Thursday, November 12, 2015

Praying Mantis Sees You


Shot with my Motorola Droid Turbo.  No touch ups but minor cropping.  Taken summer 2015.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Splitting Kindling

Its fun revving up the saw and felling a tree.  Its relaxing to rhythmically swing a maul.  Its delightful to hear the wood crack and pop as it splits.  The neatly stacked rows of seasoning wood are a proud accomplishment.

Kindling is the one wood heat chore no one seems to like.  Its time consuming.  It can be dangerous.  The meager mound of kindling feels like a weak victory compared to tenacious, stacked cord wood.

At least, that's how I felt.  I was never quite sure what to do with it.  I often gathered sticks and sometimes the wood bits from splitting.  When I tried splitting wood down to kindling size, it felt like it took forever.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Linux Uptime

Linux rarely needs a reboot.  With more recent kernels, it doesn't really need to reboot at all.  Since I've been studying for my CompTIA A+ exam, I've left a lot of material open and handy.  I lost track of how long my desktop had been running so I ran a simple terminal command "uptime" to see.



Yes, that would be 53 days, 14 hours, and 38 minutes.  Try doing that on Windows.


Drolet HT-2000 Update

 Since I've used this stove a few times, I just wanted to show how you could load the wood in a North-South orientation.  This wasn't even full but it still burned all night and kept the house warm.


Lighting the stove has been very easy with a little kindling on top of the wood.  It drafts very, very well (I have about six feet of single wall pipe in the house and another nine feet of double wall pipe for a chimney).


I've smelled smoke only once in the house.  It was my fault.  Open the damper completely (set it to 4 or IIII) and wait just a moment before opening the door.  Even with the door open, the draft is strong enough that smoke doesn't come in the house.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chain Saw

When your 450 isn't big enough, get the 460.  Its the biggest non commercial saw that Husqvarna sells.

I'm still really happy with my 450 but I added the 460 to the fleet when the 450 needed repairs.  The 450 was quite literally pouring oil out the bottom.

The 460 has a few advantages though.  It has 3/8" pitch chain versus the 450 has 0.325".  That is a common pitch and it can take a little bigger bite than the 0.325.  The larger engine offers more power and the longer bar (24") allows for bigger cuts and easier limbing work.

I also made the mistake of purchasing my 450 from a big box store.  While there's nothing exactly wrong with that, the local dealer was the same price and far more helpful when picking out a saw.

Drolet HT-2000 Extra Large Wood Stove

Drolet HT-2000
Since our old Blaze King bit the dust, we replaced it with the Drolet HT-2000.  It was a special order from Menards for $1099.  Wait and watch carefully, you can grab it with the 11% rebate.  Its free shipping to the store.  Otherwise, you're looking at a couple hundred in shipping fees to your home.  I also ordered the blower for $100.  Drolet will send a 25% off coupon after registering the warranty so it might be worthwhile waiting to order the blower.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Farewell Old Smoke Dragon

With colder nights, the heating season recently started here.  After a couple fires, I noticed some ash build up on one side of the blower vent.  Initially, it looked like a small pin size hole in the back.  After another fire (and looking at the stove in the dark with a fire burning), I waited for the fire to burn out, shined a light in the firebox, and discovered cracks in the vents.  The cracks are very thin but an inch or two long.

I read what the interwebs had to say.  Some folks claimed welding a plate in the stove should be fine.  Others recommended patching the cracks with furnace cement.  These are both possible solutions but ultimately, they're not safe.  Different materials will expand and contract at different rates.  After a while, I would expect the welds or cement to fail.  On top of that, if the firebox is cracking (its already warped), it means the stove has been over fired and damaged.  

A cracked firebox can lead to several bigger problems.  The cracks will allow air in and that means an uncontrolled burn.  The cracks can also allow smoke out and that means possible carbon monoxide poisoning.  

After all of the research and the unsafe conclusion, my family decided to retire the old stove.  So...

RIP Blaze King KTJ-2000


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Husqvarna 450 Rancher

I have been cutting with the 450 Rancher for a couple years now. This winter I started cutting significantly more as I'm cutting firewood to heat with. I'm generally happy with the saw with a couple caveats.