D Nikolls

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since Feb 18, 2015
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Victoria BC
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Recent posts by D Nikolls

James Alun wrote:

On overrun brakes vs electric brakes. Are electric brakes just on or off? The overrun brakes will apply more braking force the harder the towing vehicle is braking.

Nope, electric brakes require the tow vehicle to have a brake controller; this modulates the braking force based on the brake pedal position, simplying by varying the voltage applied to the brakes. There is an adjustment wheel or slider so that you can adjust this, very important. The correct setting for my dump trailer empty, will be grossly inadequate with ~5 tons in it... but running it at the fully loaded setting while empty, would see the trailer brakes locking up and tires skidding every time I so much as touch the brake pedal..

Oddly enough this controller has been an aftermarket thing in every truck/van I have ever owned, but not expensive or difficult as long as the vehicle already has the wiring and 7-pin trailer connector to support it.

One really nice aspect of electric brakes is that the controller will have a button to allow manual application of the trailer brakes alone. In a situation where the trailer is getting out of control and weaving side to side behind you, you may be able to recover by applying a bit of trailer braking, or by maxing out the trailer brakes in combination with more moderate braking from the tow vehicle.  I am confident this saved my life on one occasion, coming down a steep hill with a very heavy load..

With that experience still a vivid memory after some years, I would never use overtaking brakes unless the trailer and load was very moderately sized relative to the tow vehicle..
4 weeks ago

James Alun wrote:

I'd agree that brakes are a good idea. I'm much more used to overrun brakes, for this size, are ebrakes standard on this size trailer?

Most of the utility sized trailers I have seen lack brakes.. but effectively the same 3500lb axles are under ziĺlions of RV trailers and those pretty well all have electric brakes...
4 weeks ago
That's a nice little trailer, and vehicle collection!

Does it have mounting flanges for brakes on the axle? Trailer brakes are a glorious thing, when you suddenly need them!

I would guess it probly has a 3500 or 4500lb axle; I'm basing this on what look, from an angle, to be 5 lug wheels. In my experience all of the modern style 7k trailer axles I have seen have been 8 lug..

5000lb axles have been generally 6 lug.

3500lb and 4500 axles have all been 5 lug; 3500 are far more common, seems like most heavier applications go to 5k axles rather than 4500s..
4 weeks ago
A rainscreen is exactly what I would use.. but this does complicate the assembly. And it implies that the metal is not the whole of the wall..

Starting from the outside, in my climate, you might have, for example:

Steel siding
Rainscreen (just battens to create an air gap. Vented to the outside top and bottom.
(Air barrier to prevent windwashing ext insul?)
(Optional external insulation?)
Air barrier
Air barrier/Vapour retarder/Interior wall

In practice, for farm buildings, that is not happening.

For a shed roof, steel over underlayment over plywood is fine for me. Occasionally a drip or two inside if there is snow on the roof and things suddenly get warm.. but night and day vs steel on purlins..

Sprayfoam directly onto steel is popular inside seacans.. gross but it works.

*IF* your foam is closed cell and you seal all the gaps well, it should work ok. No air on the steel, no condensation..
2 months ago
So, more electrically advanced folks.. is it clearly advantageous to go from DC power to 3-phase AC for this application?

Big DC motors are around. Like the one proposed as the first step in this conversion to 3-phase..

One usual downside of DC is the wire size needed. But this could perhaps be kept to a pretty short run.. just over half the length of the mill worth of travel, if the power comes to the midpoint.. plus however much distance from the batteries as absolutely required...

Is the leviathan a 48v system? I have no idea whether it would make more sense to try and run the mill at 48v, or convert to 180v or some other common industrial voltage point...

PS; is there some discussion elsewhere of why the lab really wants swing blade vs bandsaw?
5 months ago

William Bronson wrote:Yes, the idea is to make a mini travel trailers, not a live in.
Most of the small boats I see are aluminum or fiberglass hulled, maybe they are not as light as I think?

The fibreglass ones are usually not very light.. aluminum can be really light but less likely to be free..

A canopy for a pickup will usually be built lighter, and be a pretty optimal width. Old ugly ones are free reasonably often.. I find one every couple years on average.

Be prepared to reseal all windows, maybe a bit of fibreglass repair, and the doors are often F'ed, but probably you would be building a better door anyhow..
1 year ago
Around here the salvage will cover payment if you don't mind the risk of some uninsured amateur doing the work, and the wood is mostly still good.

Professionals charge..

It seems to me that the big risks involve collapse. So, you might consider pulling the building over, prior to letting amateur hour begin.. if you are comfortable doing that.

I've done several small buildings as an amateur, it's fun and sometimes even worthwhile.. but I am pretty careful, and some people are not.
1 year ago
Good structures are a great headstart.

Bad ones are more trouble than starting from scratch.

I have 4 small farm buildings: a 2 story about 400sf, and 3 single story about 1000sf each.

They were built by morons with no regard at all for longevity or quality. I am attempting to patch them up anyhow, because I like the character of them.. but it sure eats time compared to a clean slate.

The impact of these on my property price was zero, compared to identically sized neighbouring properties... but the impact on my planning was significant, starting with things to utilize but also limitations..

I'd prefer a clean slate if starting again.. unless it was really good quality stuff.
1 year ago
Interesting. It seems like maybe this tool could also be useful for putting various types of temporary electric fence posts in the ground..

I can picture a couple different versions, and it seems pretty straightforward to make.. but I have no time to play with the idea this year. Hopefully I will trip on this thread in a year or three..

I wonder if in the meantime a steel bar, like a 5ft wrecking/pry bar with a straight tip, might do a good job punching holes for your saplings?
1 year ago