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HOWTO: Be wealthy after the collapse

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posted on May, 4 2010 @ 03:09 AM

Originally posted by hawkiye
This is not correct. Methanol is not wood gas.

Hmm... Let's have a look at Methanol:

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits...
Methanol is often called wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood.

And now Wood Gas:

Wood gas is a syngas, also known as producer gas, which is produced by thermal gasification of biomass or other carbon-containing materials such as coal in a gasifier or wood gas generator.
In several gasifiers, the actual gasification process is preceded by pyrolysis, where the biomass or coal turns into char, releasing methane (CH4) and tar rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

Now lets have a look at Methane:

Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula CH4.
Reactions of methane
Main reactions with methane are: combustion, steam reforming to syngas, and halogenation. In general, methane reactions are hard to control. Partial oxidation to methanol, for example, is difficult to achieve; the reaction typically progresses all the way to carbon dioxide and water.

Confusing! Wiki also lists the following as the composition of Wood Gas:

Nitrogen N2: 50.9%
Carbon monoxide CO: 27.0%
Hydrogen H2: 14.0%
Carbon dioxide CO2: 4.5%
Methane CH4: 3.0%
Oxygen O2: 0.6%.

An interesting thing to note is that the word Methanol isn't on the Wood Gas page.

Then we have a clarified Producer Gas page:

Producer Gas is a generic term referring to:
Wood gas: produced in a gasifier to power cars with ordinary internal combustion engines.
Town gas: manufactured gas, originally produced from coal, for sale to consumers and municipalities.
Syngas: used as a fuel source or as an intermediate for the production of other chemicals.

I realized that Wood Gas refered to a gas and not a fluid, but thought that when you condense and filter it you end up with Methanol. I messed up assuming that Mehtanol was the liquid form of Methane.

Wood gas is the hydrogen gas contained in wood and organic matter.

But how do you get the methanol out of the wood?

How to Make Methanol
Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a clean burning fuel additive, as well as an effective solvent. It is extremely flammable, so great care should be taken in making this substance.

Step 1: A distillery unit, or still, will be needed to hold the wood that you will be using to extract the methanol from. It should resemble the stills used to make liquor. It should be a closed system, with a place to insert wood and then be completely closed, with a pipe to catch the condensed vapor and transport it to a separate container.

Step 2: Put the wood in the unit. The wood can be chunked or shaved, but the smaller the pieces of wood, the easier the methanol will be extracted from it. You will need to heat the unit, usually by open flame. This will superheat the wood inside, keeping it shielded from the actual flame, and so reducing the possibility of combustion.

Step 3: The methanol will vaporize and rise up to the top of the still, where the cooler air will begin the condensation process. The condensed, liquid, methanol will run down the pipe and into the separate containment unit.

Methanol is a highly toxic form of alcohol. and is not cost effective to make on a small scale and is the stuff that eats motor parts if they are not the right kind.

I noticed this interesting bit while looking at the other stuff:

The use of methanol as a motor fuel received attention during the oil crises of the 1970s due to its availability, low cost, and environmental benefits. By the mid-1990s, over 20,000 methanol "flexible fuel vehicles" capable of operating on methanol or gasoline were introduced in the U.S. In addition, low levels of methanol were blending in gasoline fuels sold in Europe during much of the 1980s and early-1990s. Automakers stopped building methanol FFVs by the late-1990s, switching their attention to ethanol fueled vehicles. While the Methanol FFV program was a technical success, rising methanol pricing in the mid- to late-1990s during a period of slumping gasoline pump prices diminished the interest in methanol fuels.

If it goes Mad Max still units of all different types will be key.

Plug phrases like "Wood Gas", "Producer Gas", "Yeast" and "distill" into Google Books (with the "Full View" setting on) to get direct downloads to PDF format Public Domain books. Full books from about a 100 years ago that tell you how to make all this stuff the old fashioned way.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 03:28 AM
Shoe Cobbler:

Originally posted by DucTape
An overlooked barter item

Shoes boots and socks. Running around the PAW will eat up a lot of footwear.
I know my kids go thru sneakers every few months and socks by the dozen.
I think a good pair of boots will be worth their weight in gold.

Very good point!

But how to make an economy with them is the issue. Stocking up on TONS of footgear could be a problem.

Although recently I did see discussion somewhere about cutting up automotive tires to make sandals out of them. Wherever I read this there was complaints about it being massively difficult to cut the tires. Something about it requiring a "chop saw". But I get the feeling a sawzall could make quick work of it. Lets see...

