My warning is based on knowledge of tempered glass in general and a single experience of an employee walking across a glass top range during a cabinet install. It shattered like tempered glass, but I have no info about how that particular glass was labeled.
Not a frequent poster here, but hopefully you can see past that. Please don’t cut that glass top! Often times tempered glass will shatter when being cut, but if it doesn’t using it in high heat could be seriously dangerous. The reason being: tempering glass adds a huge amount of surface stress all around the entire piece. This results in super strength properties compared to annealed glass, and the “safety feature” of catastrophically shattering into small bits (not shards) when broken. Cutting it unbalances that stress.
If you give it a try anyway, be prepared both while cutting or subjecting to heat for the piece to instantly shatter into 1/4” cubes.
Spicy hot chocolate sounds great today! I’ve never heard of water kiefer — time for some research!
Mostly, I’ve been making herbal citrusy drinks with some combination of ginger, turmeric, ginseng, black pepper, and bitters. Yesterday, I got the juicer out and processed a pile of ginger and a grocery store pineapple into a small mason jar’s worth of liquid gold. This goes into the refrigerator, and is served with soda water, ice, and a garnish like a proper cocktail. This is nice, but I’d like to get a little more mileage out of the ginger — a big pile makes surprisingly little juice! Maybe I’ll try something in the pressure cooker, or make a tincture then cook off the alcohol?
I love the rituals of making and sharing drinks: tea, coffee, cocktails, sodas, cider, beer, fresh juices, kombucha, chai... so many recipes, and such a fun side of the kitchen! Since the new year these have all been non-alcoholic for me, though not necessarily so for guests. The change has come with enough of a bonus that I want to keep it going a little longer, however; one thing i have realized i am missing is the end-of-the-day pain relief function of an alcoholic drink. This is tricky territory! There has to be at least some mild pain relieving ingredient/function, but it’s really the psycho-somatic “feeling good again” anticipation caused by the ritual that I’m after. Much like how the sugary coating of an Advil sometimes makes you feel instantly better. Incidentally, super spicy food has this function for me as well.
I’d like to hear about your drink-centric end-of-the-day recipes or rituals that help you get over it all. Bonus, if it helps you deal with the combination of aging and a physically demanding life!
As far as species selection is concerned, the material’s cleanability and durability are far more important than the type of toxicity mentioned above. We’re aren’t discussing carving spoons from poison ivy vines... Toxic does not equal poisonous to humans. In the case of cherry and other good utensil woods like my favorite: mesquite, the toxicity of the wood is a huge benefit to its suitability as an utensil material. Functionally, this relates to the material’s resistance to bacterial growth within the surface of the spoon, i.e., something you can’t clean off. More-toxic (referred to as rot-resistant in lumber specifications) and more-naturally-oily woods are the best types of material for utensils from this perspective.
The other key characteristic is the material’s cleanability. For this, super dense (usually impossible to carve dry) close-grained hardwoods are the best. Rock maple stands out in this regard. It is not rot-resistant chemically (it’s slightly better than other maples) however, it has a comparatively huge mechanical resistance: it’s easy to clean. Cherry also scores well with cleanability.
Bacterial growth either on the surface or within the surface of a utensil should be considered far more toxic to humans than the rot-resistant quality of any hardwood.
To be clear, I am not saying that a wood’s toxicity does not affect humans. This can be a serious concern while carving or sawing the wood. You will be exposed to toxicity equaling 10 lifetimes worth of daily spoon use while making the thing. So for perspective: carving the spoon = toxicity test; cutting firewood = toxicity test x 1,000.
Black Walnut lumber is particularly useful for making strong but delicately sized things like mullions for glass doors in casework. It is also traditionally used as the material for the rockers on rocking chairs. Some say that it’s bad luck on a boat — not sure if there’s any correlation to it’s actual properties. It’s fairly expensive thanks to shortages brought about by WWII gunstalks and singer sewing company tables.
As stated above, limb material isn’t useful for boards. You really don’t want to try to make anything longer than twice the heartwood diameter out of limbs.
Contrary to what you may imagine, steam dries wood. So as long as the lid is used regularly, it should last well. Steam also kills most bacteria. Bonus. A lid like this should never be glued.
A cutting board is a different story. Glue it. Tightbond II is perfect for cutting boards, non toxic, and cheap. And, a first timer can make a glued cutting board in a couple of hours — instead of days.
1” should be fine with 4 bands. I made one out of 1” cypress. The extra thickness would be helpful at the bottom to side joint, but not totally necessary. The thing to look out for when picking is no knots and no sap wood. Not even a little bit. If you can’t tell, assume it’s sap wood. Also, look for Slick Seam. It’s a wood boat type product; it’s your friend.
1 part pine tar
3 parts boiled linseed oil (or raw)
1 part turpentine
This works well for dry softwoods: cedar, yellow pine, etc. Apply 2-3 initial coats, then one coat per year.
It will turn black with exposure to the sun. This protects the wood from UV damage.
Selecting BLO or raw depends on your climate, as well as the material available. Most boiled linseed oil sold in the states consists of raw linseed oil with heavy metal dryers added. Check solventfreepaint.com for alternatives, or make your own.
Climate-wise, consider raw if you live in a dry climate. I live in the southeast where raw would never dry.
I'm a cabinetmaker with a predilection for old-fashioned low tech stuff. I also don't like too much extra work, so I use Penofin for matte finish outside woodwork: full disclaimer.
I'm looking for some information about fermenting and aging green persimmon juice. Has anyone had success with this process who's willing to share? I'll mill and press the fruit to get the juice, but I'd like some more info about how to ferment and age before bottling. I assume open vat with wild yeast fermentation. Stir occasionally. At some point decant, then age open or closed for a couple of years? I'm accustomed to fermenting for alcohol, but haven't tried an open ferment yet. I'm thinking I'd like to give this a go next year, perhaps even trying the same process with black walnut. Any opinions?
