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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 19 10:39 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Wet and windy today, nothing new there then, here in Wales, but an afternoon watching rugby will suffice for me at my former neighbour's home. She is the one I make things for, for her playgroups, and originally from Leicester, she already a rugby fanatic! And I don't have a tv. I have got up early to do my quota of kindling for the day-I chopped and filled 5 nets before I came out, so don't feel guilty about an afternoon/evening off. I will do another dose of wood chopping tomorrow, which I hope will get me through another week and I can begin to build up some stock to get through till summer and then it is a rush to get the first 200 nets ready for onslaught till the central heating takes over in the late autumn, then it levels till the first frosts start and off we go again! I just hope we don't get a national heating policy and I don't get to enjoy my hobby when I finally retire from working-I'm half way there already at 6 hours a day.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 19 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Back again finally. My computer was ill, so husband has been repairing it, and hopefully, it is finally fixed again.

We still have an order for log sacks and a few firewood loads outstanding, but we couldn't do anything this week as it was too dangerous to be in the woods. No idea yet what the wind has done, so tomorrow will be an inspection day.

Am hoping we can get out somewhere today, as have hardly been out this week. I can't cope with high winds, and it has been windy or wet and windy all week.

I hope they don't set a heating policy either Gregotyn, as husband came across something that said that gas was not to be connected to new houses after 2025, which would just leave electricity. Expensive, as government policy currently is not to support solar or on shore wind generation, but of a home goal and could be disastrous if there is a power cut. Wish common sense and joined up thinking could prevail just occasionally.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35183
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 19 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

most modern gas or oil and even wood pellet heating boilers do not function without electricity

ie leccy out, all out

depending on the cause of the outage there is a fair chance that if leccy is out for any length of time,oil and gas might be in short supply as well even if you have means to use them.

a thing country folk often miss is that most houses built since the mid 1960's do not even have a chimney and few older ones have a functional one which means improvising with tools .
often the best option is an open window and a couple of radiators off the walls ( or death by CO/fire ) unless one cooks outside for the duration .

im ok with that if needs be, most downsizers would be ok, most of the public would struggle and fail , just watch the usual palaver of folk lighting a bbq or trying to use a "camping " stove to get a hint of the scale of the problem.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 19 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

To misquote the 'Navy Lark'; 'If that was British charcoal....'. Joking aside, I understand that the prefered option is an air sourced heat pump, but this too requires electricity and isn't too efficient at low temperatures, which is when you need it most.

I am currently writing an article on the facts about burning wood and lung problems. While I do understand that some people will have problems caused by burning wood (which is the subject of the article), I find that both particulate pollution and lung disease have reduced considerably in the last 40 years, although you hear a lot more about both. There is considerable unreliability in the figures quoted for asthma for example, as the number of people who had it at some stage in their lives is pretty much known, but not the number who have 'grown out of it', and the estimates of particulates given off by wood burning could be a factor of 10 out i.e. instead of the often quoted 38% of PM2.5 coming from wood burning it could be, and probably is as low as 4% in the country and no more than 9% in towns and cities.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 19 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am one who has had asthma at some point around late childhood, and have been free for a long time.
My friend has just had 2 of those heat exchangers fitted by 2 fitters with whom he was doing constant battle as they removed things-radiators they shouldn't have done and various other things including fitting the machine where they wanted and not in the agreed place. His main worry was how much the electric bill would go up by, and wondered if he has made the right decision. I, on the other hand, have no heating and no running water. I had water but it blew its pipes 2 winters running so I stopped using it in quantities which made it un-necessary for me to have it in the home. And now I wash at work in the morning and in a bowl at night. I have an outside tap which, touching wood, has never frozen and which, when boiled, is adequate to wash in and I buy bottled water to drink. Obviously it would not work if I had a wife and family!! I am away next w/e where I will indulge with 3 hot showers in a friend's very hot house! I am in shirt sleeves when they are in pullovers. Summing my main life is,- I am in bed, or chopping wood, at work or in the library!

Burning anything will always cause some pollution I expect, but from what I can see wood is probably one of the least polluting of the fuels, as we are putting back what the tree absorbed during its lifetime. That is my guess as I don't ''know". I would guess that lung diseases have diminished due to less coal being burned on open fires in homes.

I had a serious stroke of luck yesterday. As you know I chop kindling, and a neighbour fetched for me a load of wood dry and good straight grain, which his friend normally has to burn on a bonfire as he gets so much from the crates that quad bikes are delivered to him for assembly. I am hoping he will be able to do me for a year or so and I can then take on another shop and retire from my morning job.

