D Nikolls

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

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.
2 weeks 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?
3 months ago
Check out the direct solar cookers that living energy farm uses, I think they call them roxies. I see nomreason they couldn't run on 12v, just need bigger wiring. Control would definitely be easier at 12V.
3 months ago

jordan barton wrote:

Dustin Rhodes wrote:it is commonly used as floats for aquaculture planting. not sure what drawbacks there would be, as i have no firsthand experience though...

I would reconsider using Styrofoam for aquaculture . There is so much of it in the oceans/beaches. Ducks seem to get into it.

In all honesty i would suggest not using it in water at all.

Wood floats, i am sure there are other ways to float plants....

Ya, this. It is a TERRIBLE pollutant used raw in floats.

It can be coated somehow, I do not know the details.. maybe in an application where monitoring is easy it would be ok.. maybe.

It is insulative but also pretty combustible..
3 months ago

Andrew Mayflower wrote:

Heather Sharpe wrote:

Lynn Cheshski wrote:Oh and I assume you already called the sheriff due to threats. You said they threatened you with retaliation if you had called animal control. That's some serious stuff. It will be your words against theirs if something happens down the road. I'd go to the sheriff's office and make a report. They need to know what's  going on. I had to involve sheriff in the past and haven't heard from the offenders ever since. Unless you're in a kind of place where you're the outsider and everyone else is related (to the sheriff too, lol)

Yes, I did talk to our town marshal with the specific intent of getting the threatening behavior on record. He seemed unconcerned, I don't know if he filed a report or anything. Maybe I need to talk to the city police instead? It seems like now they've begun trespassing on my land themselves. Or at least letting their drunk friends do so, as I found several red solo cups on the ground 15 feet from my front door this morning. Given that these people have threatened to hurt me if I ever ask them to respect my space or try to hold them accountable for anything, I really don't know what to do. It seems like the police either don't take it seriously or want to put the burden on me to stay up all night so I can catch these unstable people hanging out in my yard in the wee hours of the night. Frankly, I'm also afraid if the police were to talk to them, that would be dangerous for me. I really just don't know what to do.
I feel like a fence of some kind, or at least gates and no trespassing signs are needed. Though I don't know if they'd really stop people like this or change the situation much.

No trespassing signs, and game trail/security cameras.  Best if the cameras transmit the images/videos rather than storing them on the device.  That way if they destroy the camera you have the data still.  Then prosecute (after any degree of warning you feel appropriate) any violators.  If anyone destroys your property (including but not limited to the cameras, your chickens, and your home/cars) file charges of malicious mischief, animal cruelty, etc as appropriate and without any warnings.  ‚ÄčNote that some of those are felonies, and can have serious lifetime repercussions to the charged, so that should be an effective Clue-by-4 upside their head.  If you aren't a gun owner, consider becoming one.  Learn how to use it, and what does (and, probably more importantly, does not) constitute legal self-defense.  

Document ALL interactions with them.  Especially threats.  Voice and or video recording is ideal, but a written note  on the event is better than nothing.  

That or move.  It would be nice if the idiots next door would move, but you can't force them to do so.

Exactly all of this.

Cameras, like Now!

No personal experience, but something along the lines of simplisafe might suit you, if their products perform as claimed.. Standard gamecams have been pretty unreliable in my experience for a wide variety of reasons.

Yep, if you are going to own a gun, you need to be familiar with it and competent, get some training in firearms handling and defensive shooting if you have the slightest doubt about this.

And yes, definitely wise to brush up on local laws about self defense while you're at it.

Good luck!
3 months ago

Philip McGarvey wrote:I would be concerned about how the wildlife would feel about it - I want this land to be a refuge for them.  Bears, cougars, fisher cats, otters, woodrats, owls, ravens, hundreds of squirrels, and so much more.  It would be a completely new sound and they would probably be freaked out hearing it so close to them, it would probably scare some of them into leaving.  That's enough to outweigh any convenience I could hypothetically get from using a drone.

I hate when people use them in public places, that should be banned.  Especially on the coast here I saw someone fly a drone out over seals trying to hide out on the rocks.  It's horrible.

I thought of them as loud and annoying.. but this particular one was pretty quiet, once it got up a few hundred ft. And, nearly all the uses I have for one will involve staying up high.

I figure the impact on wildlife is relative; is it being used as a toy, or a tool that replaces some other impact?

I think it is pretty possible that sending a drone to look at something will be less intrusive than me going out on foot to check it; I am loud, to avoid surprising a bear..

I literally don't know anybody else in my region who doesn't own an atv for those quick checks.. WAY more distruptive than a drone!

