This Wooden Water Hammer Is a Primitive Hydraulic Press

There are core needs that have been with humanity for as long as it’s been a species. We need to maintain our tribes, we need to gather around fires, we need to tell stories, and like the Hulk stuck in traffic on a Monday morning, we need to smash things. Thankfully, in Primitive Technology’s latest video, our insatiable smash lust is quenched, at least for a bit, with a FDIY (Forest Do It Yourself) water hammer.

The featured water hammer, also known as a monjolo, is essentially a primitive hydraulic press that can be traced back to Portugal. It’s difficult to say when the Portuguese began building monjolos, but using hydraulic power provided by a waterfall or stream in order to drive hammers for smashing grain, old pottery or other materials, seems to date back to perhaps the Zhou Dynasty in China. It’s possible that the trip hammer, a seemingly more advanced version of the monjolo, was invented for the first time as far back as 1050 BC.

As for watching Primitive Technology’s build of the monjolo, it’s simply nine minutes of zen-like building meditation. ProTip: Turn off any other device or music player you have going, make the video full screen, and let the sounds of wilderness relax you. The water hammer is calm like a TV yule log, but also satisfying with the smashies like a Hydraulic Press Channel video.

As far as just how primitive this technology is, the channel’s host — who makes these videos in Far North Queensland, Australia — says that “This is the first machine [he’s] built using primitive technology that produces work without human effort. Falling water replaces human calories to perform a repetitive task.” In other words, his technology is evolving. Any day now he’ll be able to build Lisa the water wheel robot from Futurama.

Image: 20th Century Fox via the Morbotron

What do you think about this primitive hydraulic press? Do you want to go camping or crushing more after watching this video? Let us know below!

Images: YouTube / Primitive Technology 

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