Post Apocalyptic Power Source for Tools

Discussion in 'Zombie / Prepping related stuff' started by WildBill, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. WildBill

    WildBill The Silly Song Guy

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    Many, many years ago, I read an article in an issue of Popular Woodworking that provided the plans needed to build a foot-powered jigsaw with nothing but some pallets, bolts and piano wire. The foot treadle was the power source, which could then be connected to whatever tool you wanted to fabricate.

    Foot-powered tools do seem to be the way to go. Water-powered tools are not easily re-located, and the zombies will naturally look for new flesh near fresh water- so that's not a good avenue. A waterwheel connected to a generator might work (I was an electronic tech in the Navy so I do know how to make such a power source) but a similar problem arises due to the 'tether' of wire, which even a zombie can follow to the survivors.

    Pallets are great for such builds. They are plentiful, heavy and usually have two kinds of wood: cheap fir on the top and bottom and a heavy inner core of oak, lauan or other dense wood. The cores make great weights for ensuring that the flywheel can sustain momentum and the fir is good for making the basic structure- and such flywheels can be made with hand tools.

    Unfortunately, I do not have schematics for such a build, though I can draw some with my primitive equipment in the next few days or so if needed. But anyone who has spent some time in a woodshop should already know the basic principles involved: A stand with a seat and axle; a heavy, large wheel with 'pedals' to operate, and either a connecting belt or rod to the desired tool. Jigsaws, bandsaws and even a router can be powered through such a device. I did build a jigsaw using the plans some 12 years ago, but I do not have photos or plans handy. However, if anyone here would like me to draw up some plans I will do so. Note that it will take me a while since I am not a computer-savvy guy and so I'll have to draw them by hand and then scan them. Just let me know.

    -Wild Bill
     
  2. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    Foot powered or solar was the first thing that came to mind. I think that's a pretty good idea, not something I would have thought about.
     

  3. WildBill

    WildBill The Silly Song Guy

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    Solar isn't viable. The key to survivability is in mobility combined with force- of which solar provided neither. Photocells produce very low amperage and thus large batteries (and many of them) are needed to store the DC power needed to power strong motors- plus the power has to be converted to AC to operate standard power tool motors which results in further current losses. An AC power plant (all power provided by electric companies starts as AC) is not hard to make but it does require both a stable source of kinetic energy and a lot of maintenance- two things that will hamper survivability in the inevitable EOTWAWKI.

    -Wild Bill
     
  4. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    Yeah, I wasn't sure about how power you'd get from solar panels. If you can't get much out of something compact, then solar obviously wouldn't work.
     
  5. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    the foot powered scrollsaw has been around for centuries, I believe the 1500's. theres a cool little history on mikesworkshop.com, you may find something there or shoot mike an email, super nice guy and quite helpful in most scrollie situations. I think theres decent pics that you may find helpful. what about bicycle parts? readily available and one can pedal whilst one cuts, then mount the tire back on and ride.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  6. KnuckieG

    KnuckieG New Member

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    Funny I was having this conversation with my friend earlier! You know those wind up radios? Why not a wind up power point? It hasn't been done so there must be difficulties involved I'm too clueless to pick up on but foot powered point charger? I seem to remember a point charged unplugged adaptor for guitar effect pedals but it was expensive but y'know why not? After the shtf chain a zombie to a treadmill with a politician just out reach it would give them positive to do for a change lol! :)
     
  7. Slagskimmer Mike

    Slagskimmer Mike thinks TBG smells better than roses

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    Old bike parts and a brake rotor flywheel with pallet parts nailed together.
    Zs for power and politicians for bait.
    Sounds like a great recipe to me.

    A way to charge batteries would make a portable alternator or generator very handy.
    Even after the bottom drops out cordless tools are plentiful so why live without them.
     
  8. KnuckieG

    KnuckieG New Member

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    Since the plug is ubiquitous charging power sources is the best bet imo. Dad used to run a black and white tv from a car battery he'd get 8-9hrs use out of it before the picture would start to shrink. So I agree a genny or alternator would be of really high value :)
     
  9. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Making the saw is probably easier than making the saw blade... at least for me. I could design and build the machine, but forging a scroll saw blade, I'd have no idea. Even a hand saw is a challenge.

