Joel Bercardin

pollinator
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since Aug 15, 2014
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bike building chicken fungi gear homestead trees ungarbage wood heat woodworking
Living on land for decades. At times a carpenter, retail clerk, freelance writer & editor, business-association manager. I'm a local environmental activist.
Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Recent posts by Joel Bercardin

Eric Hanson wrote:
Again, maybe I misunderstood and if I offended I truly apologize.  Best of luck with your endeavors.


No, no offense taken at all. I was happy you answered, Eric.
5 days ago
Hi. Thank you both for your recent replies.

Eric, I respect your depth of practical knowledge.  And I take your well thought out reply not only under advisement but quite seriously as it relates to my own homestead situation.  But I'm also a guy who is interested in North America and Planet Earth, and I know that in "the developed world" we homesteaders and general rural residents are now, for the most part, a minority population.  Maybe, with the emergence of the Permaculture trend and a renewed back-to-the-land trend, we will be a growing segment.  But another factor behind my starting this thread, and bumping it recently, is what the implication of possible more efficient and long-duration electrical energy storage methods might be for the less near-term, but more public, renewable-energy installations — for instance, at the neighborhood or small-town level.  That's something I don't have the background to consider very well.
5 days ago
Hi.  General info and experience with northern p.v. is interesting. But basically I'm just wondering, again, about John Goodenough and his team — their battery concept, specifically. Or variants of it. Anybody got any news?
1 week ago
This illustrates how fanatical we can become in the cause of saving & repurposing! (LOL…)

I made two of these magnetic ground-connectors (for electric welding) from a scrap water-valve handle, a piece of scrap steel rod, and two stacked spare magnets. Made one for myself, one for a friend. These enable our welders’ ground clamps to be attached to awkward-shaped steel/iron surfaces. Because the magnets have stamped-steel “cups”, the whole little assembly transfers electric current.

I’d saved some valves that had cracked from water being trapped in them when unpredicted very-cold snaps occurred; the valves then sprayed out water from the cracks when they outside temperature thawed them! So for each of these thingies I used a handle along with two stacked (very strong) “cup magnets”, a little over 1” diameter — held together onto the handle by a bevel-headed screw & nut. I welded the tightened nut onto the screw to make the thingie solid. I also welded a short piece of 1/4” steel rod to the underside of the handle, because that allows a welder’s ground clamp to have a much better bite onto the handle portion of this device. (Two angle views shown...)
1 week ago
… when you re-purpose scrapped water-valve handles.  By the way, ideas above in this thread are often entertaining, not to mention ingenious too. Thanks for the new ideas, (and in our household we do use some of what are mentioned).

I made two of these magnetic ground-connectors (for electric welding) from a scrap water-valve handle, a piece of scrap steel rod, and two stacked spare magnets. Made one for myself, one for a friend. These enable our welders’ ground clamps to be attached to awkward-shaped steel/iron surfaces. Because the magnets have stamped-steel “cups”, the whole little assembly transfers electric current.

I’d saved some valves that had cracked from water being trapped in them when unpredicted very-cold snaps occurred; the valves then sprayed out water from the cracks when they outside temperature thawed them! So for each of these thingies I used a handle along with two stacked (very strong) “cup magnets”, a little over 1” diameter — held together onto the handle by a bevel-headed screw & nut. I welded the tightened nut onto the screw to make the thingie solid. I also welded a short piece of 1/4” steel rod to the underside of the handle, because that allows a welder’s ground clamp to have a much better bite onto the handle portion of this device. (Two angle views shown...)
1 week ago

Caleb Mayfield wrote:Well, you learn something new every day. You can gas braze aluminum.


Yeah, that's the approach I was wondering about, for a couple reasons. One is, to wire-feed it people generally use a spool gun, because aluminum wire is soft and, unlike steel wire, tends to foul up when it's run through an ordinary conduit & MIG gun (or "torch end"). Another is, I'd be joining aluminum components infrequently enough that I don't want to invest in a spool gun.

I've heard of guys using a propane torch, also of guys using oxy-acetylene (and I'm supposing with a wide, soft flame). But that's where I want to get the advice about best approach, and how it works out.
1 month ago
When I weld steel at home, I use my MIG welder… my neighbor has an arc welder & rods, if I need to use that setup for steel. But neither he nor I have a spool gun for aluminum-welding wire. So, I haven’t been welding alum.

Anybody here done aluminum brazing using flux-core rods? Have you found the low-melting-temp rods to work well for you, or not? (good adhesion, strength, etc?)

As an example of what is readily available in my regional marketplace, here’s this page advertising Hobart rods.  Hobart is a good, standby welding equipment/supplies brand — but I’m not stuck on any particular brand. It seems many brands have been advertised in recent years.
https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-pc-1-8-in-aluminum-brazing-rods/A-p8676884e

Mainly I’m just interested to hear whatever sort of experience you’ve had with flux-core for aluminum.  And P.S. to stewards, moderators, techies: if you feel this post should go in another Permies forum (like Repair), please cross-post it there… but I believe welding & brazing are homesteading skills, so please leave it here too, okay?

Thanks.
1 month ago

John C Daley wrote:I am not sure its accurate to say the site is mainly for preppers, I am not one.


Thanks for posting John.

I only mentioned that because the first page I happened to arrive on, at that site, explained the proprietor's personal commitment to rational prepping, though on the site's home page he made clear his tolerant, open-minded, relaxed attitude.
2 months ago
This is simple and commonsensical. Great idea for making a digging fork easier to use in certain situations, like clayish or very silty soils. Offers a real foot rest (your foot can’t slip off the shoulder as easily) and by this it affords a more efficient transfer of muscular effort. For someone who can heat & bend rebar, and weld steel, it will be simple to make.

The image comes from this site: Digging Fork Mod  You’ll find a decent discussion of this little project on the page.

By the way, I’ll tell that this site itself has a lot of practical stuff on it, even though I haven’t explored it a lot as yet. Although the site is aimed at preppers (and I do not particularly identify as one), my personal feeling is that the site owner/moderator is not panic-stricken, and is open-minded and rather inclusive, non-extremist, and so on.
2 months ago

Jason Vath wrote:Works amazingly well. Very heavy, serious tool.


Well done, Jason. Both design and fabrication look good.

You mention that it's heavy, and it looks quite sturdy.  You don't feel it's too heavy, do you?
4 months ago