Introduction: The Parts of the Mechanical Mathematician

This is a drawing that shows the necessary parts of the mechanical mathematician for making large parabolic solar reflectors. Using it to guide you, you can make parabolic dishes with cardboard, cob, hardiplank or other material.


Dr.Bill (author)2012-04-18

Come talk to me when you have an ACTUAL Instructable~

gaiatechnician (author)Dr.Bill2012-04-18

Hi, drbill, might help get you up to speed. "Kepler's T-Square Construction of a Parabola"
So I suppose my video is the upgraded version that does an entire parabolic dish with very simple tools.
I made it to help people in 3rd world situations. It is the lowest tech way to make a parabolic dish that I could think of.
If you want more, I have videos of making a parabolic dish with it at
I also used this method in the first tracking solar barbecue experiment to make a partial parabolic dish.
The method has been on the web in various forms since 2007 and after many many hours of thought and effort, I don't think a single other person has ever used it. So I will pass on making an ACTUAL instructable. I wasted enough of my (and your) time. I am SO sorry.

Dr.Bill (author)gaiatechnician2012-08-30


fishhead455 (author)2007-12-10

giaatech--if you mail me I shall show you the easier way...using two sticks, a nail, a string...has been working for me for twenty years. Focal point is infinitely variable. With mirrored surface you can bring the focal point close to 2000 deg. F. I am using one now in conjunction with a Stirling engine,(and sun-tracker) to make electricity without fossil fuels...then using the electricity to separate hydrogen and oxygen, (saving the H) and running a fuel-cell which fills the batteries on my DC powered scooter. (Talk about free energy). I am too lazy to make an instructable...sorry.

Rishnai (author)fishhead4552008-07-08

Dude, freaking AWESOME!

Grey_Wolfe (author)fishhead4552008-02-01

I just read some plan for stirling engines yesterday and thought of this very idea. Except for the scooter part. lol About how much did it run you to do the setup? And hows your output, if I may ask?

Pyrowuzzup (author)fishhead4552007-12-11

could you send me your method?

I have another video, cob solar, making the form on utube that shows more but be warned, the vidio quality is terrible. (even worse than this one). Sorry

You are talking about an elipse, right? I use a similar method to make the curve for eliptical planters in stone. I think a long focus elipse would be fine and accurate enough for a solar cooker but the parabola is more "perfect".

Thornburg (author)2007-12-09

Wow your smart, dont know what a parabolic solar reflector is

mrmath (author)Thornburg2007-12-10

PET PEEVE TIME Your --> Belonging to you. "This is your instructable." You're --> Short for You are. "You're very smart."

charmrus (author)mrmath2008-01-06

I like girls. Its fun watching them walk

Thornburg (author)mrmath2007-12-15

Wow, I really dont care. You're very annoying.

CameronSS (author)Thornburg2007-12-09

The top Instructable in the related column shows how to make one. It's a parabolic reflector, like a satellite dish, except that it reflects sunlight, thereby making a single, very hot point. Gaiatechnician (cool username!), I would highly recommend adding a link to your original solar cooker Instructable.

charmrus (author)2008-01-06

he is smart. math makes my head hurt bad

charmrus (author)charmrus2008-01-06

it's hurting now. your funny

servant74 (author)2007-12-11

Youtube says the video is no longer available. :(

gaiatechnician (author)servant742007-12-12

I think they were just down for maintainance. It seems to be still there. Has anyone made a "mathematician" yet? I cannot make more right now because it is winter in Victoria Canada and too cloudy for solar. Brian

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-09

i agree 100% with clamsrule, you are very smart.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a ... More »
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