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Inventions you wish existed or think someone should make - drop your ideas here!

 
pollinator
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To piggyback on J Anders' thread from the other day, I was thinking I had an idea that I'll never pursue. This is more of an inventor kind of thing and I don't have the time or skillset to invent this. Maybe some permie might, though, and could do this!

I think someone ought to invent and maybe do a kickstarter for a cheese making machine much in the same way that they have bread machines. Like, for home use. I think we could popularize cheese making with the right machine, much in the way that bread making became "easier" with the bread machine. (i say that in quotes because really, homemade bread is even easier than using a bread machine, but I think the machine made people feel like it was easy enough to try making it, if that makes sense)

With Sous vide technology, I feel like there would be a way to invent a small machine that would make like 1-2lbs of cheese at a time with pre-set programming. It would have a reservoir for the milk, a stirrer, some way to hold the rennet/cultures, a curd cutting and straining mechanism (and maybe even a pressing mechanism!) and would probably be programmable to create your own recipes as far as the heat & hold time, pressing pressure, curd size, etc.

Maybe I'm crazy but I really think a home size machine would be possible.
 
pollinator
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Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6b
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I don't know whether this came to be or not... Here's the campaign from 2017: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/353596452/kefirko-cheese-maker-probiotic-cheese-preparation

They talk about kefir and about cheese or maybe just about "kefir cheese" -- somewhat unclear whether they talk about the drink and cheese separately or as being the same thing.

Unfortunately looking at their home page kefirko.com I'd say there's no actual cheese in play here.

 
gardener
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It's a coffee filter in a glass jar. The exact same concept works with yogurt. I use a (dedicated) clean, white men's cotton handkerchief, sewn into a bag. Fill it with your preferred fermented dairy product, hang it on a chopstick in a jar, in the fridge. I'm not trying to be snippy (& I apologize, if it comes across that way - I'm probably just loopy with exhaustion). It simply boggles my mind - just like the bread maker, and the pasta cookers, and the egg poachers, and the rice cookers... Those wheels & mousetraps have been invented and reinvented, and reinvented... I want someone to invent a device that cleans the bathroom, right down to scrubbing the tub, sink, and toilet, and leaving it with a sparkling, steak - free mirror! (other than raising kids - been there, done that - those are enough work, in and of themselves!) While we're at it, an automatic coop&stall-mucker would be amazing... I mean, someone has made the robo-vacuum, and now the sweeper version, and I recently saw a version that sweeps crumbs from the counter &(If you move it there) tables. So, the coop&stall mucker concept would just be a bigger, tougher, more shopvac-style version, right?
 
steward & bricolagier
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A poop Roomba!! What a cool idea!! I bet a classier looking version would sell to suburbanites to vacuum up dead leaves so they don't have to rake....

This idea is gonna bug my head... Edit to add: something like the portable solar fencing used for animals, that tells the poop/leaf roomba what it's parameters are. And the leaf one wants a mulching head, so it can carry more leaves in it's tank.
 
steward
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Homesteader scale grain thresher
Homesteader scale oil press for seeds
Homesteader scale nut cracker (30 gallons of nuts)
Homesteader scale rice dehuller
Homesteader scale sawmill (band saw style that works like a chainsaw mill so it's faster and wastes less wood)

And the best idea ever (give me one if you make it):
Shade drone - small rechargeable drone that flies up high and unfurls a small flag/kite and uses a gps doohickey on your belt to arrange itself between you and the sun to cast a spot of shade on you.
 
Posts: 92
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Mike Jay wrote:
Homesteader scale oil press for seeds



Have you seen https://www.piteba.com/en/
 
Mike Haasl
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I've heard of the Piteba press but hadn't looked into it much.  I guess I'm talking about something that you can make a gallon of oil in a few hours.  Maybe I'm thinking of a problem that doesn't need a solution but it seems like it might be nice to make a bunch at a time (quart to a few gallons) instead of a small jar.  Thanks for the recommendation Alley!
 
Carla Burke
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Pearl Sutton wrote:A poop Roomba!! What a cool idea!! I bet a classier looking version would sell to suburbanites to vacuum up dead leaves so they don't have to rake....

This idea is gonna bug my head... Edit to add: something like the portable solar fencing used for animals, that tells the poop/leaf roomba what it's parameters are. And the leaf one wants a mulching head, so it can carry more leaves in it's tank.



