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January 16, 2006

2 experiments

This post is my first blueprint on the blog - an experimental project that I HAVE NOT BUILT- I'm putting it out there for you to try. If it works, please let me know. But be aware that you might need to tweak this a bit before it works.

These 2 projects were ideas in response to an e-mail I got from a scout called Shannie. The challenge was to design a gadget that could be used to hold a tin of boiling water as well as perform another function, and have a moving part. The equipment allowed was 6 1.5m dowels, 4 0.5m dowels and sisal. So here you go Shannie, hope they are useful ideas!

The first idea uses a long beam holding multiple tins of water. At one end it is supported by a 0.5m tripod and at the other end it is lashed onto the leg of a taller tripod that has a gas lamp or paraffin lantern inside, and is wrapped with a hessian/plastic bag on the outside to form a lantern. The problem with this design is that there isn't really a movable part- I suppose you could trade this off against the fact that you have space to boil several tins of water.

So... I got thinking about the way construction cranes work, and came up with the idea of using a central 'mast' which has booms hanging off it. the boom is made with a 1.5m lath and a 0.5m lath sheared onto the end to make a "fork" that fits onto the mast. The top of the boom is tied back to the mast with sisal. The mast is guyed to the ground as well.

You can see that the 4 booms are supporting 2 tins of water, one over the fire, as well as a gas lamp and ... a pot plant? (ok, the pot plant was in my component library so I dropped it in). You could easily use this to hang a camp fridge or your mess kits.

Let me point out where I think you might have problems if you try to build this one: You might need to be a bit creative about how you stop the base of the boom sliding down the mast- perhaps tying it onto the mast wit ha constrictor or playing with the tension the holds the 'fork' on. You might also need to be clever about how you attach the guylines.

Good luck, and please let me know if you try either of these and they work (...actually- let me know if they don't work, as well).
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