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The Boy Mechanic: 200 Classic Things to Build (2006)

by Popular Mechanics

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2332111,185 (3.25)None
"Offers many projects that are still functional today as well as several that are purely entertaining."--From source other than the Library of Congress

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A weird and random collection of articles from Popular Mechanics, all originally published between 1900 and 1920. You'd perhaps think that if it's for "boys", it might contain a graduated series of projects that would develop woodworking or other craft skills. But no, it's arranged thematically, and absolutely not a teaching book. If you don't know how to cut and assemble a mortise and tenon, well, you'll have to learn that on your own before you can do some of the woodworking projects. The language is also unchanged from the original publication of the articles, and that is either vaguely amusing or highly distracting.

Still, there's a large, potentially interesting section on camping and the outdoors, which includes instructions on how to set up various types of tent, build a cot from twigs, and so on. There's a great (I think; I haven't made any of them yet) section on various types of kite, and an odd collection of amusements including some card tricks, paper airplanes, and weird little toys, which I'd say stretch the subtitle's claim of "classic" rather far. And finally, there are a few cool or amazing things scattered throughout: steamer trunks; a lovely-looking Mission-style table; a folding wooden boat (!); a hand-made electric model train set (!!).

Overall, this was a disappointment, and I don't think many readers will do much besides read this collection, despite the cover's "So Many Projects. Not enough time!". ( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
This little book is, to put it simply, tons of fun. There are so many activities and projects to do, and for anyone who has a Do-it-Yourself side, this is a fun book to tinker around with. Activities range from building a shelter in the woods to crafting your own parlor table, and could be used to assist anyone who is looking to enhance their weekend. ( )
  skane86 | Nov 29, 2012 |
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