How to Dig a Shallow Well from Start to Finish for offgrid homesteading

    This project goes over how you can dig your own shallow well using simple tools that you can get from your local garden store. The materials you need to dig and install a well are as follows. A customized Seymour AUA2 Post Auger to dig the hole. A Shovel is used to move the pea gravel and dirt out of the way.

    A Four inch casing PVC pipe that is going into the hole that is dug and this is going to hold the water until you need it. One and one fourth inch threaded adapter. This connects the bottom of the casing pipe to the foot valve. The foot valve is one and one quarter inch. This valve allows the water to come in and not go out. This helps to keep the pump primed.

    A water well pump pipe which is basically a one and one quarter inch PVC pipe. This will pull the water from the bottom of the well bringing it to your pump. The length of this pipe is going to be determined by how deep your well is. It should be at least a foot shorter than the depth of your well. You don’t want this pipe sitting on the bottom because it would just be sitting in sediment and it will be clogging things up.

    A pitcher pump that has a one and one quarter inch threaded water inlet at the bottom. A closet flange. It makes mounting the pump to the top of your well four inch casing pipe very easy and it also helps keep things clean. Basically you would just set this inside you your four inch pipe, drill a hole out of the middle of a board, screw that to the top of this flange then mount your pump to the board that you have fastened to this. A one and one quarter inch threaded adapter. This will screw into the bottom of your pitcher pump and in turn, it will connect to the pipe bringing water to your pump from the bottom of the well. Teflon tape, PVC glue.

    Pea gravel – This will go down around the casing pipe of the well. The amount of pea gravel you need is determined by the depth of the well and water height. Quikcrete or aerated concrete to cap the top of the well. This prevents groundwater contamination and keeps stuff from finding a way to easily get into your well.

    To find the spot for the well, we use couple of coat hangers as dowsing roads. We take a drinking straw ,cut it in half and slide it over the coat hangers. This helps us in not using our hands or fingers influence while dowsing. Also it is easy to rotate the rods within the straws. The rods are kept parallel to the ground . If the rods cross each other , then mark the spot on the ground directly down the cross . This is the ideal spot for the well.

    The auger used for digging the hole for the well is modified from the default Seymour Post hole auger. We use a custom 5 foot 11 gauge one and half inch square tubing as the extension for the auger . The handle of the auger is a three foot three quarter inch pipe welded to a four inch 11 gauge square tubing.

    We start digging into the the spot that we have found earlier using the dowsing rods. Pay attention to the changes in the color of sand , because that can give you clues as whether you are getting closer to water. We extend the auger using the square bar tube once the auger handle is near the ground. Once you have hit wet clay, there is going to be suction around. We twist and pull at the same time to get the auger out of the hole in this situation.

    Next, we put the 20 foot PVC casing pipe into the hole . We cut slots using a reciprocating saw on the pipe one foot from the bottom of the well to the top of the water level to allow the water to flow into the well. Pea gravel is poured around the sides of the pipe all the way up to the slots .

    The remaining hole area around the pipe is packed with sand and clay. We seal the well by packing it around the sides with quickrete cement. This helps the water not to be able to run down into your well but around it.

    We lower the one and one quarter inch well pump pipe with the foot valve at the end into the PVC casing pipe. A four inch drain flange is secured on top of the casing pipe .

    A pitcher pump is then attached to top of the pipe. To prevent the pump from moving, it is bolted to the board where the flange is installed. To prime the well, we pour some water down through the pitcher pump. Pump out the dirty water until it is clean.

