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Homesteading tips and tricks -- what's working for you?

 
steward
Posts: 2482
Location: FL
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A 10 cuft wheelbarrel can be handled by a reasonably fit adult.  Compost comes in at about 40#/cuft, giving the wheelbarrel a weight of 400#.  Hard work, but by no means unwieldy.  A 20# wheel does not add enough weight to make much of a difference in the load, nonehteless, most folks doing the hauling would agree that lighter is better.

I was considering building a wheel out of plywood.  I've got some scrap plywood around and the tools to make one, but came across a wheel for free.  Plywood would split and warp, even if built with layers.  Lumber instead of plywood should hold up better, but would still wear from weather.

Cast aluminum would hold up nicely.  Take a look at car wheels.  These should take the weight, the weather, and the stress.  Cast with thick spokes, the weight can be kept low.  Sure would be a better use for the metal than soda cans.  Rubber tires take bumps, however, lending 'ride comfort' to its use.

 
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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I've thought about using a steel rim for my wheelbarrow, but with the often uphill terrain dealt with here on those heavier loads, lighter wheels with ability to deal with uneven terrain are definitely better! )

The designated "cement mixing" wheelbarrow I grew up with was very heavy without its cement interior coating. It had a steel rim tire and steel body. Wouldn't even want to think about using that now! It was unwieldy and that rim tire did not take uneven ground well at all.
 
                    
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We've been looking for solid wheel barrow tires and can't find them in stores around here!  When ours go flat, you kind of can't get them aired up again with anything less than a compressor and a rope/stick tool combo to get the tire to seal to the wheel again, the whole process is such a pain. 

For me, smaller barrows are better.  You can haul more consecutive loads if they aren't all massive, and just about the worst thing ever is losing control because it's too heavy, and dumping a load before it gets to where it was supposed to be.  For fluffy stuff, the bigger barrow makes sense.  We've talked about designing a 'hay rack' for our bigger barrow? 
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Hi Marina,
    You can get them from Northern Tools and Equipment. Customer Service is great. To be honest this company is one of my favorite "candy" stores. Not sure if it's ok to post their website.
 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Great website for helping us all complete those self-reliant tasks Pat - here's the link
http://www.northerntool.com/ ; Thanks for mentioning it.

For the Grip-On-Tools Flat-Free Wheelbarrow Tire — 15 1/4in. Dia. x 4 1/4in., Model# 52109 see this link
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200386525_200386525

I have to laugh about this no-flat tire talk as I just saw a wheelbarrow with a metal wheel instead of a tire.  I guess they got fed up with tire-chores too!
 
                    
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Thanks ladies! 
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Ohio zone 4-5
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marina phillips wrote:
Horsetail reeds are the only thing I use to scour pans these days.  Works better than any other plastic or natural scrubber, and it's a nice addition to the compost when it's scrubbed one too many pans.  It's tough enough to use as a kind of steel wool, too, for tool maintenance and the like. 



I'll try that!
Horsetail reeds were used to sand wood carvings such as those seen in the cathedrals of Europe. Microscopic examinations have revealed the distinctive scourings of horsetail. I have used them with success with mainly basswood carving.

This is a great forum!
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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marina phillips wrote:
We've been looking for solid wheel barrow tires and can't find them in stores around here!  When ours go flat, you kind of can't get them aired up again with anything less than a compressor and a rope/stick tool combo to get the tire to seal to the wheel again, the whole process is such a pain.    



you can always try the red neck way. spray flammable aerosol around the unsealed tire and rim, light match, boom, sealed. now pump up quick before it cools down. (have no idea about safety, but funny to watch them videos).
 
                    
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Oh man, the explosive technique for inflating the tire!    I still want a solid one.

I had no idea you could sand wood with Horsetail!  But it makes sense.  Thanks for the info about the old carvings in Europe, that's so cool. 
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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wondering if you could just fill a leaky tire with concrete or dirt or cob or spray foam or ... and make a solid one out of one on hand. If I had read this sooner, probably would have tried that before getting a replacement tube. what they want for a tube, tire, wheel around here is crazy. can buy a new wheel barrel for about the same money.

any thoughts?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Dr_Temp wrote:
wondering if you could just fill a leaky tire with concrete or dirt or cob or spray foam or...any thoughts?



