A while back I was finishing up the creation of a how-to report and plans package on building an electrical generator from junkyard parts and I found something interesting. I’d travelled to the home of some Amish neighbours of mine because I knew they owned a homemade arc welder. David and Miriam are part of a community that lives without connection to the electrical grid, but they do use simple machinery powered by engines sometimes. They cut the electrical cables to their farm when they moved in, and their welder was made with a gasoline motor hooked to three automotive alternators. I wanted some photos of this welder for the plans package I was creating.
As I drove up, I heard a gas engine running, and it turned out to be a homemade DC generator of the kind I designed and described in my plans package. David and Miriam’s is primitive, simple and ugly, but it sure does work. You can see it run for yourself in the video below. It’s useful for charging batteries and running lights and items that operate on 12 volts DC. Click below to watch this rickety old contraption doing its job flawlessly.