Thursday, November 4, 2021

Prepping on steriods

There's building stockpiles of food and supplies to get you through bad times, and then there's building a collection of technologies and machines that can help you keep civilization going if things really get bad.  The Global Village Construction Set is a set of open source designs for the 50 machines most critical to keeping civilization functional.  Some of these are things that I quite frankly would not have thought about - like the compressed earth brick press which costs $4000 for the materials and which can make 6 blocks per minute.

They have designs for a tractor, a 3D printer, a backhoe, a rototiller, and many others.  Essentially, this is a set of plans for low cost machines you can use to reboot civilization.  Impressive.


Phil said...

Thinking ahead!

drjim said...

Unfortunately it assumes you'll be able to get the materials to build these.

I suppose they should publish a guide on where you can find things that you can repurpose to build their machines.

Phil said...

Heh, guy's like me will find whatever we need.
Scavenge and cannibalize baby.

drjim said...

I can, too, Phil. Been doing it all my life. The problem is the young uns these articles are aimed at usually never got their hands dirty, and while they may have the plans, they've got no idea that an old rusty piece of steel from the scrap pile can be cleaned up, cut down, drilled/sawed/tapped or whatever needs to be done to it.

Some of us delight in doing things like this, but many others will be lost WTSHTF...

Rick C said...

There are cheaper, simpler versions of some of these things. The tradeoff is time. The CINVA ram and derivatives will let you make compressed earth blocks for a lot less than $4000, although you have to either fire the bricks or let them air dry.

Beans said...

Thing is, you need to know what works where you live.

Rammed earth or adobe in Florida is a no-go, just as building an open breezeway house is a no-go in Alaska or Minnesota.

And the rule applies to in-state locations of different terrains and climates, too. Flatlands Arizona is remarkably different than the mountain ranges. What works in one area doesn't in another.

Aesop said...

"compressed earth brick press"...??

So, essentially, their plan is to build mud huts?

Call Portland or Seattle, and get back to us on that idea.

If the goal of the exercise is to show how much more efficient the First World would be at creating the Turd World, I suppose they win, but it's a dubious mission.

Try plans for a kiln to bake clay bricks, or small individual-level machinery to crush rocks into gravel, to be combined with sand and portland cement, and we can talk.

And a backhoe is nice, but a well-digging truck would be a goldmine.

The steam engine, well-driller, sawmill, and cement mixer should all be a lot higher on their list then the mud-hut brick-maker.

Their heart's in the right place, but this looks to be what happens when you have Peace Corps kids trying to do a job that should be left to civil engineers who've built actual cities.

danielbarger said...

What powers these machines? I it's gas/diesel then they are pointless because one of the first things to disappear after society collapses will be oil based fuels. All the EASY to find oil has been used up. What's left requires expensive hi tech and lots of experienced workers to access. Humanity has depleted ALL of the easy to access minerals and oil. What's left REQUIRES modern tech to access. When society collapses we won't be able to acquire the necessary amount of raw materials to start over.

libertyman said...

I think I still have my Whole Earth Catalog somewhere, I think this is the same thinking 55 or so years later. Good intentions, but wishful thinking.

SiGraybeard said...

I went skimming through the indices looking to see if there were a few standard engines to power things, since I'm always on the lookout for a good, useful engine project. It seemed that if one were going to design an entire ecosystem of machines for all those purposes, some commonality of power sources would be a good thing. A hundred years ago, farmers would have a hit and miss engine on a cart or sled that they'd take to whatever machine they needed to power.

Maybe it's there, but I sure couldn't find it.

Along the lines of what @daneilbarger said, without power and without fuel these are nice ideas at best. Some might be good places for wood-fired steam engines, but concentrated power is dangerous whether it's an internal combustion chamber or high pressure steam. If you're not a little afraid of steam boilers, you don't understand the question.

Unknown said...

TJIC has some sharp things to say in "Escape the City" about the "Global Village Construction Set".

I think this quote falls under fair use:

"Even if OSE GVCS had achieved its goals of creating a set of drawings
and instructions, I wouldn't recommend that any homesteader try to use
them to build implements. The designs are not just inferior to
commercially built tools, but to what most readers could fabricate in
their own shops without the benefit of plans.

But, as it turns out, the vast majority of OSE GVCS have either no
drawings and instructions at all, or have just one or two pages."

To be fair, he's approaching this from the point of view of someone trying to start a homestead, not someone trying to rebuild civilization from scratch.


Ken said...

They have a prototype they call a "Power Cube": currently a gasoline engine running a pump: "This features a 1/4″x2″ angle frame, contains a 27 hp gasoline engine, and a 1 cubic inch hydraulic pump with a 3/4″ splined shaft. This version, with its modularized components – is optimized for production in under 1 day with 8 people."

The page says they were going to try a 33hp one-lung diesel in 2014. (Actually that's not the worst idea ever -- old low-temperature, low-revving marine diesels are practically unkillable and will burn a remarkable variety of fuel.) I'd post a link but I'm afraid it would be interpreted as spam.

jabrwok said...

For *really* trying to start from scratch, I'd recommend John Plant's _Primitive Technology_.

No electricity or petroleum fuels needed! Though in the aftermath of civilizational collapse, one could probably do better just scavenging.