I, Toaster, and good luck to you

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.

Comments

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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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