Thomas Thwaites

  • Aired:  11/14/11
  •  | Views: 15,761

Designer Thomas Thwaites explains the process of building a toaster from scratch and shares his final product. (5:30)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, ABOUT

BUILDING A TOAST FRERE

SCRATCH.

I WILL ASK HIM IF HE ALSO

HUNTED HIS OWN BREAD.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

COMING ON.

>> HI.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, YOU

ARE AN INDUSTRIOUS YOUNG

MAN.

I SAW THIS PROJECT ON LINE A

YEAR AGO.

WHEN DID IT START SHOWING UP

ON THE WEBS.

>> ABOUT A YEAR AGO.

>> Stephen: NOW YOU HAVE A

BOOK BASED ON YOU WHAT DID.

IT IS CALLED THE TOASTER

PROJECT.

OR A HEROIC ATTEMPT TO BUILD

A SIMPLE ELECTRIC APPLIANCE

FROM SCRATCH.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: YOU TRIED TO

BUILD LIKE YOUR BASIC

SUNBEAM TOAST FRERE YOUR

KITCHEN FROM NOTHING.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: TWO QUESTIONS,

WHY?

AND WHY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WHAT MOTIVATED

YOU.

>> WELL, I MEAN-- .

>> Stephen: ARE YOU AN

ARTIST.

>> YEAH, WELL, DESIGNER,

DESIGNER.

GRAY AREA, GRAY AREA.

>> Stephen: SO MOM AND DAD

I'M TO THE GOING TO BE AN

ARTIST, I'M GOING TO BE A

DESIGNER, MUCH SAFER

PROFESSION.

>> BUT, YES, SO I TRIED TO

BUILD A TOAST FRERE SCRATCH,

YOU KNOW, AND LIKE LITERALLY

FROM THE GROUND UP.

SO TO MAKE THE METAL BITS,

THE GRILLING APPARATUS.

>> Stephen: BUT WHY, WHY DID

YOU WANT-- WHY DID YOU WANT

TO --

>> HAVE YOU EVER HAD THAT

FANTASY WHERE YOU ARE KIND

OF ON A DESERT ISLAND.

>> Stephen: YES,.

>> BY YOURSELF, MAYBE WITH

SARAH PALIN OR SOMETHING AND--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: I'M A MARRIED

MAN, SIR.

>> SORRY, SORRY.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

>> IT'S A FANTASY.

>> Stephen: THAT IS A GREAT

WAY TO GET A TOASTER.

JUST GET MARRIED BECAUSE YOU

WILL GET ONE.

>> SO BUT WHAT WOULD YOU

ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO DO YOU

KNOW, WHAT WOULD YOU BE ABLE

TO MAKE.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU STRAND

AND A DESERT ISLAND AND YOUR

FIRST INSTINCT IS MAKE TOAST.

AHEAD OF LIKE FISHING POLE

OR FRESH WATER.

ARE YOU DOOMED.

>> I THINK IT BASICALLY SUMS

UP HUMAN CIVILIZATION IN

MANY WAYS.

>> Stephen: THIS IS THE

FIRST, THIS IS-- THESE ARE

THE PARTS.

>> SO TO, YOU KNOW, TO MAKE

A TOASTER I WENT AND THOUGHT

I NEED TO REVERSE ENGINEER A

TOASTER SO I WENT AND BOUGHT

A TOASTER, THE CHEAPEST ONE

I COULD FIND SSES HOW MANY

PIECES.

>> WELL, 400 DIFFERENT BITS

LIKE WHEN YOU REALLY GO DOWN

AND START TAKING EVERY

SINGLE TINY BIT APART THERE

IS 404 DIFFERENT BITS.

ALL PUT TOGETHER INTO THIS

OBJECT WHICH YOU CAN BUY FOR

LIKE FOUR QUID, YOU KNOW,

LIKE $6, I THINK.

>> Stephen: I WAS GOING SAY,

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A SEA

CREATURE.

>> WHERE DO ALL THESE BITS

COME FROM.

THEY HAVE ALL BEEN DUG UP

FROM LIKE HOLES IN THE

GROUND, ALL OVER THE WORLD.

>> Stephen: SO YOU WANT TO

DO THIS YOURSELF.

>> I THOUGHT, WELL, I WANT

TO FIND OUT HOW THIS MAGIC

TRANSFORMATIONS HAPPENS FROM

LIKE ROCKS AND SLUDGE INTO

LIKE THE MODERN WORLD.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

SO ONE OF THE THINGS YOU DID,

HERE IS ANOTHER PHOTO.

THIS IS-- THIS PHOTO, WHAT

ARE YOU DOING HERE?

>> SO MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT

SMELTING IRON YOU KNOW-- .

>> Stephen: SO YOU DUG UP

IRON ORE.

>> I DUG UP IRON ORE.

>> Stephen: WHERE?

>> IT WAS AN OLD IRON MINE

JUST IN THE FOREST NEAR

WALES.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> AND DRAGGED IT BACK TO

LONDON IN A SUITCASE AND

THEN BUILT THIS FURNACE.

>> Stephen: WERE YOU EVER

AFRAID THAT YOU ARE TRYING

TO GET IRON AND SMELT IT AND

GET ALL THESE LITTLE BITS

AND PIECES THAT YOU MIGHT

END UP ON A TERROR WATCH

LIST?

>> THERE WERE A FEW TIMES,

ACTUALLY.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE I'M

BUILDING A TOAST CERTIFICATE

NOT THAT BELIEVABLE.

SO YOU GOT YOUR IRON BUT

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE.

>> SO MY FIRST ATTEMPT

FAILED.

THAT WAS THE 16th CENTURY

WAY AND THEN I FOUND A

PATENT ON-LINE FOR

INDUSTRIAL FURNACES THAT USE

MICROWAVES AND I THOUGHT

WELL MY MUM'S GOT A

MICROWAVE.

SO THIS IS AFTER ABOUT 45

MINUTES OF FULL POWER.

AND YOU CAN SHALL DID --.

>> Stephen: YOU WERE

SMELTING IRON ORE IN A

MICROWAVE.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: WAIT A SECOND

THIS DESERT ISLAND YOU ARE

ON HAS A MICROWAVE.

(APPLAUSE)

>> YEAH, WELL-- .

>> Stephen: REALLY?

IF YOU CAN-- IF YOU REQUEST

MAKE IT HOT ENOUGH THERE'S

YOUR TOASTER.

>> WELL-- JUST PUT THE TOAST

ON TOP OF THE IRON IT WILL

MAKE TOAST, I GUARANTEE YOU.

>> WELL GOOD POINT.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU.

SO LET'S SHOW THE PEOPLE THE

FINAL PRODUCT.

THIS IS THE FINAL PRODUCT,

YOU MOLDED YOUR OWN PLASTIC

CASE FOR YOUR TOASTER.

JIMMY?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: AND DID IT TURN

ON?

>> I DID PLUG IT IN, YES.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

I CAN PLUG ANYTHING IN.

BUT DID IT TURN ON.

>> YEAH T GOT REALLY HOT FOR

ABOUT A SECOND AND A HALF.

AND THEN THE ELEMENT MELTED

ITSELF.

BUT NO ONE DIED.

SO--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: YOU KNOW WHAT

WHAT-- THOSE ARE THE BEST

KIND.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: THE TOASTER

PROJECT.

ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE IN

HERE.

THE GREAT SURVIVAL MANUAL.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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