AuthorTopic: Machinery for a post collapse world  (Read 19412 times)

Offline Nearingsfault

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Machinery for a post collapse world
« on: February 06, 2017, 10:16:51 AM »
I've been interested in collapse for a very long time.  After lurking for a while on the diner I thought I would share one of my favorite projects.  This is my 1953 ferguson tea20 tractor.  It has been modified to run on charcoal.  Charcoal gasification suits my cold woodland.
The full thread can be found here: http://forum.driveonwood.com/t/my-charcoal-tractor/1200
Here is a video of it running:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQHN7lGI6ok
and a stationary walk around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DKOWNKsl30
The theory I was working on was the fuel to run the machinery will run out long before the machines stop working. This Era of tractor was made to survive as well.  Every part for it is still available and it was the most common tractor of its day so spares are still common. Fixed with hand tools and made to run even in poor repair. I'm a great fan of manual labour but I want to put it off as long as possible as the long descent gets under way. It can log, plow, cultivate, pull trailers, you name it.
Best regards, David Baillie
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 06:46:29 PM by David B. »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »
This is the T20 gasoline version, that you've converted to run on wood gas? We have T20's here, but the Ford 8N is the more common antique. Pretty much the same piece of equipment, though, in terms of design.

The best garden tractor (imho) is neither one of those, but rather the IH Farmall, with the non-hydraulic implements. My grandfather had one and my Dad got a second one when I was a kid. I knew every inch of those machines inside and out. In fact that's about my level of competence on mechanical things...understanding a 12 HP low compression tractor with no hydraulic pump. I expect you could convert one of those without too much trouble? Dunno.

I've gone to a brand new diesel, but they are well past my level of competence to work on, and completely dependent on BAU. But I can dig post holes (with my Belltec TM 48) and move big things about with my hydraulic grapple, which is the shit. First one of those I ever had. It's nice until the fuel runs out.

I have three  semi-basket case diesel tractors. Too bad they can't be converted. I suppose they can burn cooking oil, but when BAU ceases, that won't be in surplus anymore.

I'm unclear...do you burn wood in that refractory thingie, producing wood gas that runs the tractor? Or are you burning charcoal? What it the "cyclone"  and what does it do?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 11:01:57 AM »
There was one of these (maybe this one, it looked identical) for sale on Craigslist a few years ago here. Another interesting tractor hack.



I might be able to build one of these, given the right forklift motor and plenty of batteries. It looked interesting. Not quite as practical as yours, perhaps. Do you get the same power out of the tractor as if it were burning normal petrol?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 12:13:32 PM »
The difference between the 8 n and the ferguson is very small.  In the us they even used the same engine.  In Canada they used the standard engine from England a little better.  Replaceable cam shaft bearings, cylinder wet liners and over head valves; all common now all rare then.  I burn charcoal in my tractor.  There are units that run on raw wood but they are much more complex and perfectly matched to their engine size.  The unit on the tractor will also run a 2500 to 6000 watt generator.  Power loss on charcoal is 25-30%. 
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 01:42:51 PM »
Eddie the cyclone removes any dust from the gas before it goes to the final filter for cleaning.  Those old lower compression diesels you talk about can be converted but it's a pain though.  More common would be to Co fuel with Woodgas to 80 percent diesel replacement.  Where you are if open fields are available you could plant some canola just as easily.  Where I am flat tillable ground is rare, wooded Rocky ground however... the long term plan was heat the house and greenhouse using wood, create the charcoal as a byproduct, and run machinery to stay alive.  It's a work in progress.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 07:30:20 AM by David Baillie »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 04:50:25 PM »
My land is not sufficient to grow enough Canola to run equipment, I don't think. I have rocks and woods too. There are open fields around but not a lot on my place, which I chose (before I became a  doomer) for the creek and and the woods. Properties with live water are hard to come by in these parts unless you happen to be rich, and I'm not, having pissed away my fortune college-educating four kids and living larger than I ever had a right to do (just ask RE, LOL.) I thought I was very lucky to run across my little patch. It is beautiful, as LD and RE can tell you, but it's hardly real farmland. We import dirt here, for gardening. LOL. Our natural soil is this rocky alkaline black clay that you can never add enough acid to to balance the pH. I garden in raised beds mostly, although it is my goal to grow fodder for my animals on my bottom land. I might be able to do that better indoors though, with aquaculture. One or the other, I hope.