While we're at it, why not make them all solar powered, as well? Or, rechargeable solar batteries might work better, because of the roofs and trees. Oh, and all the above must be composting friendly. After all, we're talking about the ultimate in compostable materials - urine, manure, & dead leaves, so the emptying set up must be easy to tote to the compost, whether it's in a tumbler, a heap, tossed onto the hugelkulture stack, or layered lasagna style in the annuals beds.

I have another conundrum, along those lines, but with a different purpose. Rabbit hutches on raised grate flooring makes for the easiest retrieval of said excrement, and keeps them from hopping around in it, as well as being more space saving than keeping them directly on the floor; but the metal grate is cruelly painful on their feet, and can cause bumblefoot, which is even more painful, not to mention difficult to effectively treat, if you can't get them off the grating - and left untreated, can be lethal. The solution must be in the crate flooring. No sharp edges/gentle on soft bunny feet, easy to clean, non-porous, stackable, non-chewable, lightweight (to assist in cleaning & stacking), mildew & mold resistant, and affordable - While somehow allowing the poops to fall through & or roll away from traffic areas inside the hutch/pen, & relatively easy to cut to size. I keep coming back to hardened, sustainable, natural rubber (which is inherently antimicrobial) - they don't seem to like the texture, or how it feels as they chew. Maybe in the form of smallish tiles?
 
Pearl Sutton
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Carla Burke wrote:
While we're at it, why not make them all solar powered, as well? Or, rechargeable solar batteries might work better, because of the roofs and trees. Oh, and all the above must be composting friendly. After all, we're talking about the ultimate in compostable materials - urine, manure, & dead leaves, so the emptying set up must be easy to tote to the compost, whether it's in a tumbler, a heap, tossed onto the hugelkulture stack, or layered lasagna style in the annuals beds.


Definitely solar powered! And I think it needs to know where the compost pile is and when full, take itself there, dump, and go back to work :)

Mike Jay: sign me up for a shade drone too! That idea is as good as a poop Roomba! I'll probably be thinking on shade drones as I work in the sun today, they'd have to hold against the wind, 30 MPH gusts today on a 20 MPH base wind.
 
Carla Burke
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Count me in for the shade drone too, please. It has to be capable of moving fast, too - my motorcycle is easier to ride, in the shade!

Edited to add: How did I not think of it doing it's own compost deliveries???
 
pollinator
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Mike Jay wrote:And the best idea ever (give me one if you make it):
Shade drone - small rechargeable drone that flies up high and unfurls a small flag/kite and uses a gps doohickey on your belt to arrange itself between you and the sun to cast a spot of shade on you.



Technically speaking, the shadow of the drone will get SMALLER as it flies higher (the sun is MUCH bigger than the drone, or even the earth), however, you'd need a micrometer to measure the difference.

I'm thinking a big sombrero would be cheaper and easier.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Mike Jay wrote:I've heard of the Piteba press but hadn't looked into it much.  I guess I'm talking about something that you can make a gallon of oil in a few hours.  Maybe I'm thinking of a problem that doesn't need a solution but it seems like it might be nice to make a bunch at a time (quart to a few gallons) instead of a small jar.  Thanks for the recommendation Alley!



Depending on the oil seed/stock the piteba can extract up to two gallons of oil per hour.  

Larger, motorized, oil presses are available, they are just expensive.
 
Carla Burke
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:I'm thinking a bug sombrero would be cheaper and easier.



Yes. Yes, it would be. But, I doubt the sombrero would be able to keep up with me, on my motorcycle...
 
Mike Haasl
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Yeah, a sombrero could work but sometimes when it's humid and I'm sweaty, a hat makes things worse.  Not needing one (or a shirt) would really feel fine on a breezy day.

I guess the only reason the drone would be up high is so that you don't have to hear it.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Hmm....




Lol, at least you wouldn't get sweaty (much)
 
pollinator
Posts: 178
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I looked for cheese making machine on Amazon... not exactly a machine, but you can get your choice of easy, everything included kits.

My candidate: small scale, easily portable livestock shade. Serious. I have three highland heifers and I’m gonna want it by next spring, or at least some clue as to how to build it myself.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Cindy Skillman wrote:I looked for cheese making machine on Amazon... not exactly a machine, but you can get your choice of easy, everything included kits.

My candidate: small scale, easily portable livestock shade. Serious. I have three highland heifers and I’m gonna want it by next spring, or at least some clue as to how to build it myself.


Not sure how small/portable you need, I like cattle panels arched over and covered with something. This looks like it has beans on in. A tarp, branches, anything you can get to climb it or cover it...

