Kelly Craig

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since Oct 09, 2021
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Recent posts by Kelly Craig

I played in law for a few years. From that, I have several rules I follow. Here are a few:

(1) It is unlawful to combine branches of government. Doing so is equated, by government, as tyranny.

(2) In elaboration on item one, agencies cannot add to or take from the law. They can only execute it.  If an agency does add to or take from the law, see item one, above.

(3) Government, be it local, state or federal, is incapable of either good or ill. Only through the acts of public agents can anything be done in the name of any government.

(4) Agents who impose rules, policies or procedures that violate items one and two, above, are acting outside their scope of authority, that is, in their private capacities, and enjoy no immunity from liability for their acts and subsequent personal suits.

(5) Merely that a public agent says it does not make it true, or law. The agent must be able to site a law supporting claims that affect those they serve, and the law must not be repugnant to a state or federal constitution.

(6) We the people may do ANY act not proscribed by law, while government agents may only do acts prescribed by law. This it is that it is said we have many unenumerated civil liberties.

(7) Public agents cannot be presumed to be moral, upright or otherwise trustworthy. It is for that reason we have not just one, as it would seem based on statements by many, but FIFTY-ONE constitutions to bind those agents down.

All that aside, insurance and mortgage agreements are another story. A contract, whether called and insurance policy, a loan agreement, or other, is a different realm. However, if required to follow the law and a public agent claims something must or must not be done and law doesn't support it, the agent is not the law.
1 week ago
Somewhere, way back when, an article claimed soapstone was superior to common fire brick, because it could take around 1,000 degrees more heat.  

Also in the article, it talked about converting common talc to soapstone by mixing it with waterglass, then cooking it.

When my son was building his forge, I noted the material it used incorporated waterglass in the manufacturing process.  Here is a tidbit about waterglass some might find interesting:

It would be interesting to learn how adding waterglass to cob and other mixes affected their reliability for burn chamber insulation longevity.
1 week ago

When I lived at Pacific Beach, Washington, I got a bunch of years old cedar from my buddy's cedar mill.  Blocks of the stuff, when split open, would still be sopping wet from the coastal rains.  I burned it anyway.  In two weeks of burning, even with hot fires first thing in the morning, the chimney pipe was so blocked with creosote I had to hammer a pipe to a point to break through. Imagine that mess taking off, if you know anything about chimney fires.


In that same house, the basement was of solid concrete floors and walls. I added a wall, door and window to make it into a useable area.  The concrete would take about three days to come up to temp from the stove I installed, after I enclosed the daylight basement (exposed on two walls).  In short, the entire basement was a heat flywheel.  It would take a couple days to cool down again. Had I insulated the outside, that flywheel would have been even more efficient at storing and giving off heat to the interior.

As it was, I didn't need to run a fire all night to keep the house warm. It would have been remarkable with insulation. However, it was a rental and I already did thousands of dollars in improvements to a landlord who would see them and think, out loud, he could raise the rent because the place was so improved (paint, new garage roof, rebuilt stairs, drainage, repaired circuit panel,. . . .).

1 week ago
Our seventeen Limonusin cattle had a pen on the corner of a 100 acre irrigation circle. After harvesting the corn, we let the cattle into the field to forage off what the combines left.

To make the 100 acres into a pen, we used potato harvester chain links, with one end cut off as the fencing,  Plastic insulators mounted to the potato link stakes with ease, and held galvanized wire around the 100 acre pen fine.  A neighbor let 500 of his cattle in (for a fee) and the makeshift pen corralled all the cattle over the winter.
2 weeks ago
We aren't perfect, so expecting to be perfectly organized could be a fools errand.  Especially when you figure in the OCD factor and count the cost of, for example, others avoiding you because you expect a specific perfection from them, even as you are far from it in other ways.

That said, you couldn't run a successful business, teach a class, build a rocket stove mass heater and so on without significant organization.

My buddy teased me because he thought I spent as much time on my shop [up to a point] as I did using the shop.  After I helped him assemble a collection of tools, he said he understood why I did things like:  built a rack over my table saw, to hold push devices; built swinging racks to hold and display layout tools; dedicated areas to layout, router equipment, fasteners, hand saws and so on.

