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Different Take on a Universal problem  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Here is a unique approach to a Universal Firewood Problem...

 
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Yes! 👍

I like that he shows some key design details.  And, man, does he keep his chain sharp!

Travis, this guy is cool.  I just posted today on a thread about websites & vids about people designing and building these sorts of things, useful on the homested.  Having seen this post of yours, I’ve gone back and edited my post to include “Ben’s” Youtube channel.  Thanks.
 
Travis Johnson
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Joel Bercardin wrote:Yes! 👍

I like that he shows some key design details.  And, man, does he keep his chain sharp!

Travis, this guy is cool.  I just posted today on a thread about websites & vids about people designing and building these sorts of things, useful on the homestead.  Having seen this post of yours, I’ve gone back and edited my post to include “Ben’s” Youtube channel.  Thanks.



Did you happen to see my thread on my homemade feller-buncher? That is a pretty productive machine as well.
 
Joel Bercardin
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Travis Johnson wrote:Did you happen to see my thread on my homemade feller-buncher? That is a pretty productive machine as well.


Hi, Travis.  I looked at your post and read it.  I admired your system, based on the amended log loader.  I just couldn't identify with it for my own situation.  I've been undercapitalized, you could say.

I've needed to acquire some land, make improvements, build & repair buildings, and try to avoid debt for my familyt. LOL  I've never owned a piece of equipment larger than a Ford 9N.  LOL  I've got a 4-wheel Toyota pickup, a Stihl chaninsaw, a peavey, and a pair of gloves.
 
Travis Johnson
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Joel Bercardin wrote:Hi, Travis.  I looked at your post and read it.  I admired your system, based on the amended log loader.  I just couldn't identify with it for my own situation.  I've been undercapitalized, you could say.

I've needed to acquire some land, make improvements, build & repair buildings, and try to avoid debt for my family. LOL  I've never owned a piece of equipment larger than a Ford 9N.  LOL  I've got a 4-wheel Toyota pickup, a Stihl chaninsaw, a peavey, and a pair of gloves.



I can relate to that! I am "under-capitalized" myself: that is why I build my own equipment, and try my level best to use small equipment to do big jobs.

My family is actually thinking quite strongly of down-sizing. I have (3) houses, and while the one in New Hampshire is rented out, we live in Maine and have our main home, as well as one across the street that is vacant. It is half the size of our main home, but would enable us to sell this house and be 100% debt-free. I dislike selling part of my farm, but really love the idea of being 100% debt free. Only 3 acres comes with this house, but so does the main barn, so we would have not build a barn across the road at the currently vacant house...in other words, start all over! I don't mind building a new barn; I got some ideas to make a new one much easier to use for sheep, and there is 30 acres of land on that side of the road that could be used for grazing, but it is a daunting thought; selling and starting over at age 43!

The other thought is to rent our main house out, and just move across the road to our vacant house and have some extra income. That has some merit because it would allow us to be 100% debt free in terms of cash-flow, yet retain our net worth as we would not be selling off a $175,000 home. If we knocked some off the rent, we might be able to retain control of the barn saving us from that barn building endeavor; at least in the short term.

We are not obnoxiously in debt at 9% in debt to net worth ratio, but I still dislike debt altogether! Now that we have traversed from clearing land to make way for more sheep, I have to actually get more sheep and start making more from them instead of logging (which is what I have been doing for the last 2 years). Even though I am only at 9% debt, I REALLY dislike the idea of going $100,000 in additional debt to get the 300 additional sheep we need. My banker says we are in good standing, but bankers love those in debt. There is still something to be said for "having to have money, to make money" though.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my family's downsizing. I put this question up on another forum, and got no clear cut answers.
 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the house across the street has been in the family for a long time and you wouldn't want to sell it?

Why do you have the New Hampshire house?  What's the rent on it and the selling price if you were to sell it?  How does that selling price compare to your current debt?  How long until you pay off the debt you currently have? 

Debt sucks but if you're on track to pay it off in a few years, maybe it's ok.  Wasting money on interest on debt hurts more than paying down the principle.  In the long run it's a balance between living with and paying off existing debt so that you have the capital to live really well in the future.
 
Travis Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but the house across the street has been in the family for a long time and you wouldn't want to sell it?



I really don't care too much about the house, but because of the town's rules, I cannot subdivide the house from the land, and the 30 acres it sits on has our gravel pit on it. We just discovered another acre of gravel, so with the test bores we have done, we figure it has at least 500,000 cubic yards. At $2 a cubic yard in stumpage alone...well you can do the math. That will be part of our future retirement; the hole from the earth being used for a big lake for our sheep and recreation as well.

