K Eilander

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since Aug 23, 2018
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homeschooling forest garden building writing woodworking homestead
Rocky Mountains, USA
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Recent posts by K Eilander

Here's a fun little project you can try sometime.  With a simple block of wood you can use your chisel as a hand plane.

Pretty simple and easy too.  I found this chunk of maple late on Sunday afternoon, and had a finished tool by the time the sun went down.

I didn’t set out with the plan of getting all fancy with the wedge, but I got bored while the glue was drying on the other part. The shape kind of reminds me of a shaving curl, which makes me like it a lot.

If you want to build your own, mine was done just like this tutorial

Really, the only main difference is that I sketched out a different design that appealed to me. Also I didn’t mess with carving out the spot for the chisel. Instead I split the board lengthwise, sawed out each half, and then glued back together. (It’s arguably simpler/faster/easier that way, but whichever way you want to skin that cat.)

Hope this inspires somebody.  If so, post pics of your build! :)
1 month ago
I haven't tried any substitutes, but I did learn that the magical term to search for is "ersatz coffee"
1 month ago
In my opinion, these are the top three options:
* C++ (and variants) is the general standard for native applications.  An excellent choice if the student wants to make a career of programming.
* Python is a good way to get up and going fast.  This is a good choice if the student wants to achieve some goal rather than coding itself.  For example, machine learning/artificial intelligence, or mathematical processing.
* Neither of the above has decent graphical user interface options out of the box.  If the student wants to write pretty, interactive applications, I'd say JavaScript is a more worthwhile option.

That being said (and it pains me to say this because I have a personal place in my heart the first two) JavaScript seems to be the most marketable skill.  Between React or Angular on the ui side and NodeJS on the server, this seems to be the way the major industry players (Amazon, Google Facebook, etc) are headed.
1 month ago

Scots John wrote:I have seen a guy on another forum making a riser with woven ceramic fibre soaked in water glass and backed with ceramic fibre matting so you get a smooth bore 5 minute riser.

Link, please?
1 month ago
Hey all,

One of my favorite wacky youtubers recently came out with a video where he attempted to use 3d printing to create a pulejet jet engine.  Naturally, most of the things he tried wound up bursting into flames in fairly short order. (Which is why he's one of my favorites. ;) ) In the end, however, (fast-forward to 12:09 in the video below) he came up with a means of using his design to form carbon-fiber and fireplace adhesive.  According to specs the arrangement should withstand temperatures of 1500C (aka 2700F).

Bringing the experiment back home to something relevant, people around here ask from time to time about portable rocket heaters in trailers, tiny homes, yurts, etc.  Usually the problem comes down to weight.  The technique above could be just the solution they've been waiting for!

Furthermore, the flexibility of carbon fiber could allow people to experiment with shapes, sizes, and geometries simply not possible with stacked fire bricks.

What do you think?  Would it work?
Does the technique give you any new ideas you'd want to try?
1 month ago
How about this one?
According to physics you can only suck water so high (10m or 33ft) until the air pressure exceeds the vapor pressor of water and it turns from liquid to gas.

Problem is:  Have you ever seen a tree over 33 ft?  Often.  So how do they do it??  Different scientists have a few different theories but really don't know 100% for sure, but it involves growing up with water continually in the pores such that there are no sites for gas to form.

Crazy stuff!

2 months ago
Fixed it.
The main culprit I found was, ironically, hidden in my original post above.

You remember that multi-strand wire?  Well, after grounding the box and popping the breaker I took it back apart and noticed a black spot on one of the switches -- pictured below.
(Generally not the preferred method of diagnosis, but hey, we take the clues where we can get em.)

Apparently the old, fat, 1960's switch put the screw terminal very close to the side of the steel box.  This allowed a couple strands of the wire to reach out and tickle the side of the box.

I ran some proper romex with ground and installed a smaller switch.  Much better!

Unfortunately the ceiling boxes still have a faulty ground for some reason, but as these are up high and less likely to zing somebody, I'll call that good enough for now.
2 months ago
Saw this on facebook [ original author ] and decided to share here because it is not only interesting in general, but also smells like a permaculture design.  Specifically, seems to fit well with the idea of boundary conditions and maximizing boundary length.

Random Fact of the Day: In certain parts of Suffolk, England, you can find "wavy" brick walls. Interestingly, the design uses fewer bricks than a straight wall. A straight wall that is just one brick thick is not sturdy enough to stand alone & can be easily toppled, so they generally have a thickness of at least two or more layers of bricks, & are also reinforced at regular intervals with vertical posts serving as buttresses. But a wavy "one-brick" wall stands just fine on its own due to the arch support provided by its shape, which combines both fence & buttress. Such a structure is called a "crinkle crankle wall".

2 months ago
I don't know if this is "a thing", but I suspect I'm not the only to experience this.  In fact, i'm guessing many of you reading this may have been here and overcome it, which is why I am fishing for advice.

Right now I'm currently bogged down in the "analysis paralysis" stage of things.  I've read all this cool stuff on permies, and watched all these videoas, and there are so many different things under the "permaculture" umbrella, that I come away with my head reeling.

For instance, I look out the window right now and I go... I really should plant something.  Of course it makes sense I should probably do companion planting.  Well, a tree guild would be cool!  But which one?  No wait!  A full-on food forest!  But hold on, I'd want to put in swales first...  Or would hugelkultur be better...

Next thing I know I haven't planted anything at all because I've spent all day online and added even more to mishmash of ideas swirling around in my brain.

My question is:  How does one rein in the enthusiasm enough to even function?  How does one calm down and make a clear-headed decision what the logical next step is which they should take?
Bonus question: And then how does one not get distracted long enough to actually get it done?

2 months ago