Kyle Neath

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since May 07, 2016
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hugelkultur dog trees woodworking
Somewhere in between a software developer and agroforester. Once upon a time I built a lot of software in a very fancy city, but now I can usually be found running around in the mountains.
Leaping Daisy is my main gig. It's an old high country ranch in the Sierra Nevadas. In the summers, I spend my time fixing 100 year old log cabins, improving the forest, and building out infrastructure to host small events. In the winters, I strap on my snowshoes and play in the snow.
In between that, I'm still trying to figure this whole life thing out. I spend a bit of time writing software to pay the bills, a chunk of it caring for my parents, and the rest playing around the mountains near Tahoe.
Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
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Recent posts by Kyle Neath

One of the coolest things about concrete is that you can make more concrete out of... concrete. A little cement mixed in with crushed concrete will create new concrete. Or you can use it to fill in a new pour somewhere. Maybe you want a new building pad, retaining wall, or walking path. You can smash up the concrete, throw it into the forms, and pour in a lot less concrete to fill it in.
4 hours ago
Right on, well my BRK reward is sent off! Wish I could help you on the rest, but I suspect I'd just add more chaos and flakiness at this point in my life. Thanks for keeping track!
3 weeks ago
I think I owe Jen some money, but... no idea where to send it! I always feel a bit lost at this part of the BRK. Should I be waiting for someone to PM me? Or keeping up with every thread and proactively asking them for their paypal? (That's a joke, there is no way I could ever be that responsible)
3 weeks ago
Ringing is a pretty standard practice for killing trees — especially ones you wish to cut down later.

But remember this most certainly kills the tree. The roots start to die back and rot underground. The tree loses its hold on the ground. Wind and ice more easily pull it over. The branches die with the tree, and pine branches have evolved to pop right off when they die (as a means of fire protection — cutting the fire ladder short on branches no longer receiving sunlight). All that makes for a very scary tree to be around, and especially scary to fell. Nothing like the vibration of a saw to pop one of those branches off 30ft above your soft, squish-prone body.

Cutting down a healthy tree and debarking it will achieve almost identical results. Without the bark, insects and fungus will not be able to attack the tree. If in addition, it's raised a couple inches off the ground, the results will be identical to leaving it dead-standing. Except it'll be on the forest floor, and not hanging precariously a hundred feet above our fragile heads.
1 month ago

What would you do?

That's a huge plot! I would be curious what the topography is like. If this were me, I'd be thinking about two things:

1) What sized chicken tractor / animal pen do I want to design for? The plot looks prime for rotating animals around in a circle, maybe building a flat road (pasture) for their primary shelter to travel along. Ridgedale Permaculture has some great examples of designing their landscape for animal rotation efficiency. Work from that base and design tree & earthworks projects around that base. Even if there aren't any animals, having a nice wide track for tractors. / wheelbarrows is always nice.

2) How can I cut this fencing project short and build some next year?
2 months ago will give you the best quality, up-to-date satellite photos from my experience. You can get a free trial to get a photo or two. The downside is once your trial expires, you can't really get any additional photos.
3 months ago

elle sagenev wrote:This article popped up while researching something for work and it blew my mind. grow houses blowing transformers. 45% of Denver, CO's new energy use is from MJ growers. Maybe this blows my mind so much because I am already in an energy unstable area. Our power goes out fairly frequently. I cannot imagine what would happen to our power grid if MJ growing was legal here. I do not think it could handle the increased use.

This triggered my spidey sense as a misleading metric so I dug in a bit:

These articles are from 2015, which is the first year it was legal to grow marijuana in Colorado (recreational sales were first allowed jan 1, 2014 and permits to build grow houses went out that year too, and electricity use reports are a year behind). So this growth seems staggering, except it was mostly a one-time hit from building an entire industry from scratch

While increased population has been responsible for most of Denver's 1.2% annual power demand growth, roughly 45% of it comes from pot growing facilities.

So that 45% is kind of a weird number. A more realistic headline would be Denver's power demand grows 0.6% from MJ growers. A little less sensational, unfortunately.

Estimate from that article is that MJ growing consumes 200 million kWh/yr. According to Colorado, the state uses 56,450,480 megawatt-hours/yr. That puts MJ use at 0.35% of the state's total electricity use. For a reference point: about 10% of Colorado's total electricity is used just for residential heating. So if we could improve residential heating by 3%, it would nullify all electricity used by grow houses.

Now is it silly to force indoor growing of a plant that would otherwise grow great in a greenhouse / outdoor? Yes. Am I terribly concerned about a electric source using 0.35%? Not in the least. Especially in a state where about 75% of electric production comes from coal an natrual gas.
3 months ago
I forgot to mention, if this beam is being supported at the ends of the beam (vs two points at 1/3 and 2/3 length), the math works out even better since there is almost no moment (and resulting tensile/compressive) forces at all. Here the bending strength plays no role in the strength of the structure. The more to the ends of the beam it is supported, the less cross-section needed at the support to retain 100% strength (since failure will occur in the middle).
3 months ago

paul wheaton wrote:Here is my primary concern with a saddle joint.   I see way too many of the first kind.   The second kind has 98% of the notch strength, plus 800% of the beam strength.

A note of clarification — this isn't quite right per my understandings. This type of joint is often used as the way most beams fail is at the point of maximum moment (and thus the resulting tensile/compression forces). Since the beam is being supported at this joint, the moment forces are such that only the top half of the log is of concern (see attachment). In bending, total tensile strength of the cross section is focused at the extremity of the log (forces increase by a square function of the cross-section's height). This is why we have I-beams: tiny little cross-section until the end where the beef lives that carries the real load.

As a more concrete points:

- If you remove none of the cross-section, the beam remains at 100% strength
- If you remove the bottom 50% of the cross-section, the beam remains at 100% strength
- If you remove the bottom 75% of the cross-section, the beam remains at 79% strength*

*Calculated by taking the section modulus of a circle and subtracting the section modulus of the "beam" cut out by the joint (25% of the height, or half the radius). See other attachment. Technically, it is even stronger as I have assumed to remove more material (a complete rectangular section) than would be physically possible since it's a circular cut.

This type of joint reduces shearing stresses most, but beams almost never fail in shear (a beam that fails in shear typically sags in a horror-movie-like way long before it fails) .

All that is to say, it is often a little non-intuitive how much material you can remove from beams without affecting their strength.
3 months ago