big max





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5/12/2011
Have some fun in your garden this year and grow something giant!
5/30/2013
A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
2/5/2013
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
2/5/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, share his make do tool tips with fellow DIY homeowners.
3/11/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, outlines some suggestions on how to become an expert carpenter who can work with wood anywhere.
2/11/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, explains just how easy it is to install laminate flooring yourself.
5/25/2012
Robert Maxwell shares tips on maintaining motivation.
7/4/2012
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
2/12/2014
The release of new genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide will mean a huge increase of potent, dangerous chemicals on American farmland and a serious threat of herbicide drift problems for other growers.
1/29/2014
The EPA is poised to deregulate a new generation of genetically modified crops, including those resistant to 2,4-D herbicide. Voice your concerns now.
2/11/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, raves about his favourite hand held torch tool, the BernzOmatic Quickfire Hand Torch.
4/13/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
5/11/2012
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
6/19/2012
Robert Maxwell shares a story about how switching gears resulted in beauty.
6/4/2012
Steve explains how he and his 11 year old son grew a crop of wheat entirely by hand, and why this is something you should try, too.
11/12/2012
When I designed my wilderness cabin back in 2009, I knew I wanted to go the extra mile to achieve beauty, and that included an attractive roof. If you’re interested in creating a roof structure that’s well insulated, pleasing to
4/5/2012
Young homesteader Robert Maxwell  explores his discoveries as he moves toward self-sufficiency and homesteading.
8/22/2014
Blogger Steve Maxwell offers tips and a video explaining how to choose and use a router table.
9/8/2014
Making wooden replacement handles for tools is easier than you think.
7/15/2013
Once reserved for the pizzeria, the calzone is possible to make in your own home.
7/22/2013
In The Land Institute senior scientist Stan Cox's critique of the 2013 Farm bill, it's argued that more federal support could be shifted to food security and conservation if less were going to Big Ag.
3/4/2011
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
11/21/2008
Detroit automakers ask Congress for $25 billion, but that money could come with some energy efficiency strings.
2/7/2011
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
9/9/2011
Pretty much everything I own got soaking wet with the Mama Earf's recent rain bender in Virginia. But on the bright side, I got to see the genius behind the tipi structure firsthand.
7/19/2012
Steve shares his time touring a plant that makes the kind of blades homesteaders use every day,
8/25/2012
Steve explains how our pursuit of environmental sustainability can also drive us crazy if it's not put in the correct philosophical context.
9/1/2011
Steve shows methods he's found for extending the life of new roofs and decreasing their environmental impact
5/4/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, sheds light on a new rural Canadian invention, Seg-Ins Big Bed, a truck extention that improves cargo capacity.
5/11/2011
A short lesson and video on stacking firewood in round piles
10/3/2013
Watch Steve tell you his homestead story and how his two trucks have helped make good things happen.
10/8/2013
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
1/1/0001
Cut the confusion that accompanies buying a cordless drill with this information on which drill features and capabilities to look for.
4/16/2014
How a hopelessly damaged apple tree has delivered lessons of hope since 2007.
4/23/2014
Download Steve Maxwell’s free list of tested and approved deck stains that have worked well in field tests.
4/9/2014
Learn how to eliminate mold growth in your home and improve indoor air quality by using Concrobium.
1/28/2011
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
1/28/2011
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
5/20/2011
Steve shares current results and recommendations from his 20 years of observing and applying deck finishing products and techniques.
8/2/2011
Steve offers a few thoughts on line trimmers and brush cutters.
2/5/2011
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, guides an inquiring homeowner on how to find the right circular saw.
1/28/2011
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, answers a homeowner’s question about how best to apply a smooth finish to wood furniture.
4/26/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.
5/10/2012
Read about new legislation that would stop the government from funding the fossil fuel industry. Then, sign your name to the petition and make a difference.
9/24/2010
Here's why MAX won't be at the FAIR. Sorry.
2/19/2009
MAX's aerodynamic makeover is underway with a new fender design.
9/2/2009
MAX needs an aerodynamic and easy-to-assemble roof. Plus it needs to look cool, be cheap, cost little, have a simple design and be reliable. No problem, right? So, do you have any ideas?