Mike Jay wrote:Why do you have the New Hampshire house?


The house came with the wife; something she got in her divorce.

Mike Jay wrote:What's the rent on it and the selling price if you were to sell it? How does that selling price compare to your current debt?


We get $1100 a month for it, taking some out for a management company to handle the maintenance part because we are just too far away to deal with emergencies. As for a value, I would say it is around $90,000, but honestly I do not even figure it into our debt/net worth ratio. It was just kind of something I acquired by marrying my wife. We make cash flow with it granted, but I am not sure we make money with it; at best it is a wash. We have tried to sell it, but each time the deal falls through. I have always blamed that on the credit of the renter who wanted it, but it could be its location; it is located next to a river.

Mike Jay wrote:How long until you pay off the debt you currently have?


I really do not know. I got 5 years to pay off $158,000 total debt at high interest (6.5%), but just cut 70 acres of wood off too. The value of that is profound, but the logger who did it has yet to pay me for most of the wood. I was promised it by April 21st 2018, but we shall see??? I always have attorneys on retainer (just an aspect of doing business), so I'll let them deal with it if need be, and in 5 years time, even going through the courts I should get it by then, but who knows. For us money is strange in that it comes in big lump sums, not really steadily. It is enough to make a person worry sometimes, but has happened so many times that almost to the point where we no longer worry.

My problem is, I have a few resources, but all of them are intermediate or long term. The kids are taking care of as far as education and weddings go (I have 4 daughters), but property taxes can be an issue every year. That was the one big expense I never really counted on. here in Maine it really has been a perfect storm in that regard, and its showing up in land economics for sure. The State is reeling from the result, but has yet to get a handle on it. We have no choice but to take matters into our own hands and make the figures work.
 
Mike Jay
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Well, if anyone gives you a clear cut answer, I'd be wary of it.  Unfortunately you'll be the only one who really can answer it for you.  But we'll give you some food for thought...

I was mainly curious if the NH house was a vacation place or something.  Assuming it's paid off, I guess you can look at it as a 90K investment that gives you $1100 per month.  That's better than a 10% rate of return and pretty good in my book.  But I'm not a real estate investor, they may have other ideas of a decent rate of return.

I know very little about sheep.  But I thought that part of having sheep is that they make more sheep nearly every year.  Can you buy fewer sheep and just not sell the lambs so that in two years you have all the sheep you need?  Sorry if it's a dumb question...

If the house across the street is liveable, moving there and renting the main house may be a winner.  Assuming it doesn't cost much to move, you'd basically just increase your income by a tidy sum.  There's a decent chance the renters wouldn't want the barn anyway so you wouldn't need to give a discount.

Based on a photo of your wood stove, I believe your house is pretty nice inside?  Would an AirB&B, vacation rental or bed and breakfast be an option?  I'm not sure if you're in a touristy area but that could rake in more cash than a long term rental (but with much more work on your end).
 
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Absolutely awesome.  I'm building a platform for my splitter right now,  This is definitely going to be something to look at.  At 64 I'm losing the upper body strength and stamina to keep up with it.  Thanks for posting.  This was a forehead slapper "why didn't I think of that?" for sure.
 
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Eric Thomas wrote:Absolutely awesome.  I'm building a platform for my splitter right now,  This is definitely going to be something to look at.  At 64 I'm losing the upper body strength and stamina to keep up with it.  Thanks for posting.  This was a forehead slapper "why didn't I think of that?" for sure.



This is my wood splitter; an upside down wood splitter mounted upon my log loader so that I don't have to lift rounds onto it. I can just sit on the back of my tractor and run levers.

In practice I just hoover the upside down wood splitter over a round, pinch it, but do not split it yet, then swing it over my dump body or over a woodpile and then finish splitting it. With a 4 way blade, it is split into 4 pieces, then I swing over to another round. It is slow, but doing nothing but running levers, I am just as fast at the start of the day as I am at the end, except I got full lumbar support, adjustable back tilt, etc all day...even a cup holder!

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He loves you so much! And I'm baking the cake! I'm going to put this tiny ad in the cake:
five days of natural building (wofati and cob) and rocket cooktop oct 8-12, 2018
https://permies.com/t/92034/permaculture-projects/days-natural-building-wofati-cob
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