Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook
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Janet Branson

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since Apr 12, 2014
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Recent posts by Janet Branson

The cob oven Kai et al. built looks pretty groovy. When shall the rest of the world get to see it?
7 years ago
Hi everyone! A video and brief discussion about raising and securing beams on my tiny Oehler house is available here. Thank you for your support and patience as I gradually share more about the construction process. Ben, Evan, Steve and I went south to thaw out and we all look forward to getting back to work when Montana thaws out, too!
7 years ago
Nicole, thanks for reading!

More than one history department I have been around didn't have enough texts to check out to students. They were just enough for a class set, many missing pages. One teacher had her students write the missing page numbers in Sharpie on the cover so no one wasted classtime looking in a book. Admins and some teachers reasoned that new text books were a waste of limited funds since students can just use the internet to find information. Given the biases that come with our history books I'd probably assign students to find sources that contradict or better enlighten us on the topics covered.

Mold, lead pipes, asbestos falling out of ceilings, the mark of a public school in alow income minority neighborhood. It's sick.
7 years ago

Mike Jay wrote: I have heard (but not fully explored) that a "one person earth auger" is much easier to use.  I hear that the auger is on the end of a long arm and the engine is at the other end of that arm.  The engine sits on the ground and the auger pivots up and down.  So you only lift the weight of the auger and not the engine.  Plus it resists the torque for you since the engine is so far away from the hole.  I haven't used one but if I ever need to auger a hole and don't have a tractor mounted one, I'm going to seriously investigate these.

Hi Mike, I wanted the one-man auger, but we didn't have a vehicle that could haul it. I'll keep that option in mind for the next house if the tractor auger isn't available.
7 years ago
We are all looking forward to diversifying our duck population, Evan.
7 years ago

Rocks are Hard

Kai broke up the rock layer with the pry bar and I excavated the loose bits with the post hole digger. At about 2.5 feet deep the post-hole digger is of little use and I start to remove the debris with a coffee cup. It was a long week.
7 years ago

It took a week of digging all day to prepare 15 post holes. Five days of digging by hand and I only had 3 holes, none of which were my target 3 feet deep. With the workshop beginning soon I decided to rent an earth-auger. One of the Ants suggested what we got was a snow auger. Considering how it responded to my rock layer at 2.5 feet, he may be right.
Kai took a break from cobbing his castle to help keep the auger digging for two days. He says the machine takes all the work of digging by hand and compresses it into a short time period. It's a rough thing to operate. It kept tilting because I wasn't strong enough to hold my portion of the weight. It kept dragging me into the hill. At one point the vibrations caused my hands to go numb. I lost my grip and the machine whipped around and slammed Kai in his thigh. Sorry Kai.

Next time...

For some reason, I spent all of August solely focused on logs and later, time soley focused on holes.  On the Big Tiny, I will divide my time between peeling logs and digging holes. Breaking up the tasks rather than spending 8 hours a day in the same position doing the same repetitive motion will be more enjoyable I suspect.

The tractor has an auger bit, though it isn't as wide as my future posts will be. Next time, I will dig test holes before I decide on the final site location. Fingers are crossed that my favorite spot will have easier digging.
7 years ago