4/6/2010
At the time, it seemed like a clear car was a good idea.
10/23/2009
All computer data for MAX has been stolen. What next?
10/31/2011
Learn how to sharpen your chainsaw properly with a file and guide
8/10/2011
Steve explains what he's learned over 20 years of using generators and monitoring advances in design.
7/19/2011
Learn how to install ceramic tiles that'll never let you down.
7/7/2011
A simple, practical and easy option for priming seasonal water systems.
3/30/2011
Carbide saw blades last a long time and typically perform very well. Learn about two ways to keep them sharp and effective.
5/25/2012
Steve explains the basics of refinishing wooden stairs, including an easily renewable finishing strategy.
5/21/2012
There are many more ways than ever to earn income without ever leaving the homestead. As energy prices rise, earning the money you need without traveling is key to success. It just might not come from the place you expect.
7/7/2011
Steve got curious and shares the results of a gruelling endurance test he completed to compare cordless tool battery performance
5/14/2011
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
3/19/2013
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
1/17/2014
Join Steve for a no-cost 75 minute video tutorial on building and managing a root cellar
3/26/2014
Here’s what to look for when purchasing a portable table saw for DIY building projects around your homestead.
6/17/2013
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
10/14/2013
MAX doesn't have a front license plate, and here's why Jack would like to keep it that way.
9/16/2013
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
10/1/2009
In the continuing pursuit of better aerodynamics, Jack takes a closer look at the design of MAX’s nose.
8/6/2009
Everyone should have a 100-mpg car, and know how to drive a manual transmission. MAX comes to the rescue on both ends.
9/28/2010
Managing Editor John Rockhold chats with Jack McCornack — creator of MAX, the DIY and 100-mpg hopeful car — to get his post-FAIR thoughts.
10/1/2010
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
11/11/2009
Jack explores how to test how body changes affect aerodynamics, and looks for inspiration from Wonder Woman.
11/18/2011
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
3/29/2012
See a video on how Steve finishes interior wood with waterbased stains, and why you might want to think beyond just brown colours.
12/5/2013
Steve shares 11 years of his experience with the newest mainstay power tool in the world, and offers three free chances to win an impact driver.
9/25/2013
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
6/29/2011
Steve shares an approach he installed at a friend's place for easing the burden of priming seasonal water systems
7/30/2014
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
12/9/2009
This potential body style looks hard to beat, in more ways than just physically. What do you think?
12/3/2010
MAX gets a couple of cheap and easy thermoformed headlight protectors, to keep light from getting out and rocks from getting in.
2/17/2010
In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.
9/23/2010
En route to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, Jack listens all too well to GPS and ends up on dirt roads in the Oregon Outback.
8/15/2008
MAX has a three-wheeled distant cousin that's a diesel-electric hybrid.
8/17/2009
MAX Puts the “Ex” in X Prize
4/29/2010
MAX's classic race car skin remains a work in progress. Jack wants MAX to look Lola-esque, but not too Lola-esque.
1/29/2009
Sequestered indoors, Jack goes to work on streamlining MAX's body.
9/21/2009
We're excited for the second annual Escape from Berkeley rally. Last year, MAX won the inaugural event from Berkeley to Las Vegas. This year, it's a run for the Mexican border!
10/2/2008
What does MAX have in common with and old action, adventure, paranoia, social commentary BBC TV series of the '60s?
9/23/2008
MAX will enter a race, uhhhh we mean event, and will run on veggie oil.
9/16/2008
The fine art of automotive design, especially high-mpg design.
10/25/2010
An after-the-fact analysis of MAX's accident on the way to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair, and the dangers of "getthereitis."
3/23/2010
A reader recently raised concerns that MAX is illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes. Here's the skinny.
9/24/2010
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
7/12/2010
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
4/29/2009
Thoughts on the potentially fuzzy math of mpg calculations.
2/3/2009
From the Science Channel, watch the Brink TV show's spotlight on MAX and its victory in the Escape from Berkeley race.
2/2/2010
Could MAX pass federal safety standards for mass-produced cars? Nope. Should that matter?
