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James Slade on GVCS, June 2012

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June 10, 2012 Cockadoodledoo <i>I'm Patrick Gibbs</i> <i>and I have come out to Creation Flame</i> <i>out near Austin, Texas</i> <i>and I'm here with James Slade, of Creation Flame,</i> <i>who helped build the LifeTrac tractor</i> <i>and the compressed earth block press</i> <i>that are behind us.</i> <i>So, James, what's your experience with these two machines?</i> It's been pretty amazing thus far, very educational, and I find that with these machines, that pretty much anybody can build them if they put the effort forth. <i>What was your experience before you started building these?</i> <i>What was your experience with machine shop work?</i> Very limited. I had taken mechanics back in high school and small engine repair, things like that, but it'd been many years. I pretty much come from an IT computer world. I just decided that after watching Marcin's TED Talk, back around March of last year, 2011, that it was something I needed to do. So I quit my day job, grouped up with a few folks, got some funding, and learned to weld and fabricate steel. And... we produced the OSE "Liberator" compressed earth block machine. <i>And you were the first ones?</i> We were the first ones to replicate any of the GVCS outside of the Factor e Farm. <i>All right!</i> <i>Had you been there before?</i> Not when I started, no. But after we built it, I finally went up there and got to meet Marcin. <i>And what else did you do during that trip?</i> Actually, my second trip up there was in November-December, and I helped do some documentary work on the CEB assembly, the LifeTrac assembly and there's a soil pulverizer attachment that we did assembly videos of. I also helped take the LifeTrac from what's called Prototype 3 to Prototype 4 meaning, it used to have straight arms, and now we have bent arms to bring the load in closer. And we changed how the wheels work. The old wheel design wasn't quite effective as far as the motors that were being used, so we got much larger motors And Marcin had developed these quick-attach wheels so I worked on that, and that was pretty much my second journey there. Since that time, we have come back here, Marcin loaned us another Prototype 3, we brought it here, and turned it into Prototype 4, as you can see. We've expanded upon the quick-attack wheels even further. There was a problem with the shaft slipping, but we've resolved that. We've put in at least 100 hours worth of testing now. We've driven it at least 12 or 13 miles. Lots of typical use and it's holding up really well. <i>Who else has as much experience as you working with the LifeTrac?</i> As far as I know, just Marcin. I know that there's José, that's up there now. He's done some work with Marcin on it. Outside of that, I don't know who would have more experience building and operating these. There's been a few people who've driven them around, but I think I've probably got the most at this point. <i>Was Brianna part of fabricating LifeTracs?</i> <i>I think I heard maybe she was more focused on other...</i> She was more on the CEB, she kind of brought the CEB to this version. And she's been working on the Iron Worker. She might have done some work on the LifeTrac, but I heard the other day that the first time she ever drove one was just recently. <i>We talked about what I've been up to in Argentina,</i> <i>and that we were looking for someone to teach there.</i> <i>As far as folks in Argentina who are looking forward to, at some point, building a LifeTrac</i> <i>and other tools from the GVCS and Argentina-fying them,</i> <i>as we've been talking about over there...</i> <i>How could you participate in that?</i> Well, I could share my experience with that project on what I find works and doesn't work, I have a lot of ideas for upgrades and changes to make this more user friendly, going from prototype to production model. I have a lot of information, as far as what I find works well and what doesn't. Like, we would have to get away from this chain design for tracks. and either go with a series hydraulic system for the wheels or come up with a new design for tracks. The engine works. I could be pretty useful with seeing what we have on hand there and what we could make work. At least save some pain and heartache for learning the wrong way, or tuition, as some friends call it. I've paid the tuition on it, to some degree. so I can save some costs and effort. <i>And you mentioned the difference between metric and imperial?</i> Everywhere else in the world is on metric and we're still on imperial, so building one of these under the metric would help everyone else, not just the US. That's a big thing that needs to happen. <i>If there was money available... if your expenses could be covered,</i> <i>you would be up for going to Argentina?</i> Absolutely. <i>I got to you via an email that Pablo sent you...</i> Correct. <i>that you responded to,</i> <i>so I think Pablo is probably the only one right now who knows your name,</i> <i>but other people will learn your name later this week...</i> Awesome. <i>I imagine.</i> Even if it doesn't work out, I'm still pretty available. Even here, I can help work remotely. Skype and email and pictures and so on and so forth. to support Creation Flame and OSE Argentina with your connections, time, and/or money, contact Patrick Gibbs Open Source Ecology Argentina (on Facebook) find James with Wes, Summer, Aaron, and the rest of the crew at made for OSE Argentina filmed and edited by Patrick Gibbs photos handled with digiKam 2.5.0 video edited with Kdenlive operating system: Ubunto Studio 12.04 time editing: aprox. 4 hours. Subtitling time: 1.5 hours by PabloOK, and 2 hours by Patrick

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 28 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Patrick Gibbs
Director: Patrick Gibbs
Views: 128
Posted by: curious on Jun 14, 2012

(also at ) . . . . James Slade and the rest of the crew at Creation Flame near Austin, TX, were the first to replicate the compressed earth block press -- or any machine -- of the Global Village Construction Set. I interviewed James after a four day stay at Creation Flame, part of my search for people with appropriate experience and skills to participate in the Lifetrac fabrication project convened by Ecovilla Gaia, near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Also seen in this video: Ian Midgley, filming for a documentary about people creating their own reality; and Wes, driving the tractor in some of the clips.


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