Leader Board Ad

Monday, April 26, 2010

Things To Make...

...or not.
So, I was at this Woodbury estate sale a few weeks ago and while most of the house looked  like the items had been carefully placed to appear as thought the were original to the home, or previous owners, they didn't.  There was one room in the house that had potential.  A small study with several built-in books shelves, which were full of books.  I found one worth taking away.
It should be dark blue, but my scanner has a personality I haven't figured out yet ,and sometimes it finds my "finds" distasteful.  This cover should have been a deep navy blue, but this look may be more befitting its condition overall. It was published in 1937 and contains "over 1400 diagrams, drawings, and illustrations" this can't be fully truthful because there are only 300 pages. However, it was the drawings and illustrations that I found most appealing (read "funny").  First, I have to point out the anachronism of some of the "everyday" items you can make for yourself. Here was my favorite:

Unless you are planning to take the whole family surfing (and the neighbors, and their friends) I can't see the practicality in a surf board this size. I believe the recommended wood is balsa, but even still, you are in greater danger of having this behemoth fall on you. Look at the size of that thing! He could bring a table and 4 chairs and still hang ten.  These projects are the stuff dreams were made of.  No one would actually want to take the time to build something like this, unless you were the type that read Popular Science and fantasized about the things that were coming just around the corner in the modern world. As I dug deeper, this book revealed itself as one from the editors of that magazine. Not unlike it's competitor Popular Mechanics they all sold the possibility of invention and creation to the average Joe who wanted to feel like he could build his own future "If I just had the plans!"

Well, in Things To Make, every category is covered and the projects run from a simple child's pull toy to a seismograph for detecting distant earthquakes.

There's even something to show off to the boys at the hunt club.  Don't serve hot toddy's from a shingle! No! A man's man can build himself a smart serving tray with icons from a recent kill.
This is where I started enjoying the crude illustrations more and more. You can really impress the boys around the fire with this tray made from a few scraps of wood and some wallpaper.

Not only that but these can be made to sell at a profit! Great idea, but my one concern is for our host. If you notice in the image above, there is a mysterious dark figure looming over his right shoulder holding what appears to be a tire iron. It looks like all the craftiness in the world won't let our hero escape from this "tray" macabre ending. Good Lord Man! Stop yammering on about that stupid tray and look behind you!  Yes, you too can be the envy of all your friends if you can make one of these trays, just try not to make them too envious...

But wait! There's more!

You say junior can't cut as a star athlete? No prospects as a budding ladies' man? Well, then why not try making a Magician out of him?  Of all the homemade magic projects they could have suggested, why pick this? What's wrong with the disappearing assistant in the cabinet trick?
Naw! impaling your arm with a 10" kitchen knife is far more wholesome.  Actually, the real trick is fitting the head of a boy on the body of a middle-aged man:
While the projects in this books were presented to entertain and make a difference in lives around the family of the craftsman, unfortunately none of them seemed remotely possible for the amateur - despite detailed plans and photographs.  Now finishing one of these projects, that would be a cool parlor trick!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Found something unique? See something here you want to know more about? Start the discussion - I'll respond. Really!