You’ve been seeing metal artstar Hackett around these parts a lot lately. He and the Madagascar Institute made the Jet Ponies at last year’s World Maker Faire New York, he’s a guest contributor to our metalworking month skillbuilder, he was a guest on last week’s Make: Live, and now stars solo in a new show on the Science Channel. The premiere of Stuck With Hackett is 10:30pm ET on Thursday August 18th.
Couched as “MacGyver meets Survivorman,” the show promises solutions to interesting problems in an abandoned railway yard, an aviation junkyard on the edge of a dry lake bed, and plenty of other typically suboptimal locales filled with raw building materials he calls “obtanium.” The first episode has Hackett building a gasifier:
Alone in an abandoned rail yard, Hackett is faced with an enticing challenge…taking the rusted old wreckage around him, and using it as a life-sized train set to build his own working locomotive. But he hits a hurdle when he runs out of the only available gasoline in the yard. Without access to modern fuel…or any help— Hackett turns back time and resorts to Victorian technology. In order to get his train on the tracks, he must wrestle steel parts several times his size, fire up a super-hot invisible hydrogen flame, and resurrect Industrial Revolution-era techniques to turn wood into an explosive gas that will power his personal locomotive.
I got to see a bit of the filming of this episode, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the projects in the series. The episode guide has me looking forward to a scratch built washer/dryer, snowy mountain hot tub, thermite hamburgers, and something called a “dirt boat.” One Make: Live viewer writes, “I like Hackett’s teaching style. It’s entertaining enough that I don’teven realize I’m learning.”