Gift Guide

Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids


Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred is packed with fun craft and toy-making projects for geeks on a budget. Inside, you'll find illustrated instructions for 24 quirky playthings. Part I: Kid Stuff contains child-friendly projects like the Lock-N-Latch Treasure Chest and a PVC TeePee; Part II: The Electro-Skiffle Band is devoted to homemade musical instruments; and Part III: The Locomotivated showcases moving toys, like a muzzleloader that shoots marshmallows and a steam-powered ...

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Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred is packed with fun craft and toy-making projects for geeks on a budget. Inside, you'll find illustrated instructions for 24 quirky playthings. Part I: Kid Stuff contains child-friendly projects like the Lock-N-Latch Treasure Chest and a PVC TeePee; Part II: The Electro-Skiffle Band is devoted to homemade musical instruments; and Part III: The Locomotivated showcases moving toys, like a muzzleloader that shoots marshmallows and a steam-powered milk-carton boat.

Each project costs just $10 or less to make and is suitable for anyone, regardless of experience level. As you build, you'll learn useful sewing and carpentry skills, and the appendix offers a primer on electronics and soldering.

You (and your kids) will have hours of fun making projects like:

  • A simple electric guitar
  • An oversized joy buzzer that (safely) administers a 100-volt jolt
  • Cool, mess-free, screen printed t-shirts
  • Kites made from FedEx envelopes
  • Booming Thunderdrums made from salvaged x-ray film
  • Old school board games like Go, Tafl, and Shut-the-Box

Whether you're a mom or dad in search of a rainy day activity, a Scout leader looking to educate and entertain your troop, or just a DIY weekend warrior, the projects in Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred will inspire and amuse you. Now, roll up your sleeves and make!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nelson taps his experience as a high school teacher to present gritty and offbeat projects—primarily musical instruments and electronics as well as games and toys—that will resonate with young adults. The organization is poor, and the lack of an index doesn't help. Technique tips appear after project steps, and instruction for specialized tool use is buried at the end of the book. However, with detailed text instructions and helpful black-and-white photos (though they suffer from insufficient labeling), this project book is well targeted for teens who want to make something out of the ordinary and aren't afraid to solder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593272593
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 12/15/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 966,011
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Erik Nelson is a freelance writer and former high school teacher. He developed the projects in this book at an alternative school, with plenty of feedback from his students. His fiction has been nominated for a Nebula award, and has appeared in Asimov's, The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and the forthcoming Steampunk Reloaded anthology. Nelson is a co-creator and frequent contributor to Poor Mojo's Giant Squid (, now in its 10th year of weekly publication.