Long ago, I worked out of boxes. A lot didn't get done, because it was very inconvenient having to find, use and put back the tools. The more readily available they were, the more the tools got used. Just like a kitchen with a cabinet area for drinking glasses, plates and so on.

As noted, convenience and organization can go hand in hand. For example, I watched my wife pull things out of the lower kitchen shelves to get to what she needed, put things back, use the item, then pull things again to put the item she used away again.  Because of that [and for other reasons], I rebuilt the entire kitchen. That included doing away with all the lower shelves and replacing them with drawers. Now, she need only pull a drawer open, grab what she needs, then close the drawer and perform the task she pulled the item to complete.
1 month ago
When I put my barrel stove up in my shop, I:

(1)  I allowed about 24" on each side of the stove.

(2) I covered all the exterior sheathing and 2x's with aluminum foil.

(3)  I pulled all the paper from the glass insulation, to avoid that potential combustion source, and installed it between studs.

(4) I installed rock. I'd test driven it using a propane torch.  Impressive stuff in that it takes a LOT of heat to char the paper, then a lot more to get past the rock to the next paper layer.

(5) About 12" in, I put up cement board.

Even with the stove cherry hot, you could put your hand between the cement board and the rock and it was merely warm, not uncomfortable.

Soapstone is preferred, price aside, for its ability to withstand higher temps than most fire bricks, and still store and give off heat.  IF memory serves, it's rated around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so, if you get there outside the firebox, you may already have major problems.

Glenn Herbert wrote:With such a pretty, and presumably fairly new and efficient and expensive, woodstove, I could see being reluctant to replace it with another kind of heater. I would mention that for a regular metal stove, the clearances to the likely wood-framed walls are very close and may be unsafe. Tile is fireproof, but doesn't keep the framing behind it from getting hot and eventually charring. Maybe the soapstone surfaces allow much closer clearances while remaining safe. For safety in the current configuration I would advise adding a metal heat shield spaced an inch from the walls so air can circulate behind it.

Without changing the stove, you would get much better heating from it by pulling it out into the room a foot or two. Add floor protection to code, and put a good layer of noncombustible insulation against the back and half of the side walls of the alcove, then stack or mortar up a double layer of heavy brick or stone in a tapered "U" shape in front of the insulation. I know the tile is beautiful, but it is not really helping you as it is. Slope the stovepipe from stovetop back to the existing ceiling penetration so it stays as vertical as practical with gentle bends.

1 month ago

Back about fifty years ago, a story was published about the demolition of a very old bakery. It's ovens weighed TONS (many of them).  Shortly after starting the demolition, they learned the oven was far too hot to tear into, even though it had been shut down weeks before.  Doing so would have destroyed equipment and hurt people.  They ended up having to wait weeks more for it to cool enough to tear down.
1 month ago
Like Beau Davidson, I learned little things can add up to a lot.

In my shop, I had a barrel stove. I poured sand on the bottom, to isolate the metal from the hot embers. That added a bit of mass. Next, I stacked fire bricks up the inside, which was more mass.  The chamber was big, so I was able to be generous with the bricks.

In the end, I wanted both protection for the metal and a heat flywheel.

I did the same thing for the Franklin stove in the house, but added a piece of metal just short of being the width of the box and that had to be bent to get it in the chamber. That forced the fire around the side, rather than allowing it to go straight up the chimney.

Then, at the beach house I rented, I stacked bricks on the stove surface and up against the stove.  They acted like a flywheel, but the entire basement was too. It took about a week, but once the concrete walls and floors came up to steam, it was a super comfortable place to be. When the fire went out, it was a couple days before the cold took over again.

Insulating the outside of the walls would have really bumped the flywheel value up.

In every situation, I had to consider what was under the stove. The concrete floor could take a lot of weight, but not so much the wood floor in the shop with the hollow space under it.
1 month ago
That does make for a vast difference in both quality and price.

Anne Miller wrote:

Kelly Craig wrote: Much of it is sugar laden garbage passed off as healthy. Yes, many of the contents are healthy, but when commercial suppliers get done, you are dealing with powdery candy bars.

Hi, Kelly

Here are some "better ones for you" granola recipes.  

For me cutting the food bill by 80% is not about buying commercial stuff.  It is about making your food at home.

1 month ago