Brian Holmes

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since Oct 05, 2020
Brian likes ...
forest garden chicken cooking
Living on a 2 acre lot with my wife, dog, and a gaggle of chickens. Have planted a six bed, double-dug garden and look forward to expanding to more beds, fruit trees, a greenhouse, and beekeeping.
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Recent posts by Brian Holmes

I'm enjoying reading the site so far. I can skip over the explanations on combustion and whatnot and get straight to the operations explanation. Good site, much appreciated.
2 weeks ago
Thomas - Any reading suggestions on reading for batchboxes? I'm all for being able to be next to it.

Trace - My door faces east, but my big problem would be having the contents of the room visible from the street. I have a window on the south side I'm considering trying to pull some kind of solar setup through, but my wife might be trying to plant a cutting garden bed there, so I may not get dibs.
2 weeks ago
Hey Thomas,

I love RMH's, but I'm loathe to give up too much floor space in my shop. If there's a good compromise there, I'm all for it. Right now I'm leaning towards a wood burning stove as there are woods not too far away and I can harvest some when I go on hikes (downed by storms, at least).

The plastic on the doors is a great plan. If I plan to only move the middle 2 doors, I should be able to hang a nice continuous piece on each side. I could even just hang 2 sheets from the frame above the doors to the floor, and pin back the opening when needed. Appreciate the idea!

Will also look into portable propane, there are some sales going on.
2 weeks ago
Hey Trace,

That makes a lot of sense. The walls on 2 sides are cinder block, and the back wall is stone. Above that is metal roof on wood framing. I think the roof portions should be easy to insulate, and I'm guessing the cinderblock walls will need some kind of framing to hold insulation to. There are also windows on those walls, so I'll need to extend the window frame.

The hardest part (at least in my mind) is the barn doors. I'll need some kind of flexible flaps to overlap the doors, and perhaps the same for the inch or two they hang off the ground.

I'll look into designing in some kind of wood stove to my layout

PS - ideally I won't be covering the back (stone) wall in anything as I really like how it looks. May have to sacrifice efficiency for aesthetics there, but I'll take it!
2 weeks ago
My wife and I moved onto a historic 2 acre lot with a house from somewhere between 1870 and 1900 (records building burned down) and four outbuildings. One of those is a standalone garage with barn doors and a metal roof. The plan right now is to turn this into a workshop, but as winter is fast approaching the weather will soon be a bit cold for the unheated building. Does anyone have any recommendations for short term and long term heating solutions? I would like to be able to work on converting the building during the cold months and have it ready to go for spring, and if possible I'd also like to plan what kind of heating I need to have out there long term.

Right now there is no power running to the garage, but there's an old conduit with a cut off wire in it that I'm hopeful is still in tact so I can use it to pull new line through. Still need to find where it starts from in the house.

Any advice on the heating issue or setting up a new shop are welcome :)
2 weeks ago
Skipbo is great, even with only 2 players
Bananagrams (like speed scrabble)

We have other games, but those see the light of day most often
2 weeks ago
I do enjoy having my 3D printer as it allows me to print replacement parts or customized pieces for other objects. It's almost always cheaper to design and make a part myself as opposed to buying replacement pieces.

Food grade screw top buckets are also really convenient. We could keep flour in their paper bags, but with the buckets on hand we can store more in the basement and stock up in case of another run on staple goods. We also have buckets for sugar and rice.

+1 to vacuum sealer, those things are very useful.
2 weeks ago
Flea markets. If you want to up your game, look around online for makers marks (or whatever those stamped symbols are called). You can find a lot of old tools with those on them and use it to identify good steel and other qualities that many people won't know to look for.
4 weeks ago
Odd-ball task?

The gate was originally slapped on by the previous owner and set to open into a hill (in other words, it opened 8 inches and then hit earth). I took the door off, removed the hinges, flipped to the other side, added some wood so the hinges would fit, and swapped out all of the screws for better ones. Some of the attached metal fence (to keep a dog from pushing through) needed to be stapled down as well, easy with supplies on hand. Took about 45 minutes and now the door opens towards down-hill and I can drive my tractor through. Major score for future work flow :)

I'm not sure I could have gone much faster, I was racing the sun and don't have anything in the way of task lighting in my arsenal yet.
1 month ago