daily ad

Thursday, November 19, 2015

bob the builder 8 of 8


BOB THE BUILDER 8

Our bill has reached around seven grand or a bit more, quite enough already for minimum wage part time folk.  Still, with junk land you’ve probably only spent another three thousand so really you are only out six to nine months wages and almost everything you’ve build has a long lifespan.  Not a bad investment.  Anymore, what you have spent on land and a home is less than one year renting an apartment in most places that still have jobs.  You didn’t need to drill a well, or string out power or even buy a generator, so your costs are cheaper than even hooking up a travel trailer.  A few extra things to make life easier.  Don’t clear your land by hand.  Electrify your bicycle.  Spend some extra for proper furniture to save room.  Buy real windows rather than scavenging them.  A solar cooker is going to be mandatory.  And, don’t fall in love with cast iron thinking one pan meals are the only way to cook. 

*

I’m still clearing the first lot, seven years on.  Each sage brush is cut by hand ( the small ones I use bypass cutters ) and drug into a pile.  As I age, the task becomes more hideous ( I’m in great shape but work drains all my calories.  Yesterday the bastards dog-piled me and I got over double our normal busy day donations, hauling in over three thousand pounds.  And keep in mind, each pound is picked up and moved several times.  As this is Christmas season, soon pallets of canned cases will soon be added to that ).  The next half acre I clear will be with a $200 power tool.  I have no idea what it is called, but think of a weed-wacker with a circular saw blade.  As a bonus, you can switch out the saw for wire to trim the weeds.  I’ve been adamant against using any power tools, but if I’m going to pay for a backhoe I’ll spring for this also.

*

My farther lot is an additional three miles ( so, a commute of nine miles, up from six ).  Two miles of that is uphill.  A gradual slope, but a slop none-the-less.  I have two other hills besides that one, albeit much shorter.  For those hills, I’d put an electric front wheel on my bicycle for an assist.  The wheel is $200 at Amazon, and three motorcycle batteries which will fit in my front basket wired in parallel ( the motor is a 36v, so you need three 12v’s wired up to conform to that ) are about $100.  Far cheaper than a moped or other scooter.  Granted, less power and shorter range, as you get what you pay for, but I only need assistance up the hills, not a vehicle to substitute for pedaling. 

*

If you don’t have a bed, you will save a LOT of room.  You can double up the bedroom and living room.  I like hide-a-beds, and will get one if I can afford it.  Otherwise I’d have to improvise a bed in the wall.  Not perfect.  I prefer Laz-e-boy recliners for comfortable reading times and watching TV.  As my old bed was a slab of squishy foam I’d salvaged on top of buckets, the piece of plywood was my only cost.  And it takes up most of the room.  Wasted space you can reclaim by buying the proper tool.

*

My windows in the B-POD were free trash picked pieces ( I believe they were glass top end tables ).  Next time I need to buy real windows.  Fresh air without propping open the door would be nice, as would a proper fit not disguised by caulking.  Not actually a priority, but something a wife would appreciate, for the aesthetics also.  I plan on surrounding the windows with 45 degree sides covered in shiny metal sheets ( mimicking a solar cooker, although at less of a tilt up so not as hot.  Which I’d think you’d want as it might get TOO hot ).  In the summer, a piece of lattice will shade the metal sheets. 

*

A separate solar cooker in the yard will be used with the excuse of heating water in the winter, and it will be ready if needed post-propane.  And last, a propane oven.  Not a cheap camping unit but one they sell you down at the propane company.  This, plus making a quarter of the floor space the kitchen, will woo the Old Lady more than anything else.  She loves her cooking, for its creativity, as I love it for its utilitarianism.  As a parting note ( this sucker is too long as it is ), try this new way of cooking potatoes in the oven.  It might be old hat to you but it was new to me.  Cut potatoes down the middle long ways.  Then bake.  They taste totally different than a potato baked whole.  I don’t know why.  Try it.

END

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page.  IF YOU DON’T SEE THE AD, DISABLE AD BLOCK ( go to the Ad Blocker while on my page and scroll down the menu to “disable this site” ). You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year. Or, buy the monthly magazine.  Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for mere Book Money, so do your part.

*  My monthly newsletter: search at Amazon under Kindle “Malthusian Survivalist Newsletter”.  * 
*Contact Information*  Links To Others*  Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com
*My books: http://bisonprepper.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-book-links.html
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

 

23 comments:

  1. Great hair!
    So, you get to use pedal power to drag the motor cycle batteries around except for the up hill parts? And they may not last long if discharged very far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we are getting water by car rather than bike, I would call the weight trade-off a wash. I hear what you are saying, though.

