Welding With Thermite

My Grandfather told me,when I was young, of days when he worked on Electrifying the eastern cape.

The Company ,Eskom  , would use the railway to transport the transformers and so required that the engineers also extend the railway at the same time so they spent many years supervising the laying of rail and so on …

During his time he also spoke of how they would weld the track together using Thermite , a mixture of half red iron oxide ( used to colour concrete) and half aluminum powder,  and use a sparkler as a fuse,  as welding rail track is not a simple affair, and the welding machines of the day couldn’t have managed it.

They used clay to make a mold below the container for the thermite , there was a gap between the tracks and the clay is molded so that the gap forms a cavity  and then the container with the thermite is  placed above and lit ..

the hot Liquid Iron then falls into the gap and fills it then cools .. forming a good bond

i don’t know if this is useful , as i haven’t tried it but it might be if you have no power and need to Macro weld something large …

I’m sure you could also do some simple casting with this method , there is a lot of labor involved in making powdered aluminum or iron oxide .. but I’m sure knowing this might be useful to some, one day, post shtf .

on editing this post i found this wiki article

Home made Field telephones in a survival situation

Field telephones are one of the best and simplest systems of communication in a base of operations.
communication is Key to early warning and defense strategy.

Field Telephones are best used as a point to point communication solution or a simple “jack plug” switch board can be made with a little skill and then a person to man the switch board – if you require a system with more then 2 points..

They were extensivly used during both world wars and in Vietnam for secure communication.

I am not going to detail exactly how one would create the field telephone — but lets just say its not exactly difficult, the detail i will give is that on microphone and one speaker must obviously be at each end ( plans for making these yourself below although store bought is probably better if you build these before you need them )

I have included a basic circut diagram above I just drew up quickly, this will be what a single phone looks like – that plugs into a switch board, to have a simple phone that only have 2 ends then replace the jack plug with another bell, switch, mic and speaker.

__The Switch Board__
a simple switch board can be made by a few jack plug sockets, low voltage bulbs or leds, and jack plugs , the concept is for each “extention” you need a socket to plug the long line that goes to the phone into – another socket to plug another phone into wired in parallel and an led to indicate that its active, a third socket can be added in parallel to allow an operator to “listen in”, and a Lead with a plug on, this lead will plug into to other sockets to connect phones to others , each phone needs each of these i mentioned, it is best to make the sockets for each in a numbered column
so that you can keep track of the cables.

Continue reading Home made Field telephones in a survival situation

Levels of Preparedness

Levels of Preparedness
When looking at what skills and equipment I need to acquire I found it useful to categorize them in to various levels so that I may address them all equally well. when Preparing it is best to start with the first levels and get them down, and then progress to changing your whole way of life.

Level A
can get home from where I am.
On my person, I have:
food and water for the trip and means to obtain more.
Fire making tools
a route map with multiple routes for the possible walk should the roads be too chaotic to drive.
a tool for self defense and know how to use it.
basic sanitation.
the ability to heal minor aliment associated with walking long distances (sunblock).
portable shelter.

Continue reading Levels of Preparedness

Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

Cordless drills can be used for many applications in a SHTF scenario, they are cheap and can be converted to charge batteries with a little ingenuity..

Link to a PDF detailing the procedure to create a Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

here are a few other idea’s from popular mechanics

Drill Driver
Geniuses: Sebastian Auray, Ruben Faber, Nils ferber, Ludolf von Oldershausen
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Moving at 20 mph doesn’t sound so harrowing—but if you’re driving the EX—a tricycle designed by an obsessive team of students at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany—20 mph seems more than fast enough.

Perhaps that’s because the EX positions its driver so he’s sprawled out on his belly on top of the three-wheeled vehicle, with his face the first point of contact for any oncoming traffic. A specially designed, CNC-milled joint tilts the back wheel to let the rider lean into turns. Modified bicycle parts were used for most of the components—and the trike is powered by nothing but a pair of battery-operated Bosch drill drivers. The 18-volt power tools crank the chain ring in the same direction for maximum, if modest, power; to avoid one drill driver blocking the other, overrunning clutch gearwheels are used to transmit the torque. “The torque you get from a screwdriver is pretty small,” Nils Ferber says. “But we wanted the vehicle to look as aggressive and energetic as possible.”
link to popular mechanics — idea 8 of 10

The design team drew inspiration, he says, from the skeletal structure of a big cat ready to pounce, though he agrees that this is one skeleton perhaps best left in the closet—or at least the workshop. Fully charged drill drivers poop out after a few minutes, giving the rig a maximum range of about a mile and making it about the least practical electric vehicle ever. But for those few minutes? “It’s exciting and fun to drive,” Ferber says. “Being that close to the ground and lying on the vehicle headlong, I’m almost glad that I can’t go faster than 20 mph.”

Post Apocalyptic Refrigeration

Post Apocalyptic Refrigeration

There are many options to do refrigeration with simple technology
one option is a Hilsch vortex tube — you could use a water wheel to power a compressor to provide compressed air to the cooling system using a Hilsch vortex tube for cooling

Another option is a ice ball cooler — simply 2 containers under pressure with ammonia and water inside heat one container to boil off the ammonia – and cool the other with water … then when you take the heat away the water will freeze around the second container.

link to some info on the Ice ball cooler….. more info on the The Crosley ice ball cooler….link to plans to make one yourself….


