In case you didn’t know, I like History. I also like making things.
Unfortunately, a confluence of events will be causing me to have a furnace available to me in the near future, as well as the scrap aluminum from used Cans collected about the place, and at work. This can only lead to shenanigans.
That’s right. I plan on making Aluminum versions of Bronze-Age Technology, and trying them out. I don’t exactly think the results are going to work perfectly, nor will they be anywhere near as good as steel. However, I do think this is more worthwhile than simply fooling around at Experimental Archaeology. In some situations, extremely simple ways of making simple tools are extremely valuable, and can mean the difference between success and failure. Whereas the tools made by Open Source Ecology are very useful, and a both novel and inexpensive way to build many necessary tools, these are all advanced items, primarily made of metal. They include such things as tractors, industrial robots, and agricultural implements which are extremely necessary to any large scale project of the kind they are seeking. However, sometimes, you just need a chisel.
Aluminum isn’t the best material for making chisels. Or Hammers. Or Splitting Wedges, knives, pry-bars, axes, mattocks, or picks. But, with experimentation, I hope to find out if it is at least workable for a few of these. This is mainly due to three things: Aluminum is readily available; the infrastructure for working it is extremely simple; these very basic tools are needed before most of the OSE tools would come into play.
This will be a Foundations project, as well, and it will be documented for publication as soon as I can get the Foundations Project up and running. I hope to be able to show a variety of usable (if not ideal) tools which can be made with stone, clay, sand or metal molds, simply, from common waste material, on almost any site, worldwide. The thing with tools in a non-ideal situation is that you need something workable now, not perfection in 6 weeks. This project might just be able to provide a route to those workable tools for next to 0 cost, even in an area with very limited resources. There will always be trash, and there’s almost always some Bronze, Aluminum, Copper, or other material which would work for these applications in the trash.
Even if it fails miserably, it’ll still be fun, so I won’t count it a total loss.