Will Meginley

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since Nov 19, 2014
Will likes ...
food preservation forest garden hunting tiny house trees woodworking
USDA zone 5b, ~40 inches rainfall per year.
Campton, New Hampshire
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Recent posts by Will Meginley

Travis Johnson wrote:That is true, but there is more than one way to do something.

That is also true. I should point out in case it wasn't obvious, the math in question was for the floor I was describing, not the floor Travis described which made me remember it.
1 week ago

Will Meginley wrote:
I had a friend growing up whose father did this with 2 x 4 lumber. He used cookies about 1/2 inch thick. The pieces looked like little bricks. He wood glued them in a herringbone pattern to a plywood subflooring and then covered the floor in epoxy. It looked really nice.

Doing the math: looks like you need about 30 tiles per square foot to pull that floor off. Assuming you get eight tiles per linear foot (to account for kerf, knots, shake, etc.) You should get 2 square feet per standard 2 x 4 x 8. So if you purchase the boards it's not super cheap. My friend's dad had a large scrap wood pile from other projects that provided his flooring.
1 week ago

Travis Johnson wrote:Another extremely cheap floor to make is one made out of wood rounds or squares.

This was often used in old factories because old whale grease would land on the floors and be slippery. Plus everything was oiled back then, so oil dripped everywhere. To combat that, factories cut wood rounds, debarked to an even thickness of 2-4 inches. These were nailed to the floor or adjacent blocks of wood. They did this because the end grain would readily suck up the grease and oil preventing slipping when walked on.

There is two ways to do this. Logs can be debarked, then crosscut so that rounds are made, and then placed about the room as close as possible. They should be dried first though to allow for shrinking. Then concrete is made, and poured around the rounds of wood, just as if you were making a stone patio with flat rock pavers. But in this case, they are rounds blocks of wood. I have personally built this kind of floor for a woodworking shop.

The other way to do it, and is more refined, is to cut logs into square beams...8x8's, 6x6's, 4x4.s etc, and then crosscut them to 2-4 inches in thickness. Then place them end grain up nailing them to each other and the floor as you work across the room. This can be left natural as they did in the old factories, or sanded and sealed with polyurethane.

Sorry, I do not have a picture of that round block floor.

I had a friend growing up whose father did this with 2 x 4 lumber. He used cookies about 1/2 inch thick. The pieces looked like little bricks. He wood glued them in a herringbone pattern to a plywood subflooring and then covered the floor in epoxy. It looked really nice.
1 week ago

Ty Greene wrote:Thanks to everyone for the ID of Sumac I noticed a strange smell when messing with them so I assumed it was the tree of heaven, they also have seeds hanging that look like windscattered type and I though that was another indicator...

Be warned: I have received poison ivy-like rashes on my forearms from handling the stuff at work in short sleeves. Don't know if it's just me or that's a common occurrence.
2 weeks ago

Kate Downham wrote:I hadn't heard of this before. I am in Australia, normal car fuel here is 92%, and that's what we use for the chainsaw. There is usually a 95% option too - would this 95% fuel be worth it?

I honestly don't know how much difference 3% would make. Since it has ethanol in it either way, for sure always store it purged. It's a good habit to be in anyway.
3 weeks ago

Travis Johnson wrote:I like a 18 inch bar and chain because it is a whole lot less teeth to file, and the bar and chain are cheaper to buy. The biggest reason though is, I get far more power. I have 6 inches of less drag on a 18 inch bar over that of a 20 inch bar, (2 inches longer on the top, bottom and nose to make 6 inches) so I get more power to the chain to cut through wood. Again I so seldom cut massive trees so having more power 99% of the time makes up for the few times I have to...wait for it...cross to the other side of the log and finish the cut. Oh the horrors of that! (insert sarcasm here)

A smaller bar results in fuel savings also. I have both an 18 and a 20 inch bar for my saw. The same tank of gas gets me 45 minutes of saw time with the 20" or an hour with the 18." Fifteen extra minutes for giving up two inches of cutting length.