On your final point about heating, just electricity from solar and wind, and not to be on shore. How to demolish a country-all electricity to come from the sea based wind and solar farms then? Imagine a war situation-they knock out your early warning systems by obliterating all the sea power stations! I may go to live in Russia, or then again my friend in Australia would have me there to stay, till I pop off this world!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 19 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't really know too much about air sourced or ground sourced heat exchangers, but I have heard that the air sourced ones can be unreliable, particularly at low temperatures which is when you need them most. We have a lot of solar farms round here, and they seem to be quite well behaved, although wind farms do have advantages being off shore if you don't like the look of them. Must say current government energy policy seems as coherent as most of their schemes, which is not very.

Nice you got some more good kindling wood. That sounds ideal. I have been busy with log sacks this week, as the order we had last week had to wait because of the weather, and then we got another order in on Monday. One dispatched, and other on the truck to be taken over today. I might get a chance to do some more brash clearance now.

Lots of birds singing yesterday, and not a bad day, although we did keep getting a bit of drizzle. I managed to get another bundle of birch tops sorted out, but not sure if they will be all right as the leaves are starting to burst a bit.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35183
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 19 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

did you find any broom ?

if so now is about the time to cut it for a nice flexible "bristle"

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 19 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We don't have broom as we are on alkaline soil. We use birch twigs for the 'brush' part with a hazel handle.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 19 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Strange , but now you have mentioned the fact that air sourced exchangers are unreliable I think, I have heard that somewhere else, MR. And the next information needed is how do you attach the brush part of the besom to the stale-is it by using one of those twisting devices using wire as in potato sacks or is it brute force and twine?

The newly donated kindling wood does come with a problem I have to remove some attached cardboard! However, said cardboard is currently keeping the wood dry and on Monday I will remove that as I need to cut it. I am away this w/e and am down to about 15 nets so a bit worried what I will be coming back to on Sunday afternoon. I have had a stroke of luck to come out of a disaster! I net the wood and store it in a different place to the saw/chopping shed, and have to walk about 50 yards with box in hand, open gate and go to the store shed. I pass a shed whose roof is falling in, but nothing coming to any harm. I left the gate open by this shed as normal. I returned to find the shed end has fallen outwards and resting on the ajar gate. I only went through that gate 4 minutes before maximum oops. However I have taken the end completely out and shored up the rest of the roof. This now operates as a drying shed and it works, the wind blows through and the wood dries-what a bonus! The original door into this shed has no key-well I can't find it. So I now the end has gone I have access to a lot more wood already stored in that shed. I found a lot of feather edge boards, 300 plus, about a half cubic metre of p.t.g., all of which I had forgotten about.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 19 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The birch is bundled to the right size, then a leather strap like a belt put round it and pulled up tight against a buckle. Once that is in place, it is put on a shave horse or similar and wire wrapped round then pulled tight using a clamp. The ends are twisted round each other and a second band put on. Some people use hazel withies instead of wire, and I have also seen wet leather used, but I haven't progressed to that yet. I have a metal clamp to hold the birch together while I bundle it, as my hands aren't large enough to hold an entire broom head. The handle is then forced in among the birch twigs. It is pointed and put in the centre, then the handle banged on the ground to force it into the head. Finally, a nail is used through the binding to hold the handle even more securely in place.

Lucky the shed didn't fall on you Gregotyn. An open sided shed is often best for drying as the wind can get in, but if the open side is the correct direction, the wind is less likely to be a problem. Will you use the good wood you found in there for making things? Seems rather a shame to use it for kindling.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 19 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you for the info. regarding besom making, I wouldn't even start, but now I am wiser and it sounds very hard work! I have enough to do with the kindling, but I am always interested in "how".

