5 Essential Homestead Machines to Have When the SHTF

By J.G. Martinez

Do you intend to someday solely depend on a little patch of land to provide for yourself and your family? Rest assured, these 5 essential homestead machines will be beneficial for those who (like me) have these plans. These are not high-tech devices.

These simple homestead machines will reduce your physical workload during hard times.

5 Essential Homestead Machines

These are homestead machines I find to be quite useful, I will be adding these devices to my homestead for sure.

  • Shredder
  • Windmill Water Pump
  • Grain Mill
  • Waste Oil Burner
  • Wood Fuel Generator

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Here’s why I think everyone planning to live self-reliantly should consider these homestead machines.


A shredding machine shreds things like PET bottles and all sorts of plastic stuff. It can crush aluminum cans and reduced them to shreds. If you are skilled (or even if you want to become skilled) in recycling metals like aluminum (like I know I will have to do in the future), this is something you will need.

I like the versatility, as it can reduce the size of large pieces of whatever you need to crush and is soft. I wouldn’t use it to shred anything other than plastics, soft metals (like aluminum cans), and bones.

Aluminum has a good resale price in economies like ours. Being a metallurgist, I can makeshift a model of some part and cast it.

Note: This is not something a novice should be doing as there are some considerations.

Maybe this shredder needs to take care of some dry cattle bones previously chopped. Make sure to reduce the bones to a proper size beforehand. A shredding machine can crush and cut wood or cardboard debris for briquettes preparation, optimizing our usage of anything combustible. If you have a wood gasifier attached to your generator, this will be a great tool.  

Windmill Water Pump

A relatively simple device, the Windmill Water Pump can be made with a bit of tinkering here and there and some recycled materials. The most common practical uses for a windmill are to irrigate pastures and gardens, water livestock and supply, and aerate ponds.

The good thing for me is that it’s usually windy on my mountain. This device will be pumping water 80% of the time. If your pumping needs are moving your water source anywhere from 50 to 250 feet underground up to the surface, a windmill water pump is just what you need.

Grain Mill

Milling our grain for our meals on the homestead requires a machine. I’ve tried pizza with yucca flour, and it’s excellent! Tons of fiber, too. Venezuela doesn’t produce wheat, by the way. Nor oatmeal, as far as I know.  Grain mills are absolutely essential homestead machines.

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I like two kinds of grinders. One of them is the standard kitchen tabletop grinder. The other one is the rotary balls mill. (Maybe I will build one) You load the product into a cylinder that rotates on its horizontal axis. Hardened ceramic balls inside generate friction with one another and ground the softer material. We use it extensively in the metals industry to grind ores, and the results are excellent. If you are only grinding organic materials, the ceramic balls should last for generations. A very popular manual grain mill among preppers is the Victoria Cast Iron Manual Grain Mill.

Waste Oil Burner

These last few days, I noticed the problem with the diesel supply is now really peaking. Over 300 loaded semi-trucks and mid-sized trucks are in Merida State, where most of the vegetables in the country are grown and transported from to the capital city, Caracas.

But there is no fuel. No Bueno.

Depending on an external source for fuel and surrendering the capability of getting on our truck for any profitable activity to external events is a big NO. After some research, I found that you can process regular plastics with a small setup and a good flame and get diesel by a process called pyrolysis. The process is not that simple, though, and should be done carefully and with some equipment and knowledge of the pyrolysis process. 

Wood Fuel Generator

Believe it or not, you don’t need extreme building skills to build a wood gas generator. Wood gas generators designed in WW2 supplied fuel for agricultural production without affecting the fuel supply to the Army. They are one of the most simple homestead machines that will be worth their weight in gold

In this video, you can admire some designs of wood gas generators, including some aesthetically pleasing for the picky. (Those looking for designs that don’t look like a moonshine refinery attached to your ride. LOL.)

There are some disadvantages, as with many things. Due to the nature of it, careful handling is crucial. Nothing a bit of time and work can’t resolve. The good thing is, these things are simple technology. The basic principle is using the gas as a byproduct of wood pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the process that gets out of the wood the combustible gas with heat instead of burning it in a chimney. Filter the gas. Once it’s cleaned, it can be consumed by your engine just like gasoline. 

These homestead machines are not difficult to build.

This may seem like an intimidating task. It’s not. You may need to enlist the help of someone who can weld a decent bead and use an angle grinder, but that should be enough. There are several step-by-step guides in varying degrees of difficulty. This system feels like something I could use long-term, and it’s flexible enough. 

I learned a few things when researching wood gas generators:

  • This fellow made a wood gas generator. The video is not exactly the best quality. He’s a college engineer, not a movies producer after all.)
  • Here is an article written by researchers, rather than tinkerers, that covers a good part of the technical aspects: Fabrication of a wood gasifier. Some woods can get the engine components dirty with tar goo, a resin product. Not sure how this could result in the long term. The writers of this article mention that a gas cooler is needed to keep the tar out of the engine, which will avoid maintenance problems in the long term.
  • Here is an old FEMA classicsimplified wood gas generator for petroleum emergencies. I suggest you check this out just for a starter. You don’t need a degree in chemical engineering to build a running engine with this.
  • This kid made one, and it worked to run his old three-wheeler.

Depending on the design, building a wood gas generator could require a bit of an initial investment. However, you can use recycled materials to help offset the price. There are many more instructional videos out there. Some of them even show a car running at the end.

NOTE: I haven’t found a reliable source to verify if the syngas can be safely stored. It’s probably better to store it as intended. Handle flammable, explosive gas with great care.

These homestead machines will make life far easier.

This is not exactly the change I was expecting. Sometimes your destiny isn’t what you expected.

The prospect of collecting a payload of plastic, taking it to my hutch, and distilling it to get a $25 jerry can worth of fuel, three times a week, with no rent to pay, no water/power bill, 3-4 days worth of food per week produced by kiddo and me and having fuel is appealing. Clean mountain air and no crime are something to be appreciated until the rest of the world looks like a pleasant place to live in once again. 

Thanks for your reading, and God bless you all!

What about you?

If you already homestead, do you use any of these tools or machines?​ Are there others you would recommend adding to this list? Do you have questions about the machines? Let’s discuss getting the most out of our land (and bodies) with simple machines in the comments.

Source: The Organic Prepper

Jose is an upper-middle-class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle-size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

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