One situation where having a larger bar is nice, though, is if you're doing a lot of thinning (cutting small trees and brush from around and under larger trees). The extra bar length means you don't have to bend over as far, which really saves your back over the course of a long day. In the past, I've been known to slap a 24 inch bar onto an 036 at work if I knew I was going to be out thinning all day. I wouldn't use that setup to cut anything over about twelve inches, though. WAY underpowered. But eight inches was usually the upper limit of our prescriptions, anyway, and it saved my back. Burns more gas. Like always, there's a trade off somewhere.
3 weeks ago

Kate Downham wrote:What is the ideal way to maintain and use a chainsaw for firewood to minimise having to replace parts?

Back to the original question: Having to go get more gas today reminded me of a couple items that hadn't been brought up yet.

Most "gasoline" sold in the United States has 10-15% ethanol content. Leaving out the fact that current technology requires 1.25 gallons of gasoline to produce 1 gallon of ethanol, it's really bad for your saw. It gums up your carburetor and erodes plastic fuel lines. If you're trying to limit repair needs, use only non-ethanol gasoline in chainsaws - and other gas powered equipment. It can be hard to find. The nearest station from me that sells it is 45 minutes away so I always take a jerry can and grab five gallons at a time to limit the amount of driving involved. Often, if a station has it, only the premium grade fuel will be non-ethanol. Near the coast it's often labeled as "boat fuel" or "recreation fuel." If you don't know of a station near you, you can try pure-gas.org. If worst comes to absolute worst, most saw shops sell a product called "TRUFUEL" that's pre-mixed 50:1 non-ethanol gasoline. It's a colossal rip-off though - usually costs about 20 bucks a gallon.

Along the same lines, if you're going to store your chainsaw for more than a handful of days before the next use, purge it of fuel. Pure gasoline will also erode fuel lines over time, just not as fast as ethanol. The less you have gas in the fuel lines, the longer that will take. Gasoline with additives can also evaporate and leave residue in the carburetor. Some of the tubes in a chainsaw carburetor are only the width of a human hair, so they don't take much to gunk up. To purge the saw: use a funnel to empty the contents of the fuel tank into your spare fuel container. Then start the saw and let it run until it dies. This shouldn't take more than a few seconds.
3 weeks ago

Mike Jay wrote:Thanks for the great info Travis!  My pawn shop regularly has a decent selection of used Stihl saws.  Do the pro and homeowner saws share the same number?  IE, can a 261 be in either product line?  

If I'm going to be cutting 5 cord of firewood a year and maybe dabbling in an Alaska Sawmill for a couple 24" white pines (truly just a couple, not turning that into an ongoing hobby), which Stihl size should I get?

Except for the 880, all of Stihl's professional grade saws end in either 61 or 62. 62 is the newest, but they still sell the 61 series. If it has the suffix "C" it has a computerized self-adjusting carburetor that is probably more homeowner friendly, but more expensive to repair. For older used saws you'd be looking for 026, 036, 046 or 066.

Taking milling out of the equation, an 036/361/362 is probably good enough for most any homesteading task. With a 20 inch bar, a sharp chain, and the appropriate skill level that will handle hardwoods up to about 20 inches and softwoods up to about 28 inches.

I bought myself a new 362 last year. I anticipate needing to replace it about the time my toddler gives me my first grandbaby. By that time there won't be any original parts on it, of course, other than a handful of bolts and maybe the gas tank. The 046 I run at work was purchased in the 1990s. And for what it's worth, we have a Husqvarna 272 that's older than I am (I'm in my mid 30s). We just had to replace its chain tensioner assembly (a ten dollar parts kit and a five minute repair job), but otherwise it runs fine.
3 weeks ago

Mike Jay wrote:I'm still not sure I'll attempt that and knowing that I need a huge saw for that and a normal saw for firewood makes it even more of a question mark...

It's a long shot, but if you have an equipment rental place nearby they might have a suitable sized saw. (You'd still need to purchase the ripping chain.)

A saw big enough for milling is ridiculously overkill for firewood, though.
3 weeks ago

connor burke wrote:Im not very good with mechines so i try to have other people use them while i do grunt work. Do yall have a favorite chainsaw you would recommend? super durrable and safe recommends are prefered.

This thread from a while back had some pretty good recommendations. I'm sure there are probably others in the gear forum.
3 weeks ago