During the Spring Break, I had my oldest Grand Son over, at 10 years old, he’s nuts about Legos, his bicycle, and of course computer games.
While we were spending time together, I reflected on my Childhood and the DIYers in my neighborhood. My Dad worked six days a week, and our bridge was more hunting and fishing and being out doors together,… but there was a guy up the street, “Clark Williamson” who could fix anything or build anything. There were darned few things he had hired done, and it seemed whether it was a lawn mower, a car, or something electrical, he could take it apart and fix it.
Lucky for me, he liked me, and I got to hang around and watch him do a lot of really cool things, I think that’s how we DIYers are made, we learn from others just how much we can do for ourselves.
Passing that onto a Son or Grandson might be easier than you think, sometimes it takes only one experience to instill that idea that we ‘can do’ for ourselves.
The motor that Alex and I built together as a first project required us to stack armature laminations, wind the armature, build a commutator, and more, once done, we mounted it all in a boat and watched it take laps around the bath tub. It’s not made to be durable, but I know that experience will last Alex a lifetime, he did it!
I doubt he’ll look at an electric motor the same way ever again, he now understands there’s no magic inside, just some magnets and that commutator acting to organize some events inside the motor.
Today I thought about our next project and how cool it would be to guide him through the completion of his own wind turbine alternator. The ones that give us the best returns on our investment are the ones we build for ourselves.
Ed Lenz, owner of Windstuffnow.com has a small and simple little axial flux generator sold in Kit form. I was thinking how much fun it would be to guide that special kid in your life through the build of an axial flux alternator… something far more durable and practical than our DC motor kit. Here’s Ed’s kit.
Imagine the fun you’ll have as that kid in your life puts Ed’s kit together and watches it work. The fun you’ll have explaining how that voltage doubler works, and of course.. if you don’t know, you can look it up on the internet together.
As I say, it may be the most important project of the new year.. it might add another member to our DIYer ranks and save the kid a fortune over his life.
Once you get this kit under his belt, it’s time to read more on Ed’s site, visit Otherpower, and don’t miss Hugh Piggot’s wonderful site. These folks are all members of our DIYer tribe, and it’s where you go to learn how to do for yourself. Imagine an even bigger project the two of you can complete together 🙂
Before you leave the utterpower site, you might be interested to know that Our Install at Zach’s house! The Younger Grandson 🙂 was the most read post of 2011!
All the best,