Glenn Ingram

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since Dec 12, 2013
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trees rabbit chicken bike wood heat woodworking
Hartsville, SC
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Recent posts by Glenn Ingram

I have made buttons out of antler. It was very simple. I just cut some slices of.the antler the thickness I wanted (maybe 1/8" or a little more) with a hack saw. A band saw would make faster work of it if you have access to one. I then drilled two 1/16" holes for the thread. I just eyeballed those and they came out great. The edges have the bumpiness of the antler, which is what I wanted. You could file or sand those edges down a little to make them easier to use. The bumps sometimes catch in the button hole.
Wooden ones would take a bit more work. Any hardwood would work especially the non-porous ones like maple, cherry, or apple.  You would need to rip a slice of the wood with the grain. The slice would be about the diameter of your buttons wide and as thick as you want your buttons. Use dry wood for this. Then cut the slice up into the buttons. You can do final shaping and smoothing with a rasp and sandpaper. Working with the small button is going to be difficult and possibly dangerous so do as much shaping and smoothing as you can before cutting it off the slice of wood. Drill small holes as you wish and use your finish of choice.  A belt sander and some padded pliers would really speed things up if you are making a lot.

My friend and her husband are both vegan, so I'm sure any animals they keep, they will not be wanting for meat. They have been thinking about chickens or ducks for eating slugs and weeds and food scraps. Will bunnies or chickens eat English Ivy? I know my chickens and ducks do not eat blackberry vine, and the chickens don't seem very interested in eating bindweed. My ducks never did too much to the bindweed, either. Right now, I have my chickens' run where my bindweed grows and there's blackberry that's grown in there, too. They haven't touched the blackberry, and have slowed the progress of the bindweed...but I think a lot of that slowing is caused simply from me going down there more often and pulling the weeds.



My chickens are not interested in most woody or hardy plants.  Overall, I find they are a bit picky preferring the soft herbaceous plants.  My chickens won't really eat mature grass even.  When I only used chickens on a piece of land, all of the woody weedy plants and vines would take over because the chickens ate or scratched all the competition.  Chickens and ducks are really omnivores preferring bugs and worms.  

Rabbits, on the other hand, are herbivores.  Mine are not picky at all.  I have not seen anything they won't eat but I have not given them English Ivy.  I even noticed that they will sparingly eat things that are supposed to be poisonous to them, but they will eventually eat it.  They will definitely eat Japanese Honeysuckle which is a big pest around here.  They don't prefer it but will nibble it and take it on back if left on the honeysuckle patch.  They will definitely eat blackberry and greenbriar.  Mine love the leaves and will even nibble green stems.  They will strip saplings of bark so can be effective against shrubs as well.  You can greatly increase their efficiency if you cut or even knock down tall weeds so they can get to them more easily.  The biggest difficulty with rabbits is the difficulty of keeping them fenced in.  It requires burying so you can't just put up a temporary fence as with chickens.  Honestly though, if you are not harvesting the rabbits, then you can handle them often and they can become your buddies.  They won't run away from you so it's not a big deal if they escape unless you have predators.  They won't go far and you will usually find them next to the fence.

