Primitive Technology: Water powered hammer (Monjolo)

Primitive Technology: Water powered hammer (Monjolo)

I built a water powered hammer called a “Monjolo”. I started by making a water spout from half a hollow log to direct water from the creek. This was set up in the creek and water flowed through it. The hammer was made from a fallen tree. I cut it to size by burning it at the points I wanted it cut (to save effort chopping). Next I carved a trough in one end to catch falling water. This was done first with a stone chisel that was then hafted to an L–shaped handle and used as an adze. This adze only took about an hour to make as I already had the chisel head and cordage made of bark fibre to bind it with.
To save further effort carving I used hot coals from the fire to char the wood in the trough. I put the coals in using “chopsticks” (unused arrow shafts) to transfer them from the pit. The coals were fanned or blown with a wooden blowpipe till the wood in the trough burned. Then the char was scraped out. The sides of the trough were sealed with clay to make sure the wooden sides did not burn away which would effectively decrease the volume of the trough. This was approximately 8 hours work over two days.
With the trough carved I made a hole in the middle of the log as a pivot point. Using the same char and scrape method I burnt a hole right through the log using hot coals and a blow pipe. Again clay was used to prevent wood burning where it was wanted. To burn through the approximately 25 cm diameter log it took about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Another hole was burnt in the end to fit the wooden hammer head and it took a similar amount of time.
A tripod lashed with loya cane was set up at the water spout. The axel of the hammer was tied to one leg, the hammer fitted onto the axel and the other end of the axel tied to another leg. The trough was positioned under the waterspout to collect water and the tripod adjusted so that the resting point of the hammer was horizontal (so water wouldn’t prematurely spill out of the trough).
The trough filled with water, outweighed the hammer head and tilted the hammer up into the air. The water then emptied out of the trough (now slanting downwards) and the hammer then slammed down onto an anvil stone returning to its original position. The cycle then repeated at the approximate rate of one strike every 10 seconds. The hammer crushes small soft types of stone like sandstone or ochre. I carved a bowl into the anvil stone so that it would collect the powder. I then crushed old pottery (useful as grog for new pots) and charcoal. Practically speaking, this hammer worked ok as a proof of concept but I might adjust it or make a new one with a larger trough and bigger hammer for heavy duty work.
This is the first machine I’ve built using primitive technology that produces work without human effort. Falling water replaces human calories to perform a repetitive task. A permanent set up usually has a shed protecting the hammer and materials from the weather while the trough end sits outside under the spout. This type of hammer is used to pulverise grain into flour and I thought I might use one to mill dry cassava chips into flour when the garden matures. This device has also been used to crush clay for porcelain production. A stone head might make it useful as a stamp mill for crushing ores to powder. It might pulp fibres for paper even.

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20 Responses

  1. Primitive Technology says:

    This is a water powered hammer called a “Monjolo”. It’s used for pulverizing materials into powder. I realize it’s under powered but built it as a proof of concept. I may make a larger one in future for milling cassava into flour. It could also be used as a stamp mill for crushing minerals up for some type of use. Anything you’d normally use a mortar and pestle for you can use this.

  2. workhardism says:

    Back in more primitive times, this was the very first tool sold at Home Depot.

  3. Khizer Baloch says:

    I learned most from this channel than i did in school and college combined

  4. Gracz Cs'a says:

    1000 episodes later…
    How to make internet with stone and sticks

  5. Emrah Eşkin says:

    in the north of turkey, water powered hammer has been using to frighten away bears from the area

  6. RosePuff says:

    It’s hard to imagine this guy just sitting at home on a computer and editing these videos

  7. Country Boy says:

    where’s your crafting table?

  8. name says:

    this guy is a Youtube legend.

  9. alias alan says:

    Episode 1283: How to build a pc (with windows 10)

  10. A10 says:

    100 videos later: Mariana trench excavation to gather rare rocks to build UFO

  11. gianni says:

    Friendly reminder: Turn On Subtitles

  12. Edzzakky says:

    Practically the only youtube channel in 2017 without clickbait.

  13. Turn UP says:

    after watching all of his videos,i realized that primitives never existed

  14. Alex Gamer_360 says:

    When his mom told to play outside,He did this and hasn’t been back for dinner in the past 25 years.

  15. Forrest Freeri says:

    Bro u have to listen to me, just say sorry to her and get back home

  16. Eliseo Pena says:

    I showed my baby cousin your videos and now he’s not saying a word and is trying to make a shelter. so thanks

  17. Logan Hansford says:

    I’m just waiting on him to advance to the Bronze Age so we can see how he’s gonna make new tools

  18. Seamist2000 says:

    This dude got our backs after WW3

  19. 60 Second Success says:

    George, George, George of the Monjolo, gotta crack them nuts.

  20. Natural Hair Defined says:

    I don’t know who he is, but this man has a VERY PARTICULAR set of skills!
    He must be protected by the global community for the future.

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