It sounds like it might be difficult to fill/mount.

You would want the spray foam that cures to a rubbery consistency: a little use will crush the stiffer variety to dust. TAP plastics is one source for this sort of thing, if you can't find the right stuff at the hardware store.

If I used concrete, I might consider a light-weight aggregate like cork, in place of the usual gravel. Cork set in foam rubber is another potential option, although it might be tough to slosh it around enough to mix well in the time available.
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Dr_Temp,
    You probably could, but as one who has had to change tubes and wheels on her wheelbarrow more than a few times-having tried bottles of  spray in "no flat" a few times and watched it ooze out the many holes-I really like the one time purchase of a no flat tire. The money and labor saved, not  to mention convenience is well worth the small investment made when purchasing.
    Will mention here am looking for a new "barrow" this year as the old one will not last anywhere near the time the no flat tire does! )
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2482
Location: FL
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A tire filled with concrete is right out.  As soon as you drive into a sharp rock you begin shredding the tire. 

Air filled tires use the pressure of the air pushing on all interior surfaces to help support the load.  For a tire to work right it must either be solid, as with the Flat Free tire, or filled uniformly ad completely.  Any gaps would allow sloshing and would not evenly disperse the force resulting in a sagging tire.

 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Ref the horse manure fire .. go here .. you can make brick and compress your fire wood.

http://www.adobemachine.com/
 
Posts: 14
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I stopped trying to compost sunflower stalks. I now cut them up for heat. Plan to plant a lot more next year. The whole plant will burn when dry.

I'm using a rocket stove.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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This is great to know!  I grow lots of SF for feed, and just hauled the stocks off, but I'll be drying them now.
 
gardener
Posts: 1601
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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When we built the new house a few years ago I placed under tile heating elements in the bathrooms and in front of the kitchen sink.
I ended up with an extra one and a thermostat.
The heater was 2x4 feet. I took scrap 2x4's and plywood and built a frame placed the heater in it and tiled it, put rigid foam under the plywood, put handles on the side to make it easy to carry.
I use the heater for a seedling starter in the spring, in the fall use it under carboys for keeping whatever is fermenting warm, beer, wine, cider.  I do that in a back unused bedroom that I usually don't heat.
  Dogs and cats seem to like it on cold days.
Easy to clean, mass of the tiles retains the heat and it hardly uses any electricity.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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If you don't mind me asking, what kind of heater is it?  I'm having trouble picturing your do-hicky.
 
Robert Ray
gardener
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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It's a flexable grid that you place in the tile cement prior to laying the tile.  Would look similar to but more flexabile than 1 inch harware cloth.  The thermostat sensor is also placed in the tile cement bed prior to laying the tile. Search under tile heater at Home Depot or Lowes.
It's a very plain looking 28 inch by 52 inch box  with painted 2x4 sides with terra cotta tiles on top.  the thermostat is underneath so I have to lift  the contraption to adjust the temperature but I rarely adjust it. An electric cord comes out the side for plugging it in.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Robert Ray wrote:
It's a flexable grid that you place in the tile cement prior to laying the tile.  Would look similar to but more flexabile than 1 inch harware cloth.  The thermostat sensor is also placed in the tile cement bed prior to laying the tile. Search under tile heater at Home Depot or Lowes.



Couln't find it using "under tile heater", found it using "radiant floor-warming mat".
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1601
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Same thing.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Oh, now I see.... I like the idea of your box. 

I ferment on a shelf 5" over a heater vent, with draped towels to cover.  But I want to design (easy DIY type project) a warm cabinet/box so I can have more fermenting storage room.  Maybe this radiant floor-warming mat stuff would do the trick.  Right now my sourdough starter is stored in my oven, very inconvenient.

Thanks for the info
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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Jami
Would a heated doggy pad work for fermenting?  They're pretty low wattage, and probably cheaper than the radiant mesh.  Here the radiant mesh was $70 plus the thermostat do hicky, so close to $100, had to be hardwired on a seperate breaker, blah de blah.  And that was for the smallest one a couple years ago.  Your luck may vary....

