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Heat and Cooling,Power Tools

Dead Tree Cutting Project

17 Sep , 2013  

My father took the lead on the chainsaw and helped cut down a bunch of dead trees near the cabin. My father grew up on a farm on the East Coast and has tons more experience cutting trees safely. With my previous problems with these type of trees, I have no problems letting someone more experienced do the cutting.

Since the older Stihl 011 AVT gas chainsaw was needing some parts, we used a the back up saw. A 3-year-old Poulan 16-in 13.5A Electric Chainsaw running off a 6500 watt generator.

We used a proven method of a 100 foot rope and 3 inch pulley tied to a tree. It helped guide the tree in a certain direction. It worked like a charm and it kept people (and buildings) out of harms way.

Big thanks to my Dad advice, Mom helping pull and my 9-year-old son for filming.

Music credit: Aces High by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a CC Attribution 3.0.

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Power generation,Solar Power Projects

A Passive Venting Battery Bank for Off-Grid Applications

13 Sep , 2013  

Overhead of the batteries I uses a passive venting system for the battery box. The battery box hold (4) 6 volt deep cycle batteries. It is wire for a the volt system. The box was constructed from f/8″ Birch plywood and painted white. The lid can easily be flipped open and closed tightly. I have added a seal around the outside of the lid. For me, it’s just a piece of mind that something can function without moving parts. The venting system was made up from 3/4″ – 1-1/2″ PVC pipe that was dry fitted together. The large 1-1/2″ pipe for the rising hydrogen and the small 3/4″ fresh air pipe running to the bottom. It creates a vacuum inside the box and doesn’t need electricity to work.

The batteries appear dirty because they bubbled over and the acid had to be neutralized with baking soda.

Here you can see the shunt for the Tri-Meter meter

Here you can see the shunt for the Tri-Meter meter

The 2" PVC is the entry for the hydrogen and the small 1 inch is the fresh air coming in

The 2″ PVC is the entry for the hydrogen and the small 1 inch is the fresh air coming in

The vent system passing through the box

Exhaust and fresh air intake PVC pipes.

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French Press + Vacuum Thermos = Great Coffee!

12 Sep , 2013  

It’s no secret that good hot coffee really helps with the moral and getting projects started or finished. Since we don’t generate enough electricity to run a regular coffee maker, we use a French Press and a old school vacuum thermos.

Note: My spouse gave me the gears for not using clean coffee mug. It wasn’t an oversight, just wanted to show it was strong coffee.

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DIY Compost Tumbler from Junk

3 Sep , 2013   Video

My folks came out from the east coast for a visit. Thought it would be a great opportunity to tap into their vast knowledge of off grid living. My father suggested we should build a compost tumbler for my spouse. It would be a great idea for making soil and put me in the “good books”.
The overall build idea of the compost tumbler was like a pig on a spit, the entire barrel spins on a pipe. The rotating motion helps turn over the material.
Materials required:
– a 55 gallon, food grade, blue plastic drum. A neighbour was doing a late summer purge and needed the barrel gone. For free! Sweet!
– left over 1″ pipe from the rotating solar panel mount. It was 64″ long (162cm).
– (4) pieces of 2″ x 4″ lumber. (Yes, I used Cedar!) Two pieces were cut to the dia. of the top/bottom of the barrel
– a piano hinge or hinges from a door
– a latch (couldn’t find one, so I used a bungee cord
– (8) 1″ deck screws
– two dead trees for a stand
– an extra pair of hands
– will need a drill and a 1″ hole saw
– some scrap 1″ x 2″ for ribs

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Power generation,Wind Turbine Projects

Build #3 of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) from Cedar Wood Siding

14 Aug , 2013  

Build 3 thumb This is the third version of the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) made from cedar siding lumber. It’s very close to the Lenz style of VAWTs. These type of wind turbines are fun to build. Lots of room for improvements and coming up with new ideas.
For example:
– the hubs with bearings, came from my portable generator. Had handy grease spout that could easily be greased with a grease gun
– The struts for the scoop (Lenz style) of blades were extended to clear the garage door style generator
– Used boiled linseed oil to seal the wood parts. The stain lasts forever and works great against the sun
– Did a quick test on top of our house, but, nothing really happened. (The motor garage door motor was not hooked up) The wind is quite poor in our residential area. Plus, without the aid of mirrors or a surveillance system, it’s difficult to see it spin when it’s right on top of your house.
– The VAWT was designed to be mounted on top of a tree a off-the-grid cabin
– At the moment, I’ve got the garage door motor on it, but, it doesn’t turn well with the belt-pulley system. The wind really needs to be blowing. I thinking about going the magnet and coil route.
– Had to take it down after 5 days. The neighbours started to ask questions and I didn’t want the bylaw officer give me a ticket.

Aces High and Cut and Run by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a CC Attribution 3.0.

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