Sure, some chops are good, but that's the thing about developing hand skills: it's cumulative. Doing creates the ability to do. You don't have to be Mario Batali to cook dinner, nor do you have to be Sam Maloof to make shavings.
What's the harm in trying? Hand planes are inexpensive, can be useful for generations, are not obnoxious to use, and are highly unlikely to take an inexperienced hand off. And otherwise, you've got a lot of board to work with. If you can whittle through both halves without making two joinable edges, then fine: take your pile of shavings and go make a plant happy.
If you're still mulling this about, a hand plane and a machinist's square are all the tools you'd really need. The plane needs to be longish, something like a Record #05. Plane both edges down to clean wood, making sure that they are straight and square. For basic tutorials, search "edge joining" or "edge jointing" (both are common) and "winding sticks". In order to apply the clamping pressure:
1. Lay the two pieces on a work table.
2. Attach blocks to the table along the edges of the workpiece that are parallel to the crack.
3. Apply glue to one edge of the joint, spreading thoroughly.
4. Drive wedges or tapered shims between the blocks and workpiece to apply pressure to the joint.
5. Let it sit for a day before stressing the joint.
The tip about Tightbond is good; i'd use Tightbond II. You should fix this if only because hand skills are worth developing.
A saw mill is the typical way. Look for a sawyer with a portable mill, that can be set up on your property for the day. Otherwise, it depends on what tools you have available. You could split, then clean up with a power plane or hand plane if you have lots of extra time. Dress two edges square on a joiner, then bandsaw the other two edges. If you're splitting with a froe and a helper, then you can get reasonably consistent posts by marking the split, and following the marks. It's not a sawn look, but the froe offers some amount of control.
Cool! So, please post some pictures of your garden! Raised, hugel, urban, whatcha got? I'm wanting to transition my raised bed to a no-till type garden. I'm leaning towards direct seeding the approx. 10' x 30' area with a general diversity of veggies and cover, and staging seedings to fill in during the season. There's no wood under there, only mulch on top, but I've only scratched the surface minimally in the last two years, so I'm not sure if I want to dig it up. I've been reading at permies a lot, and think that this site is a great resource. I'm in Athens, GA, and have recently realized that something will grow here year-round... and so I'm trying to figure out a sustainable system that uses mostly seeding and cut-and-drop as the imputs, and harvesting, of course. I appreciate any advice, but would love to see any pictures of your gardens; lots of info in a picture! I hope that winter finds you well; the pic above is a little taste of spring.
The kale, chard, and collards coming out of the garden at the moment gets rolled and cut thick, stems included; then tossed in a soffrito of onion, celery, and sweet peppers in olive oil, very firm. A splash of water, and covered for some seconds until bright. Ditch the heat and the lid, then squeeze some lime over it all.
Great by itself or piled next to some quinoa with a fatty fish fillet on top.
Wood barrels depend on being wet to be water-tight, so their effectiveness will vary. White oak is fairly rot resistant, so as long as the water flows frequently, and there is ventilation, you should be fine. Linseed oil or pine tar on the outside will help with the drying out, as well as add a bit of UV protection once it starts to turn black. I have more experience with boats then barrels, but the principles are similar. For what it's worth, all of the wooden cisterns that I've seen have really been wooden facades covering plastic barrels. Just drain for the winter, and keep it off of the dirt... and ventilation.
Up-cycled wool clothing is worth looking into. Etsy is a good place to start looking for this type of stuff, even undies: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sartoria?ref=seller_info. I like Ibex wool wear a lot. For a down layer, I'd inquire at a quilt/sleeping bag manufacturer: http://www.nunatakusa.com comes to mind. Their jackets will be shelled in nylon standard, but small gear shops like this do lots of custom work, and substituting a high thread count cotton should be easy enough. That cotton will likely be Egyptian, and who knows what that means about it's place of origin, but natural is natural the world over, no? Shoes: check out http://topaz.no/english/ for inspiration. Remember that there is such a thing as natural rubber. Or, perhaps less practical, but... http://www.etsy.com/shop/daphneboard. That itchy wool is a good outer layer, as is the traditional British waxed canvass. I've been wanting to try my hand at making Kaki-shibu (fermented green persimmon juice) for treating light-weight cotton clothing to make it more hard-wearing and water repellant. I think that a thin, windproof outer layer is really important, and these kinds of coats can get too heavy: it's the air that keeps you warm, the fabrics are just there to manage it. Meaning: a heavier coat can make you colder. I suppose I'm just too attached to my old goretex: 'taint natural. Naturalized maybe, after 10 yrs. but that's no help here. Good luck; I think Mr. Wheaton might have to lay low on the frugality forum for a bit...
I've learned a lot from these forums, and appreciate this record of exploration, but until now haven't contributed. This tiered development idea has brought me out of the woodlot, so to speak. I really like it, and for what it's worth, think that you're on to something here. I imagine the symbiculture region to be the heart of the property, and the area of long-term residence: the setting of the most exciting and fulfilling endeavors. The permaculture region facilitates interaction of all sorts with those that are not long-term participants; it makes those interactions meaningful, possibly productive, and less, well, heartfelt: often an advantage. And like others, I've enjoyed thinking about the husp. I see in it a bit of lightness of heart: I'm liking this theme too, though unintentional. I simply can't read the acronym without a smile. The most precious things, we hold lightly, and though I have no noble savage illusions, it is precisely this lack of grasping which seems it's greatest strength. May this word find soil, and may it's fruit teach you the meaning.