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.”

Hand Powered Sawing Machine (1886)

hand powered sawing machine“In the science and practice of mechanics, there are well-known devices which are used as reservoirs of power, among which may be mentioned adjustable and automatically moving weights, the swing of the pendulum, and the continued rotation of the balance wheel, when once put in motion. The machine shown in the accompanying engraving is an illustration of the adaptation of means to an end. It is a hand-sawing machine, carrying a circular saw, which may be run by the power of one man or even a stout boy.”

“The ease of running the machine and the rapidity of its work are truly
surprising. A full-sized machine can be run by a workman with one hand,
while another can with ease drive the saw through hard, seasoned plank
four inches thick. Altough this machine is represented as being
exclusively used for sawing, the principle is capable of being extended
and applied in various ways, and may be used wherever power is needed;
for instance, to run gigsaws, lathes, boring-machines, mining-drills,
printing presses, and the like

“The power is applied, as seen, by means of a long pendulum lever swung back and forth, and having attached to its short arms, at the top, a pitman, connected at its other end with a wrist-pin on a balanced gear. This gear meshes with a pinion on the saw-arbor, which also carries a balance-wheel intended to equalize the motion. These are the principal parts of the machine, which is very simple, and not liable to become deranged. If only one man operates the machine, where little power is required, a treadle is attached to the saw-frame, its pitman being attached to the crank of the flywheel. This can be instantly unhooked, as when two persons are at work, one being engaged in the propelling the saw by the pendulum-lever, and the other guiding the stuff to be sawn.”

Quoted from: The Manufacturer and Builder Volume 0001 Issue 2 (February 1869).

Resawing By Hand

“Resawing is the technique of ripping boards across their width to make thinner boards. It’s useful for making things like drawer sides, box dividers, custom veneers, or slices for bent wood laminations. This is the alternative to planing thicker stock down, which wastes a lot of wood.” Read more.

The Homemade Windmills of Nebraska

home made windmills of nebraska

“The merit of homemade mills has enjoyed such prompt recognition that they are going up daily. Not to the detriment, we are happy to say, of those important adjuncts to the farm, the shopmade mills, but in addition to them.

In a given community, the man who puts up the first mill generally furnishes the model for the rest of the community. Hence it seems the more desirable that good models should be at hand, the better models are often of quite as easy constructed and no more expensive than the poorer, and their efficiency considerably greater.

It is advantageous to have good models to copy, and the next best thing to the actual model is a good simple drawing. This is the first object of this paper on our homemade windmills; it aims to supply cuts illustrating all sorts of windmills, as found in this State.”

The homemade windmills of Nebraska” (pdf), Erwin Hinckley Barbour, 1899. Illustration: a wind powered sawing machine.

Related: Windmills and wind motors – how to build and run them (1910), Building plans of Dutch Industrial windmills (1850).

Hand Powered Tree Sawing Machine (1822)

Hand powered tree saw

A hand powered sawing machine to harvest trees. Click on the illustration to see the full plans. Source: Bulletin de la Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale, june 1822.

Hand Powered Table Saw

Table saw jointmaker Pro R2

The Jointmaker pro R2 is a great example of a modern tool being high-tech and low-tech at the same time. And it’s already sold out. Video here. Update: there is a new version available, the Jointmaker Pro v2. Related: Human powered drilling tools and machines / Hand powered tree sawing machine.