Make: Talk 006 - William Gurstelle, Backyard Ballistics


Here's the 6th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I'll interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is William Gurstelle. He's a contributing editor to MAKE and his books include Backyard Ballistics, Adventures from the Technology Underground, and Absinthe and Flamethrowers. In addition, Bill writes frequently on culture and technology for national magazines and blogs including The Atlantic, Wired, and Popular Science.

Here's are some projects William has written for MAKE:

Two-Can Stirling Engine


Double Pendulum

Super Tritone Shop Whistle



  1. I know it’s not the point, but I love the cover layout on all those projects. It’s so classy yet authoritative, like the old Penguin Classics jackets, or that one brand of technical manuals that makes X86 Machine Language Conversion Protocols sound like King Lear.

  2. I would be interested in practicing backyard ballistics but, since my yard is adjacent to a school playground, overshoot errors would be particularly distressing.

    1. School playgrounds after hours and on weekends can actually be the perfect places for shooting off rockets, since they’re large empty spaces that are often deserted.

Comments are closed.