The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: My Gulching Experiences  (Read 9320 times)

Shevek

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 970
  • Liberty-Minded Fussitarian Nit-Picker
    • Simple Liberty
My Gulching Experiences
« on: April 22, 2007, 07:44:38 pm »

This past winter I wrote a lengthy essay about my gulching experiences. Recently I decided to post that effort. I'd appreciate any comments or criticisms, editorial comments, etc. To me the piece seems unfinished, so feel free to comment in that vein or ask questions. Provide your comments here, in a PM through this forum, or through my web site.

Gulching

Thanks. :thumbsup:
Logged
"But there was always time for swimming and for talking, and never a time by which a task must be finished. There were no hours: only whole days, whole nights." The Children of the Open Sea, The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.simpleliberty.org/   http://humanreadable.nfshost.com/

ripsnort

  • Guest
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 08:26:33 pm »

Well written with alot of good info!  You covered much ground.  Folks thinking about moving to the country and gulching can benefit from this.  Burning 6 - 7 cords tho, sounds like its time to add insulation.
Logged

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5855
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 09:49:58 pm »

Well written with alot of good info!  You covered much ground.  Folks thinking about moving to the country and gulching can benefit from this.  Burning 6 - 7 cords tho, sounds like its time to add insulation.

He's using a wood fired furnace system to heat the home instead of a convection heating wood stove, if I read right.  His boiler for his furnace might use 3-4 foot long logs and burn all day long on a single load. 

Where I live (NE Oklahoma), we use a convection heat wood stove (with an electric blower to help force the warm air out into the room) and we burn between 4 and 8 ricks (face cords) of wood a winter, depending on how cold the winter is and what kind of wood we're burning.  We also have to load our stove 2 - 4 times per day, again, depending on the wood we're burning and how cold it is.

All in all, a good essay, Shevek.  I don't get the impression that it's unfinished, but if you do, there's probably something you wanted to say that you forgot about. 
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

coloradohermit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1472
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2007, 10:35:49 pm »

     Outstanding essay! Thanks for taking the time to share it.  It largely parallels our 'gulching' experience except that our electrical inspector just beat the snot out of me with all his nitpicking over my homeowner/contractor electrical work(you have to use green wire nuts on the ground wires, why do you have so many outlets?, you need a blue junction box and not a grey one because grey ones are outdoor only(WTF?), etc).
     While I would never discourage anyone from gulching, and I wouldn't change one single thing about our experience(out of plumb walls and all), I think folks pursuing the dream of "divorcing themselves from a crumbling and incompetent society", as you so well phrased it, need to go into it with their eyes wide open.  It's amazingly rewarding and satisfying, but it's also a lot of hard ongoing work.
     I'm still digesting your other essay, Am I free?, but I see the 2 essays/situations as very much tied together.  There's a very large discrepancy between the ideal that looks good on paper and the actual pragmatic dirty work.
     Thanks again for sharing. Invaluable insights here!
Logged
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

What luck for rulers that men do not think. - Adolf Hitler

Lead, follow or get out of the way.

Roy J. Tellason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5996
  • Techy Kinda Guy and Serious Bookaholic
    • Roy J. Tellason's Home Page
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2007, 12:52:14 am »

This past winter I wrote a lengthy essay about my gulching experiences. Recently I decided to post that effort. I'd appreciate any comments or criticisms, editorial comments, etc. To me the piece seems unfinished, so feel free to comment in that vein or ask questions. Provide your comments here, in a PM through this forum, or through my web site.

Gulching

Thanks. :thumbsup:


Still working my way through it,  I'm particularly struck by this part:

Quote
I never adapted well to urban life and the rising popularity of sub woofers in the 1990s was more or less the final straw in my decision to relocate. To this day I have a strong primal urge to destroy any vehicle that contains subwoofers and ring the neck of the owner. I am not prone to violence and such a reaction bothers me, but anybody who thinks subwoofers are cool is simply an idiot, rude, and is a life form deserving of cruel and unusual punishment.

