Back in 2014 someone set up a KickStarter to create a Pedal Power building company. They were successful, and now Pedal Power Design + Build is a reality. They offer two products. The Big Rig has a worktable with slots cut in it to mount grain mills and similar items. The Pedal Genny is purpose built for generating electricity.
But of even more value for those of us who don't have $4,000 US to drop, they have put some of their plans for the Big Rig on their website for free.
Scott Lawhead wrote:Definitely cool, but why build a bike-like-object when you could repurpose an old bicycle to do it?
That is a good question. I think that most people who build a pedal power project start by repurposing a bike. The folks at Low-Tech Magazine started with an old exercise bike. But bikes are optimized for rolling down the road. So their ergonomics and construction are based around completing that task. A stationary power station, particularly one where the user is going to also work with their hands, might need to have different ergonomics. The old treadle-powered sewing machines and lathes don't look like bikes because they weren't designed for bicycling.
If you design something for stationary power generation from the ground up, you can build something that is strong and transmits power to the workpiece efficiently, while also being comfortable for the user. So you certainly don't have to start with PPC's design. But I think people would be happier with it in the long run. Though I haven't tried it myself.
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Paul will be at the Idaho Panhandle Preparedness Expo on October 1-2, 2022