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Steve Smitherson

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since Aug 22, 2016
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Recent posts by Steve Smitherson

There has been some speculation on this thread that using a non-ground ground connection could get someone physically hurt well beyond the jolt an electric fence normally gives.

I can confirm from first hand experience that this is NOT the case.

I have an open wall gun rack in my home with a chain across the guns holding them in the rack (very similar to the setup in the Marshalls office in old black and white "Gunsmoke" episodes) with a sign clearly posted "Rule #1 = Don't Touch Another Man's Gun Without Permission" both above and below the gun rack.  The floor in that area of the room is a metal grate to keep from tracking dirt and mud further into my house.  "Ground wire" of the hidden electric fence charger is attached to the metal floor grate and the "fence wire" is attached to the metal of the gun rack and it's cross chain which in turn contacts the metal in the guns.  And, yes, the fence charger is turned all the way up to the as a previous poster explained it "baseball bat between the shoulder blades level".

I have had MANY people (extended relatives especially) who have come come over to my place take my signs as a challenge and the first moment my back is turned after they show up I hear a dull electric "pop" followed shortly by an impressive string of profanity.

My gun rack is mounted high enough that it takes a tall 10+ year old to reach it and have their own "educational experience" about trying to grab other peoples guns.  But no permanent physical harm has come to them either despite their smaller body mass.  If your shoes are off it seems to pack a little more punch but still the worst experience has been one of the more "snowflake" offenders whining that her arm was "numb" for a while afterwards.  I had a smart come back about if her brain had been less numb she wouldn't have a numb arm as well for awhile.

And, yes, a couple times the "numb brains" have called 911 as a result of what happened to them when in my house they tried to grab my guns on my gun rack behind my back with signs clearly displayed that such was not acceptable behavior.  The cops only came out the first time and ended up congratulating me on my setup and even escorted the offender off my property and charged her with criminal mischief.  Since then the few times the offenders or their fellow party members have called 911 after getting jolted by my electric fence charged gun rack the 911 dispachers have just chewed then out over the phone and the cops haven't had to waste their time comming physically out to my place again.

Long story short, two metal contact system works just fine.  And so long as you at least put up a sign so long as you don't have idiot snowflakes for cops in your area you shouldn't have issues there either.
1 year ago
Yes, it's the hook assembly that actually rotates or oscillates not the bobbin itself but that is always how I've always had the two most common types referred to as.

My point was that the rotary type are usually much better machines that last and last and last and are also capable of sewing much thicker materials without the bobbin jambing up.  We're as the oscillating type tend to much less heavy duty machines that don't actually stand the test of time (So called and so marketed "heavy duty" oscillating machines particularly drive me nuts, I've seen so called industrial machines sold and marketed for sewing heavy canvas for boat sails of the oscillating type wear out after only a few years of off and on use.  Where as old home duty only rated rotary machines last for decades sewing multiple layers of heavy canvas, jeans, hemp, and heavy ballistic grades 550d to 1050d nylon and poly fabrics.)

Now there are a few machines out there that are of neither the rotary or oscillating type.  Hook chain stitch machines that don't use any bobbins either single or double hook - those are nearly bullet proof so long as the hooks are still in good condition and/or replacements are available.  But I really don't trust the loop chain stitch compared to the lock stitch for most applications.  Then I've heard rumors and seen pictures of machines using a "shuttle" unit rather then a bobbin but never seen or played with one myself.  I believe that those would have much more value as a collectors item and you probably wouldn't want to actually use one of them.

That is why I say if it's a rotary bobbin machine then it's probably worth saving and if it's an oscillator then it probably isn't worth saving.  There are exceptions on both sides of that equation but they are exceptions not the rule.

If it's a rotary machine look for timing marks on the geared pulleys, it might just be out of time and/or need just a new belt (installed in proper time of course).
2 years ago
If it's a rotary bobbin machine it's probably worth saving.  If it's an oscillating bobbin machine then it is probably not worth saving.
2 years ago
In response to "Don Goddard" post above:

+1 on first paragraph about firearm safety.

