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Monthly Archives: February 2013

New Driveway Impliment

The old ‘pulling a tree behind the truck’ was giving me inconsistent results for a smooth driveway…so I made a new driveway grader from parts…over the summer I will make something more stable..image

..and around 40 atv’s in the woods for the annual ‘wild meat’ party..had some amazing Bacon wrapped pineapple duck!

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..and with the recent storms A* and I thought the Japanese maple should have been sticking up…there was a reason it wasn’t sticking out of the snow! Drat!

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..and the results from the new groomer..works well..but it did take over a week to get the driveway back into shape where we could bring the car up..warm weather kept the snow all Shitty and it would’t settle..but now we are almost into mud season so we will lose the driveway for a couple of more weeks soon too…boo!

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Construction

 

1/3 of a Cord

Took the chainsaw out for a little test run..easing into felling season.

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We cleared out a spot in the roughly in the area where our solar panels will be going this summer..or spring if we get an early thaw.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Construction

 

Rocket Stove Test

OK…so 100% of the people who commented on the ‘Quick Rocket Stove’ post from yesterday wanted to see how the rocket stove worked..never actually having seen one in person I was sort of curious too. I put some paper down the top and lit it and tossed in 2 pieces of 2 inch long pieces of twigs. We had 4 other pieces of kindling from this weekends firewood chopping chores as the fuel.

We have a thin piece of aluminum cut back to act as a platform for the wood to sit on inside the stove intake pipe. Below the platform is where most of the air enters in to provide oxygen for the stove..as it heats up it draws air in faster and you get a hotter fire.

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as the pieces burn down push the ends of the pieces of wood which are sticking out the intake pipe..it is a little hard to see but the platform is there..I am going to suspend it a little higher..this height was a little too low.

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..and as the wood burns lower and lower you keep pushing it in further and further..

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..and in the future there will be a couple of bricks for a pot to sit on..we don’t want to set any pots on the pipe…and for the record heat resistant caulk does not mean fire resistant..the caulk on the top lit on fire 5 minutes in..no biggie. The wood from the first pic kept the fire going for about 20-30 minutes..once I finalize everything I will post up some speed benchmarks too..pretty handy in case of emergencies where you need to cook something..would actually be perfect for camping but it is not the most portable unit..

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Construction

 

Quick Rocket Stove

What goes good with a fresh baked applie pie? A rocket stove..why YES!

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..for those of you who might not know what a rocketstove is: (from wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_stove)

A rocket stove achieves efficient combustion of the fuel at a high temperature by ensuring a good air draft into the fire, controlled use of fuel, complete combustion of volatiles, and efficient use of the resultant heat. It has been used for cooking purposes in many third-world locales (notably Rwandan refugee camps) as well as for space and water heating.

A rocket stove’s main components are:

Fuel magazine: Into which the unburned fuel is placed and from where it feeds into the combustion chamber
Combustion chamber: At the end of the fuel magazine where the wood is burned
Chimney: A vertical chimney above the combustion chamber to provide the updraft needed to maintain the fire
Heat exchanger: To transfer the heat to where it is needed, i.e. the cooking pot.
The fuel magazine can be horizontal, where additional fuel will be added manually, or vertical, for automatic feeding of fuel. As the fuel burns within the combustion chamber, convection draws new air into the combustion chamber from below, ensuring that any smoke from smoldering wood near the fire is also drawn into the fire and up the chimney. The chimney can be insulated to maximize the temperature and improve combustion; according to studies this will increase efficiency by up to two percent more. In a rocket mass heater, the heat is passed into a suitable heat exchanger to ensure the efficient use of the generated heat.

For cooking purposes, the design keeps the cooking vessel in contact with the fire over the largest possible surface area. A pot skirt can be used to create a narrow channel that forces hot air and gas to flow along the bottom and sides of the cooking vessel. Optional baffles guide hot air and flame up the sides of the pot. For space heating purposes, the heat is transferred to a heat store which can, in some cases, be part of the structure of the house itself. The exhaust gases then pass out of the building via the chimney.

