Unscrewed: Salvage and Reuse Motors, Gears, Switches, and More from Your Old Electronics

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Overview

Admit it: you love to explore how things work. Screwdriver and pliers in hand, no castoff electronics or old appliances are safe. But once you’ve pulled apart your prey, do you really just want to screw it back together again . . . assuming you could? Unscrewed is the perfect resource for all UIYers—Undo It Yourselfers—looking to salvage hidden treasures or repurpose old junk.

            Author Ed Sobey will show you how to safely disassemble more than 50 ...

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Overview

Admit it: you love to explore how things work. Screwdriver and pliers in hand, no castoff electronics or old appliances are safe. But once you’ve pulled apart your prey, do you really just want to screw it back together again . . . assuming you could? Unscrewed is the perfect resource for all UIYers—Undo It Yourselfers—looking to salvage hidden treasures or repurpose old junk.

            Author Ed Sobey will show you how to safely disassemble more than 50 devices, including: Laser Printer, Radio-Controlled Car, Zip Drive, Videocassette Recorder, Paper Shredder, Audiocassette Player, Electric Drill, Computer Mouse, Keyboard, Fax Machine, Joystick, Floppy Drive, Videocassette Camera, Electric Clock, and More!

            Each deconstruction project includes a “treasure cache” of the components to be found, a required tools list, and step-by-step instructions, with photos, on how to extract the working components. It also includes suggestions on how to repurpose your electronic finds. Why pay good money to an electronics store when you probably already have what you need in that old VCR, printer, or hair dryer? Fight the mindset of planned obsolescence—there’s technological gold in that there junk!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tinkerers, do-it-yourselfers, and hobbyists will get a kick out of this new book...Great fun for the Popular Electronics crowd."  —Booklist

"Where others see trash bound for the landfill, intelligent tinkerer Ed Sobey sees gold, and Unscrewed is the bridge between useless junk and precious raw material."  —William Gurstelle, author of Backyard Ballistics

"Unscrewed by Ed Sobey is a great resource for computer geeks, techno-users, workbench hobbyists, DIYers and those who simply feel compelled to take things apart."  —BookPage

Kirkus Reviews

Sobey (How Kitchens Work, 2010, etc.) provides instructions for dismantling unwanted electronics and offers suggestions on how to repurpose what you mine.

Wondering what to do with your old scanner? Unscrew it piece-by-piece, set the motors aside for future projects and use the remaining parts to construct a desk lamp, of course! Sobey, a master in the art of salvage, has the basics covered with instructions for how to start repurposing more than 50 of your most unwanted possessions, from joysticks to guitars to hairdryers. While the author's intentions are noble, with increasing attention paid to conservation and sustainability, he falls flat with this guide. Sobey thoroughly covers the steps to taking apart the devices, but he fails to provide instructions on how to repurpose them, merely suggesting alternate uses in a lackluster and uninformative conclusion to each chapter. Guiding readers step-by-illustrated-step through stripping a discarded bubble gun for gears, springs and switches, the author then suggests that its pump be retrofitted into a small irrigation system for houseplants. But readers are left to their own devices to figure out how.

Perfect for readers who like to take things apart to see what's inside but useless for those with intentions of putting them back together.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569766040
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,404,976
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 6.06 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Sobey is the author of The Way Toys Work, The Way Kitchens Work, A Field Guide to Household Technology, and many other titles.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Audiocassette Player 1

Bar Code Scanner 5

Bubble Gun 8

Camera (Digital) 12

Camera (Film) 17

CD-ROM 22

Clock 29

Computer Mouse (Mechanical) 32

Computer Mouse (Optical) 36

Drill (Electric) 39

DustBuster 44

DVD Player 49

Emergency Radio 56

Fan (Computer) 60

Fax 63

Ferrite Choke 70

Floppy Drive 73

Guitar (Electronic Toy) 76

Hair Dryer 81

Hard Drive 86

Headphones 91

Ink-Jet Printer 95

Joystick 102

Keyboard 107

Laptop 111

Laptop Screen 115

Laser Printer (LED Bar) 119

Laser Printer (Single Laser) 125

Metal Detector 132

Pencil Sharpener (Electric) 135

Phonograph 138

Piano Keyboard 143

Pointing Stick 147

Popcorn Popper 150

Radio-Controlled Car 154

Remote Control (Toy) 158

Sander 162

Scanner 166

Screwdriver (Electric) 171

Shredder 174

Super Soaker 178

Timer 181

Toothbrush (Electric) 185

Touchpad 188

Typewriter 192

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) 197

Videocassette Camera 201

Videocassette Recorder (VCR) 207

Video Game Light Gun 212

Web Cam 216

Wireless Router 219

Yoke 222

Zip Drive 226

Glossary and Index of Components 231

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