    In a true apocalypse, once the scavenging is done with, we'd be thrown back into stone age pretty much. Forget power tools. Let's make usable hand tools first. Our grandchildren may have power tools again, if things go really well.
     
  10. BeMahoney

    BeMahoney Builder of things

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  11. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    I'm talking with no experience here, but out of curiosity, would a blacksmith be able to forge the blades?
     
  12. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    I would think it would be more like a jeweler to make blades. Be, the gravity light may be one of the best inventions ever, i hope those two get the funding they need.
     
  13. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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  14. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    A blacksmith could probably forge a working handsaw blade, albeit it would go blunt quickly.

    Saw blades are thin and must be hardened. You need quality steel for that. A scroll saw blade must be very precise, otherwise it will break quickly at its weakest point.

    Scroll saw blades can only be made with machines.

    It is a good thing that a rubber based crossbow does not require a saw. Just a knife is all you need.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQulkCAY4U4[/ame]
     
  15. BeMahoney

    BeMahoney Builder of things

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    Master Daizo Mitsukawa, Sawsmith

    Daizo Mitsukawa!

    he does it, he would always do! Charcoal, steel, (sun)light, food, water-
    and him, thats all you need. Fully handmade (can find vids on the web),
    These precision tools (dozuki: 330,00€) last a loong time.

    All you´d need would be a Zombie proof vehicle, maybe japan is safe?- as an
    island?

    http://www.feinewerkzeuge.de/mitsukawa.html

    He is admireable!; those saws cut like a knife, removing material, not just strutting...
     

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  16. WildBill

    WildBill The Silly Song Guy

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    The 'quick and easy' way to make a scrollsaw/jigsaw blade that would work in a home made treadle is as follows-

    Take a length of wrapped piano wire (wrapped steel guitar strings will work too) and place it on a flat, solid steel or iron surface. Pour sand over the wire or wrap the wire in old sandpaper if sand isn't available. Next, pound the wire with a hammer until the sand is fairly crushed. The result will be a ribbed wire with sand abrasions on it and it will cut hard woods. The 'blade' will dull fairly quickly but a quick removal and re-pounding will get it cutting again.

    -Wild Bill
     
  17. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    Yeah, I wasn't sure how thin and sharp a blacksmith could go with a saw blade. It does all make sense.
    I'm really enjoying this thread, very fascinating!
     
  18. Aussie_Al

    Aussie_Al Banned

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    Off The grid Tottally

    Hey I Am An Aussie Living In Thailand.

    Relatively soon, I will be receiving a large military compensation payout.
    From which shall buy 200 to 400 square meters, river frontage property, 10 to 15 km, from a medium sized rural town, and build my own 95% underground home.

    This will be although connected to supplies, when finnished, totally off the grid.
    Via hydro (rivers flow at 5 knots min./windmill/solar: river water, filtered 2 times to a 3 meter high tank for pressure, then a very special 5 stage filter for drinking water in the home).

    I have been researching this project for years; and here in Thailand, all I have to watch is the quality of materials used.
    Therefore being bricklayer/builders son, is a fortunate turn of fate; and living in a bank repossession house, on the property, at the time of construction; make absolutely certain the materials used are exactly as per the plans.
    The repossessed home, then becoming, any guests/family for a few days, living quarters.

    Cheers Allan Leigh
     
  19. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    Sounds great! I'd love if you could keep us updated on how the home project is coming along once you get started!
     
  20. Aussie_Al

    Aussie_Al Banned

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    Oh, absolutely.

    However things with governments rarely move fast; especially when we are speaking the amounts I am speaking of.
    Which are set in concrete, as in legislation.

    Therefore, I anticipate accepting what they offer, not being what I deserve; then using a loop hole I know of, to Appeal to the High Court of Australia (the highest in the country; which will take time though), to obtain all of which to which I am legally entitled to.

    In any event time (the rest of my life), is on my side.

    Cheers To All Allan