I've often felt that I would be interested in knowing how those things would sound with a number of (insert caliber of choice here) holes in 'em...    :-)

You might want "wring" there where you say "ring",  though.  Similarly,

Quote
how I could have build differently or more efficiently.

"built"

Quote
Bear in mind that heating with wood requires labor indoors to.

"too"

Quote
I had the deep well drilled before I started excavating and building. Although unused in my situation at that time, such a choice potentially provides water before a person starts building. If planning to gulch in stages, then drill the well early. Add a temporary hand-pump. Then water is available while using the land for camping trips and when building.

I was of the impression that a hand pump wouldn't work all that far down.  Is that the case?

Quote
For northern and mountainous climates be sure to have the means to plow snow.

Is that pickup of yours 4WD?  I have a truck,  but decided early on that a bit less mechanical complexity to deal with sounded pretty good to me.  I've no thoughts about attaching a plow to it,  though.

Quote
Always charge the battery after plowing snow. Snow plowing is especially tough on a truck or jeep battery. On some vehicle models, expect to replace the alternator more often than normal too.

In my retail battery store experience,  those who did best were those that had a separate battery and a heavier-than-normal alternator for those big heavy-duty plowing setups.

Overall a good read.  There was a time once,  some decades in the past,  when I might have felt all that ambitious,  but that's not the case any more.  A manufactured modular or double-wide might do it,  perhaps with a shed or two,  garage,  etc. attached would probably do me these days.

She wants to be right in some town,  I'd rather be out there a bit.  My main consideration is to get out of the path of the insane level of development that I've seen in this area over the years we've lived here -- roads with *no* lights going to bunches of them,  what was 2 lanes is now _eight_,  what was open farmland is now town houses,  etc.  Seems like anywhere around here is getting to be that way,  sometimes.
Logged
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
--
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

Roy J. Tellason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5996
  • Techy Kinda Guy and Serious Bookaholic
    • Roy J. Tellason's Home Page
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2007, 12:57:56 am »

     Outstanding essay! Thanks for taking the time to share it.  It largely parallels our 'gulching' experience except that our electrical inspector just beat the snot out of me with all his nitpicking over my homeowner/contractor electrical work(you have to use green wire nuts on the ground wires,

WTF?  I've never heard of such a thing...  Hell,  for ground wires I wouldn't bother with a wire nut at all,  probably.

Quote
why do you have so many outlets?,

What specific section of code addresses this issue?  I'd be all over them on that...  I like my convenience!  :-)

Quote
you need a blue junction box and not a grey one because grey ones are outdoor only(WTF?), etc).

Never heard that one,  either.  But then last time I bought a bunch of that stuff I used all metal boxes anyhow.

Quote
While I would never discourage anyone from gulching, and I wouldn't change one single thing about our experience(out of plumb walls and all), I think folks pursuing the dream of "divorcing themselves from a crumbling and incompetent society", as you so well phrased it, need to go into it with their eyes wide open.  It's amazingly rewarding and satisfying, but it's also a lot of hard ongoing work.

Oh yeah.

I've been in the habit of doing most of the work on our vehicles,  but limited by both the need for specialized tools (wheel alignment ferinstance) and climate (it was just too damn cold to be out there on the street in front of this place to work on mine last time I had a problem,  and I've done some home repair type stuff,  and know exactly what you mean there.
Logged
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
--
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

Rarick

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7795
  • Rarick in the Gulch-O-Dome did decree.......
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2007, 05:59:37 am »

     Outstanding essay! Thanks for taking the time to share it.  It largely parallels our 'gulching' experience except that our electrical inspector just beat the snot out of me with all his nitpicking over my homeowner/contractor electrical work(you have to use green wire nuts on the ground wires,


WTF?  I've never heard of such a thing...  Hell,  for ground wires I wouldn't bother with a wire nut at all,  probably.

It's gotta be a local thing, I have never seen any specification for color coded wire nuts. 

