Making a Toaster From Scratch

Where's the fun in just buying a toaster?. (Photo: mama_mia/Shutterstock)

I LOVE this idea: Some guy in England is trying to make a toaster. From scratch.

Not toast, a full-on toaster.

Thomas Thwaites is trying to construct a toaster from the most basic raw materials — hand-mined copper, iron, nickel and mica. He's even trying to arrange a flight out to the North Sea oil rig to collect raw oil to make plastic. Every coil, screw, bar, knob and dial will be hand-crafted from these raw materials.

So far Mr. Thwaites has been able to process iron ore into a small blob of actual iron using his mother's microwave. Here's a video showing how:

It's a great brainpoke for thinking about how detached we are from the things that make our comfortable lives possible. Most of us couldn't even fix a toaster if it broke, never mind the seemingly impossible task of building one from the ground (literally) up. It's the same detachment we have towards the oil and fossil fuels we use, the cows, chickens and pigs that we eat, and ultimately, the enormous impact that our First World lives have on the planet.