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Klutzes, Beware: Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred Could Cause Serious Injury

Author: Bob Etier
Published: December 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm


Some people should not be allowed near power tools. There should be court orders that bar them from coming within 50 feet of, say, a chain saw or soldering iron. It was with great trepidation that I opened the pages of Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids.

Gizmos that are not too complicated and can be created as family activities are featured in a how-to book with simple-to-follow instructions for cool projects, many of which involve musical instruments and electronics. Wouldn’t you like to make an electric guitar for $10 or a “Cigar-Box Synthesizer”? No? But the electric guitar can be modified to create a two-string electric diddley bow…

There’s a delightful variety of items that can be made from cigar boxes and “ordinary household items.” Some of the projects require items that aren’t so ordinary, or found in most households. Author David Erik Nelson offers where-to-buy suggestions.

sock chtulhuPlans for boomerangs, joy buzzers, and “Marshmallow Muzzle Loaders” are included, for the do-it-yourself who aspires to hurting someone other than himself (although taking a marshmallow to the back of the head isn’t all that damaging—well, emotionally maybe).

There are projects for people who claim they are “not so good with tools” (i.e., totally inept) such as “NASA’s Finest Paper Airplane,” the “Sock Squid” (its most dangerous tools are hand-sewing needles), and the “PVC Tepee” that I think even I could manage without a trip to the emergency room. Many of the plans offer modifications that will make the project into something different, yet similar. The Sock Squid could be adapted to “Sock Cthulhu,” for example.

lock-n-latch treasure chestNelson provides numerous resources and web sites for those who would like to learn more about or obtain plans for similar projects. While many of the projects are whimsical, there are a few, like the “Lock-n-Latch Treasure Chest,” I would love to have someone make for me. That’s right, you won’t catch me with saws and an electric drill in my hands--not for long, anyway.

Do-it-yourselfers and other craftspeople who would like to introduce children (their own or borrowed) to the pleasure of using tools and creating things will find a lot to keep them busy within the pages of Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred. Some familiarity with tools and first aid is recommended.


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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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