I am very lucky the shed didn't fall on me, but it is doing exactly what is needed now that the end has been secured, the wind is blowing through my new found shed with no ends and drying fast as it blows hard on my N/E facing slope, mainly from the S/W at this time of the year. I will need to sort it for winter-my snow, when bad, comes in horizontally. The new crates are being used for kindling straight away and I am breaking them up as soon as I can to get it into the new "drier"! This means that I don't have to start cutting long well seasoned planks into 6 inch lengths for chopping. I will be using as much of the wood in there for things if I can. The feather edge boards will be used for a shed, sides, or a new garden fence, I suspect the latter. The p.t.g. will be used for jobs as they come up, much too expensive to waste on firewood. A lot will depend on worm status, though none has been sighted yet.
Actually the new shed is very useful where it is by the roadside. I can back straight up to it and unload easily It is strange though that reversing a small trailer-7ft.- is so much harder than my 16 ft. trailer. Bit like me as a child and an adult, I too am much more docile as I have got bigger with age.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 19 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have heard other people say bigger trailers are easier to reverse too. I am afraid that is something I don't have the nerve for. Son is not licensed to drive trailers, but if it come to maneuvers with a trailer, I get him to do it while I 'supervise'. He can legally drive a large forwarder full of timber on the road, but not a trailer. Actually, the law is very complicated, so think he can drive some and not others.

Another lovely day in the woods yesterday. A couple of our volunteers helped us with brash clearing and we got quite a lot of potential charcoal and some firewood out that was underneath. Most of it is well seasoned, so will be useful for this year.

I forgot to say that we found toothwort Lathraea squamaria in flower in the coup we are currently working, and there was a bumble bee working it yesterday. We also saw and heard a hornet, so they are also out and about.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 19 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think that small trailers are legal for any driver over an "age", not that I can remember what that age is, but suspect it is around 21 for big trailers. I got mine by grandfather rights. It is strange though with timber equipment, my neighbour drives a harvester and he goes anywhere with it. They move big distances with a lorry, but they do go 2 or 3 miles on the road, between harvesting sites, not sure if it is legal.

I am in the library as you know and we are well under threat of closure, but have been given 2 years, due to some legal thing they can't get out of, but what happens after that who knows, and they have introduced the school children coming in in an attempt to show how busy it is. One child I have berated because he is whistling which is annoying to say the least. So he does it all the more, I threatened with the head master and the teacher said she is taking him there anyway, I just hope it works! They have all gone now, peace.

The weather is really good today and has been very sunny and warm. I was chopping yesterday after swimming and a bumble bee was doing the rounds by the woodshed for the time I was there about 2 hours.

I saw our first primroses out in big swathes yesterday the first flowers I have seen out after the daffodils and earlier snowdrops. Not much else showing here in the wilds. Have you "spoken" to Cassandra lately?-I just hope she is well.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10620

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 19 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The law is very complicated on trailers Gregotyn. The original problem was that lots of caravans were turning over and so the government reaction was that everyone towing anything had to be trained and tested to tow. It was pointed out to them that the system wouldn't cope with thousands of people all trying to take a trailer test at the same time, so they watered it down to new drivers only. In theory, my DIL, who is only just capable of driving an automatic car, can take a trailer out, although my son, who passed his test a few years later, and drives tractors and forwarders full of timber can't. The actual problem was that they were still using effectively wheelbarrow tyres on caravans. Since they improved the tyres, far fewer have gone over.

We get children in the library when I go in there. They have some sort of music for little ones, so I tend to get the tail end of that. The lobby is always full of push chairs, but on the whole, the kids stay down the childrens end. It is supposed to teach them to appreciate books, but whether it does or not I don't really know.

I haven't really 'spoken' to Cassandra a lot lately, but she seems to be well and posting on Facebook occasionally.

Yesterday was another log bag day; had to do an order for 20. They are slowing down now, so we are thinking we will have to bag charcoal next week as all our outlets will be shouting for that before Easter. I also managed to bundle up the last of the birch that I had cut and just put in the store.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1891
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 19 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My introduction to towing was on the farm. Day one, provisional license, I was hauling manure from the pig unit to the, to be eventually sown, winter wheat field. Three different trailers and manure spreaders. I was just driving between a and b, swapping between drivers one at each end, or if one came to meet me. It taught me a lot about how to go slowly and surely-any fool can go fast, but that bounce over pot holes slowed me down and a good thing too! I have had no mishaps with my other trailers, thanks to the good tuition on that farm. The problem was that many caravan owners didn't stack all they want to take with them low down and filled the van as if was a house! And poorer quality cars and caravans' suspensions years ago was probably was to blame to some degree.

The kids in our library are senior school 14-15yos, boys and girls, with the boys looking to impress the girls.

My kindling man also sells logs and the outlet has had another delivery only this week of logs in nets. I don't understand as I don't have a fire at home at all, my only concession to me is hot water bottles in bed if very cold, so no heating now, the only time I like prolonged hot weather is when the hay has been cut! When I go out in the mornings now, around 5am, it is so pleasant and cool outside.

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