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Help me keep my dad industrious and happy this Christmas
November 20, 2012 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the perfect Christmas present for my "Maker" dad - ideally it would be an set of plans on how to craft something from scratch, rather than a kit of physical parts.

My dad is both electronically and mechanically-inclined, and in the past has greatly enjoyed projects such as "build your own lathe from scratch." I'd love to get him something similar - either a set of plans for one complex item (like a 3D printer) or perhaps a book with several smaller projects (he already has the Build Your Own Metalworking Shop from Scrap series) that lead to a concrete, functional object that he can enjoy playing with.

Don't worry about technical difficulty - in the past he has worked as both a professional electronics technician/designer and a professional welder/general fabricator. I'd love something that combined these two passions, which is why something like a fully DIY 3D printer would be ideal. But all the 'kits' I find are both expensive, and contain all the needed hardware already (which takes the fun out of it for him).
posted by muddgirl to Shopping (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you think he might be interested in going lower tech:

Make a Chair From a Tree

Make a Joint stool from a Tree

The Anarchist's Toolchest
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:17 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


How about something from the New Yankee Workshop? You can buy plans to make all kinds of things from wood.
posted by essexjan at 2:27 PM on November 20, 2012


The Lincoln Electric Foundation has reprinted a bunch of welding project books, one of which (from 1958) amounts to building your own machine shop but the series goes way beyond that to agricultural and home products. There are five: one, two, three, four, five, or you can get all five at once. It's $35 for the set, so maybe there some room for some equipment if he hasn't tried it yet?
posted by jwells at 2:36 PM on November 20, 2012


Free plans for 3-D printers are on reprap.org. Scroll down on the main page to see a list of all the printers and parts/assembly lists.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:36 PM on November 20, 2012


Not exactly what you're looking for, but maybe tickets to a local Maker Faire? He might find his own fun project there...
posted by Mad_Carew at 3:42 PM on November 20, 2012


My dad's pretty similar - for his birthday I got him a blacksmithing class(if I thought he'd enjoy it, I'd send him instructions on building a home forge)!
posted by sawdustbear at 4:40 PM on November 20, 2012


How about a general introduction to 3D Printing?

3D Printing: The Next Technology Gold Rush - Future Factories and How to Capitalize on Distributed Manufacturing [Kindle Edition]

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B1UKZC6
posted by wenshidi at 9:54 PM on April 21, 2013


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