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Eliot Mason

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since Nov 17, 2016
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dog bike woodworking
Beavercreek, OR
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Recent posts by Eliot Mason

I'm not sure about a bull fee ... but you can get a straw of semen for $20-$100, and there is probably a local AI specialist,  Not sure but I recall $30 per for that service.

As for a bull, I think the price would vary a lot based on whether the cows visit the bull or the other way around.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
1 month ago
The original seed of this idea was getting these books to high schoolers as part of the "SKIP College" idea.  Any ideas from people in the education system about who to approach in the high school or school district?
2 months ago
Its easy to obsess on this topic.  In particular, see woodworkers (ahem...) with their chisels and planes, trying to see if they can separate a curl of wood thats so thin its transparent!

To Doug's point, I think one does need to match the tool to the job.  A whetstone or diamond "stone" are great for small knives (paring), but tricky for the big 12" chef's knives. Similarly the german-style stainless knives look nice and maintain an edge fairly well - especially if you use the burnishing rod - but if they get dull they are very difficult to restore.

As with most things, those with skill and experience can use a whetstone to get great results.  The rest of us need a tool that replicates the skill and experience.  I found the simple pull-through sharpeners ineffective and, in one case, damaging to the knife.  Instead of getting fancy jigs or spending a lot of time getting good, I just take them to someone who knows what to do ... which in my case is a guy who makes genuine samurai swords and sharpens knives at markets on the weekend.  Best edges ever!

So to Kate's question - try a simple whetstone with a paring knife and see where that takes you.
2 months ago
Gary:

Sounds fun!

I am still building a chute ...I consider it bad advice when I got started 4 years ago that I didn't need a chute or a squeeze.  True, they aren't as necessary as a water trough or a fence but there are times when they really help, and even if its once a year, the safety it introduces is significant.

For all things chute, Temple Grandin is the person to listen to.  She has a bunch of designs for large operations ... I have a herd of 8 so I was pleased when I found this presentation: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/corral-cattle-herd-build-temple-grandin/  I'm still building mine so I don't have any learned comments, although I am making a Y split in he curve with one path leading to a squeeze (and back to the holding alley) and one leading to a loading ramp.

As for a squeeze, new metal ones are really expensive and they all seem built to handle rodeo bulls all day long.  I went with a simple headgate instead - still steel.  My cattle are quite chill.... we'll hope that is enough.

Generally milking parlors have smooth, hard floors for cleaning and such.  But if you're outside that may be less of an issue.  I think you are still at greater risk of contaminating the milk, but you can perform your own risk assessment.  Its easy to make a little wooden headgate - you want to encourage the cow to hang out and get treats, and you're not imprisoning her.  You will need a significant excluder fence/bumper to keep the cows from cheating!
3 months ago

Mike Haasl wrote:
You can save some money by skipping the OSB and using boards running perpendicular to the joists to attach the roofing to.  Unless the OSB also helps make the coop air tight or something.  



The OSB - or plywood - can add a lot of strength to the whole structure.  Of course, galvanized panels 24" wide have a similar effect (especially if you are generous with the fasteners and affix the long edges well).  I find roof sheathing is necessary if you are putting down tar paper and then composite shingles - metal roofing can indeed be just fine with the boards as Mike suggests.

I'd say 3/4" OSB is far too thick ... most roofers on residential structures only go with 1/2" (although that's generally on 16" centers).  I'd suggest its better/cheaper/easier to have 16" centers on rafters and 1/2" OSB than 24" OC and 3/4 sheathing.
Michael:

Water is a big issue!  The key is the layering ... you can pile up all the dirt you want against the walls so long as it is then covered with a durable, water proof (or at least highly resistant) layer, then covered by more dirt, largely to protect that water resistant layer.   Think of it as a giant umbrella or hat over the structure ... it keeps both the structure dry, but also moves the water away so that it is below the level of your floor (probably...) much like eaves and gutters perform on a house.  The difference here is that the water moves through the outer layer of dirt.

3 months ago
John - That's shorthand for "16 inch on center", or about 14.5" gap between rafters.

And then "minimum" is funny b/c he's really suggesting 16" as the maximum, but its the minimum suggested strength.  Ain't English grand?
Snow load is absolutely relevant.  If you're not sure what your snow load is, your local county building office knows!

After that you need to know what species of wood you're dealing with.  The variation across woods isn't great, but there are marginal differences.

Note - the span is the horizontal span (wall to wall), not the length of the rafter itself.  There are many tables, and of course calculators too (e.g  https://www.mycarpentry.com/rafter-span-tables.html & https://www.awc.org/codes-standards/calculators-software/spancalc)
Angle of Repose.

Soil isn't liquid, it has a lot of friction. On a low slope roof ... it will just sit there. Design or structural elements can be added to the roof to increase the friction, but still allow any water to flow down.

There are tricks to applying the soil in an even layer (one is making little supported sticks that rest on the top layer and stick up vertically a preset height... just add dirt till he top of the sticks are buried).
3 months ago
Mark - thanks for sharing your experience - and the links.  My local Lowe's actually has some of those in stock... hmm.

One of the reasons that I like my grounding bar is that I can maneuver it into a tight hole.  The standard 6" auger with a 4-5" post often doesn't have a lot of room around it so that broad tamping end wouldn't fit.  Maybe I should get a bigger auger?
3 months ago