I just can not get enough of those people who stick their thumbs in their armpits and claim they made something really cool, virtually for free. Low Tech - Fast Furniture for Next to Nothing, printed in Britain in 1984, is pretty much what it sounds like, a manual on how to use assorted junk and recycle it into hot, handy-hippie type furniture.
You can tell the author actually has done most of the projects he describes here. All the details about what costs money and what doesn't, what materials can be used for which purposes and so forth indicate that here is a man who knows what he's talking about.
Sometimes the fact that this book is almost 25 years old really shines through. The author recommends textile factories as a source of heavy duty cardboard tubes. Factories? In Western Europe? Please hold my Chinese-made suitcase as I laugh my Chinese socks off. And quite a lot of the projects here, even if you got most of the materials required for free, would still end up being more expensive than equivalent stuff from Ikea. Add some hooks, tape and glue to anything you've scrounged yourself. and it ends up becoming more expensive than semi-disposable swedish furniture. That's not the way it was in the 1980's of course. Or any other time in the history of man, apart from our own very weird days, when things just don't cost much any more.
Anyway, this is a madly inspiring book.
Low Tech - Fast Furniture for Next to Nothing
By Rick Ball, illustrations by Paul Cox
160 pp, Century Publishing
I found out about the book at the Makezine blog.
And as always with out-of-print books, I bought it at Abebooks.