2nd paragraph = Head / Upper-Neck shot is always the standard shot on wild turkeys, you don't ever shot for the body unless your dumb enough to not know any better.  Would be same if you used on domestic turkey.

2nd & 3rd paragraph = Shotgun is not a matter of overkill but rather a matter of both safety (A load of shot carries dangerous energy far less of a distance then any standard power 22 rimfire load much less 22-lr (third up on the scale of standard power 22 rimfire loads after 22-short & 22-long) and it also ensures a hit on the moving head of a turkey since your covering the head and upper neck of the bird with a fist size to paper plate size pattern rather then trying to put a single little projectile into a single little head that is a moving target.  This also pretty much mitigates the whole hitting below the sights issue at short range that you correctly point out is an issue with a rifle.

4th paragraph = Totally agree CB loads are definitely a good option for 22 rimfire for reducing safety problems and keeping the noise down.  It should be noted though that the long version will usually work in a semi-auto the just won't cycle the action so you just work the gun like a straight pull bolt action and have to manually chamber the next round for the next shot.

5th paragraph = if you have to take down a larger animal but still need to be somewhat quiet then 60gr. SSS rounds are an option.  They are a very heavy very long bullet loaded in a 22-short case with the equivalent of a full power 22-short gunpowder loading but the bullet is so long and heavy and sticks so far out the front that the cartridge is as long as a long rifle cartridge and developes full long rifle chamber pressures because it is trying to push such a heavier then normal bullet weight down the barrel.  The result is a sub-sonic load that due to having the smaller amount of gunpowder and not having a super-sonic crack is still much quieter then a normally 22-lr shot but hits just as hard due to the extra heavy bullet.  The slower heavier bullet has a lot more drop over range but within 50 yards or less they can be very good.  Note, not every gun will shoot the extra heavy bullets accurately so always take those 60gr. SSS loads to the target range first.

6th paragraph & In Response to "Annie Collins" = Turkeys are tough birds, very few .177 caliber Airguns are going to give a sure humaine kill, even many .22 caliber airguns will be a little iffy, and larger and more powerful Airguns then 22 caliber are not exactly the most common things that just anyone has laying around where as shotguns and 22 rimfire powder burners are nearly as common as dirt in rural America.

7th paragraph = Can't really argue with any of your points here and pretty much agree.  With the one caviot that there are a lot of 22 rimfire paper punchers out there that can shoot the caps off of bottles all day long and I've seen a few who routinely line up their empty 22 rimfire cases as targets to be knocked down by their next shots and have no problems doing that safely but have never or rarely actually killed a real living animal with a gun and if envisioning Mr. Turkey's head as just another target to knock down is what allows them to get the job done in a way they are comfortable and confident in doing then who am I to say ñà!

8th paragraph = Good idea on the pruning lopper! I suspect any kind of large powerful shearing tool would a decent substitute for a knife for a quick clean humaine decapitation with the turkey upside down in a killing cone.
2 years ago

Nancy Swanson wrote:. . . . . . I think if they get upset they release hormones such as adrenaline and whatnot which will then be in the meat.  

I can confirm that is true for mammals, not sure on others such as birds, reptiles, Etc.
2 years ago
Regardless of the method used, so long as it provides a humaine clean kill it's acceptable in my book.

Whatever your comfortable with that does that is good.

Heck one of my old girlfriends butchered a sheep with a Japanese sword via decapitation.  Freaked the daylights out of her neighbors and they called the cops on her but she verbally chewed them out off of her property in pretty quick order like only a woman like her could and the cops had to admit it did provide a quick clean kill and it was her sheep on her property and it was a part of living off the land that her neighbors were just going to have to get used to that goes along with rural country life.
2 years ago
Turkey Hunter here.

