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#1 2018-11-30 01:29:55

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 1,239

Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

SOSWJc9.gif

This update paves the way for the forthcoming industrial revolution.  After banging my head against the actuality of human history in this area (much of which is, strangely, shrouded in uncertainty) for four straight hours on Monday, I realized that bootstrapping is hard.  This is the point where the true mystery of human civilization comes to a head:  how do you make a lathe without a lathe?

We've come a long way so far, and bootstrapped a whole bunch of things in this game.  But these are all things that I myself know how to make from scratch, in principle.  This is the kind of stuff that is made on the Primitive Technology YouTube channel.  If it looks hand-made, it can probably be made by hand, right?

But how do you bootstrap metal machines?  I'm starting to suspect that this is something that no one now living actually knows how to do.  So it's my job to figure it out, or at least make up a reasonable approximation.  I was thinking that we'd be skipping right over the age of steam---that steam was just an unnecessary side-branch on in the inevitable path toward internal combustion.  But now I think it's actually about tolerances.  Internal combustion requires extremely tight tolerances, and metal gaskets, because there's fire right there in the cylinder.  Steam engines can be made with much lower tolerances, and leather or rubber gaskets, because the fire is kept outside the cylinder.  I.e., crude steam machines can be made without the process of machining.  And with steam machines, we can make the machines with which we can actually "machine" parts with tighter tolerances.  Steam lathe, here we come.

And speaking of steam lathes, this video of a 1900's era steam-powered machine shop is pretty amazing.  But none of those belt-driven machines contain parts that were made by a blacksmith:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WXHNBMLZZM

But there's no lathe in there yet.  What can you do with this Newcomen Atmospheric Engine?  Pump water!  Why would you want to do that?  You'll find out soon enough.

This update also dramatically improves the mouse interface when dealing with stacks of things that should also be moveable as a stack (stacks of plates, for example).  Left click grabs the whole stack, and right click removes an item from the stack.  In other words, the stack now behaves similar to a container when you left or right click on it.

New wild wounds (or sickness) no longer replace your current wound.  You can't heal from a snake bite by contracting yellow fever or getting hog cut.

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#2 2018-11-30 01:41:22

Lyngs
Member
Registered: 2018-11-22
Posts: 2

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Watched this a few weeks ago. It is about the (possible) very first metal lathe (Vaucanson 1751).

You might learn something you can use.

https://machinethinking.co/2018/03/16/t … verything/

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#3 2018-11-30 02:19:55

Stormyzabeast
Member
Registered: 2018-09-26
Posts: 51

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Oh sheeyit!!!

Last edited by Stormyzabeast (2018-11-30 02:20:05)

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#4 2018-11-30 03:08:08

Shaun
Member
Registered: 2018-05-12
Posts: 11

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Aww, RIP mosquito therapy haha

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#5 2018-11-30 03:58:40

CrazyEddie
Member
Registered: 2018-11-12
Posts: 180

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

David Gingery has a series of books called Build Your Own Metal Working Shop From Scrap that provides a game plan and detailed instructions for building everything you need for a machine shop - including a lathe - starting with nothing more than a drill, a hacksaw, charcoal, and scrap aluminum. It's not the only path forward from the stone age to the industrial age, but it shows that it is possible, and provides an understanding of how such a thing could be done by one person with minimal tools and resources.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._Gingery

Buy the series on Amazon: http://a.co/d/fCBc7Vs

"The hobbyist starts by constructing a small foundry capable of melting silicon-aluminum and zinc alloys from recycled automotive parts. Then green sand castings are used to make a metal lathe. The lathe is the first machine built since it can be used to help build itself. The lathe and foundry are then used to make more complicated machine tools."

"Beginning with a simple charcoal fired foundry you produce the castings for building the machine tools to equip your shop. Initially the castings are finished by simple hand methods, but it isn't long before the developing machines are doing much of the work to produce their own parts."

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#6 2018-11-30 04:19:03

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 1,239

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Those links are amazing, thank you!

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#7 2018-11-30 04:32:02

Mobitz
Member
Registered: 2018-11-30
Posts: 3

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

The problem starting out with aluminum is that it was traditionally very hard to make.

Aluminium was difficult to refine and thus uncommon in actual usage. Soon after its discovery, the price of aluminium exceeded that of gold and was only reduced after the initiation of the first industrial production by French chemist Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville in 1856.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_aluminium

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#8 2018-11-30 06:22:13

boggers
Member
Registered: 2018-08-17
Posts: 205

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

I recently looked down an internet rabbit hole about Stirling engines.

They lost out to the steam engine back in the day because their lower power to weight ratio made them inappropriate for locomotives, but they can be quite practical in many other situations.

They can be made slightly more efficient at harnessing solar energy than even the best modern solar panels, and they're very easy to build, might be worth looking into...

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#9 2018-11-30 06:42:56

batlad
Member
Registered: 2018-11-30
Posts: 1

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

I hope we get foot powered wooden lathes to start with. Maybe wooden spinning wheels as well? I hope you get a chance to back-fill with more hand/foot/animal powered spinning, grinding and pumping engines instead of just jumping to steam engines.

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#10 2018-11-30 07:23:26

lionon
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 346

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Industrial revolution is a complicated matter and as I remember from the one or or other term paper I wrote on the subject if you investigate closer the real reasons are less in steam and steel than other reasons.

