Review: Making Things Move


The subtitle for Making Things Move promises DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists. What it doesn’t say is that the book is chock full of information perfect for people who want to understand the concept of mechanisms and machines. It is seriously detailed information; it’s not a guide for the faint of heart. However, if you’ve got one of those teens who has an insatiable interest in moving things, this book will not disappoint.

Beginning with an overview of simple machines, author Dustyn Roberts addresses finding and choosing the right materials for various applications; introduces readers to force, friction, and torque; and controlling motion. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of building a mechanical project. Not sure how to join those parts together? Chapter three addresses different types and sizes of screws, retaining rings, pins, nails, glue, and even duct tape, along with a tutorial on how to drill and tap a hole. Need to reduce friction? That’s addressed in chapter four.

We chose to try our hand at one of the simpler projects in the book: a heart pantograph. I’d just been telling my kids about a “toy” I had as a kid that would allow me to draw a picture on one piece of paper and mimic my drawing – but bigger – on another piece of paper. I did not remember (or ever know?) that it was called a pantograph, and the kids thought I was nutty as I was explaining it with wild gesticulation, so this seemed like a perfect project for us to try.



The publisher provided a copy of this book for review purposes.

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