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gardener
Posts: 1415
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
730
trees bike woodworking
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The ceiling fan in our bedroom needed replacing. When we moved in it was caked in cat fur, the remote was missing, the lights didn’t work and it squeaked horribly. I suggested cleaning and fixing it . . . The wife gave me one of those looks someone a few rungs down The Wheaton scale gives you, when your permie solution isn’t acceptable . . . I did clean it and got the lights working but it still squeaked.

These are the steps I took to replace it. This is also for Electricity Oddball point.


The existing fan


No labels. . . . But there’s a badge for that! Managed to climb 16 flights of stairs before I found the right one.


With the electricity turned off, I started to disassmble


The existing hanger wasn’t compatible with the new fan, but the mounting box was and firmly anchored to a joist. I was also renovating / decorating so took the opportunity to paint the ceiling.


All parts present and laid out in part number order according to instructions


Hanger installed and earthed


Body installed


Cables cut to length, trimmed and wired up.


Housing assembled hiding cables


First blade attached


Installation finished and electricity turned back on


All working. Unit comes with a single dimmable LED light and remote.

Wife is happy and so am I. Over night temperature in our bedroom over the past four weeks has been between 24’C and 29’C (75’f to 85’f) so a ceiling fan is a great help and essential with out any other kind of cooling.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Raphaël Blais approved this submission.
Note: Good job!

 
pioneer
Posts: 114
Location: Val d'Espoir, Quebec, Canada, zone3a at the bottom of a valley
61
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Oh yeah! I think i deserve the oddball strawbadge 💙
Root cellar for 75 point.

https://permies.com/p/1506749
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Congratulations!

 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1415
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
730
trees bike woodworking
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Adding sunshade to help keep the house cool

We’re slowly adjusting to life in a hot climate without A/C. (It’s all relative . . .). We’ve had five weeks of pretty much full sun and temperatures in the low to mid thirties (85 to 95’f). This tends to heat the house up so I’m trying to limit the amount of sun that shines in. The house faces due west, so the front has sun from mid day to sunset. After about 3pm sun shines into the ground floor which will be lovely in the winter but not when it’s already too warm inside. I have long term plans for blackout blinds, thick curtains and restoring the original wooden shutters. The ‘windows’ at the front are actually doors which need a lot of restoration. The acreage of glass means covering them will be expensive and I’m a bit short of cash and other areas have higher priority. I decided to install some external bamboo shades. They absorb about 80% of the sunlight and make a significant difference in the internal temperature of the house. I chose bamboo as it has a smaller carbon footprint than the alternatives and it can be composted at end of life. The slats also allow some air flow.

I installed them using decking screws - they’re self drilling, weatherproofed and I already had them. The blinds did come with hooks but they looked a bit flimsy and I can use them elsewhere.


Three openings requiring shades


Attaching the blind to the inside edge


Secured




Installed
Staff note (gir bot) :

Raphaël Blais approved this submission.
Note: Good idea! It inspire me to try it too at my house!

Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.
Note: Approved for 1/2 oddball point

Staff note (Jay Angler) :

Bamboo can be sustainably grown and is compostable as Edward stated, but please be aware everyone that the "rope/string" used as the warp on these shades may *not* be biodegradable (unless they specifically say otherwise - nylon would be a good guess!) So I would make sure I composted it in a specific spot where it would be easy to go back and remove the string after Mother Nature's recycled the bamboo.

Staff note (Edward Norton) :

Excellent point Jay - thanks

 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1415
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
730
trees bike woodworking
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Self move

When I moved to the US, I knew we’d be moving again in three years. We arrived with no local credit history and therefore needed to rent rather than buy. It was our long term goal to stay for at least ten years and once our credit score was reasonable, buy our own place. I kept the good boxes from our relocation and started hoarding every sheet of bubble wrap and packing peanut. I had done a little research and the cost of getting someone else to move us was the wrong side of $10k. I would self pack and self move.

Last April, we picked up the keys and had three months overlap. The new place is old and needs a lot of work, so I started travelling back and forth twice a week filling the car with boxes. I did a total of eight trips but we still had a lot of stuff, big pieces of furniture and plants, so the final remove would require two 20ft U-Haul vans. Then over the course of two weekends, the four of us spent long 14 hour days packing, driving, unpacking. I’ve just looked through my finances and I spent a grand total of $724.39 including gas, insurance and tolls for the trucks, 12 rolls of packing tape and a set of shoulder dolly moving straps. That does not  include the cost of my twice weekly commutes as I was doing that anyway. I didn’t spend a bean on packing materials or boxes.

When we arrived to pick up the first truck, they had upgraded me to a 27 footer which is scarily big! They also gave me a decent refund for the inconvenience. We still managed to fill it and the 20 footer the following weekend because I decided to move all my compost and 56 bags of dirt I had grown potatoes in the previous year. (Note to self - do not ever move dirt ever again). The extra capacity also meant I could move more plants that i had intend to leave behind.

