Ran into this very interesting Youtube channel. Corporals Corner. (While I think it needs an apostrophe in it, maybe he does mean for multiple corporals…)
It seems to be devoted to “emergency preparation” along with ancient technologies. Just up my alley.
First off, he has a demonstration of making Roman Cement. This differs from modern cement in that it uses volcanic ash as an important ingredient. As there are lots of volcanoes and volcanic deposits, this isn’t as hard to get as you might expect. He also uses either limestone OR sea shells to make his quicklime. My exploration of ancient Egyptian “liquid stone” methods lead me to believe that roasted limestone was a key component (likely blended with some lye and feldspar like rocks). I’ve yet to do that experiment, but it’s something I hope to do when the weather warms.
Here’s his demonstration of making Roman Cement as mortar or as bricks.
Then he did a show on how you can make a poor, but serviceable camp using $5 of items from the Dollar Store. Personally, I’d pop for the extra and use $10, but hey… ;-) Then again, I always have a space blanket (cover) and knife in my “car pack” (in fact, one in each of belt pack, back pack, and car pack…) along with cordage. So of his big 5 items (cordage, cutting, cover, container, combustion (fire)) I’m usually set for all of them with the occasional exception of ‘container’.
I found his use of an aluminum bottle and some found wood / cheap cordage to make a water boiler interesting as I’d not thought of using a toggle to hang a bottle over fire.
Finally, here’s a video on making a cast skillet from bronze. Not having a ready supply of bronze around the house this is unlikely to be high on my list of emergency skills, but… you never know. Post apocalypse there may be lots of copper wires down and add some tin solder, Bob’s Yer Uncle. Might be interesting to buy 20 lbs of bronze scrap and play with it. I think his sprue holes are way too big, but that might just be me. I’d be more inclined to put the sprue on the end of the handle and a small hole on the far edge to vent. I also note that the inner surface isn’t as smooth as I’d like for cooking (so note his fried eggs are never seen in the removing / flipping process, only in a sandwich…) so I’d put more effort into making that surface cast very smooth. Perhaps a clay surface on the sand.
There’s also a “way cool” ersatz rocket stove in the video. Made by drilling a hole in a log endwise to about 3/4 way, then a side hole into it to join. The stove IS the fuel! I’ll be adding a hand brace and a 1 inch or 1.5 inch bit to my emergency kit in the garage…
I really like how this guy thinks. Minimalist. Old Tech. Orderly and with method over brute force or materials.
I’ll be watching a lot more of his videos. I’ve already seen two on casting (bronze axe and knife) and some more on emergency camps that look interesting. Also one on cooking with too much bacon ;-)