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Buildings and Renovations,Hauling, digging, etc

Getting Stumped in July Series

29 Jul , 2016   Video

Getting-stumped-teaser Part 1- The project for July was to remove a stubborn Douglas Fir tree stump. The tree was diseased at the top and had to be cut down last February. The stump had to be removed for a series of steps leading down to the lake. Started digging on the side of the tree stump that was downhill. I thought it would be a lot easier to attack the roots from that angle. At first, the digging was a little strenuous, but once I got through the layer of small roots, it was fairly easy. My kids all came out and leant a hand digging a removing dirt from the hole. They came up with a clever paint-can-on-a-rope-hoist- system. It was good to work together. After the 2nd weekend, we were 3/4 of the way around the stump and had to pack it in for 2 weeks.

Come-a-long Part 2- After the 2 weeks, we came back up to the cabin and managed to get all the roots cut. I didn’t bring the truck up and the 2-ton Come-a-long hand winch but didn’t have enough pull the stump out of the hole. Asked my next door neighbour if he could lend a hand. After an hour or so and the use of his ATV winch, my Come-a-long winch and the bigger Warn winch on his Jeep, we managed to pull the Douglas Fir tree stump to the road. It was hard work, but it was worth it.

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Hauling, digging, etc,Power generation,Wind Turbine Projects

Experimental Wind Turbine Tower Project- Part 2 – New Support Pole

15 Apr , 2016   Video

A video shot over the April 8th weekend. It’s about how to erect a support pole next to the existing big wind turbine tower. It’s one of the steps required to raise and lower the big wind turbine.

The support pole was from a large 25-foot tall tree that was missing 90% of its bark.It was dead and very dry inside. It made a perfect support tower for the existing and future taller tower.

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Hauling, digging, etc,Transportation

A New Cabin Truck… 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4×4

5 Dec , 2015   Video

We now have a truck! (finally). With aid of my father-in-law’s salesmanship, we now own an used, 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT, Quad Cab 4 x 4. Sweet!  We have been wanting a truck for a while, but the cost versus quality never arose. We had friends offer vehicles, but they were on their last legs and I didn’t need another problem to repair. My father-in-law friend was downsizing and didn’t need another large vehicle. Even though it’s just a truck, it will make transporting lumber and plywood so much easier.  Plus, traveling on the back roads during a freak winter storm will not be so nerve racking.

Since the weather conditions can change by the hour, I purchased a used set of studded Cooper Arctic Claw XSI Snow Tires and had them installed on the truck. The tires are huge, 275/60/20. When standing next to the tire, the height is easily 42″. We are quite pleased that it will make the long journey so much safer, under any condition. 

Truck-at-cabin-web

The next step is to look at a tonneau cover or a canopy. My spouse will want to transport wedding items for an event and it’s a good feeling that it can be locked up. I’ve looked around on the web and used prices are around $500 for a canopy in good shape. For now the next couple of months, we will use big plastic totes for clothes and food items. Al least there is lots of room.

Back-of-truck-at-cabin-web

A few other items on the list is an LED light bar and a heavy-duty winch. Still way out of the budget, but maybe in time. I don’t want to get off track from the Cedar Workshop projects.

I’ll keep you posted on the projects.

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Buildings and Renovations,Hauling, digging, etc

Cousin Lee Lends a Hand Moving Trees

10 Aug , 2015   Video

Had a family member drop by for a visit earlier in the summer. It was a relaxing to hang out with a person that was in the same mindset with the off-grid lifestyle. Lee and I as children were lucky to travel to the family cottage on weekends. It was the opportunity to make epic tree forts, build sand castles and go fishing all day.
A few days into the visit, Lee offered to give me a hand to move some trees for the future stair project. The trees were just over 50 feet long and weigh around 2500 lbs. We had to use smaller logs as rollers and lumber as levers. Lee and I would rock the tree and my son would use a DC (battery) powered winch to pull the trees. It took a long time, put the trees eventually were moved into position for drying. Next year, the tree will be used as stair runners.
Thanks for watching!
Music credit: Cielo by Huma-Huma, YouTube Audio library

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Hauling, digging, etc,Heat and Cooling

Using a Winch-in-a-Bag to Move Large Logs

8 Apr , 2015   Video

  • Strap on log
    Strap on log
  • Lay of the land
    Lay of the land
  • 50' Trees
    50' Trees
  • Plywood used to skid the logs
    Plywood used to skid the logs
  • Winch on wood box
    Winch on wood box
  • Two logs hauled
    Two logs hauled
  • Ready to be processed
    Ready to be processed
  • Rollers help the logs
    Rollers help the logs
  • 2000lb rating
    2000lb rating

This portable winch is a must have for an off-grid dweller or off-road explorer. It’s set up to work off a trailer hitch, 12 volt car battery and has a pulling rate of 2000lbs. Picked up last year, on sale, for only $79 dollars (regular $129.99).

The project I needed it for was to move some large logs a distance of 50 feet and up a hill at our off grid cabin. Decided to try the “Winch-in-a-bag”. Since I didn’t have a trailer hitch, I had change the mount for my application. Used a come-a-long hand winch anchored to a tree and the other hook through the trailer hitch base plate. Found a wooden box used for hauling wood scraps and put the winch on it to keep it out of the dirt.

The winch comes with a 30-foot cable, but I still had another 20 feet to go to reach the logs. Found a heavy-duty ratchet and strap in the workshop and used that to snag the logs.

It worked quite well. Had no problem pulling the logs up and didn’t see any safety concerns.

 

 

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Hauling, digging, etc,Heat and Cooling,Power Tools

Spring Break Tree Clean Up

26 Mar , 2015   Video

Had some time off during Spring Break in March.  Decided it was a good time to remove some trees that were diseased and to close to cabin.

Side note: Personally, I don’t like to cut down trees, I like the shade and privacy they offer. But these were too close to the structure and could come down in a wind storm. 

My good neighbour, who had more experience with these type of trees, came over and gave me a hand felling the trees. He had a just sharpened, sweet Stihl MS-241 that just cut through the trees like hot knife through butter.

After the trees were cut down (off camera), my task was to the de-limb the branches. It’s a time consuming process of cutting and dragging away the branches. If you are lucky enough to have a helper, it goes much quicker.

Once all the branches are removed, the logs are easier to move around. The plan was to drag the logs up the hill and cut the logs up. They will then be stacked for the summer and dried.
The key to cutting firewood, is to not move the logs or piles more than you need to. Very labor intensive for one person. I prefer to cut the logs in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic. The wood shavings from the chainsaw makes the ground less dusty, holds the moisture in the dirt and is nice to walk on.

In the next video, the logs will be dragged by a powered winch to a landing and processed into firewood or timber for building. I’ll talk about  a DC Powered winch-in-a-bag by Mastercraft

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