They will use the same watering nipples as chickens as well.  So I rigged up a 50 gallon barrel that gravity feeds down to the rabbits and chickens and they can all drink from the same nipples.  The barrel collects some water in rain but I have to fill it every now and then.  I don't have very many right now but we used to have about 15 rabbits and 6 chickens being watered for almost a week with the 50 gallon barrel.  It makes it very easy to take care of.  In winter, I put a trough heater in the barrel, and I also ran a hose coming back from the pens to the barrel so I could hook up a little pump to keep water flowing through the lines in the winter.  It works well into the 20s at least.  If you buried pipes from the barrel to the pens, it would be much better.  If you are collecting rain water for the barrel, do check the nipples now and then to be sure they are working as sediment can clog them.  I just unscrew them and clean them and they are good for another several months to a year.  Getting a bit off topic now so I'll stop.
1 year ago
I like Hamilton's idea if it is a practical spot.  If you don't want to use large animals, rabbits would work as well.  I have even been using some rabbits for plant control primarily.  I just keep one gender in the pen and don't harvest them.  If you do finally harvest them, their skin is a bit thicker if you want to try your hand at tanning (I have had poor results but haven't tried a lot) and their meat is still pretty good.  It's not as tender as the fryers but doesn't get tough and stringy like older chickens.  I find it truly amazing how voracious rabbits are.  If this is a property line, then you could build a long, narrow pen that they can patrol for you.  To prevent digging, either bury the fence well or lay 4" welded wire fencing on the ground.  They are quiet so won't bother neighbors and you periodically harvest manure from their poop spot(s) to keep smells down.  If bugs become a problem, put a couple chickens in there with them.
1 year ago
A sawbuck can help stabilize round wood; that's its job.  But if you are using a chainsaw, the teeth on the body of the saw should keep them from rolling on you.  Just cut the logs at the base of the blade if that makes sense.
2 years ago
My sawbuck works well except it does have the problems you mentioned of the upper "arms" being too long. That's a problem I have lived with and will correct on my next one. I don't use it for bucking much for the reasons people mentioned but it is ideal for bucking by hand which I do some.  It is wonderful for working a log with hand tools. I used dimensional lumber because it was what I had on hand.
2 years ago
Oh.  Another method would be to put a 2x4 between the bags 2 courses below the top.  Then attach the top plate with long timberlocks through the top plate, 2 courses of bags, and into the buried 2x4.  That would probably be the strongest as there is no reliance on the tensile strength of the bags.  That would also be much easier than trying to impale bags into threaded rods while installing.
2 years ago
You will install a wooden top plate on top of the earthbag structure.  Your birdsmouth will be cut to the wooden top plate, not the whole earthbag wall so no significant weakening.  You could use the rope method of attaching the top plate.  You could also get some 3/8 - 1/2" threaded rod and bend one end into an L and install it 2-3 courses from the top every 4 feet or so.  The two top courses will be impaled onto the threaded rod.  You will probably want to sharpen the end of the rod as well to allow easier impaling.  Then you can bolt on the top plate.  The top plate will also distribute your roof loads so you're not getting point pressure on the earthbag wall.  You will probably need to use a 4x4 or 4x6 as your top plate if you want to keep it in the middle or use a 2x and push it toward the outside so your rafter tails will clear the earthbags.  I would opt for a doubled 2x top plate as close to the center of the wall as possible so it is a little stronger and overlap the corners so the top is bound together more effectively.  I believe I also remember from the earthbag book that you can pour a cement bond beam on the top which seems way overkill for a shed.  Ask your inspector which method he would prefer.  The doubled 2x is what he is going to used to as that is the method used in stick framing.  But ask about the method of attaching it to the earthbags.  Good luck sounds but, careful with your back.
2 years ago
Another challenge here is to have the staff/blowgun be light enough to aim accurately as a blowgun without support yet strong enough to withstand contact as a staff.  Have you thought about ratan like what is used in Kali?  I know those are usually short sticks but I believe ratan has a relatively soft pith similar to elder that a drill bit could follow yet it is light and strong.  I don't know if it comes in large enough diameters though and you would obviously have to order it from overseas.  But it seems like an ideal material for your project being strong, light, and sort of hollow.
2 years ago
What is the goal?  The easiest way is certainly Phil's idea of splitting hollowing and gluing back together but that is not that easy.  Also, if you do want to actually bore it, there are long drill bits used by electricians that would be long enough.  It would take some practice and possibly some luck to not bust out of the side.  You could drill 3' from each side.
2 years ago
I've been seeing this option popping up in some homes I've been working on.  It is an inverter and allows dimming.  Basically, you run an AC wire in and then run small wires (DC) out to LED tape.  It is essentially an off-the-shelf option.  I've seen them in two homes here in North Carolina.  This or something like it may be the ticket if you are using standard AC wiring.  The examples I have seen have quite a few DC wires going out to lighting from the single AC wire in.

2 years ago