Peter Ellis

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since Apr 04, 2013
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Recent posts by Peter Ellis

Welcome to Permies. I'm in SW MI, between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. My wife and I are building a timberframe home with strawbale infill on our forested 20 acres. Vapor barriers that aren't plastic are a pretty serious challenge. I can't say I'm aware of any, but while I have put lots of effort into researching vapor barrier options, I have not been focused on avoiding plastic. I think you'll find that meeting building code is going to be hard to do without using some plastic vapor barrier.
What's your reason for wanting to avoid using gravel? It's pretty much the best possible material for creating a capillary wicking barrier and for draining water away from a foundation site.

To find out what has been done prior to the advent of plastics, I would suggest looking into traditional building methods of the 18th century and earlier in places like England. I don't think there were many indigenous people in what is now Michigan that were building structures meant to be lived in for decades, whereas Devonshire in England has at least one cob home that's been continuously lived in for five hundred years. Might be helpful to know what the builders of that house used for a "vapor barrier" ;)
2 months ago
Just a note: Wille is Jorge's father and it looks like I misspelled their last name ;)
2 months ago

N.Y. Anzai wrote:I'm a complete novice. Never done any kind if woodcarving at all but I'd love to be able to. Where do you recommend I start learning? (Online only as i'm in Japan) and what tools will I need to carve a spoon? Thank you! :)

YouTube has loads of information. Jorge Sondquist has a series of videos demonstrating the various knife grips and cutting techniques, highly recommended. Jorge also addresses tools.
Barn the Spoon has a series of "Silent Carving" videos that are inspirational and educational. You see exactly how Barn does every bit of each of the different spoons that he demonstrates.
2 months ago
Started the joinery on hour house today, first tenon cut on the first post.
2 months ago

Anne Cummings wrote:

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Which pattern in the you tubes? I have seen a number of configurations.

This is the improved design:

This woman is just fabulous.  How could you not love to watch her and hear her voice?

I cut the brick just like she did.  She uses sticks (just everyday sticks and pine needles) and uses it every day, for her lunch.

She is all into the pressure cooker but I am not there yet.

So far, I can't make it work.

She lives in Tennessee, USA.  So the air is about the same.

Are you following her construction and operating instructions exactly? What is your elevation? Unless you are so high that there's insufficient oxygen, that stove system should work if you are doing what she is doing and have the same set up.
Without seeing exactly what you are doing, there is no way for us to tell you where you are making a mistake.
3 months ago
You're going to need to give us more to work with. Pictures or drawings of how you are setting yours up.
Properly set up, a rocket stove pulls enough air to provide a hot, clean combustion with no additional forced air.
Reasons why one might not work generally come down to restricted air flow.  This can come from putting too much fuel into the feed tube, blocking air flow. Many designs include a grate in the feed tube to prevent this from happening, fuel goes on the grate and sir us Fred to flow underneath, then up through the fuel and out the top. The vertical flue or chimney needs to be clear enough to allow the hit air to flow. This means a pot set on top needs to be raised up enough to allow air flow.
Rocket stoves generally need a little bit of priming/ warming up to get the draft started, so you start with a small amount of fuel and warm up the stove to get the draft going, then add fuel to increase the intensity of the fire.
Helping troubleshoot your specific problem requires seeing what your setup is in detail.
3 months ago
Do you have access to youtube? A search there for "rocket stove cement blocks" brings multiple hits explaining both 4 and 2 block versions.
3 months ago
Started some King Stropharia this past spring on our site. of the three locations I inoculated, two are flushing nicely now, about five months later. One doesn't appear to be producing yet, but that's balanced by the appearance of winecap mushrooms in a location I did not inoculate Came across this thread as I was looking for ways of storing/preserving a surplus beyond our immediate consumption needs I can only eat so many in one day I haven't had to compete with slugs, I think the temperatures have dropped enough to drive them down, but the Chipmunks! Good Grief!
3 months ago