William Gurstelle

Bill Gurstelle is an author (and former engineer) living in Minneapolis, Minn. His first book, Backyard Ballistics, is about "making interesting things that go whoosh, boom, or splat," and his fourth book, tentatively entitled Adventures in the Technology Underground, will be published in February. He appeared on the television show "Win Ben Stein's Money," and with Ben Stein's money built a full-size wooden catapult. He is currently laying seige to the people next door, and says, "if all goes well, soon the whole neighborhood will be mine."

Author of these Magazine Articles

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 32: Design for Makers page 19

Nellie Bly Smoker
Make a hot/cold food smoker from a 55-gallon steel drum.
In Projects from MAKE: 32: Design for Makers page 94

Levi ben Gershon and the Jacob's Staff
Build the clever instrument that told sailors their latitude for 200 years.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 32: Design for Makers page 142

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 31: Punk Science page 15

Sound-O-Light Speakers
Surprisingly simple PVC pipe speakers are clear shining performers.
From MAKE: 31: Punk Science page 80

Otto Von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Make an impressively effective low-tech vacuum pump.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 31: Punk Science page 170

See-Through Potato Cannon
A mainstay for summer hijinks, the potato cannon is like the grenade launcher of any kid's arsenal.
In Combat from MAKE: schoolsout: School's Out page 24

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 30: Smarter Homes page 15

Keybanging
Enjoy code-free home automation using prop controllers.
From MAKE: 30: Smarter Homes page 72

Sound Sucker
Make a "sound sucker" using a mug, Jello, and hollow stirring straws.
In 123 from MAKE: 30: Smarter Homes page 125

The Oliver: A Leg-Powered Hammer
Build the treadle hammer that helped build medieval Europe.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 30: Smarter Homes page 170

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 29: DIY Superhuman page 15

The Tuning Fork
Build the 18th-century tool that replaced faulty pitch pipes.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 29: DIY Superhuman page 172

Beer Wheel Drive
Designed to hold fourteen 250lb people and their beverage of choice, City Cycle was built to support more weight than a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup.
In Made on Earth from MAKE: 28: Toys and Games page 24

Gravity Catapult
Get medieval with this portable, stowable, gravity-powered trebuchet.
From MAKE: 28: Toys and Games page 84

Archimedes and the Water Screw
Re-create the invention that quenched the Egyptian desert.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 28: Toys and Games page 170

The Daniell Cell
Make the electric battery that powered the scientific revolution.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 27: Robots page 170

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 26: Karts and Wheels page 15

The Flame Tube
Visualize waveforms with fire.
From MAKE: 26: Karts and Wheels page 72

Ptah-Hotep and the Bag Press
Use linen, wood, and the wisdom of ancient Egyptians to make a juicer.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 26: Karts and Wheels page 170

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 15

Making a Cage Trap
Catch pesky animals humanely with a homemade slammer.
In DIY: Outdoors from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 126

Faux Flames
Make realistic fake fire, using fabric, a fan, and some LEDs.
In DIY: Workshop from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 140

The Chinese Windlass
British soldiers, encamped on the outskirts of Beijing after the war, took note of an ingenious device being used to raise and lower drawbridges.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 170

Alessandro Volta and Electrodeposition
Before the chemists of the 19th century understood electrochemistry, most metal items were made from one solid hunk of metal; the same on the inside, outside, and everywhere in between.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 24: Space page 170

Samuel Morse and the Telegraph
Despite the fact that Morse had little knowledge of electricity, he plunged ahead as only a man in the throes of a serious midlife crisis could.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 23: Gadgets page 168

Trebuchet Tossables
Kurt Modert and his friends built a giant trebuchet.
In Made on Earth from MAKE: 22: Remote Control / Wireless page 21

Double Pendulum
Build this simple device that exhibits chaotic behavior and makes an excellent science project.
From MAKE: 22: Remote Control / Wireless page 92

Executive Suite
Manhattan's Best Basement Shop.
In Workshop from MAKE: 22: Remote Control / Wireless page 163

The Oil Lamp
The cave dwellers of Lascaux and the oil lamp.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 22: Remote Control / Wireless page 168

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 21: Desktop Manufacturing page 163

Benjamin Franklin’s Electrical Experiments
Benjamin Franklin and electricity.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 21: Desktop Manufacturing page 168

Humphry Davy and the Arc Light
More than 70 years before Edison’s 1879 incandescent lamp patent, the English scientist Humphry Davy developed a technique for producing controlled light from electricity.
From MAKE: 20: For Kids of All Ages page 166

