After a day and a half of experimentation, I got just enough shock out of a pile of scary red rock to get my cart to work.
To be honest, there’s something about all of this — I don’t remember electrical physics very well but I do feel like there was supposed to be more to it than this.
Maybe it’s the other day’s shock wearing on me, but when things like this go well, and they shockingly do on occasion, instead of being happy about it I get suspicious, like maybe this is all a fever dream and I’m hallucinating that I’m competent with electricity.
Heck, for all I know the shock I took might’ve been someone jolting my heart back to life in “the real world”.
Or maybe it was just me being pessimistic. Hard to tell.
But the wheels work, sort of, and that’s good enough for me today — at least until I wake up from this hells cape and find out I’m still in high school or something.
I’ve made wheels with the typical divot in the middle to ride on my rails, because there’s no point in repeating the past if you’re not going to learn from it. I make them in two pieces and then weld them together using my patented “pour hot metal on one pieces and very very carefully set the other on top of it” welding technique.
If there were more of me I’d say we’d invent welding torches in a few generations, but chances are that I’m either saved or dead before I get around to acetylene.
Anyway, it’s a far sight harder to get wheels to balance and roll evenly than anything our childhood toy sets let on, let me tell you.
(Not that my generation had a lot of toys with wheels to begin with. Mostly antigravity platforms and stuff like that. Flying transports. But my grandfather kept his grandfather’s toys in good repair, so unlike some of my classmates I at least knew what a wheel was when I saw one.)
Gold is easier to turn into rails than iron, that’s for sure. And it’s kind of pretty, in a “wow look at this ostentatious mess” kind of way.
I made these rails with some divots in them to put some of the red rock dust in, hoping that it could work as a mild conducive explosion type thing on the wheels. It’d be easier if there was something — anything — that could measure magnetic fields, but I don’t even have a magnet to make a magnet out of so that I can make an electromagnet to make a motor out of. Or something.
Then I accidentally fell with a pocket full of the red stuff and all but shocked my own heart out,
So I’m treating the red rock with more respect, and introducing it to the gold rails in smaller quantities. Don’t want to shock my own socks off.
Oh! Speaking of which, I saw a sheep in my yard the other day! I mean other than the one I captured! But I couldn’t get this one to come into my pen. I might need to bribe them with something better than weeds when they’re standing in a field of weeds.
I did some testing with the rails i’ve made and they’re definitely not conductive enough to use a spark from some of that red stone to move a wheel on one of my carts.
Oh, by the way, made some carts. Or rather, parts for carts. Mostly wood dipped in iron to make it stronger, heavy as your mom on a double-grav planet, but probably will withstand an explosion from an exploding giraffe-corgi. And some early wheel prototypes that were all crap and went back into the furnace.
The carts are going to be strong and durable and totally useless if I can’t move them. Because if I don’t power these things? No way even I can move them. And I’m out of horses.
So I’m thinking instead of going with more explosive rock (seems like bad plan) I’ll try more conductive metal first. Which means I might finally have a use for all this gold.
Now there are two duckens in my bedroom. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a hole in the wall that they’re sneaking through.
Making all these rails is a lot of work, but it seems to be working out. I’m laying the rails between some of the outbuildings and working on a mining cart design.
I’ve learned in my i’m-not-doing-the-math year plus here that one of the keys to getting stuff done is sizing down to my own abilities. Railroad rails way back in the day were long I-bars of steel that it took multiple hardened men to carry.
Mine are about three feet long, at most, and probably half the gauge. Thus, carryable by your standard mining woman stranded on a rock in the middle of nowhere without even a ducking medpack to patch her up or a strong coffee to give her a boost.
So I’m getting better at this stuff.
But i’m very tired and I have twice as many eggs to deal with as yesterday.