The design of the rocket stove allows it to operate on about half as much fuel as a traditional open fire and can use smaller diameter wood. If the stove is insulated and raised from the floor, the danger of children burning themselves is reduced. Some more recently designed rocket stoves are self-feeding, using gravity to add fuel to the fire as required.
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Not that we need a rocket stove seeing as how we have a cookstove..but after seeing one made I wanted one for myself..and the whole project took 1 hour so I am glad that we did it rather than have me keep thinkgin about doing it!

..another snow day..and with the weather outside being so frightful A* and I decided to do one of the projects that has been kicking around..a rocket stove. Most of the the materials for this we had on hand..metal cylinder, high heat adhesive, ashes ( for inside of can to act as insulation) but we did need to buy an elboy a couple of lengths of pipe..I wanted 3inch but was only able to find 4inch.

So the first thing is to draw out the outline of the pipe onto the side of the cylinder..drill a hole then cut out the area as best you can..taking a file and smoothing out any rough spots.

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Push one of the lengths of pipe in to the middle(ish) and attach the elbow..then rough out the cut you are going to need for the top.

At this point I attached all the pipe and made sure everything fit ok..then applied the high heat adhesive to the side.

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We had been saving our ashes (as opposed to putting the hardwood ash onto our flower beds) for around a month)..after the adhesive was set we filled in the inside of the cyliner with the ashes until it was full…some people use sand but ashes are a little lighter and as long as the inside does not catch fire you are fine.

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Pushed the top through the top hole..applied some more adhesive..and done!

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Construction

 

Storms Show Up for a Visit

Welcome home snow..while we have appreciated the stability you brought to the driveway it is better to arrive in smaller amounts..not a 2 day 50cm ordeal.

A* digs out to the partial plow on day 1.

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..beautiful untouched, deep snow. The car being up here is going to be postponed…

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We shovelled out yesterday and ran the truck down the driveway but today the truck was making ruts only so we had to bring out the big guns to drag out behind the truck..

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the guns in this case being a freshly sawn down fir tree to drag behind the truck. So we made 6 passes back and forth:

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…that is about 14% better! Guess the ‘getting spoiled’ portion of this winter is over.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Construction

 

Tree Trimming with Loki

‘..what is that Loki? You don’t like how the Japanese Maple is making you feel small since it grew so much this year?’

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AH CRAP!..Loki basically knawed off 2/3 of the Japanese Maple while out ‘wrestling’ with Jango. WHen Jango does not want to wrestle Loki likes to grab a stick to try to entice Jango..and with all this snow there was not many sticks around…so I guess the Japanese Maple was the substitute. DAMN! It is in a sorry state now..which sucks royally since we had noticed that it really took off this year. Ah well..maybe it will work out fine.

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(usually we take a shot from the land side but here is the land view of the water from the loop)

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And it has been beautiful and cold here over the last couple of weeks..the skaters are out on the lakes in droves..we never usually see anyone when we do our loop but today there were 10 people out on the lake..

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…and it looks like some coyotes and rabbits have been playing tag too..the tracks are all over the place on one of the trails.

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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Construction

 

An Obscured Crescent

..and since we were working on the door area we thought we would take things one step further. A couple of weeks ago I went onto eBay and bought something to obscure the small crescent window in our front door it’s a privacy window film..we had toyed with some curtains and I have even had cardboard up there before..but both did not really look great and either it obscured all the light or still allowed people to look in.

So, we got about 5 times more than we needed..but for $17 bucks it is not a huge deal. We cut out an area slightly bigger than the window ( roughly shaped accordingly)

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..then once we had the rough cut we held it up to the window and used a case cutter to trim it down to the exact size we needed. Sprayed the window with some soapy water and peeled off the side which adheres to the window..

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..no picture but it fits like a glove. An in the past you could see right in but here is the view from the outside now:

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We went with a really base design but there are all kinds on ebay and they range in both price and size…very handy way to let in light while still being able to keep out prying eyes..or thieving eyes since we are mostly concerned with people not being able to see on the rare occasion we are both not home.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Construction, Purchases