

And boy are these projects COOL!
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Although great content, the book is ruined by extremely poor binding. When you are working on projects, you need to keep the book open to a page. After a couple hours of use, pages started coming out.
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I gave this book to my husband for his birthday yesterday. He picks it up whenever he has a few minutes to read a bit more in it. It's really getting his creativity turning with possibilities of things he can do. And he finds the appendix very useful and helpful in explanations of how to do things - particularly how to solder.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great introduction to DIY home projects - just for fun. The author draws on his experience as a teacher in a school with few resources. He had to invent projects to teach concepts, the projects had to be cheap - or free - or they didn't get done. The projects in this book also require few resources, but the rewards can be great.

Construction techniques covered include basic wood working, electronics including soldering and attaching components to a breadboard, sewing, screen printing, PVC building, use of butane torches, and reading electrical schematics.

Difficulty ranges from the very simple to the moderately complex. e.g. a sock "squid" project uses a sock plus basic sewing skills to make a sock puppet/doll. The $10 electric guitar not only introduces the basic guitar, but adds options such as reverb, tremolo, and a fuzztone amp as additional projects. Pop can flyers, water rockets, steam driven boats, robots, kits, and marshmallow cannons are all to be found here.

While the book could be used independently by a 12-15 year old adolescent, it's strength is that it draws an adult into the project to collaborate with the child. Some of the simple projects would appeal to a 3-5 year old child, while others would be dangerous to teach to a younger child but would be appropriate for many children over the age of 10-12 if supervised. There is some danger involved in using electronics tools such as solder irons, serious burns can results of the child isn't taught the safe use of the tool. But the children can be introduced to the safe use of these tools before they have the necessary coordination to do most of the projects themselves.

A 27 page appendix is included.
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