 
Cindy Skillman
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Pretty! And thanks! But yeah, much as I love it, that won’t work. First I’ll be moving the girls every day, and second only one would fit, or two at most... and I know who’d be pushed out every time into the sun. :’-( I need something more open so there’s a place for the timid one to shelter as well. More umbrella-like, maybe, but with the “holder-upper” strong enough to withstand being used for scratching itchy necks, etc. (Or inaccessible to would-be scratchers.) Salatin has a pic of one his dad built, but not enough description and not a clear photo at all... not the one I saw, anyway. Plus I’d have to learn to weld and buy a welder. Not a complete non-starter, but a little intimidating all the same.
 
Carla Burke
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Pearl Sutton wrote:A poop Roomba!! What a cool idea!! I bet a classier looking version would sell to suburbanites to vacuum up dead leaves so they don't have to rake....

This idea is gonna bug my head... Edit to add: something like the portable solar fencing used for animals, that tells the poop/leaf roomba what it's parameters are. And the leaf one wants a mulching head, so it can carry more leaves in it's tank.



SOMEBODY IN THE UK DID IT!!!
https://www.unilad.co.uk/technology/pooper-scooper-robot-will-find-detect-and-automatically-pick-up-your-dogs-poo/?source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3H8k98qrQ-Wksxx4jhTIk7j4CuUpeyrkCe7rNl7_i1mDBKZ8huFVm52CA
 
pollinator
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Mike Haasl wrote:Homesteader scale grain thresher
Homesteader scale sawmill (band saw style that works like a chainsaw mill so it's faster and wastes less wood)



Mike, the first I am currently working on, and have a design on paper that I am working with. I have gone down a few rabbit trails with that machine, and keep coming back to my original design. In my experience that is a very good thing because it means I am on the right track. By trying new ideas, and then disqualifying them is like refining gold, the more times you scrape off the dross, the better the finished project. I will say though, that it holds a lot of promise because it is NOT a miniaturized combine, it is radically different with very few moving parts.

As for the latter sawmill, that I have built. I took a kit bandsaw and turned it into a bandsaw sawmill. This is interesting because the kit bandsaw is just that, a kit that you buy from a person. The Gilliam Bandsaw is unique that the moving parts comes as a kit, but the frame of the saw, 90% of the saw, is made up of plywood. There is no welding. I removed a bunch of stuff that made it a vertical bandsaw, turned it into a horizontal bandsaw, and then mounted it on a homemade track I had for a chainsaw sawmill. That worked, it was just very, very, very slow. The only thing I have to do to that sawmill, is buy a motor for it. I haven't, just because I have a real sawmill, so I do not have a need for it. here is a picture of it though partially built.

DSCN4886.JPG
Homemade Sawmill
Homemade Sawmill
 
Travis Johnson
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I wish someone would invent spray drywall. What I mean is, like spray insulation that comes in a can, but in this case, it spews out drywall compound. In that way if a person gets a hole in their drywall, they can just spray in some drywall compound, let it harden, and then an hour later scrape and sand it flush. Add a little paint and the homeowner is done.
 
Travis Johnson
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As a logger I would like to see electrical ports on my skidder. Instead of lugging around a heavy gasoline chainsaw, I just pull out a built in cord reel, use my light weight chainsaw, and fell my trees and get them ready to pull out with the skidder. When I am done cutting, I just put the cord and chainsaw back, hook up my trees and go out.

No noise
No fuel consumption
Plenty of power

etc.
 
Mike Haasl
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Travis, I was imagining something like a portaband hand held band saw but with a 4' center to center on the pulleys.  Same small pulleys though so it can only take off a max of 4" slabs.  So it would work like an Alaska chainsaw rig but would use a small portaband-like mechanism.

Here's a Milwaukee version of a portaband.  Normally they're used for demolition of pipe...
 
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A light battery, that is a battery which stores photons, rather than electricity.
 
pollinator
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Mike Haasl wrote:Travis, I was imagining something like a portaband hand held band saw but with a 4' center to center on the pulleys.  Same small pulleys though so it can only take off a max of 4" slabs.  So it would work like an Alaska chainsaw rig but would use a small portaband-like mechanism.



I want one!
 
Travis Johnson
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Mike Haasl wrote:Travis, I was imagining something like a portaband hand held band saw but with a 4' center to center on the pulleys.  Same small pulleys though so it can only take off a max of 4" slabs.  So it would work like an Alaska chainsaw rig but would use a small portaband-like mechanism.

Here's a Milwaukee version of a portaband.  Normally they're used for demolition of pipe...



That would be easy to make...
 