One major factor for example was three and later four field crop rotation that drastically increased farming output yielding much less workers in agriculture could feed a larger population freeing work resources. Thus also yielding in people leaving the countryside where they are no longer needed and concentrating in cities, where industry took up even if most work was done manual at first.

Other reasons include development of the "company" as social concept, discovery of the advantage of division of labor contrary, pushing back of guilds as controlling institutions, political developments (realizing that mercantilism is stupid, urging for less short sighted political interventionism). Also the "first born gets all" inheritance system in Britain may have helped in getting critical capital accumulation.

Oh yes and I almost forgot probably the most important things that allowed modern industrial revolution, big cities, etc: discovery of penicillin.

Sorry, I just felt rambling about this topic, because it is so interesting.

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#11 2018-11-30 08:56:27

Mobitz
Member
Registered: 2018-11-30
Posts: 3

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

lionon wrote:

Oh yes and I almost forgot probably the most important things that allowed modern industrial revolution, big cities, etc: discovery of penicillin.

I'd argue the discovery microorganisms cause communicable disease moved us into the modern age. It led not only to antibiotics, but also vaccines and public health systems (water sanitation, sewage disposal, food safety, etc.).  Until 60-70 years ago, the top 3 causes of death were infectious diseases.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

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#12 2018-11-30 09:43:34

Lexyvil
Member
Registered: 2018-03-23
Posts: 88

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Love the new stack-pickup feature! It really saves a lot of time.

Do you think it'll be possible to build wooden tables? It could serve as a means to store/hold every type of prepared food, since they don't stack (omelets, or bowls of cooked food). It could be easier to organize everything if we could hold more than the amount of pies baskets can hold.

Then again I suppose wooden boxes serve that purpose, but such an object like a table could add to the variety and potentially be able to hold more.

Last edited by Lexyvil (2018-11-30 20:38:39)

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#13 2018-11-30 09:52:15

lionon
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 346

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Mobitz wrote:
lionon wrote:

Oh yes and I almost forgot probably the most important things that allowed modern industrial revolution, big cities, etc: discovery of penicillin.

I'd argue the discovery microorganisms cause communicable disease moved us into the modern age. It led not only to antibiotics, but also vaccines and public health systems (water sanitation, sewage disposal, food safety, etc.).  Until 60-70 years ago, the top 3 causes of death were infectious diseases.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

Fair enough, I'd agree also a major factor, also instead of drilling peoples head open due to a stupid idea of unbalance in fluids.

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#14 2018-11-30 09:53:20

lionon
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 346

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Lexyvil wrote:

Love the new stack-pickup feature! It really saves a lot of time.

Do you think it'll be possible to build wooden tables? It could serve as a means to store/hold every type of prepared food, since they don't stack (omelets, or bowls of cooked food). It could be easier to organize everything if could hold more than the amount of pies baskets can hold.

Then again I suppose wooden boxes serve that purpose, but such an object like table could add to the variety.

See
https://www.reddit.com/r/OneLifeSuggest … sr/tables/

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#15 2018-11-30 19:43:17

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 200

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

jasonrohrer wrote:

I realized that bootstrapping is hard

Yes!  This!
Bootstrapping is basically everywhere.  Evolution, human civilization, learning.  Bootstrapping is a general process makes the system more complex and less chaotic, and it's like the most interesting thing ever!

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#16 2018-11-30 20:33:10

lowdt
Member
Registered: 2018-10-27
Posts: 24

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

thanks jason ;D! omg it looks exactly like in my imagination! wizard stuff right there!

Last edited by lowdt (2018-11-30 20:35:37)

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#17 2018-12-01 00:01:41

Intangir
Member
Registered: 2018-05-21
Posts: 53

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

your running into the (impossible) problem faced by central planners in economics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Gppi-O3a8

you don't need to gauge relative values as much, or allocate resources by fiat dictate.. so it shouldn't be as confounding, but still your facing it

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#18 2018-12-01 01:33:29

nep
Member
Registered: 2018-12-01
Posts: 1

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

Check out this playlist for tolerances in the time of ancient greeks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … 4RXv4_jDU2

You could get good ideas out of that, ok, mainly copper/bronze but does some work with hardened steel.

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#19 2018-12-01 01:39:34

fitzsnaggle
Member
Registered: 2018-12-01
Posts: 1

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

The appropriate technology library is the go to resource for this short of thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Appro … gy_Library

Its a collection of 1000 books for small scale technologies for the developing world based on the concept of Intermediate Technology as advocated by EF Schumacher of Small is Beautiful fame. The idea is technologies that are more advanced than a scythe, but less complex than a tractor.

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#20 2018-12-01 05:38:46

CrazyEddie
Member
Registered: 2018-11-12
Posts: 180

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

nep wrote:

Check out this playlist for tolerances in the time of ancient greeks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … 4RXv4_jDU2

Clickspring is pure pornography.

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#21 2018-12-01 13:53:00

Potjeh
Member
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 295

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

This is what I call a good update big_smile Now we just need analogous upgrade tree for iron mines, having just one stage is lame.

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#22 2018-12-01 19:01:29

lionon
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 346

Re: Update: Newcomen Atmospheric Engine

What I find a little awkward now, we have to create steel for a shovel, but simple iron suffices for an engine...

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