about georgesworkshop and george plhak
Thanks for wanting to know more about me.
I am a retired engineer (geological exploration, UofT 1975) now living in Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada. I just moved here this summer so am still busily setting up the new workshop, unpacking and making a new home. I do enjoy exploring the area which is a nature paradise.
what I do on my websites: I write about my original and hopefully useful handmade DIY (Do It Yourself) green projects. I design for local materials and for hand production. Actual photos and data show how I made mine. I demonstrate performance and explore function in different ways. I often make multiple prototypes and test over several years to ensure durability. Not everything works perfectly the first time.
I don't sell finished products. There are no commercial sources I know of for finished commercial product according to my designs but many have been built worldwide. Over 700 plan books have been sold. My books are available at my webstore georgesworkshop.ca.
I want all of my designs to be portable. Many of the parts we need are large so the shipping is expensive. Better to use something we have or something nearby and modify. I explain the rationale so that these trade offs can be made. The pattern shape is electronic and the parts can be machine-made so that production may be scaled or only one built.
These are not inventions of mine nor patented but ideas from others, a few ideas of my own with practical and thoughful implimentation - nothing more. I don't make outrageous promises. These projects will generally not get you off grid power nor run your meter backwards. These projects are not for dummies nor easily built in 10 minutes. You will be challenged even though I have tried to present in a clear and concise manner. Your thoughtful questions are always welcome. georgesworkshop is a work in progress and any input is welcome. I can't respond to every comment, but I try.
I call my approach green repurpose. I use regular mass produced parts and materials from a hardware store and use them for other purposes (plumbing and electrical parts, some lumber and a few bits ordered from the web) to make a practical and robust heat concentrator (solar heater) or an bright and pleasing outdoor night light that uses almost no power.
My project ideas are free and and they work. I don't show you ads. There are no catches, no sponsors. Just my workshop and the working models in detail. Please have a look around.
I have several such projects at georgesworkshop.blogspot.com and www.ffwdm.com which progress as I am able to work on them. The blog is a timeline with some projects assembled in sequence. The main website is an overview of popular projects most with an energy or conservation interest. Thinking globally and acting locally translates for me into things I can build (and show others how to build) that use less resources, save energy and act smarter. I add some science, engineering and a dash of opinion for flavor. I have an indie (independent) outlook.
I have just published a solar parabolic experimenter's manual, a completely re-written and updated book for one of the more complicated projects that has taken ten years to develop. The cost is modest. Your support is appreciated. The rest of my work is all here on the web at the sites above.
You don't have to build exactly the way I did. You may not want to use it the same way. You can use the information in any way that helps you. Your mileage may vary but I give you my complete tests, descriptions, links and performance data. If you build same way, you should get the same results. I show reader examples.
Notice: I take no resposibility. Please - you are on your own and Don't Get Hurt - Be Safe!
My website is handmade and is always undergoing change. I welcome any feedback you offer. I believe if I write clearly the google translate feature will work better. If my writing is not clear in your language, I apologise.
If you are from my past and want to get in touch, please write.
background: Below are some samples from my earlier journey - how I got here - examples of some of the other, very different things which I've done at various points that I hope may interest you. You can click on any image to enlarge it. Write to me if you want to know any more about any of them.