Mike Haasl
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I know, that's why I'm wondering why no one's done it yet.  I'm not sure if the blade speed would be the same but if you could start with the guts of a portaband, you'd be 75% of the way there.  It might need a wider blade with a bigger kerf.  The frame would obviously be reworked.  

Portabands usually twist the blade 45 degrees but for this application you wouldn't need to therefor it's even simpler.

So who's going to build two and send me one?  For coming up with it and all
 
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I would love to see more electric tools for the small homestead/large garden. I know batteries aren't karma free, but the experience of using a battery powered tool compared to a gas engine is much more pleasant. So far I use an Ego mower and chainsaw and both are great.

An electric BCS style two wheel tractor
A really good electric wheelbarrow
Small electric loader (Moving compost and mulch seems like my limiting factor for a lot of garden tasks these days)
 
gardener
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Mike,

I did see a homesteader grain thresher.  It was only a thresher and not a harvester.  It was powered by a foot treadle pedal.  You would bring over a sheaf of grain and feed the stalks in grain end first, move them back and forth and little hammers would beat the grain off the stalk.  

I was going to send you a link.  I had the link saved on my phone, but sadly it appears that the site is no longer functioning.  Too bad, it was a great idea.

Eric
 
Mike Haasl
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I posted in here about a walk behind snow packer for making trails around the homestead in the winter.  It generated enough discussion that I thought it was taking this thread off topic so I split it into a new thread.  For discussion of that magical device, please go to this link:
https://permies.com/t/132115/Trail-packer-snow-season
 
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Hello Permies,
In reply to Eric Hanson's comment at 12/23/2019 7:06:25 AM, I have tracked down that thresher. I went looking for one since my wheat patch (half Pima Club, half Sonoran White) is just starting to show the heads of grain. The foot pedal thresher still exists, and is made (of all places) in Wuhan China. It is available on Alibaba. I am wondering if I imported a handful, would there be demand from Permies? It's nearly as easy to do ocean freight on 20 or 50 or 100 as on 1, so I thought I would ask.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Mark
 
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I have been telling my husband for years that someone would make a fortune designing and selling a robot or drone that sucks up Japanese beetles.  
 
pollinator
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I’ve got a small flock of a rare breed of chickens (Icelandics), and have a dozen eggs in a forty-egg incubator.  I’ll set another batch when these are done, but it would be nice if the incubator manufacturers offered half and quarter-sized egg turners, along with dividers to partition the incubator.  The hatching section ought to lift out for cleaning, so you wouldn’t have to disturb the eggs that were still incubating.  Then I could add a new batch of eggs each week, instead of having to wait three weeks for the first batch to hatch.  There are larger incubators that have several shelves which can be used this way, but if you are only collecting eggs from four to six hens, one of those big Sportsman cabinet incubators is serious over-kill!
 
gardener
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A 5 gallon or bigger silicon container  for mixing cement, concrete, bread dough  and plaster in.
Once a batch starts to dry,  a flexing of the walls should make it flake loose.

I thought if this for mixing big batches of bread dough,  the cleanup is a real pita.
Fortunately,  I looked for it and it exists!
Unfortunately it is seemingly unavailable in the USA.

Well,  that's not entirely true, the BucketGlove is for sale on eBay for 11 dollars and change,  plus 25 bucks shipping...
 
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My first trip to the Dominican Republic, an idea suddenly came to me: a solar turbine. PV cells are quite toxic to manufacture, you know? But when I was a kid, my family had a Christmas decoration called angel chimes, powered by three candles. A very clear picture appeared in my mind (we autistic people are said to "think in pictures," whatever that means) of a solar turbine, more eco-friendly to make than PV cells. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to build a proof-of-concept, because of the lack of equipment and technical skills.

Mike Haasl wrote:
Homesteader scale grain thresher
Homesteader scale oil press for seeds
Homesteader scale nut cracker (30 gallons of nuts)
Homesteader scale rice dehuller
Homesteader scale sawmill



While we're on the subject, I would love to find a way to open Indian almonds without individually splitting each one with my machete.
 
eco-innovator & pollinator
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Is there such a thing as a 'branch crusher' - Not a chipper or shredder.  I know big logging operations have giant tree trunk de-limbers, but not that either.  I want to take branches and shrubs and make a compact, linear limb that I can use to build my swales on contour.  Ideally, something that is small enough to be carried or dragged around.  Any ideas?  Maybe it could wrap them in twine, but I don't know that that is needed, if the side limbs are crushed enough.  I feel like this should exist - I'm not the only person crazy enough to need this, am I?
 
pollinator
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Well, the poop roomba is now a thing! Scaled for cafo dairies
 
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