Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Opened Horizons

In  recent conversation in my current AO, I realized that I have grown past a hurdle in my life.

We were discussing one of my current projects (the Wind Genny) and the question of what to use as the hub came up.  I said, ” I will just cast it and machine it out as needed”.   And at that point, I realized: There is not a thing I can’t make if I am only willing to put for a little time and effort.  (maybe that statement is broad brushed, but,,,)  Heck, even making a lathe or some other machines is completely possible with just the simple methods of casting as a basis.

There are some resources I do not have access to, such as making high powered magnets and the like, but even there, scraps can be used in a pinch if enough can be found in quantity. (Hard Drive magnets come to mind).   Making generators is limited only by resource, not FRN’s.    (granted, FRN’s are a resource as well, but not as timeless as actual labor or exchange of services/goods.   We will see much more Systeme ‘D’ economies in our immediate future, Trust me on that.)

My old saying was “Time Space or Money.   The holy trinity of the working man.  You always have two, but that third will be elusive.”    Lately, that saying has become, Time Space and Imagination, and you are limited by only your lifespan.    I know, that no matter what happens in our immediate or long term futures, I will have the ability to adapt and improvise pretty much anything to do most anything.    It may not look like a factory made unit, and it may take several runs of trials and errors to get the end product (shush China, I know what you are giggling about) but get there I will.

And that brings a warm glow to my being.   Confidence that no matter what the world turns into, I will be able to provide something of value to those around me, and may even have an answer for a problem that is not even close to obvious.

Educate yourselves, as well as prepare in physical and material.     The net is a c strong tool to help expand your mind and skill sets.   USE IT. Then use what you have learned and become proficient at it.  That last is the key.   Learning without practice is not going to pull your ass out of the fire.

The links on the sidebar are there for you to start some personal education.   I make not a dime off any of those things, I put them there because they are sources I use and trust, or they are a gateway to something others will have the ability to expand upon.    As I get more links, I will add them.   (but only after I have dealt with them and seen if they are practitioners of good customer service.

Back to the shed, gotta turn out a pattern for a hub to cast.


A special thanks to China for an early Christmas present of a book.    It opens up possibles where I had been making exceptions.


14 responses

  1. Dio, you are so right! I have so many projects I’m thrilled about trying next year. I love how people think if the power goes out somehow it means going back to the stone age! I mean, the rules of physics and Electromagnetism will suddenly stop working? No one can figure out a steam boiler or engine of 1810-1820 vintage? Using an Overshot water wheel, or the huge Gothic cathedrals can’t be built? How about the Roman coliseum, aqueducts or roads? Levers, pulleys, basic geometry, a plumb Bob and level was all they needed.
    The modified Ice house will be the big project for me to start off the year. No clue if it will work but the worse thing that can happen is I store more free water from Mama nature! I’m going to work on the solar energy thing and see how far I can take it! I saw a Youtube video that used a parabolic dish to focus the sun rays and they cut a 1/4 -1/2 inch slab of metal. I think it was iron if memory serves the temp. generated was approx. 1000 degrees F. I can easily generate over 200 degrees F. via small solar oven using materials you can buy at any grocery store for less than $20.00.
    I have a lot to learn going from understanding basic principles and theory and putting it to a practical application, but I don’t watch much TV and I have the rest of my life to learn.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:56 am

    • I always crack up when I would watch shows like “ancient marvels” and hear some expert talking about ‘we don’t have the ability to duplicate this work’. HAH! What we don’t have is the wherewithal to git-r-dun that those guys had. (nor armies of slaves to haul tons of rock, but I digress.)
      I may never see all of the ideas in my head come to being, but I have the rest of my life to try. And I know that there are others out there, such as yourself, that are far more capable of doing for themselves and others, than any politician or bureaucrat is comfortable with. People like us don’t need FEMA and actually get chills if others suggest such.
      Talking about TV. I stopped watching TV in 2007 and since then, I can honestly say that I have, well maybe not become smarter, but my brain functions a whole lot better since then. The few times I have mentioned TV in my blogs was because I would passing by one and something would grab my attention. It doesn’t take long at all to remember WHY I stopped watching that mess.

      On the modified Ice House, I don’t know what your plans are, but I know that sawdust was the insulator in the older ones Lots of sawdust. Probably not as easy to come by now as most sawmills recycle it for MSB and OSB woods.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

      • Dio, I plan on using the wood chips that you can buy at the local feed store. We also have a Cabinet making shop in town and I’m going to check out what they do with the saw dust.

        December 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

      • Goodluck. it’s a good project.

        December 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

  2. Time, Space, & Money. I like it!

    December 19, 2012 at 12:59 am

    • Most of us will always have two of them. Time and space, space and money or time and money , but that third element will always remain elusive, or worse, once you gain it, you have lost one of the others. Part of my goal is to get the one that has always been the most elusive SPACE. Once I have that, the other two will be my struggles and I fully intend to keep it down to those two and those two alone.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

  3. Wildflower

    microwave ovens can yield two powerful magnets and the coil from a fan can be used in a homebuilt alternator; along with wires, odd parts, and screws

    printers can yeild powerful little motors that could be adapted to small wind or hydropower

    lootsa stuff for salvage for many projects about

    December 19, 2012 at 2:55 am

    • And our disposable society has left a lot of that around for the likes of me to play with.

      Didn’t know about the microwave thing, but it makes sense once mentioned. I know about the stepper motors in printers, but they aren’t up to the task I intend them, but have applications in other areas I will get into. Sadly, around where I am, micro-hydro is not an option. Wind or solar and even the wind is iffy except during key times of the year.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

  4. Spud

    My wife is forever bragging to others, that I can fix anything but a broken light bulb. With stone knives and Axes as the starting point.
    My reply to her is that even a light bulb is repairable. It’s just more practical to build a new one from scratch.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:03 am

    • yeah, there is a point where its more practical to replace then repair. But knowing the option is available is a comforting thought. Stone knives and axes as a starting point? Reminds me of the Robinson Crusoe rip-off that MAD Magazine did back in the 70’s. Guy gets stranded on an island and rebuilds an entire industrial complex out of boredom, including a hotel and casino. No people to exploit the fun though. LOL

      December 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

  5. Ah Hell I’m laughing with ya not at ya Bro. And hell if a Bro can;t kick ya who can? Don’t worry With all my screw ups you’ll get your shot Trust me!


    December 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    • I know between the two of us, a forge and a pair of anvils, we are going to have some serious WTF moments. LOL But that challenge only makes what we do better in the long run.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

  6. Dang Dio now I got to go searching on the web. I saw a little Micro hydro project done with a 5 gallon bucket. If I recall correctly he had a small stream and placed the blades to turn horizontally but if you used a bit of gravity, a solar water pump and a Overshot water wheel. Theoretically you could generate some mechanical energy. If it could put out enough energy to run something besides itself I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s possible! You could do something like Archimedes screw and at least move water against gravity.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:53 am

    • The problem around here isn’t lack of water, just location of it, and timing. Seeing how most of the streams are far down in the hills and only have head when its raining, the gains would be far outweighed by the troubles to get there. I know the one you are talking about and it only produces a few watts of power. You could charge a cell phone or computer battery off of it (given time) but not enough to really do much else with. I have even thought about an undershot wheel for powering a lineshaft for the shop but again, location location location. We would have to be in the valleys to achieve that.

      December 23, 2012 at 8:29 am

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