Recently I made an off the grid washing machine for @mama-pepper and I promised that I’d do a how-to photo post, so here it is.
Here is a basic list of the materials that I used:
55 gallon barrel
30 gallon barrel
1 ¼ inch wooden rod
2 locking clasps
2 X 4 lumber
Short section of hose
Metal to use for a handle
Nuts and bolts
1 ¼ inch PVC pipe
Here are the tools that I used:
1 ¼ inch spade bit
STEP BY STEP PHOTO HOW-TO
Wash and rinse the 55 gallon barrel and the 30 gallon barrel.
Using the power drill with the spade bit, drill holes in the center of the ends of the barrels.
Check that the wooden rod fits tightly through the holes.
Using a smaller drill bit, drill holes randomly in the ends of the 30 gallon barrel.
Use the reciprocating saw to cut a door in the side of the 30 gallon barrel.
The door should be large enough to easily be able to load and unload the laundry through. Take this opportunity to clean the inside of the barrel if need be.
Drill smaller holes randomly in the sides of the 30 gallon
Cut a large door with the reciprocating saw in the side of the 55 gallon barrel.
Clean the inside of this barrel too if need be.
Place the 30 gallon barrel inside the 55 gallon barrel to make sure the size of the door is correct.
Use the spade bit to randomly drill larger holes in the ends and sides of the 30 gallon barrel.
Attach two of the hinges and one of the locking clasps to the door of the 30 gallon barrel.
Cut lengths of the PVC pipe to fit inside the 30 gallon barrel and fix them into place lengthwise on the inside of the barrel by screwing into them from the exterior of the barrel.
Attach the remaining 2 hinges to the door of the 55 gallon barrel.
Attach the remaining locking clasp to the other side of the door for the 55 gallon barrel.
Drill a hole the size of the hose in the bottom corner of the 55 gallon barrel and attach the hose.
Feed the wooden rod through one end of the 55 gallon barrel.
Place the 30 gallon barrel making sure that the door hinges on both barrels are facing the same way and continue to feed the wooden rod through the holes in the ends.
Once the wooden rod is through all four holes on both barrels, center the 30 gallon barrel inside the 55 gallon barrel.
Bend the metal for the handle at a 90 degree angle.
Use the scrap tubing to make a sleeve for the handle.
Drill a hole through the wooden rod for the handle.
Feed the handle through the hole and secure it with a nut and bolt.
Cut the extra portion of wooden rod that extends past the handle off with the reciprocating saw.
Get the 2 X 4 lumber ready.
Screw together four pieces of like length in pairs to form 2 “X” shaped pieces.
Join the 2 Xs together with another 2 pieces of lumber, making the total length just shorter than the 55 gallon barrel.
Use wire to secure the 55 gallon barrel to the wooden stand.
Mount the metal hook to the top of the hose side of the 55 gallon barrel to use as a hose holder.
At this point the assembly of the washing machine should be complete.
Have an assistant put on a helmet for safety and give it a try.
If it passes the test, add some water and laundry detergent.
Then add some clothes and give it a go!