Debt Rattle March 25 2022


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    Michael Reid:

    The pictures of what you have been doing look great!

    Good to see that your fresh water storage tanks are near your woodstove and up high, where the hot air is, because the stored water can absorb a tremendous amount of heat.

    It reminds me of some European stone stoves that contain a very large volume of stone, in the middle of the house, to absorb the heat from the fireplace. The downside of course is it takes longer to heat the place up but then you can let the fire go out at night and the stored heat in the stones will keep you comfortable until morning. In your case the stored water does this for you. So a great way to moderate the temperature swings in your house.

    Yeah, cutting your own lumber and then milling is a good winter project! (The saw dust and milled shavings burn well. I stuff them into plastic bread bags to make my own logs that can be easily stacked and stored.) A lot of work for sure and those saw blades get dull too quickly for my liking. Best to have about 3 blades so you don’t have to constantly stop to sharpen a blade in the middle of a project.

    Another thing about cutting your own lumber is how you store the lumber after it is cut. Especially if it needs more drying or is green. I would think knowing the rings in the lumber can help you figure out how to tie various pieces of cut lumber together, to counter the desire for the wood to warp. (I use the tree rings at the ends of the boards to tell me which way a deck board should be placed up or down. Will it warp up or down? Warping up bad because it traps rain water.)

    I have often used the thin strips, that come from store bought lumber bundles, placed between boards, for air circulation, before stacking them and then tying them tightly together to try and reduce any future warping. A belt strap ratchet works really well for this kind of job since it doesn’t damage the wood so much. Still using top, bottom, or corner wood pieces helps too. Natually I still put any heavy objects I have handy on top of the tied lumber. (If I use ropes, I usually need to drive wooden wedges under the rope to get enough tension.)

    Talking of saw dust, when I was a little kid (3 or 4), my Father had a table saw. He built a wooden drawer underneath the saw, to collect the saw dust. I however loved the saw dust to make little roads on the floor with my dinky toy cars and trucks. Naturally my Father got rather tired of constantly having to clean up my messes. So hidden at the back of the wooden drawer he put a wooden block that had to be turned 90 degrees before the saw dust drawer would open. This stumped me for a week or so until a I got desperate for more saw dust!

    After great amount of circulating of the table saw and studying of the problem, I finally figured out how this drawer locking mechanism worked! Ah yes Murphy’s Law! I made my great break through on the very morning the local firemen were going around town checking everybody’s basement for fire hazards! When they came, my Mother confidently let the firemen go down the stairs into the basement since my Father had the night before cleaned up the basement

    Since it had taken me some time to puzzle out the table saw’s saw dust drawer, there was more saw dust than normal available! I had hit Fort Knots! So I had energetically spread the saw dust all over the basement floor and was busy driving my dinky toys with great abandon, when the firemen came down the stairs with my Mom close behind! Well you can imagine my Mother’s horror to see all of this wonderful saw dust everywhere! The firemen just took one look, laught, and left!

    I was never allowed to live down that event!



    I love your woodstove! You have the glass doors so you can watch the fire without having to open the door to check the fire’s status. This wood stove is of course much more efficient than the woodstoves my Grandmother or my Great Grandmother had.

    Also I think their woodstoves were not completely black but had some kind of lighter colored porcelain covering in the front. More feminine colors! The woodstoves also had round plates on top that you lifted up using a wired lifting handle.

    I do know they sure used a lot of wood! That was one of my jobs. To get more wood for the woodstove. You know “just in time” wood!

    When my Father was courting my Mom on the farm, one of the tests was to see if he could split wood for the kitchen stove! My Father didn’t think he did a very good job of it, but obviously passed the test as far as the women folk were concern! I am sure they were slightly biased!


    @Michael Reid


    Do either of you have any direct experience with a wood furnace? I ordered the Central Boiler Classic Edge 560 HDX Model (for delivery in August). My goal is to eliminate propane as the primary source for heating the boiler. The boiler serves/fuels my Tekmar (Canadian) radiant floor heating system which is the big “draw”.

    Firewood up here is plentiful as all the Conifers are dying due to extreme heat and drought. Oak and Madrone are also available (hard woods good for the furnace).

    See link.


    @Michael – what a beautiful woodstove! Your set-up looks organized and thoughtfully designed.

    – enjoy hearing your stories and reflections – about everything!

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