This site here is very descriptive and says to not use tires that have steel reinforcements. Then you just use utility knives. has some pages dealing with this. This one talks about using steel radials:

I used an angle grinder to cut the tire. It was messy, noisy, and stunk, but I couldn't face the struggle with a saw. It didn't take long at all once I got the hang of it. It IS tough to find tires w/o steel nowadays. Once you are done cutting them out, go over the edges with a pair of cutters and clean up any wires poking out. Instant pain/blood on any part of the body touched with the edge otherwise. I think the steel is essential to the sandal's success when it comes to the straps.

The smell of that burning rubber would be like instant migraine for me personally. Sawzall might be able to do it. But another comment in that page says to go to ATV shops to get used ATV tires which don't use steel.

One way or another all of this is doable, but the important thing would be to actually build a pair or so now, so that you'll know what you'll need to be able to do it. THen you'll need to ensure having the enablers in place in the BE.

Gun Oil:

Originally posted by DucTape

Originally posted by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
QUESTION: Whats the best *cheap* alternative solution for gun oil that can be bought by the gallon?

Mobil one motor oil is used by many shooters as a gun oil.
Most any motor oil will work in a pinch, just stay away from any oil/solvent mixtures such as wd-40.

Now we're talking!

You got me reading around into this further. You're definitely right about Mobil1.

I also saw talk about how ATF (transmission) fluid is also primo-choice:

"Ironically, the product that scores at or very near the top of just about everyone's testing is also the most available, and the cheapest. It also has good migration, a good boundary lubrication package, is the right weight (thickness) for general firearms use, doesn't oxidize over long periods of storage, and is compatible with a wide range of metals and plastics. In addition, it is recommended by at least one real degreed firearms engineer! Just what is this miracle elixir??...Dexron-type Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). That's right, plain ol' ATF."

"Motor oils: Generally good boundary lubrication (particularly the Havoline formulations), but very poor corrosion resistance and poor resistance to open-air oxidation. In addition, their pour-point additives often contain benzene compounds, which aren't a good thing to have next to your skin on a regular basis! ATF is better on every count, even if it is a tad more expensive. (ATF is still 1/10 to 1/100th the cost of a specialty "gun oil"!)"

This thread is a choice place to read about alternative oils.

A commenter there stated:

Been using ATF on my guns for years, even on my CCW that frequently rides in my pocket. No rust, things move like they should, and ATF is cheap.
...I used RemOil, Militec, and a variety of other gun specific lubes prior. I see no functional difference between them and plain old ATF except for price.


Motor oils can have additives that aren't particularly good for you and are missing useful additives that most decent gun oils will have. Other than that they obviously do a good job of lubrication.

The main disadvantage of motor oils compared to a good quality gun oil is that motor oils are typically do a very poor job of corrosion prevention.

If you like Mobil 1, the "L" in Breakfree CLP is the same synthetic oil that was used in the original formulation of Mobil 1 (Mobil 1 was reformulated when the supply of the original synthetic oil dropped). What Breakfree CLP gives you that Mobil 1 doesn't is that the "P" provides some of the best corrosion protection on the market. In the tests I've seen, Breakfree CLP scores near the top while Mobil 1 scores near the bottom.

If corrosion protection isn't an issue and you know that the motor oil in question doesn't have additives that would make it a poor choice for an item handled & worn (for example, at least one formulation of Mobil 1, i.e. EP 15W-50, contains zinc dithiophosphate which the MSDS says has a low order of toxicity and may result in eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, also the aforementioned benzene found in some motor oils) then motor oil isn't a bad choice.

On the other hand, there are choices available (such as ATF) that provide the same level of economy that motor oil does but that are a much better overall match for the application than motor oil is.

Also found an elixer sort 'o mix:

CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS
#64741-49-9, or may substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka "Varsol")
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional: Up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

This page is a must see. They did corrosion trials with different oils in different ways and you can see photo test results. This page is similar, but without photos. Neither test tested ATF fluid tho.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on May, 5 2010 @ 04:21 PM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

I agree with you about ammo being the new gold.
I have been stocking up on ammo when I can find
the calibers that I need!

posted on May, 5 2010 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I fail to see what computer programmers are going to do? Did this guide just forget about them? Develop a barter exchange system based off of Windows 2012?

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 04:26 AM
reply to post by ararisq

I cant fathom them doing much short of the masses all solving the energy challenge. They'll be doing gardening and the rest if they want to eat. In the Mad Max Millionaire sense, with a large and sophisticated enough operation they might have some critical usefulness, but in general software will be marginal in importance compared to electrical or even electronic engineers.

