This great "do-it-yourself" link to building a propane-fired home foundry which the author intends to use in constructing a working metal lathe. Reminded me of a set of 1950's do-it-yourself books I bought. I had stopped at an old weathered home somewhere outside Seattle that was having a yardsale. Hoping to score some retro tidbit or rare find. As there was nothing but junk and old clothes, was on my way out, when one of the two elderly sisters explained they were trying to come up with a morgage payment. I felt so bad for these two elderly women who had been so sweet in offerring me cookies and lemonade. So I bought the books for more than I think they cost new. None the less, as no good deed is left unrewarded, I have found in them a time machine that takes me back to a classic handyman Americana, to a time where men did things themselves, and women fed them. The books are filled with detailed step by step directions on how to build and repair things from flower boxes and bookshelves to submarines and entire summer cabins. (litigation was obviously not a big concern.) I have friends who have this ethic instilled in them from their WW2 tough enterprising fathers, who's slogan is "if you can't make it yourself, you don't need it." My point in all this is this: today, we do not have the time or patience, we let someone from China or Mexico do it for us. If a tool breaks we throw it away. Is it possible the convergance of technologies, could create and empower a new league of extraordinary gentleman, who gain knowledge and access to materials through the internet, a kind of high tech uber-handyman, who inhabit a garage or shop hopped up on wi-fi and intel processing power? Tethered by doped social networks to knowledge bases and human assets that are themselves amalgums of accelerated knowledge? If you don't buy into that, it is still really cool to think about melting things in your own garage.
link via Linkfilter
UPDATE: Read this bit of garage-tech lore via BoingBoing