We looked into electric radiant heat for our house, and ended up going with hydronic radiant instead (not that we use it!  don't get me started....)

 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Hum.... I don't know.  I know the run-off from a dehydrator will work (blows hot air) but a heating pad will only heat things sitting on it.  I was hoping to put something I can control via a dial at the bottom and allow the hot air to rise up through wire shelves giving me lots of storage options.  I cabinet with wire shelves and two doors would be a nice hot-box.

Thanks for letting me know about the down sides to the radiant mesh.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Jami, 
Maybe you could wire a light bulb ceramic base to a dimmer switch and then that to a plug for power?  Then you could dial back the light for less heat...in theory.



Wonderful idea!  It needs to be between 75 - 85 degrees.  Home ferments are easy - the hotter it is (up to a point) the faster they work, so it is a balancing act because you don't want to become a slave to feeding your ferments or dealing with them.  You want them to grow, but not to fast.

I love your ideas - simple and easy, I can do that 

Your right about the oven light, when making curdled cheeses I warm up the oven and put my glass gallon jar of raw milk right next to the oven light bulb.  In the morning it is curds and whey!

However, I've also done plenty messing up in the oven, like the time I killed one batch of cheese and broke the other gallon jar of milk by forgetting and pre-heating the oven.  I had to take apart my oven door (many pieces) to clean between all the layers - yikes!  And small jars are hard to balance on the big oven racks.  So a better design is warranted that's for sure.
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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Jami,
I got your PM about my last post messing up.  Now, if I could only remember what I said!  I see that you got part of the post.

Oh!  I asked if you had any reptile radiant heaters laying around?  Maybe you could use one like Paul W is.

I saw a pic of a nifty egg hatching box made from a styrafoam cooler with a light bulb for heat.  What was cool about this is the people made a little window on the top so they could see the thermometer inside.  That way, they could check the temp withough losing any of the heat inside the box and see at a glance if the bulb had burned out.  Maybe it'd be worth adding that to your design?

Who knows what else I said?   

Do you have any extra cheapo cookie cooling racks?  I don't know what you're planning on using for racks in your fermenter, but a little cookie rack could be put on top of the other rack for the smaller jars when needed.

Oy, I wish you were my neighbor.  I have drips between the glass on the front of the oven door.  Impossible to get to!  When I asked my husband about maybe taking the door apart, he gave me 'the look'.  You know 'the look'?  And we do have bigger fish to fry...
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Ha ha ha ..... I know my daughter gave me the same look, but then she had to help me anyway    It is an enormous pain that's for sure.  The designers do not intend that you should clean the glass inside the door - stupid, why don't they seal it tight then.... or better yet make it snap on snap off for easy cleaning.... don't get me started *grin*

Thanks for the ideas, those were the ones I remember - the light on a dimmer switch (with a thermometer on the inside) is the best yet.  So simple and controllable. 

Your the best 
 
Posts: 11
Location: Northwest Lower Michigan
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OK I get the whole horse poo to heater fuel idea.  Would it work use a piece of 4 or 5 inch diameter heavy wall pvc pipe, fill it with poo, compress it, then push it out and dry it?  You would then have a log in whatever length you would prefer.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Yup    You may have a trickier time stacking for drying - or should I say stopping the tendency to roll, but it would burn the same.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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wesleyds wrote:
OK I get the whole horse poo to heater fuel idea.  Would it work use a piece of 4 or 5 inch diameter heavy wall pvc pipe, fill it with poo, compress it, then push it out and dry it?  You would then have a log in whatever length you would prefer.

sounds like a great idea and a good way to make a self feeding log for a Rocket Stove Mass Heater or push it through a contraption (like play dough) and make pellets for your poo pellet stove . Guess you could use animals that make the right size poo pellets naturally for a pellet stove, but not sure which poo gives you the most BTU for the buck. .

Sounds like a better binder for wood material than waxes etc.
 
The fastest and most reliable components of any system are those that are not there. Tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6
https://permies.com/wiki/138231/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Plans-Annex
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