Standard equipment is a shotgun with tight choke and ghost ring iron sights or red dot sight.  

Use a load with minimum B size shot if steel shot, #4 shot if lead, & #2 if bitsmuth.

Pattern the gun with the intended load and figure out the correct range to give a nice tight pattern and adjust the sights to line up exactly with the center of the pattern or "Bullseye High" if that is your preference.

"Nice Tight Pattern" varies in definition from Hunter to Hunter but I go for 80% of the shot in a 8" circle for the big 12ga. down to about a 4" circle for the 410-bore when it comes to turkey hunting.

Normally then it's then a matter of setting a good ground blind an calling a good Tom into position to make a good clean head/upper-neck shot.

With a turkey you raised yourself domestic rather then wild obviously no need for a blind or calling but do make a good clean safe shot with a safe backdrop.

Turkey hunting with bow and arrow equipped with a "guillotine broadhead" is also an option, but at least in my state hunting with a rifle 22 or otherwise is not legal for turkey but people have been known to poach them with a 22 shot to the head usually a subsonic load out of a long barrel scoped rifle with a plastic pop-bottle shoved over the muzzle to serve as a makeshift suppressor, they do the same thing with deer as well so if you can make the shot it would work.  Just don't do the pop bottle thing even if it would be nice for your neighbors; cops especially fed cops flip out about it.
2 years ago
Here is a link to the 5mm ply vinear I was talking about:

I picked it up for $11.59 per a full 4'x8' sheet at my local homedepot about a month ago.  Since it is only about 3/16" actual thickness you always have to screw through it to a more substantial thick board behind it (such as the wall studs if you used it for wall sheeting) or hardwood hemlock 3/4"x3/4" stock in the corners if you make drawer units out of ot but it is incredibly strong for being so thin and lightweight and is a hardwood plywood not a softwood and it is absolutely beautiful like fine cabinet quality plywood and smooth.  Don't even need to put a finish on it unless you want to change the color.
3 years ago
I've seen one done on the back of an old farm truck but not on an old motor home.

Two issues I see would be all the nasty demo work and waste created depending on how old/nasty the motor home was, then there is the weight issue.  Motor homes tend to be built light weight for the square footage compared to a tiny house.  Be sure the frame, suspension, axles, tires, brakes can take how much weight you would be putting on compared to the original light weight RV style structure.

Two options I would suggest for keeping the weight down would be to use vinyl an/or thin metal siding on the outside instead of wood siding and if you do use wood go with thin cedar.  On the inside using 5mm vinear ply is a beautiful, strong, lightweight, & reasonably low cost alternative compared to the 3/4" thick tongue and groove wood often used for the inner wall cladding on tiny houses and of course is far lighter then any Sheetrock type inside finish.

I personally really loved some beautiful sheets of the 5mm ply vinear I just used to make some light weight but strong drawer units.  It was absolutely beautiful rosewood color on one side and beautiful white wood on the other side hardly weighed anything and I could easily pick up like four 4'x8' sheets at a time and it was only as heavy as a single sheet of regular 3/4" thick plywood and so strong when properly glued & screwed.  And it was slightly cheaper per sheet then the cheapest junk OSB board.

In fact unless you directly screw metal siding to the studs and use the metal for the external shear (Not a bad idea either for both cost and weight savings provided you can find the right kind of metal siding to make this work for the right price and still look classy as well) I would strongly suggest using the 5mm ply vinear as the exterior sheeting under the siding rather then OSB or normal thicker plywood both for weight and cost reasons.
3 years ago
I am currently living in a 8'x9.5' older pickup truck camper parked in one bay of an un-heated pole-barn shop structure while I am building my own tiny house inside another bay of the same pole-barn shop structure which will be a significant upgrade for me compared to the camper.

