If you've ever been in a blackout or perhaps out in the country somewhere with unpredictable electricity service, the term "generator
" has probably been in your mind more than once.
Problem: any generator that will be powering more than a few lightbulbs probably costs an arm and a leg. In fact, some cost more than a few whole human bodies. Okay, enough with the goofy analogies: let's move on.
If you find yourself at a local junkyard any time soon (or a few garage sales), you might want to line up a Briggs & Stratton shaft motor, an automotive alternator, a used car battery and a few other items
(included are various pieces of wood, probably from remnant sources if you can).
The good news is that the entire contents list
needed to make a generator on the cheap will allow 12-volt DC power as well as a limited amount of AC power (using an inverter, it appears) for those times when you need a good dose of electricity but don't have the normal means available to you. This could easily be done as a weekend project, so have at it.