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My Books

Marvelous Magnetic Machines


This is the place for interesting news about Marvelous Magnetic Machines.


Marvelous Magnetic Machines is a work in progress. In fact, while all of the projects to be presented in the book have been completed and are running, the book itself is, at present, only in its beginning stages.

This is the web page where I intend to post progress reports and share news and information about this exciting new book.

Be sure to stop by here again soon, and do so often!


MMM Book Progress Log


I just finished the rough draft for Chapter 9, entitled, "Parting Thoughts." The content of this chapter is general in nature, and touches upon the topics of power supplies and instrumentation. The text also explores some experiments I conducted in using a PC as a tool for dynamically balancing small rotating parts.

With the completion of this chapter, I regard the text of Marvelous Magnetic Machines to be complete. The raw text occupies around a hundred 8-1/2 by 11 pages, and that's without any illustrations. It will be interesting to see what the page count comes to when I begin formatting the book for my standard 5-1/2 x 8 footprint. The next step, now, is to re-read the entire manuscript.

The purpose of this effort is two-fold. First, and most obviously, the text I've written is in dire need of proofreading. By way of comparison, I read and re-read the manuscript for my last book, Instruments of Amplification, more than 13 times. I expect that this manuscript will receive the same scrutiny.

The second reason for this preliminary read-through is to begin identifying and cataloging all of the illustrations that I will have to prepare.

There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but it always feels good to make progress.


Earlier this week, I completed the rough draft for Chapter Eight, which documents the "Copper Queen" motor. The end of this chaper represents the completion of the descriptive text for the five motors to be showcased in this book. I have some ideas for a closing chapter that involve the creative use of junk and free resources for instrumentation purposes. I need to spend some time on the bench with my soldering iron to see if they will pan out. Stay tuned.


It can be burdensome and even non-productive to become too immersed in one's own work. Sometimes, valuable perspective comes from setting that work aside, stepping away from it for a while, and then looking at it again with a fresh eye. For the most part, my motors have been shelved since I began work on the text for MMM. Yet, since beginning the writing process, I've had cause to retrieve the machines, one-by-one, to revisit and  rediscover their construction as an aid in preparing my text.

It's great fun to revisit them all with a fresh eye, and I find that I appreciate them more now than when I first built them.

This evening, I completed the rough draft for Chapter Seven, the "Little Twister."  On to Chapter Eight!


You may have noticed a significant gap between my last entry (11/24/10) and this one. The Christmas Season is a busy time for me, and all the more so now that I have grandchildren.  Then, with Christmas passed, it seemed that a number of other unfinished projects competed for my time. It took some effort to sit down and get back into the habit of writing. So, here I am.

The rough draft for Chapter Six is now complete. This describes the design and construction of my "multi-cylinder" project I call the "Christmas Motor." On to Chapter Seven!


This evening, I completed the draft for Chapter Five, which describes what I call the "Texas Motor." The Texas Motor is the second motor which appears in my Youtube teaser video, and is the one with the brass base and the walking beam or rocker on top. Next will come Chapter Six, describing what I call the "Christmas Motor."

I also picked up a copy of Luke Muehlhauser's book, Design a Book with OpenOffice.org Writer on Amazon. As it is my plan to use OpenOffice, not only for writing this book, but to do the layout and typesetting as well, I expect some of Muehlhauser's recommendations to come in handy. Given the amount of work that went into my other two books, I am dubious about his claim that a book can be put together in "a few hours," but we'll see!


I completed the draft for Chapter Four, describing the "Peewee Motor" a few days ago. The Peewee is the first motor that appears in my Youtube teaser video. Today I began work on the Chapter Five in earnest.


The rough drafts for the first three chapters are complete. These include my introduction, the obligatory chapter on safety, and a chapter on basic magnetic theory. These are drafts and subject to later revision, particularly the "principles" chapter, though I think they pretty much capture the feel I want.  My next chapter will deal specifically with the first of my five motors. This is where the fun begins.


It took me a little time to get started. My books are all spare-time projects, and sometimes spare time is hard to find. A couple of days ago, I installed a copy of OpenOffice one my computer and began the Instruction chapter. Normally, I'd knock out something like this in short order, but there was something clumsy about the flow in the middle somewhere, and it bothered me enough that I had to go back and rewrite it. Today I finished it and for the moment, consider it done. Next on the agenda is the obligatory Safety Chapter, and then on to some Elementary Magnetic Principles.


(initial -  06/30/2010)

(last update - 07/13/2011)