    • How to Recycle Old Used Laptop Batteries to make a DIY 24V 72AH Emergency Backup Battery System
      This project goes into the build of a 1.72kwh emergency backup battery system out of old and used laptop batteries and an old military surplus ammo box. The materials you need to build this project are lithium ion 18650 batteries from old laptops, 4X5,3X5 cell holders, ammo can, 40 Amp BMS or Battery management system, spot welder, fused nickel strip, heat shrink, kapton tape. First we determine how many batteries that we can pack inside the ammo box. In our case, we have 2 packs of 91 18650 cells , a total of 182 cells. We take the 4 X5 and 3 X 5 cell holders and connect them to make a couple of 7 x 13 cell holders. To make this 24V lithium ion battery , we need a 7S ( 7 cells in series connection) combination . A single lithium ion cell has a nominal voltage of 3.7V . To make a single long 7S configuration battery , we connect 7 groups of 26 cells in series to get the 25V nominal voltage. The cells used in the build are Samsung ICR18650 - 28A with a capacity of 2800Mah .The cells are rewrapped with heat shrink and added an insulator disk at the positive side of the cell for safety. The cells are installed on the holder in such a way that the first 26 cells are in a same polarity and are connected in parallel. Next 26 cells are installed with opposite polarity and is the connected in series with the first 26 cells . The rest of the cells are connected in the similar way to make a final 7S 2P ( 7 series and 2 Parallel ) configuration with max capacity of 26 X 2.8mah or 72.8 amp hours. A four wide fused nickel strip is used to connect the batteries in series. The nickel strip is placed over the first 4 cells and spot welded in place using the sunkko spot welder. Each cell is individually fused in case there is short circuit or malfunction. The nickel strip connects the first two rows in parallel and then connects the next two rows in series . Similarly, to complete the series connections, the nickel strips are placed and welded on the opposite side of the pack in such a way that it wont short out the connection by coming in contact with the most negative side of the battery. We take 0.15mm standard nickel strips to connect the positive ends of the whole pack together. The last 2 rows of most positive end are connected together using the nickel strip . Small pieces of nickel strips are placed across these two rows to connect them in parallel . The pieces are bent so that it can be connected to a separate copper busbar. The separate 2 battery pack of 7 X 13 cells are connected together by the nickel fuse strip in such a way that one of the pack is flipped on top of the other. The nickel strip that connects the first 3 connection on the 1st pack is bent to connect the 4th connection on the other pack. A 90 degree bent on the last row of the 4p fused nickel strip is welded on to the first battery pack. A piece of kapton tape is placed over the nickel strip to insulate it and hold it together. The bent nickel strip on the first pack is placed on the other pack is such a way that the fuses are perfectly aligned . Then it is welded using a spot welder. A one sixteenth inch ABS plastic is placed in between the two packs. The second pack is now slowly folded over the top of the first pack. The whole pack is then wrapped around with the kapton tape so that it doesn't move around. The last three unconnected terminals on one side of the battery pack is connected to the single row of unconnected terminal on the other side with help of four nickel strips. The 4p fused nickel strip is cut to connect the 3 sides and the other side. To connect the main negative and the positive tabs , we attach a THHN copper wire across the both the terminal ends. The extended nickel connections are folded across the wire to hold it into place and soldered . The terminal wires are then connected together with XT90 connector. Next step is to connect the BMS or Battery management system to the pack . This is a small circuit board which is used to protect each cells of the battery pack from overcharging and becoming unbalanced and getting damaged. It stop the over draining when the cells are fully charged. The BMS used here is a 7S 24V with charge current of 20A and discharge current of 40A. It has two negative leads, one connecting the battery and the other for charging and discharging. The BMS also has 8 sense or balancing wires which are connected to each series connections on the battery. The black wire is connected to the most negative terminal of the battery. The first red wire is connected to the first series connected group of cells, the second red wire is connected to the second series connected cells and so on. The last red wire is connected to the main positive terminal of the battery. A heat shrink is wrapped around the whole battery pack for added safety . Before inserting the battery pack into the ammo box, a hole is drilled on the back side of the ammo can to allow the cables from the battery to pass through. Also a small piece of one sixteenth inch ABS plastic is placed at the bottom of the ammo box as a support and insulation. The battery is slowly dropped into the box . The BMS is placed on the top and is connected to the XT90 connector and the balance wires from the battery. The B- terminal on the BMS is connected to the XT90 connector on the battery. The black wire on the BMS is the charge and discharge lead. To provide extra insulation between the battery pack and the the ammo box ,we attach two pieces of the insulting ABS sheet on either side of the box. The lid is put back on the box and the battery build is complete.
    • DIY Video :How to build your own Homemade Lumber Mill from Scratch .
      This projects goes over the build of a cheap homemade lumber mill using materials around your home This mill has a 12 inch saw blade purchased from Home Depot that cab do cross cuts, or it can do longitudinal rip cut.I am gonna be cutting the long direction on the word. First step is building the rollers. Four rollers are made out scrap materials lying around. The wheels are made of polycarbonate material .These are adjusted on a drill to ensure that they roll smoothly on the pipes. Next step is the build the tracks.Here I use 2 old steel pipes and welded to make a long one. 3 more pipes are welded on top of those 2 long pipes horizontally to give stability. Make sure the pipes are all lined up . 2 rolling carts are made from the leftover pipes tha slides across the pipes.Make sure these are parallel to each other.4 sliding pipes are bolted on these carts. 4 pieces of pipes are welded on top of these rolling pipes that are paralled to the horizontal pipes below .They act as a crank that can pull the sliding pipes. Threaded holes are put along the pipe that connects the sliding pipes.2 cables are connected in opposite ways to a small spring pulley system that can help sliding pipes move vertically up and down when the top crank is rotated. The Saw Blade is attached to a steel rod.The blade is attached to a washer on the other side to ensure it doesn't fly off. The axle is passed through a square metal box which is bolted using a bearing on both sides. The motors attaches to the top of the box mount .A pulley is then attached to the metal rod from the motor using a small wheel. The next step is to take whole side assembly thing attach it to the cart so it can pivot. Ball bearings are attached to the box on both sides.This must be placed at a very specific distance away from the blade. So that when I flip it the the edge of the blade will line up so it cuts clean without cutting deeper into the wood and without not cutting far enough and leaving it still attached.When its swiveled it will pivot the blade perfectly. Next step is make take the whole motor and blade assembly and attach it to our rails so that it can slide and rotate . We attached 2 pieces on both sides of the motor blade assembly to ensure that the system stays perfectly straight while cutting horizontal or vertical.
    • DIY Video : How to Repurpose an Old Water heater into a Foundry Furnace. Easy to build,Heat up quickly and efficient
      This Video series shows how to Repurpose an Old Water heater into a Foundry Furnace.This is a great way for the do-it-yourselfer to build a foundry furnace that will last a long time, heat up quickly, be fuel efficient, easy to build, and not break the bank!.The materials needed for this build are Old Water heater,Non-firing refractory,100HT ceramic coating,Ceramic blanket.

      Watch the Old Water Heater Foundry Build Series here