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thomas rubino

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since Apr 14, 2013
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cat pig rocket stoves
13 acres in extreme rural Montana 100% off grid since 1983. Solar and micro hydro. Summer time piggy farmer. Restoring 2000-04 Subaru outbacks wagons for fun and a little profit. Not quite old enough to retire YET but closing on it fast... until then I must occasionally leave Paradise "home" and run large construction cranes on union job sites across the inland northwest. I make (Well try) A-2 A-2 cheese, I love cooking with my wood smoker for everything! Would not live anywhere else but rural Montana ! My wife Liz runs "Rocks by liz" a successful Etsy store and we have a summer booth at the Missoula peoples market. We currently breed and raise persian cats but are about to retire all the girls and let them be happy kittys for the remainder of their days.Oh and my biggest thing is... I LOVE MY RMH !
latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Recent posts by thomas rubino

Told the kitty's this morning, not to worry.  Their 1/2 pound of organic catnip is arriving this afternoon...

YES, I'm just an enabler...
1 hour ago
Hi All;
As you know, I recently had a truck load of firewood logs delivered to my home.
I am thoroughly pleased with the convivence of this. What I had not considered was the size of that wood.

My normal loads of red fir were 10"-36" in diameter.  Lots had to be split at least in half to even lift them into the truck.

In this new wood, the average dia. is 4"  some 6-8" some 2".

The first benefit is how light these pieces are! Even the greener ones are one handers!

The next benefit , is just how easy they split with my Fiskars splitting axe!  Apx 4 chunks at a time fit in my tire. One whack each and they are split!!
BUT THE VERY BEST BENEFIT ?   ALL my wood for the rmh will be already split !!! WHOO HOO !!! Next winter , no splitting every day … just an armload or two and I'm done!  Now that's slick !
I'm now thinking that every year or two I'll be getting a long load of logs again !
5 hours ago
Getting ready to let them into the first pen.  Within 2 days it will look like a bomb went off in there.
Meanwhile the comfrey plants are growing like weeds and boy oh boy Piggy's LOVE comfrey!

Using my new high tech design grain storage system.  I've grown tired of packing it from the shed 100' away.  
Its water tight, wind resistant , the deer won't mess with it. Unfortunately IF the elk wander by they could do some serious damage.  But my biggest worry is bugs bunny. .. if he locates it, he could chew his way into the sack... I'm gambling on the elk staying away and Bugsy only getting a little before I notice... We will see. I've got another 600# in the shed ,just in case.
6 hours ago
Hi Diane;
Definitely use the perlite fire clay, under the core.  
Under the mass. If your seeing moisture, and we know its not insulated underneath. Then you might consider putting 2" of rigid foam  (eps) down first.
Then just an inch of straw cob to bed your pipes on.
No need for rock under your pipes. That heat is going to rise.
After your pipes are  protected by cob , then use as much rock as you can for the mass. It holds heat much better than cob and every one means that much less cob you have to make.

EDIT) I should add you can use concrete board and bricks to raise your mass off the floor. This is more commonly done with a wooden floor but no reason it couldn't be done over a slab.
Hi Kate:   Welcome to Permies!

Some good options here for you , Ill add mine.  

In my opinion, no doubt about it... steel / aluminum is a better frame for a mobile home.  
Your tiny house can be build with wood but the frame and suspension should all be metal. Aluminum would be lightest by far but I think pretty costly.
Using a prebuilt equipment trailer like Dillon did (drive carefully) would be a good compromise.  Setting your wood built tiny house on a prebuilt trailer allows you to be mobile at first and later if you find a place you want to stay,  you have it unloaded and set on a foundation. Then you sell the trailer to recover some costs.

I've not given much thought to the tiny house craze. I wonder how does a mobile home deal with service hookups ?   Water , power and most important sewage ? I would think hauling about a water and sewage tanks would add a liquid weight to your vehicle that makes driving hazardous ...  just ask Dillon.
2 days ago
Hi Deb;  I think I have had one of those since the 1980's.   Slightly different look, but they talk about the "original"  so I think mine must be one of those. Small, all metal , shut off button, easy to disassemble and clean (after about ten years).
So mine has been in service for closing on 40 years and we still love it!

EDIT)  I should mention that we have no lack of water here and as far as water pressure goes … well it's 125 psi at the freezeless hydrant outside.  So I can report that these units will work with any water pressure above the stated minimum. With our Paloma on demand water heater you can literally take as long a shower as you like, until we ran out of propane...

On full flow our spray can kind of sting its that hard.    

After 35 years plus , the shower head is unaffected by the high pressure.
3 days ago
Yes; Jean Paul.  That should work great.
And as Gerry said , we await photos!
3 days ago
Well Gerry ;
Did you notice my post about admitting I Might be getting old ?
I have this horrible illness... called CRS disease , you may have heard of it.
So ahh yes  , You are correct. My apology's Jean Paul, just an old man rambling...
4 days ago
Cut my first load of wood today.  
Sure looks small compared to my loads from the past.
Sure kicked my butt compared to those past loads as well.
Admittedly the first loads down off the mountain always did me in as well... sort of got to work up to these things.
4 days ago