It was an interesting experience, bloody hard work. A month later, every box is unpacked and the only casualties are a wine glass and a missing bolt from a bed. So here are the pictures.


First trip with full car and dog - I became an expert at packing tetris


Car trip boxes


Day before the first move with everything ready for the van. I roughly mapped out the vans foot print so loading would be done in the correct order.




Order confirmations with dates and pickup / drop off locations


Inside the 27 footer. Dog didn’t want to be left behind!


Relief that they hadn’t upgraded us a second time!


The 20 footer full to the brim


Saying goodbye to our lovely neighbours


Unloading the 20 footer


Monster truck?


Final drop off - a 20 and 27 foot truck side by side.
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

Great job Edward!  Certifier discussions are going on behind the scenes and we hope to get a number figured out but it might take a couple weeks.  This one is a bit odder than the average oddball!

Staff note (Edward Norton) :

Cheers all . . . Looking forward to the outcome either way. Even if I get no points, I’m sure Otis would approve.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: one point.  99% piano factor.

 
gardener
Posts: 1241
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
539
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Edward Norton wrote:Adding sunshade to help keep the house cool



Are you familiar with green curtains? You plant a vining broad leafed plant (often some cucurbit) to climb and shade the space, also taking advantage of the usually high sun exposure and vertical growing space.

Could be a good combo in the future!

 
pollinator
Posts: 342
Location: Pembrokeshire, UK
233
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I recently restored my old "Beryl" bench grinder, made by Rainville Engineering Co. I estimate that it is more than 50 years old but it may be as old as 80 years. The castings are much more substantial than a modern grinder and there is a lot more copper in the motor - meaning, I think, more torque for the rated power.

I bought it for £50 from an old farm workshop. It came with some grinding wheels that are too big for it so I've had to spend another £21 on new abrasives. The wiring was perished, the paint flaking and some of the bare metal components heavily oxidised.

I stripped down the grinder (harder than it sounds, the nuts holding on the wheels were stuck fast) then tested and attached new wires to the motor coils. After this came the long process of removing rust and oxides, priming and then painting each component to protect it. The cast iron and steel components were de-rusted in white vinegar. The aluminium castings had wire brushes and wire wool used on them. I used different primers for each metal, as appropriate. Some components were finished with high heat stove paint, as I had some kicking around and I felt it might protect the paint against the grinding sparks. The main castings, guards and motor case were painted using green enamel paint as it is durable and I liked the colour.

The spark shields are interesting - they have a pair of thick glass lenses that are held in place with a copper snap ring. One of the shields was missing a lens which meant that the snap ring didn't hold it properly. I used some linseed oil putty, for sealing windows, to hold it in place. It looks a little bit messy but it works well.

I tested the switch, re-wired the motor and added a ground to one of the mounting bolts. This is a safety feature that wasn't present before! It scares me how many old electronic appliances and tools lacked a ground. After fitting the new wheel and re-assembling, I tested the grinder on an old nail and it performed well.

Hopefully the grinder will be usable for another 50 years now!

The whole restoration took about 8 hours. In real time, it took about a month! Most of the work was cleaning and painting, not very difficult, but the electrics is always nerve wracking.

I believe this fulfils permaculture principals of repair, reuse and self-reliance. Purchasing a new grinder, as well as being inferior and expensive, would incur a significant carbon cost. The paint, although unpleasant, will protect the metal and should last for decades. Further, I already owned half of the paint that I used (and paint has a shelf-life, not using it would be wasteful). Finally, I used white vinegar for rust removal which is safe to use and dispose of.
start.jpg
Grinder body, before restoration
Grinder body, before restoration
shields.jpg
Spark shields
Spark shields
tool-rest.jpg
Nice, chunky tool rests
Nice, chunky tool rests
disassembly.jpg
Beginning to disassemble
Beginning to disassemble
rust-removal-vinegar.jpg
Removing rust using white vinegar
Removing rust using white vinegar
wire-brushing.jpg
Wire brushing oxidised aluminium parts
Wire brushing oxidised aluminium parts
shield-disassembled.jpg
Glass removed
Glass removed
shields-primes.jpg
Aluminium parts primed with red "special metals" primer
Aluminium parts primed with red "special metals" primer
shields-sprayed-high-heat.jpg
Some components painted with high-heat hammerite
Some components painted with high-heat hammerite
shield-reassembled.jpg
Spark shields re-assmbled
Spark shields re-assmbled
bolts-de-rusted.jpg
Bolts were de-rusted and then blued with cold blue
Bolts were de-rusted and then blued with cold blue
tool-rest-painted.jpg
I used the greenhouse as a temporary painting room
I used the greenhouse as a temporary painting room
motor-body-reassembled-painted.jpg
Grinder body, after restoration
Grinder body, after restoration
switch.jpg
Switch terminals
Switch terminals
wiring.jpg
All wired up!
All wired up!
on-bench.jpg
Finally, installed on the bench
Finally, installed on the bench
working.jpg
And it works!
And it works!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified for 5 oddball points

