William Gurstelle

William Gurstelle

William Gurstelle is a contributing editor of Make: magazine. His new book, Defending Your Castle: Build Catapults, Crossbows, Moats and More is now available.

Latest from William Gurstelle


Build the simple surveyor’s instrument that made the first accurate maps on Earth. Read more »

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While looking for a way to strengthen cannon barrels, Bessemer discovered better ways of making steel. Read more »

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Learn how to heat-treat and toughen the metal that built our world: carbon steel. Read more »


Louis Poinsot was the first to demonstrate that any number of individual forces pushing or pulling on a rigid thing can be simplified into just a single linear force and a twisting force called a couple. Build this fun set of DIY "hurricane balls" to demonstrate the physical processes at... Read more »


Re-create the incendiary reaction that welded the world’s modern railways. Read more »

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Build the simple span that launched the great age of iron bridge building. Read more »