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Dave Burns

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since Nov 19, 2015
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Recent posts by Dave Burns

Ross Raven wrote: ... I can imagine chickens with a bit of flight treating it more like a landscape feature (hey, let's go perch on that funny ridge)...

Ha, my wife thought it would be cool to raise some Icelandic Chickens, have a movable coop and movable 3' electric fence to keep predators at bay... Instead of flying over the fence, the chickens fly 8 feet straight up to the top of the coop roof, then fly off the other side when they want to get in or out of the fence.
4 years ago
Using a post-hole digger just like in the picture jim forster posted at the top of this thread (I bought the adjustable one, I think it will make holes from about ab 5 to 8 inches in diameter), I made 5-foot extensions out of EMT (light-weight metal electrical conduit - it comes with one end swaged already, very handy), just drilled a hole thru and attached each section with a 1/4 inch bolt thru the joint. I dug a hole 16 feet into northern Idaho ash and sand in about 2 hours, not working too hard. Ran out of pipe at that point, I'll have to make another extension or 2 to reach water. In my area, I'll probably hit water at 18 or 20 feet, the sand was getting coarse and very wet at 16'. Will probably hit gravel at about 18 feet. I plan to put some plastic pipe down as far as I can dig as "well casing", big enough around so I can get a relatively inexpensive dc pump down the hole close enough to the water table to reliably self-prime. After the casing, I'll try driving a well point down further if needed to get into the water table, but I'm hoping the post hole digger will go the distance for me. If I use a driven well point past the bottom of the casing, I'd have to drop the suction nose from the pump down inside the well point pipe to reach the water. I'm real fortunate for the soil and water table in my area, and suspect I can "drill" and install a 25 foot well start to finish (including pump, piping, and solar panel) in 2 days using this method.
4 years ago
I enjoyed many useful comments from this thread, thanks to all!
One thing that caught my eye were numerous references to "work 16-18 hour days"... may I suggest that (in my opinion) working overtime may not be the best way. Perhaps a better option to make ends meet is to get really good at analyzing our needs - do I NEED a
* cell phone (such a thing didn't exist until recent years, how did folks get along before that)?
* television with satellite channels (such a thing didn't exist until recent years, how did folks get along before that)?
* car with heated seats?
* ready-made clothes from anywhere but thrift shops?
* a clothes dryer?
* etc.
Some folks claim that our "Needs" include things like air, water, food, shelter, clothing, a sense of achievement - - and that sufficient of these things to maintain life can be generated with about 20 hours labor per WEEK.

4 years ago
Black Bears love to destroy my beehives
1. Mesh fence - walk right through
2. Barbed wire fence - walk right through
3. Electric Fence - walk right through
4. Electric Fence with a strip of bacon rind attached !! You see the tongue come out, then the bear heads back into the woods at high speed. I count that as success!

Note also that it's worth helping your neighbors also avoid bear problems, because if a bear gets used to having a tasty dinner on compost, chickens, bees etc. anywhere, that trains him to persistently expect the same at your place.
4 years ago
I always have an old automotive timing belt laying around, I clamp it in vice grip pliers to use for turning big, slick things like oil filters, pipes, etc.
4 years ago
Thank you for all the informative input folks, I was a bit surprised that I could not find (after searching the internet for a while) any folks that report "tried and failed" or "tried and succeeded". Being more adventurous than smart, guess I'll need to do some experimentation.
4 years ago
My Property in Northern Idaho has about 3 feet of volcanic ash soil (from Mount Mazama/Crater Lake) over a bunch (13 additional feet at least) of sand. Jason stated:

11/10/2013 If you have volcanic ashes near you then you can just use lime and you are golden!


Can anyone point me to where I can find guidance on creating a Practical (read- cure at ambient temperature and affordable) do-it-yourself- recipe for building walls from volcano ash?

4 years ago
Nice, I especially enjoyed the "Misc Plans" section.
4 years ago