DIY Projects from Mother Earth News

You can build a cart in a weekend, a boat in a week or a cabin in a month with these DIY plans and projects.

| August 13, 2005

Home workshop projects and ingenious inventions are the hallmark of the self-sufficient American lifestyle. Generation after generation of inventive folks have made their homes and farms better places to live by designing and crafting their own vehicles; solar and wind energy systems; unique houses and outbuildings; boats; and home and garden projects. From hybrid-electric cars to earth-sheltered houses and hydraulic log splitters, they have met the challenges of everyday life with creativity and perseverance.

Check out this list of the best DIY projects to come out of Mother Earth News over the years. In some cases a construction plan accompanies the article. Click on the link at the end of the description to go to the plans shopping page.

Do It Yourself Vehicle Plans

An Amazing 75-mpg Hybrid-electric Car You can build your own hybrid gas-electric car from a 1970s model auto. David Arthurs developed this hybrid-electric vehicle with an Opel GT, using an onboard efficient electric generator and a jet engine starter. This vehicle can also run on battery power for short distances. David Arthurs spent 40 hours and $1,500 to come up with this incredible vehicle. Plan # 1764 

1993 Update: Dave Arthurs' Amazing Hybrid-electric Car
An updated report and interview about David Arthurs' alternative energy, hybrid-electric vehicle.

Mother's Wood-burning Truck Power your truck with a wood-fired generator that turns carbon monoxide, hydrogen and small amounts of methane into a burnable gaseous fuel. This wood-gas generator is fabricated from recycled water heaters. Convert an internal combustion engine of 100 cubic- inches or greater displacement into your own home energy system, or use the generator to run a truck. Plan includes materials list, step-by-step instructions and black-and-white photos. Plan # 762 

Do It Yourself Renewable Energy Plans

HAHSA Outdoor Wood Burner
An outdoor, wood-burning boiler that transfers the heat generated and stored in the boiler, via underground pipes, for home heating. This outdoor furnace keeps the dirt, soot, smoke and firewood outside, where it belongs. Includes materials list and 29 pages of building instructions and diagrams. Plan # 1835 

7/18/2008 10:22:03 AM

These days, everyone is trying to do everything DIY, in large part because of the lousy economy. For most projects, it is absolutely the way to go (if you know what you're doing). For others, not so much. Good debate going on here:

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