« Wind powered factories: history (and future) of industrial windmills | Main | Rings of fire: Hoffmann kilns »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Neil Noble


Practical Action was originally called the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) and its head office is at the Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development, named after Fritz Schumacher the founder of ITDG and author of Small is Beautiful.



Instructables should also be mentioned.






Instructables thirded.

In 1999 most people were laughing about the (probably (apparently) unnecessary) disaster preparedness the alleged the Y2K event.
At that time I said "Why is it a bad idea to be ready for when something big goes wrong?" It's not going to be WW3 (probably) but overall it's not if but when. Sooner or later things will go wrong. A hurricane, earthquake, whatever 5 days worth of water and three days of food is never a bad idea.

Protip: a hand crank generated shortwave internet capable device is under $200. Food fuel and that and you are ready for almost anything.

Paul Badon


I made a Baking oven / water heater from a steel barrel cut round not length ways, with a hammer, a broken butcher knife ,a nail ,a screw driver ,some sheet metal screws and a couple of sections of 3 inch vent pipe. I cut the barrel apart by hammering the knife into the metal made the door opening and vent opening the same way . Holes for the screws were made with the nail. Set the bottom on the top for the oven.hammered the metal around the bottom flange for holding it into place. I Can post the better instructions on Face Book >Survivor Polk County if any one is interested .



Anyone have a revised link for the Alex Weir library? The combined download link seems to be down

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Let's build our own internet

News & Links


Fruit Walls

  • Fruit walls
  • Urban Farming in the 1600s
    From the 16th to the 20th century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy.

The Chinese Wheelbarrow

  • Chinese wheelbarrow
  • How to downsize a transport network: the Chinese wheelbarrow
    For being such a seemingly ordinary vehicle, the wheelbarrow has a surprisingly exciting history. This is especially true in the East, where it became a universal means of transportation for both passengers and goods, even over long distances.

Wood Gas Vehicles

  • Wood gas cars 2
  • Firewood in the Fuel Tank: Wood Gas Vehicles
    Wood gas cars are a not-so-elegant but surprisingly efficient and ecological alternative to their petrol (gasoline) cousins, whilst their range is comparable to that of electric cars.

Open Modular Hardware

  • Open modular hardware2
  • How to make everything ourselves: open modular hardware
    Consumer products based on an open modular system can foster rapid innovation, without the drawback of wasting energy and materials. The parts of an obsolete generation of products can be used to design the next generation, or something completely different.

Power from the Tap

  • Water motors
  • Power from the Tap: Water Motors
    Just before the arrival of electricity at the end of the 19th century, miniature water turbines were connected to the tap and could power any machine that is now driven by electricity.

Aerial Ropeways

Other Languages

  • Some articles have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Find them here.