7/22/2013
A searchable index for the MAX Updates posts, and a few more thoughts on the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
6/16/2014
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
2/25/2014
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
10/24/2008
What kind of mpg did MAX get in the race? How did Jack get fuel along the way? How much can you get for a t-shirt and a copy of Mother Earth News? Answers to these exciting questions inside!
4/8/2010
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
6/5/2011
Learning from experience, I've put some impact-resistant structure on the back of MAX.
6/29/2011
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
8/23/2012
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
4/4/2011
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
8/25/2010
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
2/21/2011
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
7/29/2011
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
9/19/2012
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
10/14/2008
MAX wins the Escape from Berkeley race!!
1/15/2012
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
8/7/2011
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
3/6/2011
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
9/8/2008
MAX version 2.0 is about to start moving. This may come as a surprise, but Jack is going to try it with biodiesel.
1/16/2009
Could MAX be the perfect car for driver's ed?
1/7/2009
Jack gets a wallop of motivation for a fully enclosed cabin, and looks ahead to a future with inquisitive grandchildren.
7/14/2009
Perhaps if we had just listened to the deer all along, we never would've ended up in this gas guzzling mess.
5/23/2010
MAX's bodywork continues, as Jack modifies the race car nose to fit over the Kubota engine.
6/9/2010
There's a new automotive fuel efficiency contest coming up -- the Rally Green -- and now MAX has a tachometer, a digital wonder called a Tiny Tach.
2/16/2012
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
12/23/2008
MAX turns heads and makes an impression at The EG, aka the Entertainment Gathering.
11/19/2008
Brink TV show seeks "low-budget mad scientist." Jack and his MAX project fit the bill!
7/16/2008
Is the glass half empty? Half full? Or is there just too much glass? I'm designing MAX to be just the right amount of "glass" for the vast majority of our driving. Here's to efficiency.
6/4/2010
More progress on MAX's streamlined body, using a laser to make curved body parts fit on a flat frame.
11/5/2008
It's the age-old tug of war between good looks and streamlined, aerodynamic design. 
1/31/2011
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
10/10/2008
MAX is hitting 60 mpg. That's better than a Prius, and before we get serious about streamlining.
4/9/2009
One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.  
7/27/2010
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
8/28/2008
MAX version 2.0 is underway.
7/25/2008
MAX gets a small favor from high-end luxury sports cars.
3/11/2009
MAX is well on its way to 100 mpg, if the lessons from these 100+ mpg motorcyles are any indication.
5/4/2011
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
11/17/2010
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
11/26/2008
It's time to calculate MAX's aerodynamic drag. Enter champagne science on a beer budget!
12/26/2011
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
10/10/2008
MAX is encountering robust competition at Escape from Berkeley
6/9/2009
In the pursuit of 100 mpg, cardboard is a nice medium for conceptualizing design features, but it has its limitations.
5/15/2010
We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
5/15/2012
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
3/4/2012
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
10/21/2012
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
7/5/2011
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
8/22/2010
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
3/26/2009
MAX needs 25 percent more horsepower to get from zero to 60 mph in less than 18 seconds. Got any suggestions?
12/5/2008
MAX needs a roof, stat.
8/6/2012
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
7/11/2008
We're at work on a 100-mpg DIY car! Come meet MAX and take a seat for what will be a long, but fun, journey.
11/6/2010
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
12/31/2012
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
6/22/2010
A primer on fiberglass mold making and molding fiberglass parts, using MAX's nose parts (hood and bubble) as examples.
8/5/2008
Breaking News: MAX Totaled
7/22/2010
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
8/21/2008
MAX is back from the dead after its infamous wreck. So why is the frame gray?
5/21/2011
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
8/3/2010
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
10/21/2011
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
8/18/2011
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
9/23/2011
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
1/5/2010
I hate to say it — because electric cars may be the salvation of transportation someday — but much of the current hype around electric cars is smoke and mirrors. 
8/29/2011
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
10/15/2008
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
6/29/2012
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
7/21/2008
Conservation over corn.
9/8/2010
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
11/18/2011
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
2/7/2011
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
6/20/2011
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
3/23/2012
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
12/7/2011
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
6/1/2011
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
12/23/2010
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
9/3/2010
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
7/1/2009
Considering deer, it’s time for a roll bar.
4/30/2012
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.


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