Quote
why do you have so many outlets?,


What specific section of code addresses this issue?  I'd be all over them on that...  I like my convenience!  :-)

you need a blue junction box and not a grey one because grey ones are outdoor only(WTF?), etc).

The code defines minimums, if you have more then no problem.  you can use an outdoor box for an indoor application, but not the other way around.  The outdoor box has to pass tougher standards. Once again the code is about minimum standards if you exceed the quality specified, no problem.



Quote
While I would never discourage anyone from gulching, and I wouldn't change one single thing about our experience(out of plumb walls and all), I think folks pursuing the dream of "divorcing themselves from a crumbling and incompetent society", as you so well phrased it, need to go into it with their eyes wide open.  It's amazingly rewarding and satisfying, but it's also a lot of hard ongoing work.


Oh yeah.

I've been in the habit of doing most of the work on our vehicles,  but limited by both the need for specialized tools (wheel alignment ferinstance) and climate (it was just too damn cold to be out there on the street in front of this place to work on mine last time I had a problem,  and I've done some home repair type stuff,  and know exactly what you mean there.


Go down to your local bookstore.  You can probably find a NEC or National Electrical Code handbook in the technical or text book sections.  You will have to ask for a "Local" code handbook from the local building inspector.  I think you got a fairly junior one or a "Functionary" who is used to looking at development houses and just knows what is "normal" but doesn't really know the code.  Did he pass you?  If he didn't ask for quote of the specific section of code and where you can find the references.........  The code does have a lot of space for "local standards" and often has "Inspector Defined" areas, but only where the various sections state that.  Every exposed connection HAS TO HAVE a wire nut or at least electric tape , you can cause some serious and hard to find faults and hazards (burn the house down sized) if you don't.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 06:10:11 am by Rarick »
Logged
........Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side, a darkside and holds the universe together.  It is theoretically reinforced with strings too.  (The dome has a darkside, lightside and strings of rebar for reinforcement too!)
-------------------------------------------
Most of the time news is about the same old violations of the first principles of consent and golden rule with a dash of force thrown in........ with just enough duct tape to be believable.

Shevek

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 970
  • Liberty-Minded Fussitarian Nit-Picker
    • Simple Liberty
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2007, 02:40:33 pm »

Quote
I was of the impression that a hand pump wouldn't work all that far down. Is that the case?
I don't know why not. I suppose there are some practical limits. Pre Y2K a neighbor added a hand pump to his deep well despite already having a submersible pump. I don't know the exact depth of the casing or water level. They are located at the top of a hill, however, so pretty deep. I remember an uncle telling me when he was a kid walking over to the place and how deep the pit was when the original people built there.

Quote
Is that pickup of yours 4WD?
Yup.

Thanks for catching the typos. :thumbsup: The original author is always the worst proofreader of his or her own writing!

Quote
. . . except that our electrical inspector just beat the snot out of me with all his nitpicking . . .
I'm not taking sides in the following story, but a year or two after I finished my house one of the local millionaire bigwigs was adding to one of his business properties. The electrical inspector in charge wanted to play the nit-pick game with the millionaire. The millionaire called somebody way up in the political food chain and within the week the inspector lost his license.

I recall inviting the owner of one of the local electrical companies to browse my house and my wiring plans. He told me that the code required me to install a receptacle at the end of one of my kitchen cabinets because although not an island, the cabinets jutted far enough out to be "too far" away from the boxes in the wall. I said no way. He jumped all over me that I had no choice. I never did install the box.