I see a lot of really cringey wildlife videos shot by amateur drone people. The cameras are pretty good, there is no excuse for sending your drone near the wildlife. IMO, if the animals show any signs of noticing the drone, the pilot has fucked up.

Here, the wildlife have had to become accustomed to fuckwits in airplanes and choppers.. in theory those assholes are supposed to stay above 1000/500ft, but a chopper at 500ft is loud as fuck, literally earthshaking for some of them, many orders of magnitude worse than a drone. And in practice, I have had both planes and choppers at treetop height more than once.

There is no need for permitting of very small drones under 500ft here. Maybe if more drones were in the air the goddamn planes would fuck off to their designated altitude.. which is still waaay too low..
3 months ago

Mike Haasl wrote:Good ideas Glenn!  I wonder if just using a post and a floor jack or car jack would be easier.  Since the ground is likely a different height at different points?  Plus you can easily lift it up a bit more or drop it a bit if needed.  I guess it depends on what's available.

A tall post plus a jack can be pretty unstable; pounding in an angled post, there is no middle joint for the angle to go bad on you..

If I wanted to use a jack and needed it to be tall, and didn't have a screw jack of appropriate height, I might try a post and a hi-lift style jack, the taller the better; notch the post bottom to hug the lifting tooth of the hi-lift, and then bolt of strap the top of the hi-lift shaft to the post.. seems like you would get a much more rigid assembly than amost other jack/post combos I can visualize..

But pounding in a post has worked well for me, albeit with beams that didn't wooble so much. I Jam the bottom in at the ground and pound at the top, usually.

If you used something narrower then the beam, yoou could add your additional beam beneath the existing one instead of beside..
3 months ago
I like the gabion idea..

I've got 4 300w panels on a cedar rack that is bolted to maybe 1800lbs of scrap steel that used to be part of a semi trailer... probably more sheltered than you, but it's sure never budged, just sitting on the ground.
3 months ago
Wow... As already stated above... you can add the posts and the foundations to the list of wrongly done things. Truly amazing. Just.. why? Was this whole building an elaborate practical joke?

Aside from water, I would worry about rats. Tarped piles of stuff could get pretty gross pretty quick. Add a few holes chewed in the tarps and it's not great..

3 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:1. The problem with going to smaller sheds, is that 10'x10' is usually the max for no permit. I've worked with a lot of small spaces and would much rather have something you can move around in without feeling like you have to move 10 things to get at 1 thing.

2. If the current building was grandfathered, so long as you keep a sizable chunk of it, you won't have to worry about dealing with officials. There does look like there's some decent wood in it, so I think you need to give us some measurements to help you out better.
2a) what is the distance between the studs (vertical 2x4's ) on the wall at the  back of the photo?
2b) what is the distance between the studs (vertical 2x4's ) on the back wall - left - in the photo? They look further apart to me.
2c) what is the foot print and the spans between the posts?

3. For example, most buildings use studs on 16" centers. The left wall in the photo looks skimpier than that.

4. You're in earth-quake country, so if the walls and posts aren't fastened to the footings, that needs to be done right off. Similarly, Simpson strong ties need to be added to hold the roof on - if not in every location, in "enough" places that it can ride through at least the smaller quakes.

5. I agree with Mike:

new "glue lam beam" or a 2x12

I know here on permies we like to be as environmental as possible, but a building that rots or collapses looses all it's embodied energy, so if you have to compromise to get a useful, long lasting building, I would support that.

6. You need a budget - you need to estimate what you *need* to fix the Fally Down Building, and I'm tempted to say "double it".  A half done project will be no help at all - so you don't want to run out of money at a critical point when you discover a "fixable problem". (Left-over money could go towards the eventual house reno)

7. If you managed to fix that building this summer, you would have a safe place to store needed materials/equipment etc that are in your current garage. Yes, you want a family room in the house, but if that takes you another year or two to get there, you've got some time. You'll also be practicing a bunch of your building skills on the out building, which will (hopefully) make you more confident about the house reno.

8. You're not a dumb person - you just aren't educated in an area you may need to work on. Maybe your son will help you practice the words on the diagrams I've attached below? Demonstrating to your kids the need for life-long learning is a good thing in my opinion - make it this week's spelling test? Use your computer to remove the names so you have to fill them back in?  And lots of 8 yr olds can learn to use a hammer!

Great points.

I am afraid that I looked at that fally down building and decided that permits could safely be disregarded. If permits are required and likely to be enforced... this is a strong argument for fixing the fally down building.

Either way you go with this, building things yourself is fantastic learning for all, and leaves you with skills as well. Way better than paying for an expensive pole barn or a cheap but basically disposable tarp-carport-thing.
3 months ago