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 05:45 AM

can anyone find clothes now days that are actually made in the US??
I think everything I see is made elsewhere. so what happens during a collaspe, if our dollar isn't wanted anymore by these countries that are importing those clothes? and, well, there's no box stores to buy them in?
people will still be wearing out their clothes, and they will still want to be dressed!!

stick with the necessities, learn to provide those necessites for yourself, and your, clothing, herbal remedies, soap, shampoo, ect. try to get your own little community organized some, ya know, find out what talent you have within it, who's the great gardeners, who are the good sewers, ect....set up a little community bartering site online now (although I admit, it might survive. but, if the internet gets knocked out service, well, most computers now can function as a server and as long as the phone lines are working, people can access your bartering site the old fashioned way....
and well, personally, I have no desire to become wealthy, would rather just live comfortably, and I have enough sense to know that there isn't really much chance of that happening if my neighbors and friends aren', I would rather invest in preparing all of us, not just placing myself in the position to reap the windfall!
if you want that, invest in the silver and gold...learn to mint it into community based currencies....and maybe you can become the next rothschild.....but, then prepare to have you soul become black as night....

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 05:53 AM
Great thread, some excellent suggestions

For those of us without alot of spare cash, may I suggest making use of a website called freecycle. Google it. Basically, it's a way to get things for free in your local area are further afield if you are willing to pay postage / travel to pick it up.

I'm sure you could pick up broken / damaged / unwanted items such as solar panels, etc and refurbish yourself. Also things like plastic drums, etc for storage.

I'me also seen alot of people giving away shoes and clothing, building materials, furniture, etc. so it'd be a good way to build a stockpile for your family or to barter and the only cost involved is the cost of going to pick up the items.

Just a suggestion anyway!!

edited to add: you also have the option of "requesting" items. That is, putting up a message letting other freecyclers know you are after certain things.

Because you pick up the items you don't need to worry about people finding out your address / storage area.

[edit on 8-5-2010 by SerialLurker]

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 08:44 AM

Originally posted by SerialLurker
For those of us without alot of spare cash, may I suggest making use of a website called freecycle. Google it. Basically, it's a way to get things for free in your local area are further afield if you are willing to pay postage / travel to pick it up.

Freecycle is how I got my first few rear projection big screen TV's. But shortly thereafter i realized it has a more limited audience. I'm not even knocking it, except I was going for massive quantity of TV's (for the Fresnel Lenses, etc). That's when I found my way towards Craigslist's Free section.

I say use both!! Freecycle's only limitation was my absurd ambition. Going all out, I ended up with 90 big screens in about 2 months. In terms of big screens, I went on to figure out that TV repair shops are the best way to pull up and fill a whole 20' truck in one stop: people take their old RP TV's in for repair, and after getting a quote for as much or more than the TV is worth they leave it for dead. Dumps charge to dispose of them, so it becomes a loss for repair men who don't have time to totally strip them down.

One thing about Freecycle is you have to maintain an about 1:1 request/offer ratio. That's another key reason you want to use both services in unison. CL is so useful. I got 400lbs. of baking soda loaded into my truck for free one of the last times I was 'on it', about a year ago. Even having warehouse access, I still got so full of MM wealth in a matter of months that I don't too often even get around to checking the free page ever. And thats just free stuff. You could actually get real lucky and pick up a hardly used $2500 biodiesel processor system for $450.

[edit on 8-5-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 08:50 AM

Originally posted by dawnstar
if you want that, invest in the silver and gold...learn to mint it into community based currencies....and maybe you can become the next rothschild.....but, then prepare to have you soul become black as night....

I say if you have money just sitting in the bank then be smart and buy large quantities of all the things you know you're going to use regardless. With inflation and everything else the price of everything is constantly going up, while the value of the dollar sitting in the bank is going down. In light of this reality the best investments you can make are into preserving the value of the dollars you possess. And it turns out that a great many of these sorts of things have great barter / quality of life value just in case.

[edit on 8-5-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on May, 8 2010 @ 08:57 AM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Nice post, S+F. Nice to see some people care instead of just spreading fear and mis/disinformation

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

You forgot something, Im investing all my money in weapons and armoured vehicles so Ill just come along and TAKE all your fancy setups and goodies by force. OWNED!

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by rajaten

Good times.
If we built all of that, and were the main economic epicenter, you don't think we'd be built for defense?

