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Joel Bercardin

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since Aug 15, 2014
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fungi gear trees chicken bike building woodworking wood heat homestead ungarbage
Living on land for decades. At times a carpenter, retail clerk, freelance writer & editor, business-association manager. I'm a local environmental activist.
Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Recent posts by Joel Bercardin

Amber Adams wrote:This isn't something I've designed, but I recently came across this guy's YouTube channel and I'm definitely going to make his plastic bottle cutter

You're right, Amber, he's got a good Youtube channel going — I've bookmarked it. Thanks.
2 weeks ago

Gary Bogdan wrote:So happy I found all these homemade gadgets !
My neighbor has a weld shop and would be Interested in sure . What I would like is an auger big enough to dig 2' wide holes so I could plant , say a quarter acre of berries and also plant a 3 sisters or 5 sisters garden , using the auger to dig the hills

Two-inch (and larger) augers are often found in the conveyor mechanisms of various machines, so could be the source for that part. Then something might be welded up, for fitting into a drill. Gary, maybe you or your neighbot could take some pics here of useful gadgets made by you or by him?
2 weeks ago

Jay Angler wrote:Permies who have "time" just because of self-isolation may be a rarer breed than you think!

Thanks for the response, Jay. I'm no stranger to living on a homestead and pursuing tasks & projects — been doing it for decades, and so have most of my friends.  Homesteaders aren't generally a lazy bunch just yearning for something, anything to do with their excessive down time. LOL  Nor do I think that people practicing backyard permaculture are folks without things to do.  All I can think of is that possibly you took my post in a different way than I intended it... and anyway the post was not aimed at you specifically, Jay.

However, all the above aside, there still may be some people who, for instance, used to go to work at an off-homestead job who now are not able to do this, for one reason or another — and who may be working on something such as what this thread is about. My shout out was to that sort of Permies member.

3 weeks ago
Hey, guys. I know you have the interest (and a lot of you have the inclination & know-how) to make useful things. Possibly all you’ve needed is the time ingredient  And at this point, many of you may be in self-isolation (partial or complete) or lockdown. So show us what you’ve done or are doing, please.

Long live the DIYers!!
3 weeks ago
As I post this, we in North America & elsewhere are living life under unusual conditions (i.e., the COVID-19 epidemic). The situation has the homesteaders living in my area thinking and sharing knowledge and viewpoints quite a bit.

I was thinking this could be a good time to give this thread a bump, as the opening post by Erik Ven and subsequent discussion occurred under circumstances where most members of would have been in a position to either work at a job or decide against it. I think the current circumstances are likely to prompt some new thoughts. So…
1 month ago
Basically, a cool idea I think.  A homebuilt slider “mini radial arm”) to use your angle grinder with. Parts are simple hardware & shop scrap.

Offhand, I only question the end result in one way. He demonstrates cutting MDF or wood with a saw-tooth grinder head. I wish he had demo’ed the set-up using a zip-disk on metal plate of say 3/16-inch or so. (Obviously, the cutting time would be more, but it is the sort of material he used in making the little apparatus. If it could work for cutting plate, you might have to intermittently push the grinder ahead, backing off for a few moments to let the disk cool.)

I do have a metal chop saw, but it has no slider, so there’s a limit to how wide a piece of plate I can cut with it. Cutting-torch cuts leave too sloppy an edge… too much grinding involved to clean them up.
2 months ago
I like your post, Mick, and agree with your premise about useful traditional/basic designs. Somewhere here on Permies, I and others posted in a thread about traditional Chinese wheelbarrows and modern variants on the essential design. Edit (found it): Trad Wheelbarrow

I've posted about various simple homemade devices & tools, for instance in the Gear forum where I started a thread, Small Gadgets  Also, I followed the lead of some others and posted things to the "My re-use projects... and yours" thread (in the Frugality forum).

There's nothing wrong and often much that's right about ancient or old, same with "homemade". I'd like to see more of these kinds of things here on Permies.
2 months ago
Jon, thanks for your post w. vid.  Have you bought any other components from American Science & Surplus for devices you've made?
2 months ago
My wife is an artist and she needed to make twine of various weights, colors & textures. The device is driven by a cordless drill. I made the twine-maker from scrap materials — scrap boards, threaded hooks (plus washers & nuts), a wide rubber-band for a drive belt, and so on.
We’d found this video online, that explained a simple home-made design, and I made a liberal adaptation from what the guy explains & shows. He takes three casters apart and uses the wheels from them, but I made the “pulleys” using sections cut from 1.25” dowel.  (He calls his device a “rope maker”, though I believe that’s somewhat misleading. I know you could use the principle, but you’d likely need to scale it up to make rope any larger in diameter than a quarter inch.)

The guy who made that vid has another one where he shows the device in the twine-making process, but there are also a variety of other Youtube vids that show ways to do it that are maybe simpler and better. My wife has been making various sorts of twine from assorted kinds of string and even from thick, strong sewing thread. She pretty readily developed the knack for getting a smooth result. From what we’ve learned, you can use this type of device to make not only twine from a variety of natural or synthetic fibers… apparently some people who make knitted, crocheted, and woven items from yarn sometimes use devices like this to make yarn of increased thickness.
3 months ago