My guess is that the inspector you had was "green" himself. He did not really know the code except superficially. As mentioned, the code establishes minimum standards. I built with an excess of receptacles too because I learned through the years of moving often and renting that most houses have too few and then one has to play the extension cord game. And I did not concern myself with whether a circuit run should use 14 or 12 gauge wire, I simply installed 12 gauge everywhere except for the smoke detectors. Cost more over the counter to buy all 12 gauge, but that way I could expand a circuit later if I wanted, which I have done.
Logged
"But there was always time for swimming and for talking, and never a time by which a task must be finished. There were no hours: only whole days, whole nights." The Children of the Open Sea, The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.simpleliberty.org/   http://humanreadable.nfshost.com/

Shevek

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 970
  • Liberty-Minded Fussitarian Nit-Picker
    • Simple Liberty
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2007, 03:39:24 pm »

Quote
Burning 6 - 7 cords tho, sounds like its time to add insulation.
I'm unsure of the basis for that comment. The house is new construction with 6 inch exterior walls. Attic has R-49 equivalent and the exterior walls R-19. All interior walls (4 inch) are insulated, though more for sound-proofing than to retain heat. The floor joists are insulated too. ROI with additional insulation is already beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Bear in mind that I am located north of the 45th parallel. That means the number of cold days outnumber the warm days. I burn fires in the summer, sometimes for heat, sometimes to draw some of the moisture from the basement from the summer humidity. Two (three?) summers ago we had one of the coolest summers in years and I burned a wood fire approximately twice a week for heat.

Also, my office is in the basement. Although finished and carpeted, and the framing walls are insulated, those cement walls and floor are nonetheless huge heat sinks. I never again would build my office in a basement, but that is all hindsight.

I burn a mixture of hard wood and "gopher" wood. Gopher wood is soft woods and the name is derived from the joke that when burning soft woods a person stokes the fire and then has to "go fer some more" wood because of the faster burn rate. I burn whatever I find in my woods and often that means a lot of dead wood. Dead wood is much drier than green wood let to dry for six months and like soft woods, therefore burns faster. Soft woods around here includes primarily popple and basswood. I don't purposely fell those kinds of trees, but if a wind storm knocks one down, or I discover a dead tree, I burn the wood. Overall I'd say my stock is usually 65% hard woods and 35% soft woods.

I know some people who refuse to burn anything but hard woods, but that is harder on the forest supply because generally new trees must always be felled. I know some people who burn only soft woods because that wood is easier to cut and split. There are no right or wrong answers, only what works best for each person.

With that all said, my unscientific observation is that 6 to 7 full cords (for lurkers a full cord is approximately 4' x 4' x 8') is darn good in this area. I know people who burn approximately 10 full cords with their older homes. Also, when I burn 6 to 7 full cords I am not using the propane furnace. Many people burn wood as a supplement to their existing furnace and they would naturally burn much less wood.

Lastly, heating with wood is not efficient. Unlike a modern furnace, there is no nice or easy way to start and stop the burn process. Regulating a wood fire is a challenge. Therefore heat does escape up the chimney. The fire box in my wood-burning boiler does contain a deflector to help retain some of the heat but allow the smoke to move up. Still, not terribly efficient.

I used a temperature switch snagged from a discarded water heater to act as a safety switch to prevent the water in the boiler jacket converting to steam. With respect to a hydronic heating system, this is another aspect of heating with wood that most people might forget. Without the direct ability to stop the burn process, there must be a way to dump the heat. When the switch closes all three zone valves open to dump heat and relieve system pressure. Thus, in a typical winter day when the fire is roaring, the system dumps often to the zones until the fire starts to subside and then is more easy to control. That continual dumping means the house usually is warmer than I would maintain with just the propane boiler. But I don't mind because my middle-aged bones prefer extra warmth rather than a lot of layered clothing. Regardless, heating with wood is not as efficient as a modern furnace and that is something to consider in any gulching project.

Modern wood burners, the convection (scorched air) type, do come packaged with controls to help better regulate the draft and burn rate. I probably could add similar controls to my old furnace, but is the additional cost and complexity worth the effort? Probably not. I do often partially close the stove pipe damper, to help slow the burn rate, but I don't burn that way all the time. In addition to the type of wood burned, a hot fire is best to minimize creosote build-up. I sweep my chimney only once per year because I do not have a creosote problem. I also never burn evergreens because the "pitchy" wood is a source of creosote.

