Going Solar

One of my main goals is to be able to operate my shop – wood saws and welding machine – whether or not we have electricity. So I’m installing a large solar array to handle the heavy load of all this equipment.

Here’s just a few of the panels already on hand. I’m working on a prototype frame for them right now. Each frame will hold 6 panels, and I’ll have 8 frames in all. The frames will go outside on the hill above the shop, and each will be tilt-adjustable to position them best for the season.

Working on laying out the solar panels.
Just testing the layout. The frame isn’t in this photo, but I’ll post more later when I’ve finished the first set. I’m still working out the bugs.

So I have all the panels I’ll need, and am now waiting on the batteries. It’ll be a while before they get here, but in the meantime, there’s lots still to do.

And I haven’t even started the woodworking yet! Except for some honey-do items that keep cropping up…

The wife wanted a cabinet to hold her pigments.

A cedar cabinet to hold the wife's pigment powders.
You can see more about what she does at wildozark.com.

And before that she wanted an easier way to crush rocks. So I did a bit of metal-working to build this setup. That’s a prospector’s rock crusher on a metal cart. I built the cart, wired the motor and made the safety cover for the pulleys and belt to keep her hair and fingers out of the way.

Rock crusher for the wife's pigment business.
The finished cart and crusher.

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