I like your plan for using the wood twice. Are you into thermal mass rocket heaters at all? Does your furnace make charcoal somehow?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 05:26:10 PM »
Rocket mass heaters are very efficient but the ones that burn cleanest are labour intensive. They also have a tendency to backdraft as they cool.  They were developed for cooking mostly outdoors and for that they are great. The mass heaters well... as long as people don't pretend they are bending the laws of physics I'm good with them.  By that I mean a pound of dry wood has about 7000 btu in it if you could extract 100 percent of the energy (which you can't ).  The way the high priests of the rocket mass heaters talk you would think they were heating entire buildings with a few twigs. I find tlud (top lit up draft gasifiers) stoves outperform the rocket stoves anyways and they leave charcoal, or biochar if you prefer, behind. I make my charcoal either in my wood stove shoveling off coals or in a tlud stove.  I also make charcoal in a double 50 gallon barrel retort.  Eventually I need to incorporate all of this into my maple syrup boiler and an outside boiler. Lots of projects, never enough time.
Best regards, David Baillie
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 05:40:04 PM »
Maple syrup. Lucky man. I LOVE maple syrup. We only have Lost Maples in Texas. It's a primitive park on the Sabinal River, the only place maples naturally occur in the whole state.  I have reason to believe one of my kids was conceived there. :)



One place in the whole state they grow. No syrup.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 05:47:16 PM »
Maples in Texas?  That would never have occurred to me.  They probably would not make sap for syrup because they need to freeze first then thaw.  The sap is stored food from the roots that gets pushed to the branches in spring. We tap sugar maple and red maple here.  I only tap 40 trees and make 3-5 gallons of syrup. None of that namby bamby lowland stuff from Costco its real mountain syrup. (We take our syrup very seriously in these parts).
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 07:28:13 AM by David Baillie »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 07:14:03 AM »
Part 2 has been more fun then useful so far but an atv is a good fast moving heavy hauling platform.  If you can make it go on fuel made from the resources around you all the better.
This one only has about 6 hours of run time on it on charcoal so its still kind of beta.  Its biggest problems have been pre-existing mechanical ones not due to the gasifier itself.
Here is a link to the atv running down the road and through the woods:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsZ7haM0xrA

the full project thread is here:  http://forum.driveonwood.com/t/charcoal-gasifier-for-atv/1757
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 07:42:59 AM by David Baillie »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Technology for a post collapse world
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 10:33:37 AM »
On a short winter day every watt counts.  When we built the house we mounted the panels on the roof.  Our site sits in the trees and it was the only way I could mount an array and not clear cut the south side.  At the time solar was running at $5-6 a watt and 80 watt panels were the cheaper way to buy. total array size is 960 watts which used to be enough.  The house is grid connected today with a section of the electrical panel parcelled off as off grid.  The attached pictures  are of ice and snow covered panels.  I'm cleaning them off after a bad storm last night.  Don't worry I'm not crazy I'm working through a hatch I made in the attic; 28 ft up is a long way down.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 11:29:42 AM by David Baillie »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 06:08:11 PM »
I have noticed that those who have alternative power of some kind  are always much more participatory in making it happen than, and tuned in to whether you currently have a surplus or a deficit. Here's it's mostly dust that builds up.

Do you have certain dedicated loads for the off-grid power?

Nice planning on the hatch.  How often do you end up having to sweep the panels?

I watched the ATV video. It seems to like the charcoal power. Sounded pretty strong.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 06:57:40 PM »
I have noticed that those who have alternative power of some kind  are always much more participatory in making it happen than, and tuned in to whether you currently have a surplus or a deficit. Here's it's mostly dust that builds up.

Do you have certain dedicated loads for the off-grid power?

Nice planning on the hatch.  How often do you end up having to sweep the panels?

I watched the ATV video. It seems to like the charcoal power. Sounded pretty strong.
For sectioning off loads I installed a generator back up panel with the double breaker and the lock out switch.  The "Generator" breakers are run by the solar and are always on. If you are working on the system you flick to mains and the grid runs it for you. Its legal too and lets you get your feet wet without taking the full plunge. Solar right now is running the circulator pumps for back up heat, the lights, the water pump, and the UV filter to keep the water drinkable.  In the summer we hook up the fridge and deep freezer.  The creature comforts get run by the grid.  I could do without them but I like remaining married.  As to mind set yes that collapse is happening should be a given by now to anyone listening.  So now what? im only half through my life, my kids are just starting theirs; lets build this already!
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Syrup time! ; Machinery for a post collapse world
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2017, 07:14:59 PM »
Maple syrup is a religion in my part of Canada.   About 4 years ago I started playing around with adding syrup boiling to my season extending hoophouse.  Each litre of water that gets boiled off takes approx 2000 btu of energy. That means 60000 to 80000 btu of heat per litre of syrup produced.  Usually getting rid of the steam is as much of a problem as the smoke from the fire.  If one could add even a fraction of that heat to an early spring greenhouse it could advance your time line by a few weeks... 
First link is to my prototype boiler from 3 years ago
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10152242540501676&id=703726675
The attachments show the new boiler design with insulating panels and a bigger firebox.  It ran last season out of the hoophouse due to some delays moving the hoophouse.  Better luck this year I hope.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 04:44:15 AM by David B. »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Nearingsfault

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Tools for a post collapse world
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2017, 09:24:54 AM »
The kids are getting dirty in the hoophouse.  It's - 15 outside and windy.  4 degrees celcius in the hoophouse. It's still to early to think of planting but time to start covering the beds to warm them up.  You can see some sad looking kale in the background.  Its still edible and it will start regrowing soon. The plastic covering lasts about 7 years. I have a spare from buying a larger roll.  Part of my version of prepping.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 09:27:21 AM by David B. »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

 

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