Christopher Westmore

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since Jan 11, 2021
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Recent posts by Christopher Westmore

The most important thing when sharping a knife is keeping a good angle. You can hone and grind all day and still have a dull knife if your angle is inconsistent. An inexpensive sharping kit that keeps angles like the Lansky works just fine.

The stones(diamonds, sand, stone, ect) just remove material from the knife edge no need to get caught up in that, just the grit is important. Go from course to shape the edge and fine to polish/finish it. You can get a crazy sharp knife with a $20. kit and you can make a dull knife with a $300. stone. It's all about keeping a consistent angle and working thru the abrasive grits.

Wusthof is a good solid kitchen knife it will hold an edge for a while. If you maintain the edge it will last for hours of work, Wüsthof makes a hand held sharpener for edge maintenance that works very well. Wüsthof  2-Stage Handheld Knife Sharpener . After some hours of heavy use you will have to hone the knife again on the more abrasive stones.
1 day ago
I shaved with straight razors for a few years. It was fun and interesting.

The most difficult part for me was learning to hone, sharpen and keep a good edge on the blades. Once you get that down it is fun and relaxing.

I went back to a safety razor because it is faster and easier.
1 day ago

Annie Hope wrote:
There are many references to building, but in particular on p.64 of The Long Winter Pa says "Our store building in town is boarded and papered, sided on the outside and ceiled on the inside.  It's goodcand tight and warm"

Does anyone know how to translate this into modern building terms of where I would get a description of this building process.



"boarded and papered" would probably refer to tar paper or newspaper. Tar paper is usually put on a layer of wood then another layer of exterior wood over it. I helps make a layer that will help moisture not get past the exterior layer. News paper was used a lot in the old times as insulation in the walls. I have seen it when remodeling old homes, it is really cool to read old papers from 70-100 years ago !

"ceiled" could refer to anything on the ceiling usually wood slats. If it was plaster I would think they would do the walls also.

I would figure out where and when it was built and look for a historical organizations that might have preserved some similar structures and might have pictures of them. You could also call them usually people love to share their hobbies and interests.
2 months ago
Freezing is not bad for common electronics, if you take them from freezing to high temps to fast it can make condensation/moisture which is bad for them.  
2 months ago
All you can really do is make your stuff not low hanging fruit. Burglars look for an easy score.

It is an age old problem with many preventative solutions. Better locks, lights, look like someone is home, "Beware of Dog" sign, cameras, etc. What happens is low hanging fruit gets taken first and hopefully he gets caught before he gets to your dwelling.

With alternative community it can be more of a challenge. I have lived in communities that had no locks, share everything, kick no one out(except for violence), etc. Toss out all the conventional rules of life then... ? it makes problems challenging.
2 months ago
Community/local culture and cheap land can be an challenge.

I see many large subdivided lands with minimal restrictions and cheap entry have very big meth problems. Basically anyone with $3-$5k and buy in and you can get a lot of meth heads. Puna Hawaii is a great example. If you spend $5k you will most likely live next to a bunch of sketch tweakers. If you spend $300k-$500k you will probably be next to a finely cultured transplanted hobby farm owner. Real Estate – Location–Location

I judge a place a lot on the vibe I get. Many rural place just have a nice respectable vibe, they my not support liberal views but they in general are well mannered and have great respect for the community.
Other places people seem to have a low mean disrespectful vibe. No much good happens in a backwards places.

I have been looking for a winter spot in the South US. I am to the point where I need to visit places and see just what kind of people live there.
2 months ago
I live in a rural area general labor goes for $15 an hr, McDonalds pays $13-$15. If you pay less then McDonalds you will probably get what you pay for. People will not work for less because they think your work is awesome, that's not how labor works or thinks.

What you are offering is an entry level construction job, you will need someone sharp enough to read a tape measure and use power tools without hurting themselves. I would say a fair wage/going rate would be what construction labor goes for in your area.

2 months ago
Minimum wage does not buy a living but it could be fair if you provide a place to stay and some basics.

I have seen a lot of people abuse these situations and claim they are offering a "learning experience" or "apprenticeship". A couple of things I see that repeat themselves.

A real apprenticeship is teaching someone a life trade that is marketable, someone doing ______ for the fist time is not teaching anyone anything, they are still figuring it out themselves. Doing manual labor on someones property is not learning marketable skills, it is labor. These situations usually the low paid of free labor leaves in a few days.
Now if you have a rocking organic farm with years of fine tuned growing and building experience with a crew of friendly young people to socialize with you can offer some value and people will stay. If you have a piece of secluded land a shack with a colmen stove you better be paying someone for their time or they will not stay long.

Then you have the issue of insurance, if someone brakes their back and sues you for everything you own ?

Just a couple of thoughts.
2 months ago
First thing that came to mind was Spider plants. I have seen those things survive total neglect no water, too much water, no sun, soda, beer, little kids,,, usually they are doing well and putting out shoots, I have never have seen one dead.
2 months ago

paul wheaton wrote:I have heard of a lot of folks using it in compost or in outhouses, and I've heard from even more folks that it isn't good for the compost pile and does nothing in the outhouse. 



Wood ashes will raise the PH in your outhouse which will inhibit decomposing. The smell in an outhouse is from decomposing so it will help the smell but your out house will fill up faster. There is an urban myth that lye or lime will dissolve waste in your outhouse, it is false.
2 months ago