I was ordering some new children’s books for my kids when Amazon made a suggestion for Adam Savage’s new book, Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life is What You Make it.
Adam Savage, known from his time on Mythbusters, Tested, and other such places, is a maker. He comes up with an idea, and a few minutes later, BAM, a crazy awesome prop, costume, or other fabrication.
Even if you don’t care for props, costumes, or whatchamacallits, Adam Savage has delivered great workshop tips and tricks over the years.
For example, he built custom tool stands with the idea that his most-used tools should be quick and easy to access.
I like to think of myself as creative, but I find myself running into roadblocks starting or finishing certain projects.
So, what’s this book about?
The publisher shares Adam’s words:
Every Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you.
The introduction also explain’s the title a little bit:
In Every Tool There Is a Hammer—don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy.
Honestly, this is something I sometimes have problems with, although I like to think I’ve been improving.
There are also lessons from others:
This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins.
The publisher’s sell page offers one more message to readers from the author:
I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.
I preordered my copy, and it’s set to arrive on Wednesday. I’ll be moving the book to the front of my list. I’ve been meaning to read more, but it’s so hard to get started again. There are a few recent books awaiting my attention, including Marc Spagnuolo’s Essential Joinery, but I think Savage’s book will have to come first.
I’ve looked at Amazon’s “preview” pages, and it seems like an easy read, but also one that’s not too preachy.
What I like about watching Adam Savage’s project “builds” is that he makes it clear that “making” is still a practice for him. Sure, he gets things right and working sooner than many of us could, but you could see the process. I wouldn’t say he’d be okay with things falling apart, but it seems that he’s not afraid of things being imperfect. That’s a mindset I need to work better towards. While Savage’s book might or might not successfully inspire me to better, the preview at least makes it look like an interesting and enjoyable read.
I think it’s going to be a good book.
Price: $17.70 as of the time of this posting
Buy Now(via Amazon)
In addition to hardcover, it’s also available on Kindle, Audiobook, or as an audio CD.
Thanks for posting this Stuart. I have seen Adam speak at the Bay Area Maker Faire before and of course I have always been a big fan of him on Mythbusters.
I just ordered the audio book from Amazon/Audible to listen to on the drive home.
This is perfect timing with where I’m at in my life. I’m starting to get into a personal rut with my career and the idea of working a job I don’t love forever, but it pays the bills. I’ve been looking to get back into extracurricular hobbies and want to start with creating something as that’s always been a passion of mine.
Like you mentioned though I want everything to be perfectly laid out and have the right tools for everything, which is a timely and costly process. Maybe this’ll be what I need to just start doing.
Speaking of good books, I’m reading Chris Schwartz’ Workbenches book. Never thought I’d be considering one of those kind of workbenches, but now I am.
All of Schwarzs stuff is good, especially everything he puts out through his own publishing company, Lost Art Press.
That book (blue one) was key in helping pin down exactly what type of bench I needed. I found my self bouncing around between a few types and features, reading that brought focus and reminded me what the benches true purpose is.
Spagnuolo’s book is good. There are more comprehensive joinery books out there but he shows a few joints and several ways to make and repair them. Its well put together, easy to understand, and has good pictures. I haven’t finished it yet but I’m liking it.
I was thinking about your struggle with having the exact right tool for the job…
Over the years I have purchased many, many tools that turned out to be a bust. Lots of times they were the exact right tool for the job. Turns out, that ends up being a lot of tools, so many that organization becomes a serious challenge. Most of tools didn’t end up with enough advantages to warrant keeping anyway. This scenario is very similar to the kitchen, think of all the gadgets out there, it’s crazy. So I came up with a simple rule for both work spaces; any tool I buy has to perform more than one task. There are, of course exceptions, but it forces me to really consider the tools I already own and how effect they are. I have to consider how often I would use a tool that is so specific to a single task and let that weigh heavily upon my decision. That simple rule has saved me a lot of money.
The only tool is Savage.
He was the personality on Mythbusters, while Jamie (and other) were the talent.
You must not have seen any of his build on Tested.
Adam was definitely was shown as being the personality because Jamie had NONE. But for sure Jamie was certainly more of the engineer than Adam.
He’s coming to talk at my company next week, and I’m very annoyed I can’t make it!
This guy recently went on an insane hate filled rant against 1/2 of the USA about 2 weeks ago on twitter. I’m not sure he should get our money or attention.
Couldn’t agree more. Dunno why these celebs can’t just shut up.
Surely their right to free speech is equal to any other’s…
Adam was cheering on and justifying an attack on a family of Chinese people. The guy has no class, a total bum.
The male half or the female half? No other “halves” really exist.
After a bit of research, I agree. I will not be buying this book.
“Every tools a hammer”
You should see Jeremy Clarksons tool chest
“Every hammers a hammer” ?
(Top Gear Jfyi)
My copy came today. But so did another book I’d had an early reservation on. Quandary time.
Autobiography is not usually my kind of reading, but I have a feeling this will be interesting. This will be my in-flight reading next week. Thanks for the heads up, Stewart.
It’s not an autobiography.
Even better! Now that I have it, I leafed through some pages. it’ll be interesting for sure.
I just bought the audio. I always prefer the writers version of audio books. Thomas Sowell is so powerful with words but does not do his own audio books. Looking forward to Adam’s book. Thanks for the amazon link.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’m still prejudiced against him from Mythbusters, where he played the ADD boy to Jamie’s square dad-figure. ADAM LEFT THE $20K LATHE COVERED WITH SHAVINGS!!! I’m sorry, Adam should have cleaned up after himself.