D Nikolls

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since Feb 18, 2015
Victoria BC
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Recent posts by D Nikolls

I also use google earth, but key to my process is use of backcountry navigator on my phone to place named waypoints as I explore; then I load the gps coordinates into google earth to flesh out the map.

There are plenty of alternatives to backcountry navigator, but using something for this purpose is very useful.
1 day ago

Mike Haasl wrote:Em suggested exactly what I was going to say.  Some scrap 2x2 wood or the like would hold it together nicely.  And if you wanted to stack the frames, the chunk of 2x2 could sit lower so that it can index into the frame below it.  If that's a need...

Yep, third vote for this.

If you try it and still want more strength, a pair of triangular pieces, or short braces at 45 degrees on each end, in every corner would be my vote.
4 days ago
I don't regard my 8" PTO chipper as a great investment.

A smaller one would IMO be effectively useless. Mine is alright on a 65hp diesel. It was noticeably wussier on a 50hp.

I only had the 50HP at first. I would stage everything, then chip where I wanted the pile.

Now the idea is to park the 65hp loader where I want to do the chipping, near the material, not where I want the pile. I chip into an 8x6 trailer with 6' walls, and take that where I want the chips with the 50hp tractor.

Nice plan until the loader lost reverse on day2. But chipping into a trailer has been much better, if you want to make use of the chips in specific places. If your terrain is manageable you could pull it with a pickup...

Yes, you can buy a chipper cheaper than hiring it done. But, it is quite time consuming, and you will spend a lot of time running your tractor, at high RPM, drinking diesel.

If I could do it again, I'd try to buy a used self powered diesel chipper, more capable than my pto unit... I would hire a tree company once a year until I found such a unit.

In your case I think I would hire a tree company to pound through it with their chipper once I had done the staging...
6 days ago

John F Dean wrote:When I first came to Permies, I was really confused for a while.  I had always considered an essential oil to be what dripped onto my shirt off of a cheeseburger.

Very poor form. If you use a plate, you can mop it up with the fries!
1 week ago

R Parian wrote:If you're looking at 30-40 hp farm tractors, but also want a backhoe/excavator, and want to use skid steer attachments, then I highly recommend a John Deere 110 TLB (Tractor Loader Backhoe - not to be confused with a John Deere 110 lawn mower).  The 110 TLB is yellow, not green.  Built much more heavy duty than the green ones, 43hp, frame mounted backhoe comes off easily to access farm-standard PTO and 3-point hitch, skid steer plates on the front loader arms so you can use any skid steer attachment - switching from front loader bucket to pallet forks is as simple as flipping two levers.  Most have 1-pair of auxiliary hydraulics on the front loader arms for use by the skid steer attachments, some have a hydraulic thumb on the backhoe, and a few also have 3-pair of auxiliary rear hydraulics (rear remotes) for 3-point implements that require hydraulics.  I've had mine for 16 years and wouldn't trade it for any excavator, tractor, or bulldozer.  Built my homestead with it, I make hay with it, log and lumber handling, you name it.  Unfortunately John Deere stopped making them around the time the housing bubble burst (2009-2012??) so only used ones are available now, and because they are such an awesomely versatile 'Swiss army knife', they are still pretty expensive even used selling in the 15-30k range currently.

Nice. I looked for one for quite a while... I couldn't convince myself to pay 50k for a used one 15 hours away, and haven't seen one since. If there's something more versatile, I haven't seen it...

The only qualm I had when seeking one was power; 43 ponies isn't much for haying. What size mower do you run?
1 week ago
IIRC raw is specific to cameras; there is is embedded info in a RAW that doesn't exist to embed in a screenshot.

But, again IIRC, I think it should generally be possible to save screenshots as a .png, which is a lossless format well suited for editing.

A useful search string might be 'lossless screenshots windows 57.3', or whatever OS/program you are using..
1 week ago
[quote=Jay Cee]
Neighbors and clients both appreciate that I can work in their yard or neighborhood all afternoon and they barely know I'm there when I'm using the battery.  I also have the Milwaukee battery saw.  The Dewalt I've never used professionally, but I do have a friend that owns one and I've used it for like 5 minutes, I can see myself buying one in the future.  

I've found that if you don't buy the cheap brands, you get better results.  Stick with Makita, Milwaukee, or Dewalt.  

Not to be annoyingly repetitive... but, fuck dewalt.

I own both dewalt and milwaukee tools, a similar number of each.

