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Building Wooden Machines: Gears & Gadgets for the Adventurous Woodworker Paperback – 29 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Popular Woodworking Books (29 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440322228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440322228
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 876,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alan and Gill Bridgewater - a husband and wife team - have gained an international reputation as producers of successful books on a range of subjects including garden design, self-sufficiency, woodcarving, fine woodworking and toy making. Their published works include A Treasury of Woodcarved Design, various titles in 'The Specialist Series', Mechanical Models, The Off-Grid Energy Handbook, Self-Sufficiency: A guide for 21st-centuring living and Gadgets, Mazes and Contraptions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is actually rather readable, which is nice for an instruction manual type affair... Theres load of illustrations and photo's to give you a good feel for what your making.
The plans could be easily scanned into a computer, scaled up or down and transfered to workpieces and with a little ingenuity, the models could be made even easier than shown. So overall its really well put together.

Theres a nice section on problem solving your handywork if its not working porperly, which is nice. And you could easily make much more involved models by combining the principles it teaches you.

I genuinely cant fault it. Just remember that its not a book about how to set up a workshop, or which tools to buy, or how do certain techniques... Its a plan book on how to make wood machines. How to work the wood itself, is down to you.
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By saxon on 15 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should excite the imagination of almost anyone who, like me, enjoys tinkering in a workshop and producing unusual items. It is beautifully illustrated and the instructions seem clear and concise. Although I have yet to make any of the wooden machines shown in this excellent book, I can't wait to do so. Congratulations to the authors!
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By PETER138 on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
This was bought for me as a Christmas present and I couldn't have wished for a better present. Everything about it is excellent - presentation, illustrations and projects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for learning the craft of making moving wooden machines. There is potential to develop your own machines using the techniques learnt from this book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, but not for me. 17 Nov. 2012
By Charles Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was pretty excited by the description of this book prior to ordering. I was hoping for a book that's a notch above plans for a wind-driven man-sawing-wood or kid's pull toy. This book is at the other end of the spectrum. The projects are beautiful, complex, works of art. Most require a lathe, a lot of scroll saw work (cutting out gears) and some real craftsmanship. Every project includes a great many cut-outs and shapes that are added simply for decoration.

A typical project is an escapement similar to that in most weight-driven clocks. It's all in wood here of course, with complex gears you layout and cut carefully by hand. It's real art...

And therein lies the problem. Its art, not a clock. There are no hands, it just a thing that ticks. Why not DO something? Even the silly wind-driven gadgets in other books DO something. But all of these projects just sit there until you go turn the crank, or pull the cord, then you can watch things move. Why would you bother to turn the crank once you had it working? What's the point?

So you can see, this book is not for me. If you want a way to really wow your friends with your fine wood-working skills, this is it. But if you're looking for something to make and give to your grandkids, forget it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Amazing! 9 Mar. 2013
By Alice in Wonderland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I rarely review books on Amazon since generally my opinions are well expressed by others, and I'm somewhat lazy. However, "Building Wooden Machines" is an incredible book that I feel has not been adequately described by other reviewers - for anyone interested in automata, kinetic art, mechanical engineering, or the history of machines, this book is a real find. I purchased the book via my mobile phone which does not let me use the "Look Inside" feature. Thus, I took a gamble not knowing the exact contents of the book. For those of you who can view the contents page, your purchase decision may be easy. For all those who cannot use this feature, I will list out the chapters so you can see that the items featured are not simply whimsical objects invented by the authors, but projects that make reference to classic mechanical engineering concepts (Note: NOT necessarily EXACT scientific models of classic machines, but working interpretations). These can be incorporated into one's own machine designs or simply built as a way to understand some historically important mechanisms. I had been seeking patterns for many of these mechanisms all over the Web, and found just a few paper automata sites and books that covered the simplest of them. What delight, when the book arrived, to find instructions for making the following in wood: Circular Movement Machine, Harmonic Oscillation Punch Machine, Cam and Fork Machine, In-The-Round Combustion Engine, Ward Lock & Key, Reciprocating Engine, Oil Pumping Rig, Centrifugal Impeller Pump, Sector Wheel Bearing Machine, Flywheel Propeller Machine, Pyramid Roller-Ball Machine, Rack & Pinion Machine, Pendulum Recoil Escapement Machine, Flywheel & Governor Machine, Cam Machine, Steam Crank Slider Mechanism, Differential Pulley Block, The Eccentric Squirrel Fan, Six Valve Radial Engine, Wheel & Worm Gear Mechanism, Film Advancing Mechanism, The Universal Joint, Camshaft Valve, Water Lift Pump, Lever & Ratchet Mechanism, Screw Jack, The Bicycle Chain Machine, The Wonderful Wilmhurst Machine.

I agree with other reviewers that these projects require a fairly sophisticated woodworker, however they are so compelling that they may well inspire you to improve your skills in order to possess and play with these gorgeous models. Compared to many other woodworking books, this comes at a very reasonable price. Truly a treasure.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pretty cool, wish it was slightly better. 30 April 2013
By fuzzbusterfl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not really any other books in the same genre but I wish there was more craftsmanship in some of the project directions. You could always take the general plans and improve on them I guess but I was expecting a little more. With that said, I haven't seen any better books available on the subject and there are MANY project plans for various mechanisms that I have never seen before.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Another Bridgewater book. 20 Oct. 2013
By William L - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains many of the projects from his earlier books. This a an attractive and large book. The directions are ok but some steps are a bit brief but I tend to just make the models my own way so that isn't a problem. The patterns are not accurate to the dimensions given in the listing so you have to look carefully at the pictures. I've made just about every model in his earlier books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After the wait for delivery 12 Oct. 2012
By B L - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
building wooden machines is a very well writen and illustrated book. projects in this book are well suited for personal use or built for sale in craft shows or internet sales. I am well satisfied with the book. after waiting so long for it ,the units are being built as treasures
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