Looking for some nice small projects to tackle but don’t want to whip out too many tools or supplies? I’ve got a list of how-to, DIY, woodworking, metalworking and craft books I could recommend, but those types of projects are not exactly fun. Well, they can be fun, but not in a playful way as the ones found in the following highly rated books.
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction by John Austin
A more appropriate title would have been Mini Weapons of Mass Distraction, but that doesn’t take away from its contents. This book, and its sequel, show you step-by-step how to build a small arsenal using common office and household supplies. Just be sure to fire the mini weapons at paper targets and not people or pets.
Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle
There’s no much else to be said after seeing the full title, which is Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices. There are 13 projects in all, with many opportunities to modify and build upon the designs.
Forbidden Lego: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against by Pilegaard & Dooley
There are only five projects – paper plane launcher, candy coated catapult, ping-pong cannon, all-terrain Lego and high velocity automatic Lego plate dispenser, but there’s plenty of skill-building opportunities buried within. If you don’t already have a stockpile of Legos in your home, you may want to skip the book and pick up a Lego Technic set.
I’ve written about Make a number of times, and for good reason – it’s a fantastic magazine. You can order back-issues or pick up a newstand copy to see if it’s worth subscribing to. New issues come out quarterly, with one separate special edition every year or so.
The magazine covers a wide range of DIY interests and hobbies. You can also check out the Make website and blog for an idea of what’s in the mag.
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction and Back Yard Ballistics are now on my wish list. I still want to build a hover craft. LOL
Hovercrafts are cool, but you should also look into quadrocopters if you’re into that sort of thing. There are a couple of turn-key flyers available (e.g. Parrot AR Drone 2), and plenty of open source DIY plans. Unless you were talking about a full-size hovercraft, but the cost and tech requirements of those are quite high.
I want that mini WMD book. My productivity would probably go way down though.
Stuart, I am talking, about building a full size, one person hovercraft. I have engines here that should work. So, we are talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to build.
$500 plus an engine? That’s it? I always thought that there were considerable requirements for the blower. Haha, now I’m visualizing a a one-person hovercraft with attached potato cannons and tennis ball mortars.
You can spend a lot more than $500, but, yes, about that is what I have figured for a basic unit. There are tons of sites to get plans and kits. I am going to spend a few buck and buy a set of plans when I build mine. Tennis ball cannons, eeyyuupp, I like your thinkin’.