      Delete
    2. Jim don't worry I top out at over 250 # and ride a 24 volt 250 watt hub bike .http://www.amazon.com/Yukon-Trail-Navigator-Single-Speed/dp/B007QWH2VU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447989422&sr=8-1&keywords=yukon+trail+electric+bike&pebp=1447989443610&perid=1H513VGDWXB5Q0YTHWDR
      It is more than enough for slopes and riding at 15mph on flats. Yes you will use the motor more than you think. It is a blast to ride. 3 12 volt panels in series will charge a 36 volt bike in a few hours giving you a range of 20 to 30 miles.
      For a front hub use a 3 or 7 speed rear and set the hub for boost only. I have a 7 speed I plan on putting a 500 or 750 watt front hub on. Small watt hubs will not pull steep hills

      Delete
    3. Just for the record I got my electric bike at Sam's. They had lost the key and it was marked down to 82.00 $. DAMN SKIPPY I GOT IT.

      Delete
    4. I see most folks commenting had quality issues with this bike. But, sure, even then if a $500 unit sold for $82, I'd buy it without a qualm too. Any idea if the specialty battery will be expensive to replace?

      Delete
    5. With no key I opened the battery pack and put in a simple toggle switch. the batteries were 2 sealed AMG types 10 amp hour. I can replace them with the same type from a safety supply house in town. They are the same kind used in emergency lights in mines and office buildings. They cost 28 $ each or I can get 15 amp hour ones for 36$ each so it will be 56 to 72 to replace. You should be able to source your batteries local from a mine supply house to. The Yukon is comparable to a 100$ china Mart bike + hub, controllers and throttles and batteries ready to go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xttoeep5s7g

      Delete
  2. They taste diff because the inside is now toasted (browned).

    Smashed Potatoes will knock you out.
    Wash em, quarter em, then boil em til soft, drain and let dry.
    Spread em out on an oiled cookie sheet and smash em flat with something heavy.
    Sprinkle them with oil, butter, lard, whatever, then salt and pepper and anything else that suits. Slide onto the top shelf of a 450 degree oven til browned. good gawd....

    I moved here to the sticks when I was 50 and every year since I have done major construction projects on the compound requiring enormous amounts of energy, cunning, skill, patience, and pain endurance - until last year. For some reason when I turned 60 last year something started happening, I started getting old. QUICK! Joints start hurting, old wounds start rarin' up, stuff takes longer to get done, and I have to stay 100% focused otherwise I forget shit. And my attitude about things has changed drastically in that regard. I used the throw the 24' extension ladder up on the front of the house and clean the gutters twice a year even though the land there slopes steeply in 2 directions and it's scary as hell. This year I hired a young buck to do it for $50 cause I was just too dam scared to climb that bitch myself. Last fall I sold my Earth Auger to another young buck cause the last time I used it it caught a root and almost twisted my hip out of the socket. It's a bitch getting old especially when you still have so much to do. The scary part was how quickly it started coming down. I moved here 20 years too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in denial as my job needs lots of hard labor. Seriously, I need the economy to deteriorate faster than my body.

      Delete
  3. I think it's still just a weedeater James? The better models offer the sawblade attachements. I've also seen a 3 sided triangular looking, heavy duty plastic attachment that you can get, which is still far better than that crappy string. The easiest thing to do initially would be to just bite the bullet and rent a D.R. Field and brush mower, or similar, and attack it all at once. Then you can keep up on the maintenance with the weedeater once the mass of it has been managed. For post petroleum, pick up a scythe. Also doubles as a zombie whacker :D


    You must be referring to a third parcel that's in between the first, and that one that's located closer to my parcel near Ryndon? That's quite a commute with an extra 3 miles. You might actually consider a better bike, one with gears perhaps?


    I saw nutnfancy demonstrate a nice solar cooker the other day. It's a store bought model. I was just going to make one, but now I'm thinking if they're reasonable to purchase, I'd rather just do that. I have the homestead desire, but none of the do it yourself skills that go along with it. So I'm going to have to devise the "half assed homesteaders way to improvise", or some such title. There you go Jim; potential article idea.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIwc7SZq_Qg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem with the brush hog is it pulverizes my future wood supply.

