thomas rubino

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since Apr 14, 2013
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cat pig rocket stoves
13 acres in extreme rural Montana 100% off grid since 1983. Solar and micro hydro. Summer time piggy farmer. Restoring 2000-04 Subaru outbacks wagons for fun and a little profit. Not quite old enough to retire YET but closing on it fast... until then I must occasionally leave Paradise "home" and run large construction cranes on union job sites across the inland northwest. I make (Well try) A-2 A-2 cheese, I love cooking with my wood smoker for everything! Would not live anywhere else but rural Montana ! My wife Liz runs "Rocks by liz" a successful Etsy store and we have a summer booth at the Missoula peoples market. We currently breed and raise persian cats but are about to retire all the girls and let them be happy kittys for the remainder of their days.Oh and my biggest thing is... I LOVE MY RMH !
latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Recent posts by thomas rubino

Hi Derek;   Welcome to Permies!
I switched / added your post to the rocket stove forum, you may get more answers on cooking with a rocket stove there.
Check out the post that Dave recommended.  
Consider finding a copy of the" rocket mass heater builders guide " all the dimensions and tips all in one place
I am not sure what your plan is for the propane tank. For a rocket stove (cooking) you won't need one.  For a rocket mass heater you could use one, although a 55 gal barrel with a removable lid is easier and much preferable.

Do some reading here and if you can, get a copy of the builders guide.  Then tell us what your build plans are. Remember we like photo's.
1 week ago
Hi All;
Been out of state working lately , haven't taken time to post any updates on the piggys. They are definitely growing fast!
They finished work in pen #2 and were moved into pen#3 "the summer palace". They have quickly decimated that as well.
Pen #1 has greened back up nicely but... before I can let them back in. I need to dig in some horizontal metal roofing to protect the comfrey and the young apple tree, from miss Paprika!
Meanwhile in pen #4 there is a bumper crop of Macintosh apples coming on. They just are not quite ready for the piggys yet.
Luckily, the combo pond / porta potty is full and muddy and the grain bin is full  ....AHHH  piggy heaven!
So for the next week they will be in the summer palace until I can get back in town and repair Paprika's tunnel under the fence.
1 week ago
I agree Travis;  They make home buying way to complicated.  
Having only bought one piece of property I'm no expert but.. We used no agent. I contacted the seller and we made our own deal. Very easy , with no difficulty.
I think we are both very country folks. Common sense prevails.    City people tend to expect the worst in folks and want a buffer between them. I call it them the "sue" happy people.

In your case , you broke down and got a real estate agent. You may as well keep them for now, you can always go back to owner sale later.
1 week ago
Hi Kathy; Welcome to permies!

Our tiny house is 300 square ft... with additions its now MAYBE 550'.
Of course it was built in 1930.
We Montanans are really trendsetters in the tiny house craze!

Lots of subjects to read about here at Permies. Sit back have a cup of your fav. drink and just check things out.
My personal favorite is Rocket mass heaters... you might find them interesting.
1 week ago
Hi Nicole;
Not sure if you will consider this natural enough. And I'm sure that cost is a factor as well, but...
Solid wood , prefinished hardwood flooring. 25 year warranty. Really nice stuff.
I bought mine at Lumber liquidater's at just over $2 a square foot. Solid hickory wood with a beautiful finish already on it.
To install , you will need an air operated nailer.  I bought one "the nailer" on ebay for $90 and I sold it on ebay a few weeks later for $85!
I do own my own small portable air compressor. But they are a common homeowner tool.
Bed rooms are generally small square footage , so may be do one at a time?
2 weeks ago
I switched yesterday and had no trouble downloading with a laptop.
So far I like it just fine. Seems very fast. I did have to move my bookmarks by hand, but no big deal.
I have had an issue with it not liking my favorite play poker site. Something to do with java.   But I can still use internet explorer for that site.
Yes, my chest freezer is on grid and off site as well.  Has been for over twenty five years now.  Cost's me $100 a year...  sounds cheap until you multiply by 25...

This summer I am finally purchasing sundanzer 14.7 cf dc chest freezer, and moving it home.
Cost to get it home is about $1750... I have 4 150 watt solar panel's, they cost me $320. A pair of 105 6 volts for another $350 and a small solar charge control around $100
Hmm, I'm not the best mathematician but I think I should have done this 25 years ago.

I will need to rent a manlift to get the panels mounted on the barn roof...
2 weeks ago
Hi all;
Its  spring, the grass is up and the cream is thick and heavy. Makes that nice yellow butter … but more important is, it makes superb ice cream!

Right around 80 today . Humidity at 20% or so.  Wonderful evening for some fresh vanilla a-2 a-2 ice cream!
2 weeks ago
Although you may be venting a little , every word is true. You have every right to expect to be treated as an adult sharing a valuable skill.
Basic common curtesy is not to much to ask for.

Have very clear rules.  Print them out and have them on hand.
Prepaying  with no refunds, should help quite a bit with tardiness. Start time is start time. No excuses.
Children have no need to be on site at all. Nobody but a paying student should be on site.   If they wish to teach their children butchery , they can do so themselves at home.

As far as the "girl" thing.  You have a knife … expect them to behave or else :)

Seriously you are the boss, you are sharing a valuable skill with them. Your gender should not even be an issue.  Ask them to leave if they can't follow the rules.

Teaching a skill to someone should be an enjoyable experiance. If it contiues to stress you out then I can understand your thinking of quitting teaching.
Its just sad you can't share your knowledge without being taken advantage of.

2 weeks ago
Hi All ;
Thought I would share a little old wisdom about natural fire protection.
It goes against the general idea of this forum, but it is worth considering…   No finish on natural wood (Cedar in particular) none at all !

In the 1700's there were still large forests on the east coast and wildfire was a big concern.
Homes often used cedar shakes as shingles. Cedar boards as siding. Or cedar logs.  Bug resistant , rot resistant, unfortunately also highly flammable.

Lets jump to current times.  Cedar boards/shingles are still used as siding and occasionally as roofing.
More common as roofing is 3 tab asphalt shingles (also highly flammable) or metal roofing (not flammable itself but thin and heats up fast)  
When wood is used now, it is sealed with some kind of product.  This keeps the wood very nice looking. Of course it must be reapplied periodically.
Unfortunately that sealer keeps any water from soaking in.

Lets jump back to the early days.  Many homes were saved with water... each home would be doused and with natural wood their homes soaked up that water , becoming very spark/fire  resistant. Allowing time to soak neigboring buildings.
With a modern sealed wood house. Only with a constant stream of water being applied does your wood home stand a chance of surviving a wildfire. Turn your hose on a different building and the first one will catch...

The down side of course is your wood will grey. Many might find that not acceptable. I think it is...

 I also think  brick houses with slate roofs were a good idea as well... :)

2 weeks ago