 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1415
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
730
trees bike woodworking
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Renovate 711 sq ft of floors

RoomDimensionsSquare footageperimeter
Master Bedroom15’04” x 14’08”22560
Red Room15’04” x 11’00”16953
Home Office10’08” x 11’01”11844
Bedroom One11’07” x 8’07”9940
Bedroom Two11’08” x 8’07”10041



Master Bedroom


Red room


Bedroom One


Bedroom Two


Home Office

(Over the next two years, I will strip all the remaining floors).

711 sqft in total with  238 ft of perimeter (210 ft of trim allowing for doorways)

Back in April I picked up the keys to my new home - an 1850’s colonial wreck . . . It had been unloved for decades, empty for three years and prior to that, the previous owner had 18 cats. The surveyor said the bones were good and that included the original floor boards. The goal was to complete 5 rooms before we moved in at the end of June. I wanted to paint all walls, trim, doors and ceilings. Replace light fixtures and other fittings. Install blinds. And renovate the floors.

After some research and conversations on permies, I came to the conclusion that the boards are old growth white pine. (White pine is a magnificent tree which can grow to 180’ or more. It was a good source of lumber in the 1850’s. Alas very few old trees still exist.)


Floor previously restored - probably white pine

I love wooden floors and wanted to restore them even if they’d never been intended as a finished surface. Two rooms had previously been stripped but the varnish was worn and an unnatural looking yellow. The standard of work was poor - exposed nailheads, areas under radiators not stripped, no filling between the boards. The other three rooms had carpet. I don’t like carpet, I really don’t like inheriting someone else’s carpet and I’m allergic to cats and the carpets contained a lot of cat products.

Removing carpet and sanding floors is something I did twenty years ago, so I roughly knew what needed to be done. This time though, I wanted to do it differently.

I started in the Red Room, which had a thick carpet that stank of cat wee. This room proved to be the most challenging.

I started near the door and removed an area big enough to understand what I was dealing with. Under the carpet was carpet underlay then a layer of kitchen / bathroom tiles made of a brittle man made material. They were glued to half inch plywood that was nailed to the boards. Under the ply was a tough brown paint which is used in the hallway and on the stairs.


Doorway investigation


Other peoples carpet

I put together a plan:

The carpet was constructed from manmade materials and stank. I’ve used carpet in the past for garden projects but only when it’s made of natural materials. I wasn’t going to keep this one, so it would be cut into 2ft strips, rolled up and bagged before disposal.

The tiles could be pried off the plywood with a cats paw / crow-bar.

The plywood I could reuse in the basement as I wanted to put down a floor on the rooms that had bare concrete.

I tested the paint for lead and it was lead free. It could be removed with a heat gun and then sanded. I decided against hiring a floor sander. I have done this in the past but you still have to pay for materials and the sheets aren’t cheap. I would buy myself a 4inch belt sander. It would take longer but keep cost and waste down. Once I was finished i could use the sander for other wood related projects.

Execution didn’t go to plan. The carpet came up easily enough but underneath the underlay was thick layer of dust / sand so I bought a shop vac as it would wreck my domestic vac and I wanted a good filter. (The shop vac has been used extensively and when it broke, I fixed it and earned a BB).


Rolls of carpet ready for bagging and disposal


Sand and dust under carpet


Tile removal

My neighbour had a dumpster I could use in exchange for a hundred bucks. He was filling it with the gnarly parts of a tree he had cut down. I ended up harvesting all the wood, so he let me use the dumpster for free as it dramatically reduced the weight, far in excess of the weight of materials I was adding. The carpet, underlay, batons, tiles and plywood also went in the dumpster. The plywood was nailed with barbed nails every 8 inches in both directions. Removing whole sheets was impossible. I resorted to cutting the sheets into 2’ by 2’ sections and prying off with a cats paw and crowbar.  It was also old and had lots of delamination.


Cutting ply in a 2 by 2 grid


Removing the ply


Using a Japanese handsaw for edge pieces


Many many hundreds of nails left behind


Old ply ready for disposal

I’ve used a heat gun and scraper to remove paint before and although it takes time, it minimises waste. It took me over an hour to remove a square foot. I have no idea what kind of paint was used - it was pretty heat resistant and didn’t come up cleanly. The previous owner worked in construction. He’s also my neighbour so I had a chat about with paint. He was a bit vague on details but I got the impression it was from and industrial installation he worked and I heard him mention epoxy(!), so not a regular domestic paint. I experimented with a 40 grit sandpaper but it quickly turned the belt to a smooth brown hot plastic mess. My neighbour suggested paint stripper. I bought a small tub of bright orange citric paint stripper and it worked to a certain degree. I set to to strip the whole floor which took a couple of days and was pretty gross and very messy work. The results were far from ideal and I had to wait another day for everything to dry before sanding. Sanding was a disaster, there was enough paint left that the belt gummed up pretty quickly.


