How to Convert Wood into Charcoal and Electricity

Book Review: How to Convert Wood into Charcoal and Electricity
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How to Convert Wood into Charcoal and Electricity is a step by step (with detailed illustrations) guide to building a masonry furnace to convert wood into charcoal.

Just his alone is worth the price of the book, however, Mr. Buxton then shows how to extract, filter, and condense the woodgas byproduct and use it to run an internal combustion engine to produce electricity.

This is a very well written and easy to understand manual. Do not let the small size fool you, this is great material and well worth the read.

This book is something that I have read and reread dozens of times.  I plan on making a decent sized set up to make charcoal in the future.  Charcoal is needed for my foundry so I can melt aluminum, and it will also be needed when I finally build my blacksmith shop area at the land.

Besides that, I can have some bragging rights (not that most people would brag on this), but I would love to be able to say I am eatting BBQ from a pig I raised and butchered, on a grill I built, using charcoal I made.

This is one particular project that is very high on my list of projects.

Basic Electricity

Basic Electricity
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One thing the military does better than anyone is technical training.  In the military they take a raw 17 year old and in the course of a few months teach them highly technical skills that the young soldier or sailor must do under times of great stress.

This military based training manual on basic electricity is something every farm, homestead, or prepper library should have on the shelf.

This is an expanded and revised U.S. Navy training course text provides thorough coverage of the basic theory of electricity and its applications. It is unquestionably the best book of its kind for either broad or more limited studies of electrical fundamentals.

This book is divided into 21 chapters and an extensive section of appendixes. Chapters cover safety, fundamental concepts of electricity, batteries, series direct-current circuits, network analysis of direct-current circuits, electrical conductors and wiring techniques, electromagnetism and magnetic circuits, introduction to alternating-current electricity, inductance, capacitance, inductive and capacitive reactance, fundamental alternating-current circuit theory, direct-current generators, direct current motor magnetic amplifiers, and synchros and servomechanisms. Appendixes acquaint lay readers with common terms, abbreviations, component color-code, full load currents of motors, and cable types; they also supply trig functions, square and square roots, basic formulas, and laws of exponents.

This book supplies the reader with a complete basic coverage of all important aspects of electricity. And, drawing on its ample funds, the Navy was able to fill this text with dozens of illustrations so that the book becomes almost a multimedia teaching process.

This is an excellent text for classroom use or for home study. Students will also find it a valuable supplement to courses in which theory is emphasized while little attention is paid to application; it will also supplement a course in which this situation is reversed. In addition, Basic Electricity serves the lay reader who simply wants a knowledge of fundamental concepts of electricity or wishes to study more advanced concepts and applications. 1969 edition.

Quick and Dirty Transformer Design and Construction

Book Review: Quick and Dirty Transformer Design and Construction
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Quick and Dirty Transformer Design and Construction is a small book of48 pages.

Basically it reprints two articles for transformer builders:

1. Design and Building Transformers, Technical Service Bureau Bulletin D-111, 1938, second edition.

2. Induction Coils by Charles Underhill, extracted from Standard Handbook For Electrical Engineers, 1922.

Basic understanding of transformer design is a very useful bit of knowledge to have.  I used a very rudimentary understanding to create a spot welder by rewiring a microwave oven transformer.

I have also seen people create small power grids using home-built transformers.

If you can design transformers you can take the power you have and transform it to the power you need (within reason).

If you have high voltage at low amperage, and need low voltage at high amperage you can do that or the reverse.  It is really just simple math that this book easily explains.

I have this book in my library, and I use it as a reference, when working on circuits.  but it really isn’t something I use all of the time, but it is something I think would be invaluable if society ever had to rebuild itself.