Quote
He's using a wood fired furnace system to heat the home instead of a convection heating wood stove, if I read right. His boiler for his furnace might use 3-4 foot long logs and burn all day long on a single load.
The fire box is approximately 22 inches long and 15 inches wide. Although I could stoke the box with wood that long, I am not one of those guys with Popeye forearms and the leverage for holding such a log would be too much for my skinny frame to bear. I cut my wood to 14-1/2 inch lengths. I split anything wider than 5 inches or so, simply to reduce the overall weight of each piece. That is a good length and size for me to stack my rows and count my stock, and is a good size such that I do not burn my hands when adding logs to the fire. However, I do use welding gloves often enough to add logs to the fire because I do not like throwing logs into the fire box because that adds structural wear-and-tear to the grates and the fire bricks crack easily.

Quote
I don't get the impression that it's unfinished, but if you do, there's probably something you wanted to say that you forgot about.
The feedback in this thread has provided me ideas to expand or refine the essay. ;)
Logged
"But there was always time for swimming and for talking, and never a time by which a task must be finished. There were no hours: only whole days, whole nights." The Children of the Open Sea, The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.simpleliberty.org/   http://humanreadable.nfshost.com/

Moleman

  • Guest
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 05:26:05 pm »

A very interesting and educational read.
Logged

jdemaris

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 119
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 08:53:44 pm »

Burning 6 - 7 cords tho, sounds like its time to
add insulation.

I burn sometimes 12 full cords in a bad winter - all good hard maple, beech, and red oak. And my house is very well insulated. I suspect you never lived  somewhere that gets down to 35 below 0 in the winter? 


Then water is available while using the land for camping trips and when building.

About the water - a simple hand pump working on suction can only pump down about 25 feet.  But, a deepwell hand-pump setup property - with the pump-handle above ground - and the pump-piston set down deep - can pump from a couple of hundred feet of depth.

And, about the battery for plow vehicle?  I don't get it.  I've got three plow trucks. One with the Fisher plow is full hydraulic (no electric).  But, I also have two Western plows that use a couple of relays that control an electric-hydraulic pump.  I plow several accounts all winter and been doing it for 30 years.  My batteries in my plow vehicles last just as long as anything else.  If the alternator is working properly, it will supply - quickly - whatever is taken from the battery.  I can't imagine how you are going to plow in such a way that you drain the battery - unless you're doing so with the engine just barely running above idle and/or the alternator is not working.  I've been a diesel truck and auto mechanic for  40 years and this is first I've heard about the perceived battery problem.
Quote


In regard to "gulching" itself - still can't get used to that term - seems a bit silly to me.  The lifestyle that it seems to connote though - is the way a good number of people have lived their entire lives. certainly isn't something new - but maybe there's a resurgence?   I call it simply being frugal with an attempt to some degree of self-reliance. Seems it exists more in rural/farming communities though - and even in those places seems to be dying out.

