J Hillman

pollinator
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since Nov 29, 2023
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Northern Wisconsin Zone 3B
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Recent posts by J Hillman

Instead of lye I have used hydrated lime(calcium hydroxide) to get hair to slip on a hide.  It is sold as type s  next to cement in hardware stores.  A 50 bag costs about $14.

It has lots of other uses around a homestead as well.
1 month ago
Do you plan to run your system in the winter?

If so:
Do you plan to bury the pipe deep enough to not freeze?
Does the bottom of the creek stay open all winter?  It is common here for small streams to freeze solid to the bottom, then water to flow over the ice.  sometimes that will happen several times causing the creek to be flowing on top of ice several feet above the creek bed and sometimes even elevated above the surrounding ground level.

Will you have a way to prevent debris washing into the pipe or blocking it?  If so the method has to work winter and summer.  It is much harder to keep it serviceable in winter.

Even if your pipe is buried below the frost line it eventually  has to come out of the ground at the end.  How will you keep that from freezing up?

Small hydro is great in the summer, but it can be very difficult to keep it working in deep winter.
1 month ago
You may want to look into saddle ac units.

Some are just window units in a new form.  But some are minisplits that also offer heating built into the saddle shape.
1 month ago

J Hillman wrote:I built a large solar dehydrator for food, similar to this.
https://extension.usu.edu/sustainability/research/community-solar-dehydrator-plans

But air didn't flow through it fast enough.  I took an 12 volt electric radiator fan from a GM vehicle and mounted it in the dehydrator to suck air out of the box.  I wired it directly to a broken 26 volt solar panel.  So any time the sun shines the fan is moving air.  

The brighter the sun shine the more heat is made in the heat panel and the more electric the electric panel makes  causing the fan to move more air.  

The same thing could be used to dry clothes.  Just replace the food shelves with bars to hang the clothes on.  And by having the powered fan you probably have enough air flow that you could put a air filter on it.

The inside of the box is always dark so the sun can't bleach the clothing.

Depending on your location it should work in the winter too.  You just may need to add more heat panels to it.



A system like I described could be built into a house as a closet for the drying chamber.  And the heat panels could be outside with the air moving from the panels to the drying chamber through large diameter pipes(drain tile comes to mind as the cheapest option)

If you want to increase capacity you could build more than one drying chamber and add more heat panels.

For drying clothes you would want to take outside air, run it through the system then vent it back outside.

But you could put in baffles so you aren't drying clothes you could take inside air, run it through the panels and then vent the warmed up air back into the house to help heat your home when you need it.

Such a system would still require you to work with nature a bit.  You wouldn't want to do 10 loads of laundry on a rainy day with a week of rain forecast, your clothes would mold before they dry.  

A assume each drying chamber(about 60 cubic feet) could hold a large washer load of clothes and would dry it in a day if the sun is shining.  I may test my food dehydrator with a load of clothes and report back.

It is overly complicated compared to just hanging the clothes to dry, but with your allergy issue it may be an option.

1 month ago
I built a large solar dehydrator for food, similar to this.
https://extension.usu.edu/sustainability/research/community-solar-dehydrator-plans

But air didn't flow through it fast enough.  I took an 12 volt electric radiator fan from a GM vehicle and mounted it in the dehydrator to suck air out of the box.  I wired it directly to a broken 26 volt solar panel.  So any time the sun shines the fan is moving air.  

The brighter the sun shine the more heat is made in the heat panel and the more electric the electric panel makes  causing the fan to move more air.  

The same thing could be used to dry clothes.  Just replace the food shelves with bars to hang the clothes on.  And by having the powered fan you probably have enough air flow that you could put a air filter on it.

The inside of the box is always dark so the sun can't bleach the clothing.

Depending on your location it should work in the winter too.  You just may need to add more heat panels to it.
1 month ago

John C Daley wrote:J Hillman, how will any moisture get away?



In the summer it will be wide open.  In the winter the air is dry and we want the moisture.  But if it gets too damp we could open a vent.

1 month ago
If oats grow well there that is what I would plant, it can survive frost and snow so you can plant it early and take advantage of that early moisture.  Or a winter wheat if you have wet autumns and can get a bit of extra growth in the fall before winter.

You could then harvest either of them as a grain, or cut it and bale it into hay.

The problem with wheat and oats is you have to plant them every year.  You could also try to find a drought tolerant perennial that you only have to plant once and then harvest it for hay every year.
1 month ago
The house I am building has a 8x30 foot front porch.  It faces south and is fully glassed in.  I plan to put a clothesline in there to dry clothes in poor weather.  
1 month ago
I like the idea of localist living.  As soon as you want something that you can't get from the land you need people in manufacturing and everything that supports that manufacturing.

A lot of people look up to Henry David Thoreau or for similar reasons.  But he could only live that simple because the rest of society was still functioning that he could buy cheap grain and barrow tools from.  Yet he preached how he was so right and everyone else was so foolish.

The same is true of my lifestyle.  I can only have the second hand tools and equipment I have because someone else bought them new.  I can focus on my garden and lots of variety because I can get cheap staples from the store.


1 month ago

R. Beatts wrote:

Would hydro seed be appropriate after disking?



Probably, but after disking the topsoil would be very fluffy so you would have to drag or roll something over the surface to slightly compact the soil before hydro seeding.

I don't know your situation ,but the only reason I wouldn't do hydro seeding is because it probably costs more and I don't have the equipment (nor is the equipment cheaply available on the second hand market) to do it myself.

Assuming you have a four wheeler or small tractor you could do the small stump pulling and disking by yourself.
1 month ago