> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: Makeshift Workshop Skills



Review: Makeshift Workshop Skills

Being able to repair and create from basic materials is an important skill for the survivor, both to save money today and for after a collapse, when you can't just stroll down to the hardware store or punch in an Amazon order when you need something new. James Ballou's Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance provides a great starting ground for developing these kinds of skills, using basic scavenged materials and simple hand tools.
A lot of this information is old-school techniques and information used by previous generations and largely forgotten in this day and age of power tools and disposable junk.

Makeshift runs through a variety of useful info, repair techniques and field expedient tools--stuff like improvised welding with a car battery, building simple tools out of scrap material and so on. It's an easy book to dive into and put to work--there are pictures and illustrations throughout, and the writing style is simple and accessible. It's a quick read, but one that you will refer to fairly often when working on these kinds of do it yourself projects.

Whether you're looking for some interesting projects, need some assistance on household repairs or planning for keeping things working post-collapse, Makeshift will have lots of useful information for you. If you're already a seasoned handy man or improvising pro, you'll still find some new ideas and clever designs. There's lots of good stuff.

Here's a short list of just some of the ideas and projects you'll find within Makeshift:
  • Homemade cordage and useful knots
  • Makeshift metal working, with plans for a makeshift forge, blower and other tools
  • Improvised tools including hammers, drills, axes, knives, saws, files, vices and clamps
  • Expedient repairs with things like super glue, tape, rawhide, pegs and rivets
  • Doing your own welding, including field welding techniques
  • Useful items you can make out of common things like hangars, saw blades, coffee cans and rebar
Makeshift can't make you into an expert all areas in just over 200 pages, but it's a good resource and starting point for exploring other areas. There's a recommended resources page at the end to help point the reader in the right direction for further study--a nice addition.

Overall, if you're looking to improve your makeshift repair/crafting skills, I'd definitely give this book a look. It won't turn you into a Randy Church-like guru, but it will help show you a few tips, tricks and projects to help make you more self reliant today and in times to come!

Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance on Amazon >