I, Toaster, and good luck to you

by on June 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm in Games | Permalink

I'm Thomas Thwaites and I'm
trying to build a toaster, from scratch – beginning by mining the raw
materials and ending with a product that Argos sells for only £3.99.

http://www.thetoasterproject.org/

And how did he smelt the iron ore into steel?  He used a microwave.

For the pointer I thank The Browser and also Andrew Sullivan.

1 nelsonal June 28, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Why didn’t he forge the iron with homemade charcoal (wood, fire, sand), that’s pretty easy and he could have stuck with the I did it all from scratch theme. One tip for do-it-yourselfers is to look at pre-indurstrial methods which require vastly less specialization.

2 Mitch Berkson June 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Radley Balko’s critique in Reason: http://www.reason.com/news/show/134322.html

3 Jonathan Falk June 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Balko’s article is quite good. The example I use is that the all-wood console on which I put my 42 inch TV costs about twice what the TV costs. And while with a few years of training I might possibly make a passable imitation of the console, I could never, in several lifetimes, fabricate an LCD HDTV.

4 azmyth June 29, 2009 at 6:44 am

It’s a good thing he isn’t attempting a woolen coat or a pencil, that would be nearly impossible.

5 Andy June 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

If he is allowed to use a microwave what’s the point of this experiment?

Also, I think it would be more interesting to start with mined, refined metal and go from there. It would be still be quite challenging. He can pretend he went to the village blacksmith or something.

6 Phillip Huggan July 1, 2009 at 12:44 am

There are blueprints for radio array antannae equipment you can make from scratch. Maybe some homemade fuel cells could be exported to developing world. Y’know, something useful.

7 Bird toys March 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

You never know what you are going to get with the “anti commerce” crowd these days. They are liable to say anything, no matter how poor the economic reasoning behind the arugment.

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