What’s on the inside ?

Disassembled Bicycle

Raleigh Bike 1980’s – Number of Parts 893

I’ve never been one of life’s great tinkerers (apart from in my own head !) and I look on with wonder, and not a little envy, at those who seem to possess the seemingly wizard like skills of not only understanding how things work but are able to take things apart and put them back together again.  A long long time ago when I was about 15/16 I did totally strip my bike back to it’s steel frame and rebuild it.  When I think about that now I’m quite amazed as I seem to struggle with the slightest bit if mechanical tinkering on my current steed or anything else for that matter.  Perhaps the more you avoid investigating how things work the greater the fear and apprehension that then exists when you either have to have a little tinker or when things simply stop working.  The result is that by never tinkering you also perhaps fail to appreciate the incredible work that has gone into designing and building much of the everyday items we take for granted.

This was all highligted for me recently when I came across Things Come Apart by Todd McLellan where Todd has painstakingly disassembled retro and everday objects and photographed the results.  I think the end product, which in this case is a complete reversal of the original product, is breathtakingly beautiful – pieces of art in their own right.  They also highlight the utter complexity that is packed into the objects around us, each individual item of which is beautifully and precisely made.  I’m not sure whether looking at these makes me more or less scared to have a tinker with things but I do know I would not want to try and put these items back together again.


Disassembled Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Knife – Number of Parts 38


Disassembled watch

Russian Vostock watch – Number of Parts 130


Disassembled ipod

iPod 2002 – Number of Parts 80


Disassembled Chainsaw

Homelite chainshaw – Number of Parts 268


Disassembled camera

Sony digital SLR camera 2012 – Number of Parts 580