Lew Wallace

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since Feb 16, 2013
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Recent posts by Lew Wallace

That was likely a stirling engine fan. They use a heat differential to turn the motor... the hotter the surface, the faster they turn. They are available online and can be good DIY projects if you have the tools and time.
5 years ago
I'm with Erica. Thumbnails that draw my attention, or at least make it easier to recognize what I've seen before, help my muddled brain (no Erica, I'm not implying your brain is muddled). ;o) I second (or third, or fifth) that "New up top" is awesome!!! My internet connection doesn't like it when I scroll through a bunch of vids trying to fine the one or two new ones. Also along the internet connection lines... shorter videos load much faster, and therefore get watched sooner. I like long in-depth subjects/presentations, but they are generally easier to watch (connection wise as well as personal free time), and sometimes digest, if they are split up into sections. Your commentary and personality are what drew me to Permies in the first place... so keep it up!
I think I would opt for a good silver solder, as opposed to glue or JB weld. Some of those things wouldn't taste too good.
5 years ago
It's my impression that the burn chamber needs to concentrate heat to get a more complete burn. If you're getting cooking temps off of the top of that area you would be losing efficiency. I haven't built our RMH yet so don't quote me on that.

We're planning to do a sub-floor heating unit. We hope to use the top of the barrel as a cooking surface. I want to try to make a removable cob oven, possibly supported/moved via an overly large fireplace crane.

5 years ago
Our pigs would have the pastured areas down to dirt by mid summer. The woods got brushed out good, but would still have some vegetation. We kept moving them so it didn't get down to bare dirt too. Everything grew back in spring, and they'd start over. The area right around the barn was muddy (don't wear yer school shoes to feed the pigs! I heard that more than once). They had a big mud wallow near the barn and would usually make a few smaller ones out near the trees. Pigs don't sweat, so they "waller" to keep cool, and help get rid of lice.

We had a neighbor lady (neatest prissiest lady I ever met) fall in love with an orphaned (very sickly) runt. She took him home and he became a pet. He ate and slept on the porch with the dog, had the run of the house during the day, asked to be let out, and eventually died of old age. BTW it takes a BIG hole to bury a full grown Yorkshire, that's been spoiled all his life. Pigs can be very clean if you let them. Even in the barn, if you kept the stalls shoveled out. They would sleep in one corner, eat in another and do their "business" as far away as they could.

Warning If you're going to name your pigs make it something like "Porkchop" or "Hambone"... makes the killing and eating much easier if they don't become pets!

Lew
5 years ago
Hi Annie,
I was was raised on a 5 acre pig farm, in the Rainier/St. Helens area of Oregon. I still grunt when my wife scratches my back and hits just the right spot... LoL. It was our primary income, until the early '70s. About a third of the property was pasture, and the rest was woods and brush. There were some evergreens, but most were maples and alders (i.e. deciduous trees). The pigs did require some additional feed (especially in winter), but got their main food from the underbrush and grasses. We kept a lot of pigs on that 5 acres. Usually between 100 and 300 head, if you count all of the piglets, weaned pigs, brood sows, butcher hogs etc. Our herd cleared brush better than anything I've seen before or since. If you only want a few they should do fine on that acreage. You might want to give them additional grain "treats" so they stay tame and will come to you. Make sure you have a good electric fence perimeter, and good shelter for them. We divided the property into smaller runs so we could control where and how much they foraged. You'll want to keep at least 2-3 or else they get bored and lonely and will try to roam to find friends and entertainment.
Hope this helps!
lew
5 years ago
Hi there, Long time reader, first time poster here.
Has anyone heard of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) being used in cob or earthen plasters? It's often referred to as "clay", but I'm not sure how/if it would work well as a binding agent. I know it's too cost prohibitive for most, but we own 40 acres of desert, of which, about half is DE. I know it's very light with good insulative value, and has MANY uses. We are going to be building there soonish (less than 2 years) and if DE would work, it would save a lot of time, effort, and expense. I plan on taking soil samples when we go there this summer... but I'm curious and impatient. So I figured I'd run it past some of the cob gurus here.

Thanks!
Lew

6 years ago
cob