The poor man’s ceramic knife sharpener

By Rick Brannan Issue #87 • May/June, 2004 There are few things more frustrating and dangerous than working with a dull knife. In my quest for a sharp knife, I have purchased many different styles of...

Build a pizza oven

By Mike Lorenzen Issue #143 • September/October, 2013 About a year ago, my wife and I traveled around Italy by car. We had lots of wood-fired pizza. Italians make their pizza very thin with some sauce,...

Easy awnings

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #149 • September/October, 2014 A window without an awning is like a lamp without a shade — bare and glaring. In my opinion there's not a window around that wouldn't look better...

Livestock fencing for the small homesteader

By Don Lewis In 1874, a United States patent (#157,124) was issued to Joseph F. Glidden, a long-serving sheriff in DeKalb County, Illinois. His invention — possibly one of the simplest ever recorded by the...

Build this sturdy large-capacity food dehydrator

By Charles Sanders Issue #63 • May/June, 2000 Drying of food as a means of preservation has been around for a long time. Populations in suitably dry climates all around the globe have dried meat, fish,...

How safe is your electric fence?

By Eloise Twining I’ve used solar powered electric fencing on my California ranch for at least 35 years. Over that time electric fencing has proved to be a very effective way of controlling stock safely....

A river rock shower

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #77 • September/October, 2002 The finished shower weighs a ton and cost about $800. Cultured stones, made of pumice and portland cement, weigh about half as much as river rocks. Notched-trowel texturing in the mortar...

Build a Concrete Root Cellar

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #168 • November/December, 2017 I should have been a mole — it feels so safe and cool and quiet to be underground. So when my house burned down 20 years ago and...

Build a barrel stove

By Nick Weston Issue #133 • January/February, 2012 This stove kept me warm and provided an excellent cooking surface for more than six months while I lived in my treehouse. With a bit of nip and tuck...

Build a Simple, Inexpensive Greenhouse

By Jennifer Poindexter Issue #157 • January/February, 2016 Since my family is homesteading on a budget, the task of building a greenhouse had to be done as inexpensively as possible. Luckily, my husband is extremely crafty;...

Dorothy Ainsworth update: Out of the ashes

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #38 • March/April, 1996 I got the dreadful call from my son Eric at 2 p.m. on June 29th, 1995, an hour after I'd gone to work at the restaurant. "Your house...

Determined woman builds distinctive vertical log studio

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #27 • May/June, 1994 When I graduated from high school in 1960, my father wrote in my autograph book, "When you get married and have twins, don't come to me for safety...

New invention— The Fencerunner

By Dietmar Berg Issue #68 • March/April, 2001 Here's a gadget I developed to run barb or barbless wire. You mount it on the back of a pickup truck using the ball hitch (see drawing) so...

A Kid-Friendly Chicken Coop

By Melissa Souza <!-- >!>!>!> Make content-2-col-left = 70% if activating this column --> Issue #159 • May/June, 2016 My family is committed to becoming as self-sufficient as possible, and a huge part of that is growing...

Building a Ferro-Cement Shed

<!-- --> By Robert Van Putten Issue #162 • November/December, 2016 For a year and a half, we lived in an 18-foot travel trailer while building a straw bale cottage. There isn't much space in a travel trailer,...

Build a wood crib with free materials

By Mark R. Roach Issue #156 • November/December, 2015 Trying to stack wood so it stays up without falling can be a challenge. Just when you think you've got it licked, down it comes (or months...