Pedal Powered Farming

culticycle pedal powered tractor

The Culticycle is a pedal powered tractor that can cultivate, seed, spray, or pull gear for most low horsepower tasks. We talked about the first prototype almost two years ago. A new version has now been released, built around a modular tractor frame. Tim Cooke explains us how it’s built and how it works:  [Read more…]

Foot Powered Sieve and Bandsaw

The Archanes Project, a natural building collective from Greece, shows two interesting designs for foot-powered machines: a sieve and a bandsaw. 

“When George Chiletzakis told us that he wants to make a bandsaw, that will operate without electric power, at the beginning we all laughed. It seemed that this gave him bigger strength and inspiration to show us that he who laughs last, laughs best.”

Bike-Powered Treehouse Elevator

bike-powered-treehouse-elevator

Ethan Schlussler of Sandpoint, Idaho, built this clever bicycle-powered treehouse elevator to make it easier to reach his nearly 30-foot-high treehouse. “I got tired of climbing a ladder six and a half million times a day, so I made a bicycle powered elevator to solve this problem,” he writes. See and read more at Make. More pedal powered machines.

The Culticycle: a Pedal-Powered Tractor

the culticycle

“The Culticycle is a pedal powered tractor that can cultivate, seed, spray, or pull gear for most low horsepower tasks. Small tractors do many jobs very well and very fast, but also consume fuel, compact soil, cost a lot, and cause physical damage to the operator -– mainly spine and joint problems. Many of their jobs could be done, slower but better, by human pedal power.

This prototype consists of:

  • the front ends of 2 bikes welded together at 42” on center;
  • a lawn tractor differential mounted in a unistrut rectangle for a rear end , with 3/4″ round axles and 20” ATV tires;
  • a bike frame welded above the rear end with motorcycle sprocket and chain driving the differential (a springloaded idler tensions the chain);
  • a belly mount lift to hold cultivators, seeders, etc.;
  • a bike handlebar, separate from the bike frame and joined to the front end, steering the front wheels.

The materials are rebar, unistrut, landscape rake tines, and parts from bikes, an ATV, and a lawn tractor. It attempts to show that human pedal power can do some jobs of small tractors, albeit in twice the time, and that the design can be simple enough that no extra weight is needed for traction. The effort required is similar to climbing a 10 degree slope on a seventies Schwinn 3 speed. This prototype was built for testing: a more easily buildable version is in the works.”

Found at Farmhack. This is begging for an open modular approach. Thanks to Tim Cooke.

Read more: Slow Farming Tools.

Pedal Powered Un-Knitting Machine

pedal powered un-knitting machine

“A highly unusual bicycle, designed to help recycle unwanted woollen clothes, unravels any clothing item back into its pre-knitted form. It has been selected as one of the best student design projects of 2012 by the British National Centre for Craft and Design.”

“The un-knitting machine is based on pedal power and built around an old bicycle frame. The un-knitter sits on a chair pedalling and wool passes through steam coming out of a kettle before being collected on a spindle. The machine was designed by Imogen Hedges, a student at Kingston University.” Read more. Via Treehugger.

Related:

Pedal Powered Electronic Waste Recycling Machine

Bicyclean recycling electronic waste“The bicyclean is a safe, affordable, and efficient alternative for
harvesting electronic waste in developing regions. The bicyclean is a modified bicycle, where a processing chamber replaces the rear wheel and an external steel frame supports the rear hub. Processing of the circuit boards occurs within the sealed chamber and the particles are removed in a covered tray. A feed tube presses circuit board pieces into a large grinding wheel and become pulverized.”

“The particles pass a magnet that extracts ferrous metal particles. The particles then flow over a small eddy current rotor, which is positioned underneath the grinding wheel and powered by a 3:1 gear ratio with the bicycle chain. The changing magnetic fields of the eddy current rotor repulse conducting metal, but have no effect on non-metals; the metal particles are projected horizontally while the nonmetals fall vertically, separating particles in the bottom collection tray. The bicyclean requires a single operator.”

Read more: Bicyclean. Via Co.EXIST.

Pedal Powered Wool Carding Machine

pedal powered wool carding machine

The Cyclocarder by Fibershed-contributor Katharina Jolda is a wonderful update to the article on pedal powered machines. The Cyclocarder can turn your backyard, community center, or farm into a human powered wool processing station.

When Low-Tech Goes IKEA

when lowtech goes ikea

What happens when two industrial design students from Sweden end up in Kenya creating a pedal powered machine for small-scale farmers who are often illiterate and speak more than 60 languages? You get a do-it-yourself design that seems to have come out of the IKEA factories – pictoral manuals included.

“Made in Kenya”, the bachelor project of Niklas Kull and Gabriella Rubin, is a textbook example of low-tech made accessible to everybody, regardless of their native tongue and language skills.

[Read more…]

Pedal Powered Machines

pedal powered machines

  1. Pedal powered farms and factories: the forgotten future of the stationary bicycle
  2. Bike powered electricity generators are not sustainable
  3. The short history of early pedal powered machines