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 20: For Kids of All Ages page 175

Speed Week
What Cape Canaveral is to astronauts, the Bonneville Salt Flats are to those who love to drive fast.
In Maker from MAKE: 19: Robots page 40

Rudolf Diesel and the Fire Piston
Build a fire piston.
From MAKE: 19: Robots page 166

Maker's Calendar

In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 19: Robots page 169

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 18: ReMake America page 168

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 17: Lost Knowledge page 180

Pole's-Eye View
A mast-mounted aerial photography rig.
From MAKE: 16: Spy Tech page 106

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 16: Spy Tech page 189

Breezing Through Oshkosh
A maker’s look at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show.
In Maker from MAKE: 15: Music page 50

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 15: Music page 165

Cars Without Drivers
Teams compete to win the U.S. military's $2 million grand prize.
From MAKE: 14: Optics page 38

Taffy Pulling Machine
Make a simple mechanism that stretches delicious candy while it stretches the limits of multidimensional math.
From MAKE: 14: Optics page 106

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 14: Optics page 183

Maker's Calendar
Our favorite events from around the world.
In Maker's Calendar from MAKE: 13: Magic page 12

The Barrage Garage: Meet the Tool-Zine
Outfitting the all-purpose maker's worshop. Part 2 of the Barrage Garage series.
From MAKE: 13: Magic page 40

The Fire Drug
A maker's history of black powder.
From MAKE: 13: Magic page 54

Building the Barrage Garage
The first in a three-part series about building a workshop from the ground up.
From MAKE: 12: Upload page 32

Photographer for these Magazine Articles

Nellie Bly Smoker
Make a hot/cold food smoker from a 55-gallon steel drum.
In Projects from MAKE: 32: Design for Makers page 94

Otto Von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Make an impressively effective low-tech vacuum pump.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 31: Punk Science page 170

The Tuning Fork
Build the 18th-century tool that replaced faulty pitch pipes.
In Remaking History from MAKE: 29: DIY Superhuman page 172

Making a Cage Trap
Catch pesky animals humanely with a homemade slammer.
In DIY: Outdoors from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 126

Faux Flames
Make realistic fake fire, using fabric, a fan, and some LEDs.
In DIY: Workshop from MAKE: 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino page 140

Executive Suite
Manhattan's Best Basement Shop.
In Workshop from MAKE: 22: Remote Control / Wireless page 163

Humphry Davy and the Arc Light
More than 70 years before Edison’s 1879 incandescent lamp patent, the English scientist Humphry Davy developed a technique for producing controlled light from electricity.
From MAKE: 20: For Kids of All Ages page 166

Speed Week
What Cape Canaveral is to astronauts, the Bonneville Salt Flats are to those who love to drive fast.
In Maker from MAKE: 19: Robots page 40

Rudolf Diesel and the Fire Piston
Build a fire piston.
From MAKE: 19: Robots page 166

Pole's-Eye View
A mast-mounted aerial photography rig.
From MAKE: 16: Spy Tech page 106

Breezing Through Oshkosh
A maker’s look at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show.
In Maker from MAKE: 15: Music page 50

Cars Without Drivers
Teams compete to win the U.S. military's $2 million grand prize.
From MAKE: 14: Optics page 38

The Barrage Garage: Meet the Tool-Zine
Outfitting the all-purpose maker's worshop. Part 2 of the Barrage Garage series.
From MAKE: 13: Magic page 40

The Fire Drug
A maker's history of black powder.
From MAKE: 13: Magic page 54

Building the Barrage Garage
The first in a three-part series about building a workshop from the ground up.
From MAKE: 12: Upload page 32

Super Tritone Shop Whistle
This jazzy, compressed-air-powered whistle sounds a mighty blast.
From MAKE: 12: Upload page 88


MAKE: Online Extras

Unsafe At Any Amperage?
Behind the scenes of our high-voltage dilemma: whether to publish a dangerously cool project in MAKE magazine's "Fringe" issue.
by Tom Anderson, Gareth Branwyn, Shawn Connally, Dale Dougherty, Mark Frauenfelder, Joe Grand, Saul Griffith, William Gurstelle, Bunnie Huang, Tom Igoe, Mister Jalopy, Steve Lodefink, John MacNeill, David Pescovitz, Charles Platt, Paul Spinrad, Phillip Torrone; March 16, 2007