Things I can suggest from my experience so far:

1. - Do not use a direct vent cadalitic propane heater in a small space unless you want serious moisture condensation problems.  The camper came equipped with such a heater and I had to stop using it and go to using an electric space heater because of moisture problems.  Opening a window a crack (required for fresh air anyway when using such a heater), opening big window all the way, electric fan forced fresh air circulation, etc. . . None of that is sufficient to prevent moisture problems with extended use and the last two options you loose most of your heat as well.  Cooking with propane is not a problem and a propane heater that vents outside would probably be fine as well.  Just DO NOT think you can use one of those direct went cadalitic heaters for a long term heat source.  Yes they are really efficient and probably cheaper for the camper manufacturer to install but they are not suitable for a long term small space heating solution.

2. - Insulation is important and the foam board stuff is awesome!  The camper I'm living in while I build has only 1-1/2" thick walls but they are filled with just basic white foam board not even the better quality foam board and even with that thin and lower quality foam and thermal losses through the windows and thermal bridging through the 2x2 studs in its walls it still stays toasty warm with just a 1,500 watt electric space heater all the way down to sub-zero Winter weather.  Some of that is helped by being parked inside the pole-barn shop structure but that really only serves as a wind-break/buffer since the structure is un-heated, un-insulated, and not even completely weather tight.  The tiny house for comparison is going to have over double the thickness of foam board board insulation on the walls and more then four times the thickness of foam board insulation on the roof and with very few thermal bridging possibilities.  Thus I'm expecting my tiny house to stay just as toasty warm with the same or even less heating input even though it's going to be significantly larger then the camper.

3. - Floors are the hardest thing to heat and cold floors are a real pain!  I would strongly suggest considering some form of in floor heating especially for a tiny house on wheels.  Even though it's floor is insulated with foam board the same as the walls and ceiling in the camper I'm living in while I build no matter how hot I get it inside the camper in the winter the floor is still cold because heat rises and being up above the ground on jack stands with a pocket of cold outside air underneath it the floor never warms up.  Which with a tiny hose built on a trailer would be the same situation and no skirting doesn't help all that much.  Probably the cheapest and simplest way to do heated floors in a tiny house would be with the those cut to fit electric heating mats, for me though in my build since it's not on a trailer but I am putting in a deep insulated perimeter natural stonework foundation with stonework floor I am using a combination of passive geothermal and water circulation tubes installed in the floor an hooked up to both a water jacket on the wood stove and a gas hot water heater.  But if I were building the usual tiny house on a trailer I would install electric heating mat in the floor for sure.

4. - Furniture that folds up/down or otherwise transforms to fill multiple rolls will only actually be used as such if the conversion is VERY EASY to do!  If you are going to have a murphy bed or bed/table conversion it will stay as a bed unless it is very easy to convert when you get up in the morning.  To this end I have designed the murphy bed unit for my tiny house such that it folds up via electric winch (just hold the winch button down to fold up bed) and you have to fold the bed up to easily get to the clothes storage drawers built into the wall.  Thus the bed will actually get folded up!

5. - You don't actually need very much electricity if you are smart how you use it.  So far I have had no problems living off of a single 20amp 120V service including electric heat.  Granted my hot water heater and stove/oven are propane.  But I am running a small fridge, medium chest freezer, microwave, TV, computer, lights, airconditioning, and the electric space heater all of just that single circuit.  All the appliances are energy efficient models and I use LED light bulbs and when I want to use the microwave I turn off the electric heater or air conditioner for a moment while using the microwave and then turn back on when done using the microwave.  If you are already using propane for cooking and hot water and especially if you heat with it as well unless you have a specific energy hogging electric appliances you must run together at the same time you really don't need anything more then 20amp 120v service for a tiny house.  Which if you limit yourself to that gives you a lot of options sine all you need is a heavy duty contractor grade extension cord and a full 20amp rated exterior plug in to plug into.  Without electric heat you could probably even get away with just a 15amp standard exterior outlet service.
3 years ago