I've never had a high income - can't say I ever tried.  Never had a car loan or a mortgage either.  The farmhouse my wife and I live in now was built 1820 and had no heat, insulation, or plumbing when we bought it.  Jacked it up, fixed the foundation, added an addition plus two barns and a workshop. Logged and had milled much of the wood we used.  House is on 5250 watt solar-electric.  Water- we have three systems.  A old dug well - the original now inside the house with a pitcher pump, also a 120' drilled well with a submersible pump/and hand pump, and a spring up on the mountain behind the house - which gravity feeds water here.  Heat- four systems.  An oil  hot-air furnace that works - but hasn't been turned on in years.  A wood-hot-air furnace with hot-water coils (makes all our winter hot water), and also a  soapstone high-efficiency wood stove that heats by convection only.  Works great for "middle-of-the-road" weather when we need some heat - but not enough to justify using the big wood furnace.  We also have several non-vented LP 30,000 BTU room heaters - they work great and require NO electricity.  Good for backup.
 Kitchen - my wife teaches classes on wood cooking - and likes to do it at home. We have a propane stove (classic Chambers), a wood cook stove and oven, an oil cook stove, and a Rumford wood-cooking fireplace with an attached brick bake-oven.
 We have 70 acres here of contiguous land in central New York (Otsego County) - with no neighbors in sight.  Also got another 100 acres to two other remote regions of New York - in the Tug Hill Plateau (Jefferson Co.) and in the Adirondack Mountains (Hamiton Co).  In the Adirondacks - we have a well insulated cabin I built. Has a small 800 watt solar electric system, outhouse, artesian well, wood heat - and is adjacent to 1000s of acres of remote state land.  That's our "back up" reteat incase we ever have to leave our home in a hurry.
 In regard to doing things for ourselve - versus hiring out.  I've worked as a mechanic, housebuilder, plumber, electrian, truck-farmer, maple syrup producer, a well driller, - and a anthropologist/researcher.  Yeah - the last one is a non-sequitor.  I got run over by a farm tractor 15 years ago, got a broken neck, was partially paralized for awhile, - so - I went to college and got a couple of degrees. Then tried to use my new credentials in the "professional world of erudites" and could NOT stand it.
 I raised four children - but those are grown and gone with their own kids now.  But we now have a sort of now one  - 3 1/2 years old.  Our lifestyle is somewhat labor intensive - and I worry sometimes that - at some point - I just won't be able to  handle all the labor involved in our lifestyle.  But, guess we'll figure that out when it becomes necessary to do so.

I kind of got off track here.  Since the person who started this thread asked for comments - here are a few in regard to some of the following statements:

"Another hard-learned fallacy is that self-sufficiency is an illusion. There never has
been a single human who was self-sufficient"

True - but no living thing is totally self sufficient. With humans - there are certainly differing levels of self sufficiencly.

"The lone wolf might be able to survive without help, but not a lone human."

There are many people that have lived as complete loners.  Not something I choose to do, but some have and suceeded at it - especially in the Adirondack Mountains.

" Many people who want to gulch also want to live off grid. Learn now to live with less
grid before trying to live off grid."

I agree 100 %.  When we decided to install solar-electric - we spent two years first - trying to make our useage of electricity more efficient.  We went from 1000 KWH a month down to 250 KWH before changing over to solar. 250 KWH with a big house, farm animals and a barn a auto/tractor workshop, etc. is pretty good.


"Having a deep well for the water supply means needing a filtering system. By basic
health standards my water is wonderfully clean and safe, but like many water wells,
provides hard water. Filtering also is necessary because of basic sediments in the
water.  The experienced well drillertapped a higher aquifer but decided to drill deeper to about 120 feet. I’m glad."

That is not always the rule about deep wells and filtering.  In my area  - a deep well with the pump installed properly - at LEAST 15 feet off the well bottom will be free of sediment and grit. Grit in the water is usually a sign of the well -pump being set too deep.
 In regard to wells and hard-water. Again, in my area of New York - the more shallow the well the better the quality - but usually the less the output. As you drill deeper, you get more yield but also more minerals, sulfur, iron bacteria, etc.

"The unintended benefit, however, is that unlike copper, the plastic does not interact
with the hard water and sediment. My pipes remain unclogged"

Never heard that one and never found a copper pipe plugged with corrosion. In fact, years ago - we pulled many a galvanized pipe because they DID plug something awful with corrosion. Maybe this is a regional thing with destructive minerals not found here in New York?

"Yet, sadly, often I find little joy in my accomplishments because I live in a world
surrounded by willfully ignorant idiots, nazis, charlatans, and parasites who would
not think twice about stealing and depriving me of all I have accomplished."

Yes - quite true - and getting truer all the time.  Socialism under the guise of Liberism. Work hard so someone else can sit back - and make you share - what you worked for - with something who chose NOT to.




Logged

Shevek

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 970
  • Liberty-Minded Fussitarian Nit-Picker
    • Simple Liberty
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 09:06:44 pm »

Quote
I can't imagine how you are going to plow in such a way that you drain the battery - unless you're doing so with the engine just barely running above idle and/or the alternator is not working.
Bingo. I plow only my driveway and never get to ramp the engine. You get to travel to customer sites and then return home, which provides the opportunity to recharge the battery.

