Crafty Manolo » Slice of Life

Slice of Life

By Twistie

Chances are you have a toaster on your counter. Most people do. I have one. I don’t use it every day, but when I do I’m glad it’s there.

It’s humble and ubiquitous and nearly unnoticed by most of us on a day to day basis.

And one day  Thomas Thwaites, a graduate student at the  Royal College of Art, decided to make one for himself from scratch.

He could have just gone down to the hobby shop and bought a kit and called it a day, but he wanted to make it a school project, too. He wanted to make it really from scratch. As in he wanted to create all the components from their base materials.

The Toaster Project is the book born of this concept detailing his year long, nearly two thousand pounds sterling effort to make a simple device for heating bread, much like the one he could buy at a local store for roughly the equivalent of six dollars and pocket change.

Along the way we see him smelting steel using instructions from a fifteenth century manual translated from the Latin by Herbert and Lou Hoover some years before they became President and First Lady of the US of A, making plastic in his own kitchen (do not try this at home, kiddies!), learning to extract copper from water, and getting hopelessly lost in the Highlands of Scotland searching for mica.

It’s a humorous and Quixotic adventure with an engaging guide and scads of useful illustrations. It’s also available in paperback and Kindle editions at

Do yourself a favor. Read it before you try to make your own microwave oven.

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