jo blick

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since Feb 08, 2018
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Recent posts by jo blick

Howdy doodies😁

I've just fired up my first RMH build. (Chuffed to bits)

It's quite small - 8cm × 8cm.

So, I made a P-channel (using an old stove shovel) but it was quite a bit too deep and I fumbled the re-cutting of it badly. It was too loose. Grrr.
 I gave up on it and settled down to lunch.

In an earlier post I asked some growies "what's the best wood for burning in a rocket mass heater" - and a great growie called Peter helped me realise my bamboo is far from useless but perfect.
Fast growing.usefull for all sorts of other stuff. Makes a fab windbreak and provides enough good food to keep  a pet panda.

Anyway- I threw in a bit of hollow bamboo and "WHOOSH"...ITS A NATURAL P-CHANNEL.

So instead of taking space and fiddling about trying to make another one I shall simply add a whole round bamboo section for each burn load. Job done.

Oh joy oh joy. I love this community.
4 months ago

allen lumley wrote:High all : So I've been talking to a gentleman in So.east Asia who wanted to burn plastics for the energy. I believe I have talked him into investigating
into running it through a gasifier system to reclaim the original petrochemicals! Now my question, and I am playing Devils Advocate here, due to the
omnipresent waste stream everywhere in these locations with no end in sight, would it be wrong to call such an operation sustainable ! ? !

For the good of the Craft ! be safe, keep warm !  PYRO Logically Big Al ! - As always,your comments and questions are solicited and welcome ! A. L.

If you search out some of the results of what waste professionals call the waste heirarchy, you can see that ENERGY RECOVERY as an aim is itself very low on the priority scale or could also be called a by-product.

The order of priority has always been and probably always will remain(because of the laws of physics)

Energy recovery itself only becomes sustainable when it fits into that heirachy.
If your contact has the goal to encourage a system based purely on energy recovery he will definitely be swimming against the tide needed to create sustainable development.

In other words it's not what you do it's the way that you do it

To clarify, I mean that if he encourages the maximum possible reduction,reuse and recycling AS FIRST PRIORITIES, Then,and only then, does energy recovery from the residue become part of a sustainable waste system
I bought some fireclay from the UK in the end...I was on holiday so it wasn't off my travel route.
not being able to source anything nearby in France it seemed like the best option

It seems a bit unusual not to find any clay at all in the soil but I'm not much of a soil expert so I assume there's no point keeping looking. I live right by a river just next to two sand quarries. So I guess it makes sense.

it was £14 for 25kg from Bath Potters supplies which turns out to be not in Bath but in Mid Sommer Norton

The shop was great. They were very helpful.

I didn't spot Inspector Barnaby.🤪🤩
4 months ago

Sebastian Köln wrote:I have seen plenty of willows growing in the deposited sand next to the river here. Alder seems to prefer a bit more clay. (The willow does not appear to like the clay soil here.) Also some thorny shrubs/trees with some kind of small black fruit… but they are probably quite hard on any tool to cut them.

Hello Sebastian are you nearby?
4 months ago

Phil Stevens wrote:Hi Jo. ...
I'm surprised that you're having trouble burning bamboo. It's my go-to kindling for starting my little RMH. Is it not dried out all the way? Can you split it in half to speed up the drying? The telltale sign of wet bamboo in a fire is the explosion of the segments when they get pressurised by steam.

Hello Phil thanks so much
And thanks for all of your great answers such a lot of great advice and this!!
Yes! My bamboo it's  spitting so is not dried yet - oh my you made my day

I have SOOO much bamboo. I'm going to find hubby he hates the stuff he will be so pleased we can live on it😍
5 months ago
What's the best tree to propogate
And can I chose from those I have already?

I have a small strip of land - flat. Very very sandy,
with lots of chalky bedrock. Next to a river. 40yards by 250yards. It's open to flat fields on the north east and south.  wind from the north or south.

It's in mid west France. Minus 15 at times but not often. Winter is short - nov-march.
I made a compost toilet, so soon it will have lots of nutrients for trees.
I'm too disabled to do much gardening.
I could get some landscaping done if it's a one-off

I can plant trees. A couple a day. And watch them grow.
And frankly with this politics- what else should anyone do with their lives anyway?

This year and last year, I built a tiny rocket stove mass heater with a bell mass. It's my baby. It won't ever be greedy but it will need feeding. Around 25% of a regular 5kw wood stove.  I'll need an armfull of sticks a day.

I need soft wood for fast rocket-stove burning- not too hard
I must chop fine sticks- of an inch thick
Or, short (1  foot) twigs from coppiced growth.

(We have tonnes of perfect thickness bamboo already but it doesn't burn well. Even when it's dry. It's too hard. Boooo. Sssss. Pah.)

I have hazel, walnut, oak, alder, sweet chestnut, peach, plum and the trees with small plums - forget the names - but very profuse & several varieties. Figs - they've multiplied on their own they like it here. We have apples that seem to have stopped growing and a couple of slow growing cherries
Some crazy French spiky tree that has leaves like ash & grows very quick and straight. And some hedging with large shiny oval leaves. Oh and a bit of elder, Holly and a couple of tall planes. Oh and a eucalyptus. And willow.
Alder grows close by. Lots of blackthorn.
I can take cuttings of most common things locally.

I'll check out the names of the hedge and the spikey tree tomorrow

Can I successfully grow enough hazel, say, to feed my stove by myself?
Or should I source a better option? Should I add varieties to what I have? Or are there a few I have already that should be multiplied?

Should I even be planning just trees?
5 months ago
The materials I have to hand are rock and sand.
No clay. Or so little clay as to render all attempts at cob useless. It just crumbles.

I'm pretty sure that's all there is nearby me. Well. Anywhere for free, that is.

I've tested the soil twice from several areas and there's no clay or very little in it. Just sand very little silt and humous

So I need to add clay, I think.

I wonder if anyone can say what type of clay to look for in what proportion to very high sandy soil and from what type of source?
5 months ago

N Taylor wrote:Is it possible to buy such a washing machine nowadays? So far as I can tell, all modern washing machines require something resembling mains water pressure to operate, whereas in the good ol' days you could have as little water pressure as you liked - the machine just took a long time to fill. See for further details if interested.

In a determined bid to rely only on gravity to supply our new home with water, we are only going to have a couple of metres of head.

Does anyone know if a washing machine can still be purchased anywhere that will run on very low water pressure? Can you think of any other way around this, besides buying some kind of pump?

Twin tubs. Definitely.
You can get them in all sizes.
10 months ago
Our French friends bought three delapidatedhouses in one lot up near Redon. It was €63,000
Others have land in our village and they ran a building workshop for a temporary hut. They used a choux, (lime) sand and straw mix. They didnt need planning but it is on residential land.

Nantes has a huge eco-friendly history. Brittany is generally more wild and militant. More varied. My favourite too. I would go there ifI could afford to move.
We are living back on our non-residential plot and the mairie have not bothered us. Its visible from the road. They know who we are. But as i say it already has ahunting cabin. Building on blank non agricultural land it is not a good plan unless you are seriously developing it for something permi-like mushroom farming etc..
The prices of residential permit land is definitely cheap enough here I would buy that if I choice a secondtime..
1 year ago