Quote
There are many people that have lived as complete loners. Not something I choose to do, but some have and suceeded at it - especially in the Adirondack Mountains.
Yes, but only after that person has depended upon others for many years to provide sustenance and skills. Additionally, that was in the day when the parasites were fewer in number. I doubt anybody today can live the same way in the hills if only because of the property tax extortion.

Quote
250 KWH with a big house, farm animals and a barn a auto/tractor workshop, etc. is pretty good.
Very good!

FWIW, I've updated the essay, mostly with my responses in this thread. However, I have expanded the Conclusion section if you are interested. I might add some pics but I haven't decided yet . . . .
Logged
"But there was always time for swimming and for talking, and never a time by which a task must be finished. There were no hours: only whole days, whole nights." The Children of the Open Sea, The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.simpleliberty.org/   http://humanreadable.nfshost.com/

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5855
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 09:27:16 pm »

Quote
He's using a wood fired furnace system to heat the home instead of a convection heating wood stove, if I read right. His boiler for his furnace might use 3-4 foot long logs and burn all day long on a single load.
The fire box is approximately 22 inches long and 15 inches wide. Although I could stoke the box with wood that long, I am not one of those guys with Popeye forearms and the leverage for holding such a log would be too much for my skinny frame to bear. I cut my wood to 14-1/2 inch lengths. I split anything wider than 5 inches or so, simply to reduce the overall weight of each piece. That is a good length and size for me to stack my rows and count my stock, and is a good size such that I do not burn my hands when adding logs to the fire. However, I do use welding gloves often enough to add logs to the fire because I do not like throwing logs into the fire box because that adds structural wear-and-tear to the grates and the fire bricks crack easily.

It was a guess.  I've known people that had systems like what I described and they go through 5 - 8 cords per year in OK instead of 4 - 8  ricks (face cords) because they're burning much bigger loads at a time.  They load more at a time, but load less often.

You being up in the cold and snowy also explains a large part of it, though.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

ripsnort

  • Guest
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 09:36:40 pm »

R- 19 is OK for an exterior wall - with no thermal breaks.  If you have a standard 2x6 wall then 15%plus of it is thermally broken.  There are a variety of technics for elliminating thermal breaks.  R-49 in the ceiling is still recommended, but nowhere near "beyond the point of diminishing returns".  I just put R-69 in a roof and wish I put a bit more.  At current fossil fuel prices the payback time for going from R-60 to R-69 was 7 years - but I burn wood too.  I think of a heat sink as something that stores energy, it sounds like you are losing heat thro your basement walls.  To use them for heat storeage insulate the outside of the basement wall - yeah, its a real pain after you've backfilled!!!  I used R-16 everywhere underground including under the floor and below grade wings.  If there is a next time I'll use more - you only pay for insulation once and you have to cut wood every year.  

BTW
The best way to regulate a wood stove is with a bi-metal spring operated air intake.  Usually a very easy retrofit.
A hand pitcherpump on top of a well or in the house will pull water up around 25'.  If the water is any deeper than that the pump mechcanism is down in the well and the handle is on top of the well and the water is pushed to the top - that can be way over 100'.
A drilled well can be 100s of feet deep and the static water level can be anywhere from the bottom to coming right out the top (artesian) - doesn't matter if you are on a hill.
Logged

penguinsscareme

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4920
  • Keeper of the red button
Re: My Gulching Experiences
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2007, 09:47:42 pm »

I've said it before, but it bears repeating -- Shevek, you are an asset to TCF.
Logged
O Lord,
Thine Ocean is so great,
And my boat is so small.

Sportos, motorheads, dweebies, wastoids...they think he's a righteous dude.

The utter waste of our $2,000,000,000 a day military-industrial machine was never demonstrated more vividly than on 9/11.

You do what works.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up