Walt Holton

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since Nov 08, 2013
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Recent posts by Walt Holton

When I butcher I usually freeze the meat portions (leg thigh breast, wings), but I immedealty put all of the carcacess (and the heart and cleaned gizzard diced...the livers I save to catch catfish with) into a big pot to stew and cook off the rest of the meat, fat and marrow to make a fine meaty broth (with seasoning of course), and then can the meaty broth (30% meat). So it certainly does not hurt to cook them right away, but hanging them might allow bacteria to grow.
7 years ago
I have kept several varieties together and they do not seem to be too racist, or care too much, but there are some breeds that are knuckleheads in general (leghorns, astrolops), but I have found chickens have personalities if you pay attention. I had Leghorns, Brahmas, Brown Sex Links, and Buffs together and they got along like peas and carrots when you watch them scratch and peck, but the minuite I would go out there, a number of them would cvome up to me to be petted and one sex link would go nuts and peck the ones that wanted petted. We called that chicken Pecky, but she was the tamest of them all, and all I could figure was she was jelous. There will always be a bit of hazing when you introduce new birds to the flock (sometimes downright mean), and the best way to reduce that is to introduce the new birds after the others have already roosted for the night.
7 years ago
the best way to fix it is with a biscut joiner and glue, but if you dont have a lot of tools, you could use wooden dowels. If you use dowels make sure the size of dowel is small enough to leave the same amount of wood above and below the centered hole. Also to make sure your holes line up you can make a quick jig by screwing two boards together into a T shape and drilling a hole through it first. Line up the two halves of your cutting board, make marks on both halves (offset to the actual hole in the T, the distance of the edge of the T to the center of the hole) line up the edhe of the T on one side and drill it straight, and do the same on the other side. Glue your dowels before you insert them and then clamp the whole shebang together. Dowel size should be determined by sliding them in and out with a little friction but no slop. Things NOT to do--- Cut your dowels too long, drill your holes crooked,
7 years ago
Thanks fort the very detailed reply Marcos. It is going to take me a few times through it to get my head all the way around all you said, but even at first read it gives me a lot to think about. If science was presented as this interesting when I was a kid I probably would have paid a bit better attention.
7 years ago
Abe, thanks for the ideas. I have been thinking of putting it in a fireproof/ thermal mass room in the the basement the next home I build, but between then (gotta sell the current house first) and now it is time to brain storm, and study, study the physics behind it and observe sucess and failures. of working models. My profession is home construction, and the last number of years I have specialied in high performance construction/desigh/building science, with a balanced approach of energy conservation, occupant comfort, building durability and simplicity, and occupant health.
7 years ago
Thannks Abe, I will look at Mother Earth and see if I can find that article. I was planning on using the bong for as part of the heat exchange cycle (and storage in an old water heater for space heat or aquaculture) because my intent is to have little or no losses of productive energy in the system, besides the friction losses in the engine which if I went totaly bonkers I could probably harvest as well. My two thoughs were to either coil copper pipe in the bong and circulate the water to harvest the energy or do a jacket around the bong (putting a big vessel around a smaller one) and exchanging that water to keep it cool. I think the key will be keeping that bong water as cool as possible to minimalize the vapor.
7 years ago
I am going to be building a small stationary gasifier this winter to run up to a 25 hp engine, harvesting the waste heat via water coils and jackets, however on a staionary unit I see cooling the gasses before they reach the intake manifold as the biggest chalenge to a small uint. I had an idea which probably would not work too well on mobile units (trucks) but may be a silver bullet on the stationary units, which would cool the gas in a small area and provide perhaps the entire filtering of solids need. My idea is... directly after the gasifier combustion unit, run the hot smoke through a bong (perhaps a 5 gallon bucket). I have two concerns with this strategy- 1) I do not know the dewpoint of the actual gasses which the engine needs to run, and would they perhaps be held in the bong water. 2) Re-condensing the vapor that would be added to the smoke, post bong. I think the second is less of a concern than the first and could be addresed with a small baffled chamber (aluminum would be best), with a drain bung, since the post bong fuel temp would be not too far from ambient air. Has anyone heard of, or had experience with a bong cooler/fliterer on a gasifier?

Walt
7 years ago
R Scott, Although I plan to attache the roof trusses with a bond beam spanning the length of the bearing, I have not figured out what to do with the extra covered area over the 4' bales other than use it for mechanichal space. However, I do not plan on pouring footings but rather excavating out a 5' wide by 2' deep trench around where the bales will sit, and back filling it with compacted, crushed washed gravel (like a french drain) with a perferated pipe set to drain grade at the bottom of the trench with both ends of the pipe ending up in a sump pit (for lack of better words) which could be mechanically ventilated by placing it under a negative pressure ith a radon fan or integrated into a stack ventilation system. This footing system would protect from frost, water and vaporand I don't think the critters would like it too much either. As for the windows and doors the rough design I am working on has only a couple popout areas for windows, with most of the glazing and egress on the south exposure which will be some sort of a mix of thermal mass and stratigic non-low e glass with roof overhangs to shade the wall from summer heat gain but take advantage of the winter gains, and load the interior thermal masses with energy for night. I also plan on building a rocket stove into the design with some sort of a water jacket so I can move the exess heat to other areas of the house or to a greenhouse, or aquaponic fish tanks (that will be phase 4 or 5). I will aso be using operable skylights in parts of the building where traditional glazing may not be logical, but light is desired.

Thanks,
Walt
7 years ago
If the wall which you wish to dry has an unlimited moisture supply, any heat soiurce including a rocket mass heater raise your specific humidity (the total amount of water vapor in the space also occupied by air), since energy is wat converts liquid water to vapor and keeps it as vapor. So if the wall is cement and the soil on the other side is saturated keeping that room hot will give the apperance of a dry surface and you may have a lower relative humidity, but you will certailny have a higher specific humidity which may cause problems elswhere in the house as it condensates on surfaces which have a dew point lower than the dew point of the environment, which is typically northern exposed areas with slight or no airflow or inside walls. By baking this one room you may cause a bunch of other problems. It is best to fix the water intrusion, and yes anything can be fixed.
7 years ago
I have been considering building a straw house out of 1 ton bales 4x4x8 (we have an abundance of cornstalk and straw our area), because it would be quick to build, cheap, stable and heck an experience I have not had before. I am a pro homebuilder (25 years, the last 10 in high perfomance construction design and building science). I am planning on doing this home for myself, in a rural environment since we have a local provision which allows a person who lives in an ag area to build for themselves without a permit or third party harassment; it is at your own risk. I have some basic concepts in my mind for structural attachments, wall finishing, environmental durability (keeping it from rot and vermin). My concept is not to make this house look like the run of the mill stick built house, but I certaily am not going for the neo-third world look..perhaps the Frank Lloyd Wright/Howard Roark meets Hobbit style. I would really love to hear if anyone has experiince with actual use of the large bales, or have been thinking about it.

Thanks,
Walt
7 years ago