Apparently you can pull gigantic Fresnel lenses out of old rear-projection TVs. So I'm thinking - Gigantic solar death ray + Crucible + some fire-brick = A now power, no gas, no coal option for casting small amounts of metal - jewelry and small parts.
There are three rear-projection TVs in the freebies section of Craigslist just today, so the materials are definitely there. A tenative parts list would be
- 2x2s and 2x4s for the frame
- Gigantofuckinghuge Fresnel Lens
- Some kind of locking pivots to allow the lens to be adjusted to the right orientation relative to the sun
Burny stand thing
- 2x4s to build a frame
- Alternately - weld up a steel frame, though that's beyond my skill set
- Fire-brick to form a relatively heat resistant surface
If I had a truck and another set of hands I would totally be up for grabbing one of these things, taking it apart, and setting things on fire this afternoon. Alas, no truck.