Here in no particular order are some of the shots from our Gasifier Project Yesterday:
Hank is an old timer who happens to live nearby and have enough machining tools in his shop to rebuild the USS Wisconsin if we had enough steel. Look at the size of that lathe! Hank forgot more over breakfast than MacGuyver ever knew. You could give him a napkin drawing of a piece and he’d rummage through a pile of scrap, put it onto the lathe and turn it out 5 minutes later. That the world will desperately need the Hank’s of the world as we hit Peak which was a main reason I was on this work party.
Here Mike and Beth take a spin on the Band Saw. And, yes, that is 3/16″ iron plate that they are cutting a 14″ circle out of.
We went slooooow, so we all still have our fingers.
It seemed like every piece from the iron pipe, to the steel drum to the carriage bolts was modified. I am still only half certain it was all necessary, or if we were just geeking out on all the tools!
Here our resident welder and innovator, Greg, is welding the cut plate to the 8″ pipe for the combustion chamber/wood chip feeder. Like our welding stand? Yep, its a manhole cover.
Here is yours truly running the saber saw to modify the steel drum for the combustion chamber. Most of the time I felt in the way due to my lack of knowledge of machining, so I jumped at every chance I could to use the tools I had experience with. I learned alot!
Greg explaining the various parts, their end functions, and the various jobs needed to get them to their finished states. After this we all grabbed some tools and split off to make sparks and smoke.
Mike is a retired engineer. Which makes the fact that he used a nail, jute twine, and a pencil to draw our perfect circle all the cooler. Keep it simple!
Mike again with our finalized ash basket (a stainless steel dog food dish with a hundred holes drilled into it) sizing it up for the bottom of the now welded combustion chamber.
As the day progressed I couldn’t shake the reoccurring idea that I was living in an A-Team episode where they happen to get locked into a barn unattended while given enough time to weld steel plate onto a tractor to bust their way out. “I love it when a plan comes together!”
With only about 6 hours (30 “man” hours) of work, and less than $100 in parts we are over half way finished with the first prototype. Next steps are attaching the wood chip hopper (metal trash can) over the top of the barrel, and attaching a heat exchanger to cool the gas before it gets to our fan which will provide the vacuum until we can hook it up to an engine. Lots of little details left, but most of the Big Fabrication is done. And to date no one has been seriously injured! Can’t wait to see it flare later this week!
The greatest part of it all is having 6 adults, some who barely knew each other, to give up a weekend to get together to try to make a difference. It is these meetings, whether to weld up a gasifier, plan a community garden, or discuss Plan B 2.0 at the library that are happening all across our country and are paving the Road to a more Sustainable Future.
As the nights grow longer this month reach out and begin to build a community around yourself and start something.
Be the Change!