Iodine, Glycerin, and Potassium Permanganate, the holy trinity of survival chemicals

When training in the infantry, some years back
in my officership training, some special forces operatives were on the coarse with me who would always carry these 3 chemicals when on operations. usually they would camouflage the bottles and connect them with bungee cords to their battle jackets, i obviously asked them what this was all about , these 3 bottles ?

well the response was,
Iodine –
antiseptic for cuts and abrasions
sore throats – drunk in very small doses in tea.( never tried this, I don’t no how wise it is)

Glycerin –
Chapped lips,
soothe blisters and sore hands
sweeten coffee,
helps with constipation,( South African MRE’s know as “RAT packs” or ration packs are notorious for giving you diarrhea or constipation)

Potassium Permanganate-
purifying water
in larger concentrations to make an anti septic
help with snake bites
can be combined with glycerin to make fire (Link to site)

—EDIT i have just learned that you can even light thermite with this reaction EDIT—

Sustainable live stock for SHTF – Goats, Chickens, Pigeons, Rabbits, Pigs, and Fish

Goats are very useful animals requiring small areas to live in some as little as 9 square meters, as long as enough fresh hay and other food can be provided, they are not too picky when it comes to what they eat but will thrive if fed well.
they can provide transport
-pull goat carts( larger breeds )
-goat hair can be as soft as mohair,
-meat – although not commonly eaten by westerners they are actually very tasty

Continue reading Sustainable live stock for SHTF – Goats, Chickens, Pigeons, Rabbits, Pigs, and Fish

For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for Civilizations End

For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for the Post Apocalypse

Threading for Hair Removal
From Wiki

Threading is an ancient method of hair removal originating in the Eastern world. In more recent times it has gained popularity in Western countries.

Practitioners use a pure, thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over usually untidy hairlines, moustaches and other areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line. As a larger area of hair is removed at once, however, it can be relatively painful. Continue reading For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for Civilizations End

Mod to your bug out bag

the solar Charger for gadgets ( GPS – torch – radio – Ipod )

Think of adding a flexible solar panel
to your bug out bag or BOB …

here are some instruction on how to mod it…

Also adding Wheels, to your bag can be very useful, even a single wheel can help with dragging a bag on a flat surface, even if you don’t need it when carting the bag cross country.
This can be done by fitting a cheap skate board truck to the bottom of the bag, not to heavy and can help lighten your load when trekking- even allow you to pull the bag behind you like a trailer if you make use of a bicycle.

Adding a Lilo to your bag makes for better sleeping and can be used for flotation and for carting water (makeshift water container) — folds up small and light

Usefulness of flame weapons in post civilization

Usefulness of flame weapons post civilization

Fire is a powerful ally and a terrible enemy
If it can be bent to your will and harnessed as a weapon it can be unleashed against your enemy to his peril

Home made flame throwers are very effective weapons – especially against crowds of looters
and when combined with simple pumps can be a great deterrent to looters and raiders.

There range is limited and so is their fuel supply, but these can be over come when they are built in enough of a size.
in a nutshell these are base defensive weapons, and can be used in assault but are heavy and short ranged so best kept for teams with access to vehicles
and larger amounts of fuel.

The Fuel itself can be gas, liquid , and even solid, so long as it can be vaporised ( for instance solid wheat flour or coal dust works when combined with enough air)

Other uses of this would be in Fuel Air explosives
this in itself is a complex topic but can be achieved with little technology and is very effective

Hwacha and other weapons

Hwacha are the perfect force multiplier for base defense in a sub technology world
The television program MythBusters built and tested a hwacha and it worked very well – rockets are not the simplest technology to reproduce Post SHTF but then again with the right skill you might just come right


another Weapon that could be useful is a steam cannon


and the dread cannon centrifugal Launcher


another example from popular mechanics

Getting home After an Apocalypse event

Creativity will always set humans apart from animals

This article relates to every day carry (EDC) items and idea’s how you should use them.

Weather a plastic shopping bag folded up in your pocket, or a proper canvas sling bag. Every person should carry a bag. a laptop bag with wheels is actually one of the best options, as it looks innocuous , and can store many items and if it gets too heavy to carry it can be wheeled around.
If you look at footage from hurricane Katrina you will see most people that are walking are using bags like this with wheels, we should take note of this, when analyzing any human situation the general population will evolve the equipment they carry in line with what works, and soon disregard what does not.

plastic bags help with insulation and water proofing and carrying equipment and should not be under estimated you can even carry water in a humble plastic bag

Continue reading Getting home After an Apocalypse event

Aquaphonics for sustainable food sources

Learning how to grow your own food is the only sustainable way that you are going to survive in the long term should society collapse

one manner is via fish farming and aquaphonics



Of coarse you need an effective pump — PUMP ideas
one that can be made from scratch

also you can use a pipe and some rope in a loop – ROPE Pump and threading the rope through will cause watter to rise — nice thing is its very easy to improvise and can be powered with a VAWT wint turbine vawt savonius – they have high torque compared to other designs and are self breaking and can be made with very little knowhow.


Projectile Weapons – explosive impact fuses

Projectile Weapons – explosive impact fuses

Can be used for improvised mortar rounds Mortar rounds

Simple to construct and reasonably reliable …

“L” is the Lead disk that is cast with a pin inside ” N” is the cap (primer) and “F” is the pin —

The pin pushes through the Lead disk on setback from firing — arming the round

on impact the disk slides up with the pin into the primer firing the round

Simple and effective

Small engine Gasifier for the post apocalypse

Small engine Gasifier for the post apocalypse

Gasification was used in World war 2 to provide a petrol alternative to the taxi’s of London and Europe when petrol was unavailable.

Gasification is in its simplest form, a heating of carbon based materials ( wood, coal, charcoal) to produce gases, that will burn in an engine.

This can be accomplished by heating wood in a confined space and siphoning off the gases and piping them into an engine –

I am not sure this will work on a Diesel engine or a 2 stroke engine as they require different things to function effectively, than a 4 stroke Otto engine

With this in mind you should be able to create one with a little research, and i would suggest looking on-line for plans from FEMA

you then should have no issue generating electricity for some time after the fall of civilization.