      Delete
  4. side note:
    http://www.apmex.com/category/25791/bison-bullion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if we could make those the official currency for the blog? :)

      Delete
  5. A thought on space saving beds. I kinda like futons. If you get the thicker mattress and a quality futon they are quite comfortable and you still have a little storage underneath. Used ones are reasonable. There is a couple of sofa styles that are similar. And futons are comfortable couches too. I like the wood frame ones as they are nicer looking.

    I've seen deals on used propane stoves and NG stoves but you have to change jets if you use different fuel. Windows can be salvaged. I bought 4 small windows for $100 total for a shed I built. Single pane but a great price with screens.

    Solar cookers, I built one in high school for the metal shop teacher. It was a parabolic type for a spit. Worked pretty well according to him. Also consider for folks who produce there own crops, a solar drier for dehydrating produce. Plans are available, large and small. I'm even thinking about a solar clothes drier to speed things up.

    Land clearing is a rough job. Especially by hand. I bought a commercial Stihl weed eater and a blade but it is still a lot of work. Got to write off 45% of the cost due to my side lawn mowing venture. Have a neighbor with a bush hog so that helps. A little bit of land clearing everyday adds up.

    Enjoying this series James.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. Something a bit different than the usual penny pinching uber-paranoia.

      Delete
  6. Please keep in mind that propane is heavier than air. Combined with a pit of doom, it very easily could become a pre dug grave.
    Precautions must be used if propane is your cooking or heating method.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This where sailboat tech will save you. Kerosene stove and alcohol stove will not have you waking up dead. Propane is probably okay if the kitchen section is in a shed (not attached to the pit). Wood is also a safe fuel while not burning, if lucky enough to be near woodlands or a steady stream of shipping pallets. Propane in a trailer tank (Apache MESA pop-up trailer with 1500# capacity and a hard roof!) or in a big RV tank may sometimes be the cheapest/most-available per BTU. It's for-sure the most convenient combustible (thermostat-controlled DC powered heater, instant-on oven/stove) in a remote Location of Doom with GF-appeal ModCon's.

      Electric bicycle is excellent counter for longer commute with hill-climb, esp. when charged from solar panels on weekend and grid at work. Other solution is more nutrition and more leg PT. Old AND Strong!

      pdxr13

      Delete
  7. The DR mentioned above is a large scale, wheeled weed eater. It has about a 1/4" dia. flailer that can take down saplings. Tool rental companies have them and you can get more done in a day than 2 weeks with the blade you mentioned. Regarding that blade. Careful. I have one for my 17" Ryobi and using it is a continuous adventure as the blade catches on anything and YOU are the torque fulcrum. It'll wear you out pretty quick and could cause you some serious damage too. My blade has 4 *teeth* and is about 8" in dia. When I use it I always sharpen the edges first. In FL I used it sometimes to trim palm fronds overhead. Fronds are very fibrous so cutting them that was is always exciting. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn, another perfect idea soiled by reality

      Delete
    2. You sound like a powerful dood, go for it!

      Delete
  8. There is a web article or three on DIY solar cooker designs using a vehicle tire. Here is a link to one, very simple design.

    http://solarcooking.org/plans/tire_eng.htm

    Space saving bed ideas. One of the old Pathfinder books author Don Paul) described building the post supported bed platform high in room, with a desk / counter space / closet below that. Only work in a room with a high ceiling. At least having the bed frame on top of 5 gallon buckets for storage underneath that would help with the floor space. Or use those buckets for actual wall partitions.

    If your back can stand them, hammocks are pretty awesome too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved the bed above the desk idea. Of course, the old lady is too crippled for that. I think you could do it on a low ceiling, it would just be like a sleeper train or a naval ship set up.

      Delete
  9. When our kid was about 10 (he's 36 now) I built him a bed up in the air and his desk was underneath it.

    Nuther idea. Build your desk at normal 30" height out of 2x4's and 3/4" plywood. Then build the bed the directly over top of the desk so that it can swing up against the wall during the day. Then during the day the bottom of the bedcomes sort of like a bulletin board with notes, calendar, etc. The bed would have short legs to hold it up off the top of the desk and keep it from crushing stuff. A small set of steps could accommodate the ball n chain at sleeping times. Just throwing ideas out there. I'm all about saving space.

    Oh yeah, hung from ceiling hammock - the net thing, in the morning bunch it up and throw it in the corner. Yain't gonna get much luvvin done in it though unless she's cool about cowgurl style. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the swinging bed over the desk. IMPUT! Must Have Input! ( "Short Circuit" reference )

      Delete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.