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Table of Contents

What’s in This Book?;
Further Reading;
Support and Contact;
Kid Stuff;
Chapter 1: Lock-n-Latch Treasure Chest;
1.1 Tools;
1.2 Supplies;
1.3 Building It;
1.4 About Board Sizes;
1.5 Crosscut Saw vs. Pull Saw;
Chapter 2: Switchbox: A Soldering Project for Greenhorns;
2.1 Tools;
2.2 Supplies;
2.3 Building It;
2.4 Voltage, Current, and Resistance;
Chapter 3: The Sock Squid;
3.1 Tools;
3.2 Supplies;
3.3 Building It;
3.4 Sock Cthulhu;
3.5 Resources;
Chapter 4: The PVC Teepee;
4.1 Tools;
4.2 Supplies;
4.3 Building It;
4.4 Building Tip;
Chapter 5: Cheap Mesh Screen Printing;
5.1 Tools;
5.2 Supplies;
5.3 Building It;
5.4 Printing Tips;
5.5 Resources;
Chapter 6: Shut-the-Box: A Pirate Dicing Game;
6.1 Tools;
6.2 Supplies;
6.3 Building It;
6.4 Game Play;
Chapter 7: Ticklebox: Jolt Your Friends;
7.1 Tools;
7.2 Supplies;
7.3 Building It;
7.4 Scrounging Tips;
7.5 The Mean-Ass Jingle Bear;
Chapter 8: Small-Board Go/Tafl;
8.1 Tools;
8.2 Supplies;
8.3 Building It;
8.4 Game Play;
8.5 Resources;
Electro-Skiffle Band;
Chapter 9: X-Ray Talking Drum;
9.1 Tools;
9.2 Supplies;
9.3 Building It;
9.4 Playing the X-Ray Talking Drum;
Chapter 10: Thunderdrum;
10.1 Tools;
10.2 Supplies;
10.3 Building It;
10.4 Playing the Thunderdrum;
10.5 Resources;
Chapter 11: The Electro-Didgeridoo;
11.1 Tools;
11.2 Supplies;
11.3 Building It;
11.4 Playing the Didgeridoo;
11.5 Resources;
Chapter 12: The Dirt-Cheap Amp;
12.1 Tools;
12.2 Supplies;
12.3 Building It;
12.4 Tweaking the Amp;
12.5 Resources;
Chapter 13: The $10 Electric Guitar;
13.1 Tools;
13.2 Supplies;
13.3 Building It;
13.4 Playing the $10 Electric Guitar;
13.5 Modifying the $10 Electric Guitar;
13.6 Building Tip;
13.7 Resources;
Chapter 14: Dirt-Cheap Boutique Stomp Boxes: The Spring Reverb;
14.1 Tools;
14.2 Supplies;
14.3 Building It;
14.4 Using the Spring Reverb;
14.5 Resources;
Chapter 15: Dirt-Cheap Boutique Stomp Boxes: The Blinkie Tremolo;
15.1 Tools;
15.2 Supplies;
15.3 Building It;
15.4 Tweaking the Blinkie Tremolo;
15.5 Stompable Stomp Boxes;
15.6 Resources;
Chapter 16: Dirt-Cheap Boutique Stomp Boxes: The Two-Transistor Fuzztone;
16.1 Tools;
16.2 Supplies;
16.3 Building It;
16.4 Using and Modifying the Two-Transistor Fuzztone;
16.5 Resources;
Chapter 17: Cigar-Box Synthesizer;
17.1 Tools;
17.2 Supplies;
17.3 Building It;
17.4 Expanding the Cigar-Box Synthesizer;
17.5 Resources;
The Locomotivated;
Chapter 18: Cardboard Boomerangs;
18.1 Tools;
18.2 Supplies;
18.3 Building the Fast-Catch Boomerang;
18.4 Building the Cross-Stick Boomerang;
18.5 Throwing;
18.6 Tuning;
18.7 Store-Bought Boomerangs;
18.8 How It Works;
18.9 Boomerang Design;
18.10 Resources;
Chapter 19: Pop Can Flyer;
19.1 Tools;
19.2 Supplies;
19.3 Building It;
19.4 How It Works;
19.5 Bonus Project: NASA’s Finest Paper Airplane;
19.6 Tools;
19.7 Supplies;
19.8 Building It;
Chapter 20: Quick-n-Easy Water Rocket;
20.1 Tools;
20.2 Supplies;
20.3 Building It;
20.4 Building the Better Rocket;
Chapter 21: Putt-Putt Boat;
21.1 Tools;
21.2 Supplies;
21.3 Building It;
21.4 How It Works;
Chapter 22: Jitterbug: Your First Robot;
22.1 Tools;
22.2 Supplies;
22.3 Building It;
22.4 How It Works;
22.5 Modifying the Jitterbug;
22.6 Reverse Sumo Racing;
22.7 Resources;
Chapter 23: FedEx Kites;
23.1 Tools;
23.2 Supplies for the Diamond Kite;
23.3 Supplies for the Box Kite;
23.4 Building the Diamond Kite;
23.5 Building the Box Kite;
23.6 Flying Tips;
23.7 Resources;
Chapter 24: Marshmallow Muzzleloader;
24.1 Tools;
24.2 Supplies;
24.3 Building It;
24.4 Firing Instructions;
24.5 How It Works;
24.6 Going Commando;
Electronics Components, Tools, and Skills;

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