The Information Preppers Need to Build Machines

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by Anonymous 411

The importance of knowing how to build simple machines in the event of a collapse cannot be overlooked. This applies to far more than just machine tools. How do you build a horse-drawn wagon, agricultural machinery, a steam engine, and tens of thousands of other machines?

History of Technology – Making Simple Machines from Scratch

“Even today, blueprints are considered inadequate to transmit full information, and when a firm buys new and elaborate machinery [or software] it sends some of its workers to acquire, directly from the manufacturers, the knowledge of how to operate it. Through the ages, the main channel for the diffusion of innovations has been the migration of people. The diffusion of technology has been mostly the product of migrations of human capital.” ~ Before the Industrial Revolution, European Society and Economy 1000-1700 by Carlo M. Cipolla

I believe that construction plans and drawings on machine tools and many other machines were never published because that was considered proprietary material at the time and were discarded when the machines became obsolete. However, there may be some plans for constructing old machine tools, and some old machines themselves, available in museums, library, university and private collections. Finding this would be difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

An alternative to finding plans would be finding the old machines themselves and reverse engineering them for the purpose of developing plans, specifications, and drawings to reproduce each machine. Just compiling a list of machines that need to be created would be a complicated task. What needs to be done is to identify today’s machines that would be crucial to restoring our present civilization and researching the history, i.e. predecessor machines back to the original version of each machine. Then developing a critical path for the development of each machine. Eventually, this will provide a list of the earliest, blacksmith made, machine tools.

One alternative is to buy existing machine tools today or build your own. Such machines would have to be adapted to run off mechanical power rather than electricity.

Build Your Own MultiMachine Today

“The MultiMachine all-purpose machine tool that can be built by a semi-skilled mechanic with just common hand tools. For machine construction, electricity can be replaced with “elbow grease” and the necessary material can come from discarded vehicle parts. … You may have heard of 3-in-1 machine tools — basically a combination of metal lathe, mill and drill press. The MultiMachine starts there but adds many other functions. It can be a 10- in-1 (or even more!) machine tool that is built by using vehicle engine blocks in a LEGO-like fashion.”

The MultiMachine

The website for this machine is here: The plans to actually build one of these yourself are here.

“Open Source Blueprints for Civilization. Build Yourself. … We’re developing open source industrial machines that can be made for a fraction of commercial costs and sharing our designs online for free. The goal of Open Source Ecology is to create an open source economy – an efficient economy which increases innovation by open collaboration.”

Required Items to Preserve Each Individual Machine

The following is a list of required items to preserve each individual machine deemed worth preserving.

  1. We need books or papers that teach the theory of the device or technique.
  2. Then books, probably the same books, with illustrations or photos to demonstrate the use thereof.
  3. Detailed drawings, schematics, blueprints to scale, with detailed step by step manuals for making all the parts and assembling the device.
  4. Then we need user manuals and repair manuals.
  5. We need hands-on user videos and repair videos.
  6. The best of all worlds includes live and functioning people, experienced in all these aspects of the device or technique.
  7. Naturally, we need all the tools, parts, and skills to make all the tools and parts to build these devices, from scratch.

What Must Come First

To build any machine from scratch you must have a supply of materials to start with. The following list must be expanded.

  • blacksmithing
  • sheet metal
  • making wire
  • round and square bar stock
  • heat treatment of steel, extrusion of metal
  • metal files, of various shapes and sizes, bastard files, rat-tail files, etc.
  • bolts and screws requires threading tools and machines, punches, taps and dies, drill bits (wood and metal), gears, cams, rivets
  • early, hand or treadle powered machine tools, lathes, drill presses, milling machines, planers, grinding machines, etc.
  • early woodworking tools, saws and saw sharpening tools
  • ball bearings
  • Gauges, like steam pressure gages and many more. Need a list of types of gauges.
  • fans, flywheels

Making Charcoal for Heat Flywheels

When I first started searching for books on tool making I found absolutely nothing on Amazon about making charcoal, which along with coke is used by blacksmiths for heating metal. Eventually I found these books on

Machinery’s Reference Series

“Each number is one unit in a complete library of machine design and shop practice revised and republished from Machinery.”

Machinery was a magazine published in the early part of the 1900s. The books linked below were printed from 1910 through 1914. Each individual book is approximately 50 pages and discusses tools and techniques for using the machine tools of that era for building metal machines. Most of these books are located on, but a few are on Google Books. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find all 140 volumes. Some books that are missing from the Individual Books list may be found in some of the Combined Books.

Combined Books

Machinery’s Reference Series #1 through #10
Machinery’s Reference Series #11 through #20
Machinery’s Reference Series # 21 through #30
Machinery’s Reference Series #31 through #40
Machinery’s Reference Series #41 – #43, #45 – #46, #57, #91 – #106, #110 (in part)
Machinery’s Reference Series #51 through #60
Machinery’s Reference Series #71 through #80
Machinery’s Reference Series #79 through #84
Machinery’s Reference Series #91 through #100
Machinery’s Reference Series #101 through #110
Machinery’s Reference Series #111 through #120
Machinery’s Reference Series #121 through #130

Individual books

Check out the other articles in the Information Specialist Series

Anon 411

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Anon 411

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