Your armored vehicles will get you near the facilities... in the first few months. After that you wont have any fuel. That's what was fake about the Road Warrior. Humongous wouldn't have gotten stronger everyday, they would have had less fuel everyday until they finally ran out. Mad Max wouldn't have even made it to the area with his car. Gasoline / diesel turns to varnish after several months. The people inside the fuel refining facility would have been the last ones standing. Humongous wouldn't have been able to operate that fleet of vehicles were the compound not his to begin with. What that means is that if anything, it would be our people raiding you, surrounding your defunct mobile operation wherever you finally ended up fueless.

And even if you did make it to our compound, you'd face massive walls built from tires filled with sand, barbed / razor wire, spikes, moats, boobytraps, AP firepower, anti-siege weapons and a local army of defenders who depend on our operations for survival and prosperity.

[edit on 23-5-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 01:03 AM
a reply to: SerialLurker

Now a days its all about the Free section in Craigslist. A lot of JUNK most the time (beware of furniture in regards to BED BUGS), but some real scores pop up in there. But you have to be ON IT to best the good stuff: I mean check it every 15 minutes during the day, and be poised to jump in the truck and get there. To make a big thing of it, assuming you can, I mean chase and chase the stuff, you gotta be quick to the punch as a routine, otherwise the gas money you'll end up wasting on those CURB ALERTS will ruin it.

I'm revisiting this sliver of the thread, as up above I underscored one value of wood / wood chips. You can dig up sources for endless truckloads of free wood logs and wood chips from Craigslist. The tree trimmer folks post up on there all the time trying to find places to dump wood chips / logs. Of course such materials have great value here and now (wood chips compost is about as good as it gets, with minimal weed seed content (consider cattle & horse manure is LOADED with seeds).

Given that a grass is one of the worst weed types there is, I say coat over your yard with 6"+ of wood chip straight across it (between your in ground plants). And watch your space become the local mecca for earth worms! And if you have the property space, bring in as many mounds as you can fit!
edit on 3-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 13 2016 @ 04:02 PM
It's actually something I've given some thought to. I mean surviving is one thing, thriving another.

Oddly enough, the world's OLDEST profession hasn't been listed. Can certainly see some women (and I suppose men) turning to this "skill" though...

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned:

TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL - I imagine these would be sought out. Being able to make these would be pretty lucrative.

Oddly enough, we do have a pretty big stockpile of shoes that never really sold all that well in the tack shop. Post SHTF, I guess they'd be in demand more. We got a great deal on them, but just never really moved them that much, even at a crazy price.

I actually plan to convert one of my stalls to a medical room. Really, a vet med room, but with an eye to it basically being a human one post SHTF.

Another service, COMMUNICATIONS. Relaying HAM messages may be worth something. Eventually, we'll have a base unit in the garage, and handhelds in the vehicles and for sentries.

We already have chickens and bunnies. Post SHTF, we'd increase this by breeding them.

Any excess produce (we'd definitely convert at least one pasture to a produce garden), we'd can and sell.

Not to mention, WATER. Having a well can be handy for travelers.

So many possibilities.

posted on Jul, 23 2016 @ 10:15 PM
I don't think it will work well to stockpile mountains of items now for barter after a theoretical apocalypse. Storage efforts are best spent on food and gear for your own survival. Besides predicting what will "one day" have extreme value might be quite difficult.

For instance, practically no one says "empty water bottles."

Yet once the manufacturing infrastructure collapses, there won't be any more. And the stores in your town have only 3 or 4 canteens per store. Meaning that the survivors will be improvising containers from everything else. Sunlight kills bacteria, and water bottles are one of the few containers that will allow enough sunlight in to disinfect water. Soda bottles are too thick to let the light get all the way to the center; you can't be confident of the results unless it's a small water bottle.

What's more, there will be a competing use for pint and quart water bottles: The primary source of new rope, cordage and synthetic monofiliment fiber of all types. You can google "rope from water bottle", or "fibre from PET bottle" and see that all it takes to build a cutting jig is a disposable blade (like a boxcutter or pencil sharpener blade) offset by the width of a washer or three, and the whole thing screwed into a stationary board. All you do is cut the bottom off the bottle, and then start a slit around the fresh rim. Then you feed your starter thread under your blade and start pulling from the other side.

You might think there is enough cordage at your local hardware store; but while there is plenty for a small group, there will be not nearly enough for your whole town. Especially when there will never be another shipment from the vendor.

I have thought of this because I make my own bowstrings. I'm currently working on making my own bow string from the threads of 'un-wound' PET bottles.

all the best.

posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 12:15 AM

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