You are right, most of the RE books out there are more generic and consists of dozens of different examples and not project oriented. Moreover, they're mostly focused on software reverse engineering.
From these, and as a reference, it is worth to mention:
In the field of hardware reverse engineering, however, it is much harder to find a proper book, not to say one which is project oriented. But there is one book which overcomes the other and seems to fit best for your needs – Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering by Andrew Huang. The book is available for free since March 2013.
To quote from the book's description:
This hands-on guide to hacking begins with step-by-step tutorials on
hardware modifications that teach basic hacking techniques as well as
essential reverse engineering skills. The book progresses into a
discussion of the Xbox security mechanisms and other advanced hacking
topics, with an emphasis on educating the readers on the important
subjects of computer security and reverse engineering. Hacking the
Xbox includes numerous practical guides, such as where to get hacking
gear, soldering techniques, debugging tips and an Xbox hardware
You can visit the book's official website for more information.
Other books which you may find helpful are listed below:
It is important for me to note that although the fact that most of these books is available online pirately, I encourage you to buy the books you are interested in and support their authors.
On a general note, I'd suggest you to start reverse engineering from routers and old game consoles. Good references could be found in /dev/ttys0. Choose a product which is cheap and you can buy many pieces from it so you won't be afraid of destroying it with your tests. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is an example for a console which is documented in details by other reverse engineers, check this for example. As for tools, most of the resources above contains recommendations for tools that would help you in each project.