So far, zero fatalities on the M18 stuff. Half of it was bought heavily used, like beat to shit used, from contractors upgrading. All still working fine, and none of it owes me anything at this point. It has done more work for me than the dewalt gear; it happens to be heavier use items, or where I have both, I prefer the m18, so it gets more use.

The dewalt stuff was all brand new. Two flexvolt tools(grinder and blower) blew up, after modest and very minimal use respectively. Sparks and smoke. Warranty was a huge hassle and very slow.

Three other tools(chainsaw, circular saw, impact driver) have problems. The chainsaw was the worst, and I sent it in for warranty; they shipped it back unfixed, with a letter claiming a: it was working fine, and b: that I had put gas in the bar oil compartment. Uh. Nope. Didn't bother shipping the other tools in after this experience.

One flexvolt battery is dead, charger refuses to charge it. Battery life on all is noticably much more reduced than the m18 batteries in a comparable time frame.

I definitely don't class dewalt with milwaukee and makita, after this.

The silence factor on the electric saws is great. I sometimes do firewood after 10pm, and don't have to feel like an asshole!
1 week ago
In theory one could build a RMH that heats a mass to above the desired oven temp, and then holds the oven at a set temp by some mechanism to vary thermal transfer between mass and oven.

I like the idea of old steel engine blocks as a mass... allowing quite high temps in theory..

I haven't spent any time trying to figure out the rest of the design..
2 weeks ago

Devon Olsen wrote:Plug in saw likely wouldn't compete with gas saw imo so if I were to scale up my firewood sales I would have to find another option I think. Anything over 30 cords a year I think would be worth considering a gas saw or something more efficient than a plug in

But matter of personal context

I personally look for what works best for me rather than looking at net fossil fuel consumption

I have never had a gas saw that didnt give me troubles with maintenance and startup after a long period unused, electric saws work every time without issue as long as the motor is good and for ME that is worth it alone

I also dont have to mix fuel and the same can Is able to be stored for generator, or truck use or to help someone stuck on the highway

I find it easier to contain spilled fuel in the truck bed, rather than wherever I happen to be filling a chainsaw and with the larger opening there is far less spillage anyhow, so though it may not be best for the whole globe, it is a better choice for the localized environment that I am working in, and local is most important to me as it is most manageable to care for.

And honestly, the generator I've been using has been very fuel efficient, I can work all day on pess than 3 gal of fuel, not that I've ever measured but I've never seen much used out of the tank

As with any saw you dont HAVE to use petro bar and chain oil and I've used rancid olive or veggie oils before which is cool, I did think my poulan used an awful lot of b/c oil and I think that may be typical of plug in saws

I do think I'd get out-cut in a firewood yard but when felling and pulling trees from the woods I've kept up with guys using gas saws many times so what I lose in cutting power and speed I FEEL is worth the trade off of convenience and not having a Petro leaking machine in my face and on my hands all day

Thanks for your response! Hopefully good conversation for someone looking to get into a saw for themselves

I'd honestly never considered your solution; it's not for me, but it might be just right for someone else who hadn't considered it!

I hear you about gas saw headaches. I have an ancient husky 61 that has been an awesome easy starting reliable saw that somehow doesn't leak, and even then if I work it way too hard in high temps it will decline to restart once I run outa fuel.. meanwhile 4 other gas saws are all a pain in the ass.. including another husky 61. Go figure.

The convenience factor of the cordless saws is huge to me.. I will grab the ego for all sorts of rough construction things that I would hesitate to fire up the husky for... just so easy. I'm almost always on my own land, bu5 often working a fair ways from vehicle access, or just have no need to fire up a truck that day...

For folks on grid, a plug-in is crazy cheap and low hassle as a woodshed/workshop tool.
2 weeks ago
Ron, thank you for all the time you are putting into this thread!

I am looking at getting some cattle in a year or two. I will be grazing them, haylage in the winter. Have around 15 acres of rough pasture, and a bunch of brush; more pasture to be created as time allows.

I like the idea of smaller cattle, should help with my soggy pacific northwest terrain, and be an advantage for direct marketing.

I am concerned about the slow maturing aspect, though. The cattle people I know in my area are mostly running Herefords or red/black angus, and everyone aims to calve in late winter/early spring, and butcher late fall/early winter, around 18-21 months.

With our wet winters, most pasture isn't able to handle winter grazing. Mine certainly can't. A lot of it has standing water for extended periods, between freezes.

Cattle are either kept on drier ground or in a barn; in my case, it will be barn, as I haven't enough well-drained land for winter pasture.

Thus, there will be a significant bump in cost of facilities, to overwinter steers twice instead of once..

Any thoughts?
2 weeks ago