Making Homemade Gizmos For Fun -
Inexpensive And Rewarding Projects

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Anyone can build and create using common materials and items from around the house. Now and then you will need to purchase some inexpensive items such as glue or small nails. Many simple devices can be made with tools that most people already have such as scissors, hammer and pliers. Simple devices can be built in 15 minutes or so. More involved projects may take several hours to complete.

You can make useful items, or make artistic or clever devices. A variety of projects can be made: toys and playthings, curiosities and novelties, useful and practical items.

There are books written particularly for the adolescent or young adult who enjoys making interesting mechanical devices and gadgets. Some projects require well written instructions to adequately explain how to complete them. A well written book can make constructing the described items easy: Projects are described using clear wording. Diagrams are included to assist in ease of understanding.

To keep cost low, choose a book that describes projects with these features: Most casual do-it-yourselfers will have the needed items around the house and/or garage. Only low cost and no cost materials are needed. Most items are made from such things as small pieces of wooden boards, coat hanger wire, paper, used containers, and discarded household items or low cost items found in hardware stores. There are no kits to buy. The projects require common tools such as a scissors, hacksaw, screwdriver, pliers, knife, file or drill.

Books are available on a wide variety of projects. Find a book that is about the type of things you enjoy. I particularly enjoy building items that are mechanically interesting or useful. I look for books on toys or playthings. Or I look at books about simple mechanical curiosities, appealing because of their shape or structure. I also look at books on science experiments and demonstrations. The point is to choose a category of make-it-yourself devices that you find apealing.

One particular category is improvised devices. These are homemade items made from whatever materials that happen to be available. The items typically serve some purpose but may be appealing for some other reason. Building improvised items is fun for the tinkerer who enjoys inventing devices made from whatever materials that happen to be available. It is especially fun because the finished item is a kind of trophy for the builder's ingenuity and self-reliance. And you have the finished item to admire and to use for whatever purpose it serves.

As you build each project, you learn about how mechanical things work. The more you know, the more you value and enjoy the mechanical devices that people have created. The more you build and create the better you get at it. It becomes a skill you can be proud of and feel good about.

Alan Detwiler is the author of the ebook "Clever Construction: Use What You Have To Make Cool And Useful Gadgets And Fun Gizmos" available at

His web site about homemade items is

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