Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

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Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby liseman » August 20th, 2011, 11:07 am

Howdy,

My friends and I are building a workshop out of a shipping container, and we want your suggestions on equipment.
We'll be sending a 20' shipping container from Austin, Texas to Bungoma, a city in Western Kenya.
The primary goal will be constructing chambers in which we can create biochar ( http://www.re-char.com ), and we want to make the shop as versatile as possible.

Thus far, we've definitively spent ~$8,000 of our $20,000 budget, mainly on a used plasmacam 4'x4' CNC with 2 plasma cutters, and allocated <20% of our space.
Here's our list of some proposed equipment: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsejLtLc70nwdG5DeVJmOVA4OUxpcXl6alFaNzh5Unc&hl=en_US
What are we missing that we just shouldn't be without?
We'll have access to (dirty) grid power, standard industrial building materials, and (slow, expensive) shipping from the West.

Please add your ideas to the spreadsheet and your broader comments below.
We'll read everything, incorporate the best suggestions, and let you know what our final inventory becomes.
We need to have our container in transit by the end of the month, so don't delay!

Thanks,

Luke
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby Osgeld » August 20th, 2011, 11:36 am

sounds very hot, I know even in the southern united states we were standing in containers that were well over 120 degrees, one guy bumped his arm against the roof and it burned bad enough to blister up a little.

I suggest a decent fan (even though the super hot weather is leaving)
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby barnsey_2 » August 20th, 2011, 7:10 pm

the list in the post is not accessible, hope to hear back from you, i submitted a request on google for access
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby DeadlyDad » August 21st, 2011, 2:13 am

Hmmm... A container of awesomeness that costs $20,000? Sounds a lot like this 'factory in a box' (To get the fire started, you can build fire pistons). Combine that equipment with what is needed to build this ceramic water filter that can even remove cholera (check out the PDF for steps to manufacture and distribute them), and you will have a factory turning out two classes of life-saving products that can be made in any developing nation. Going over budget? Not a problem; start up a Kickestarter project to fund the rest. Want some more ideas? How about 13 Gigabytes of high quality technical development info for Third World?

'Nuff said? :roll:
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby DeadlyDad » August 21st, 2011, 3:07 pm

Here is a great video on generating biochar. After seeing his rig, I realized that it would be almost trivial (...okay, maybe not so much) to close in the top of the Aprovecho institutional rocket stove and turn it into a high-efficiency biochar generator.

Also, whenever possible, I would not buy tools, but have the recipients make them, instead. It also occurred to me that you might want to ask them what tools and materials they want; they might not have a clue about what they would do with things like a CNC rig, and it might just sit there, unused.
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby barnsey_2 » August 21st, 2011, 3:11 pm

OK i took a look and i could name some things off the top of my head, Dremmel rotary tool, die grinder, as for your welder have to go with a miller mig easy to set up and bulletproof the harbor freight ones have a high mortality rate, as for you lifting equipment i would suggest if you are going for electric, Harrington electric chain hoists are incredible near maintenance free devices that just last for years but will eat into your budget slightly, and your lever hoists a good choice is CM the jet engineering ones die under day to day use, the rigging you need some 4 and 6 foot endless nylon web slings, 4 and 6 foot eye and eye slings, bolt cutters, tap and die set, vise grips, Reciprocating saw, C clamps, sharpies, 4 foot level, tape measures, micrometer, calipers, table vise, 3/8" socket set, a frame ladders, air compressor, drill bit index, zipties,

ok ok, i'll give up for now just a thought
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby Big Pappa » August 21st, 2011, 4:00 pm

while I like the cool factor of some of the stuff your putting in this container, and I'm guessing you'll be using it else where for other projects in the future. I'm still not sure why you want to use so much electronic / computing power for the purpose of building chambers for the RE:char project, but since I always dislike when others ask "why would you do that".
Here's some suggestions:
You might want to include some basic hand tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, etc, electrical tools, plumbing tools, carpenter tools).
Since your also going for some heavy duty tools, why not a air compressor and some air tools/equipment/accessories.

now about your power needs: you need to include on that spreadsheet the amperage of each item used, so you can determine the right size generator, whether that generator be ICE (diesel/gasoline/other), wind, Solar, or you may even want to consider micro hydro. maybe even steam, since (possibly) you could use the heat from the char process to boil some water to steam. Keep in mind you will want at least 2 banks of batteries, one to use while the other is charging, (i suggest 3). stick with 12 volt systems, since the 12 volt inverters are cheaper and more plentiful.

If they ever need to do some irrigation, might want to teach them how the siphon effect works,with several 20/50 foot garden hoses. I see so many projects where people are trying to do some single massive pump (that needs quite a bit of solar/wind/we) instead of sticking to something simple like the basic siphon effect.

also the heat anywhere in the north continent of Africa is going to unbearable at best, you'll actually want to cover the entire container with a tent like structure, that will keep the direct sunlight off the container and easier to keep from burning anybody if they touch it. Test this theory while the container is still in Austin.

next suggestion is some kind of frames (screened) on the sides of the container to mount fans in, do this even before you leave.
shop lights in the container as well.
and maybe even some mirrors to direct some sunlight into the container to reduce the lighting needs. Might I suggest some PVC pipe cut in half painted on the inside with chrome spray paint. kinda like the solar tube method of lighting.
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby JelleAtProtospace » August 22nd, 2011, 2:57 pm

Nairobi has a fablab. It might be a good idea to ask them instead of us here. I can tell you what is in the fablab where I work (www.protospace.nl), but that is adjusted to what we/our users like most. From that angle, you need a laser cutter. Buy a cheap-ish one with enough access to repair parts (lenses, mirrors, tubes,..) they will have to endure the horrible controll software that comes with it, and then be very motivated to switch it to a Open Source solution.
And since you already have a CNC machine: adapt it to move a proper spindle too. Unless you explicitly wish to set up a metal workshop, wood will most likely be an easier/cheaper material to work with.
And for the rest: add tools that you can make other tools with.
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby DeadlyDad » August 26th, 2011, 1:25 am

:foreheadsmack: As the goal of the project is to create biochar/woodgas, why not just load up the container with the tools and materials to convert the container itself into a biochar/woodgas generator? The end-product could be then sold to buy another container and enough materials to convert another one, etc., etc., etc. I have some ideas on how it could be done efficiently, but I'll have to call up Fred Colgan to see what he says about the specifics.
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Re: Shipping Container Workshop In Kenya

Postby krima » November 21st, 2011, 3:28 am

My friends and I are building a workshop out of a shipping container, and we want Makers' suggestions on equipment.
We'll be sending a 20' shipping container from Austin, Texas to Bungoma, a city in Western Kenya.
The primary goal will be constructing chambers in which we can create biochar ( http://www.re-char.com ), and we want to make the shop as versatile as possible.
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Location: Australia

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