I really want to learn about the mechanical parts of a guitar, how to properly maintain one, adjust the bridge or other things to modify tone, etc. Besides going to work at a guitar shop (which I would love to, but unfortunately I can't) how does one learn this stuff? Pick up a book or something?
Play the music, not the instrument. ~Author Unknown

Who's the band that could become the next led zeppelin?
Iron blimp.
Aluminum helicopter.
*Breaks out periodic table* Magnesium bi-plane.
try the searchbar dude, there are a load of articles and threads here

Epi Les Paul Std w/Duncans
Cry Baby From Hell
Marshall JH-1
EHX Metal Muff
MXR EVH Phase 90
Carl Martin Classic Chorus
EHX #1 Echo
Ibanez LU-20
Dunlop DCB-10
Crate V50112
Tascam US144

Yes, google, and youtube also has some nice tutorials on maintaning and adjusting your axe.
Use the internet to research the following:

There are two basic bridge adjustments: intonation and action. Action raises or lowers the strings at the bridge, increasing/decreasing their hiehgt from the fretboard. Intonation is the adjustment that slightly changes the lenth of the string so it is in tune across the whole fretboqrd. For example, just because your guitar's open E is in perfecttune doesn't mean that the string's E at the 12th fret is in perfect tune.

There is one basic neck adjustment: the truss rod. In every neck, there is a slight bow. No neck is perfectly flat. You don't want the bow to be too extreme or too flat. Don't mess with the truss rod unless you know exactly what you're doing to avoid damaging your instrument.

The pick-ups can be raised or lowered to adjust their brightness. There are two screws on each side of each pick-up.

Don't use any chemicals to clean your guitar; go buy a maintaining kit with polish, string cleaner, and fretboard conditioner. Use 100% cotton cloths to avoid scratching or swirling the finish.

Hardware will come loose; go to Home Depot and get:
-a set of very thin wrenches, sizes 6-12. That way you can tighten up a pot easily without having to remove the knob.

-a set of very small screwdrivers

-a small- to medium-sized screwdriver that DOES NOT have a large handle. A Large-handled screwdriver will cause you to strip the screws out in the wood without very much effort at all. Use one with a small and thin handle so the screws won't strip out. Trust me, if you use a large screwdriver it will never feel like they are getting tight; the screws will simply strip through before you even notice.

-a medium-sized flathead screwdriver

-A set of small Allen wrenches.

-A small pair of needle-nose pliers.

Those are about the only tools you will ever need for basic adjustments. More experienced- or mechanically-inclined owners should also buy a soldering ion and learn how to use it properly.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
Boss DS-1 Distortion
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Marshall JCM2000 DSL401
if your just wanting to adjust it htats easy

it would be best if you was a handy type of person so if ur not (BEWARE).
about takin stuff apart

but if you are handy then id say..its really pretty simple..

u set your intotion (horazional) screws
your action (verical screws)
then your neck.
the hardest problem i have is what to wire the **** to..i couldnt find a diagram.

sorry for the spelling but the machanics of a guitar hard to adjusbut the neck is i think..if it bows in tightin it
if it bows out lossin it