First round with citristrip


Unsuccessful paint striping

I did some more research, reached out to permies and found an alternative paint stripper, one that claimed to be 100% eco friendly. I applied it with a paint roller and covered it with plastic sheets and left it over night. It was little better but still far from ideal.


Applying second kind of paint stripper


Overnight soak under plastic


Tools I was using


Washing off the chemicals

My conversation on permies lead me to buying a Paintshaver Pro - a nine hundred dollar powertool. The tool uses a highspeed disk with three teeth to cut the paint clean off the surface. I bought the powerful 9amp model as it could cut through nails as well. It was a great investment and saved me a huge amount of time, chemicals and the only waste was the paint which was sucked up by the attached shop vac.


Paintshaver Pro - the mutts nuts


2 hours of work - 7 boards done


Finally, 90% of the floor, paint free.

I also tackled the two small back bedrooms. They also had cat contaminated carpet, underlay, kitchen tiles and ply. One had another layer of flooring which appeared to be an early composite. I worked on these at the same time to make use of the dumpster and when paint stripper was doing it’s thing or drying.


Removing additional floor in bedroom two


This is why I wore thick trousers, knee pads and sturdy boots even though this attic bedroom was frequently in the high 90’s.

The other two rooms were much simpler as they had already been stripped. I used the paint shaver to remove the old varnish and then sanded with 40 followed by 80 grit to remove the small rings the shaver sometimes left, even out irregularities and smooth any remaining protruding nails and screws.


Exhaust pipe from shop vac out the window because the dust free exhaust air is hot


Master bedroom cleared and ready for sanding. PPE kit laid out.


First round of sanding in the home office

I used a painters tool to clean out all the gaps between boards.




That’s a lot of grime - plus random missing board section

There were many defects - large gaps between boards, evidence of an old bathroom, missing boards - all needed fixing. Here’s how I fixed the gaps:


Wide and deep gap


I used a router to create a uniform channel


I used some left over lumber from a previous project to make strips to fill the gaps


Cut and planed to size


Installed


Ready for sanding


Sanded flush

Here’s how I fixed the missing sections of boards:


Random whole in the floor - probably an old vent system


Removed just under 3/4 an inch


3/4 inch board to fill the hole


Board screwed in place before sanding


Holes left by old plumbing installation


Squaring off the sides


Marking out area to remove with router


Cutting rabbet


Ready for infill board


Board installed

I needed to fill the remaining smaller gaps between boards, cracks and knotholes.

After sanding with 120 and then 240 grit, I filled the gaps in one of the smaller bedrooms with natural cordage made of sea-grass. This was ok, but not the finish I was after. I’m barefoot most of the time so I wanted a smooth finish that felt nice underfoot. (The wife wasn’t impressed with the “knitting” - her words for the sea-grass solution. She was ok with it in the one room, but I needed a better solution for the other four.)


Sea-grass gap filler

I settled on Woodwise, Wood Patch after more research. I filled every gap, knothole and crack, sanded with 60 grit once it was dry, typically the next day, and then repeated as there was some shrinkage in bigger gaps.


Applying woodpatch


First application


First round of sanding


After sanding


Second round of woodpatch

When you remove carpet, you can end up with a gap between the baseboard and the floor. I wanted to fill this gap with trim that matched the detail on the top of the baseboard. To do this, I would make my own trim.

Shop bought trim is perfectly engineered, primed for painting, comes in standard lengths and is quick and easy. It’s also expensive, you have no idea what exactly it’s made of, what toxic gunk was used in it’s creation and what kind of finish it has. You’re also at the whim of the store in terms of profile.

I bought 10ft boards which I could rip down into three two by ones, run them through a table router then paint, cut and install at a fraction of the cost and have total control over the whole process. I estimated I’d need 240ft of trim allowing for 10% waste. Although I’m working on five rooms, there are many more rooms to do, including halls, corridors and landings, so investing in this process also made sense in the long run.

I bought the materials, set up my saw horses on the driveway and ripped 240ft of two by ones.



I bought and setup a table router that accepted the large bit that matched the profile I wanted. My small battery powered router wasn’t up to a job of this scale. The table router will gets lots of use on other projects.







I made my trim and then gave it two coats of paint to match the colour of the appropriate room.



I had now deconstruct a lot of someone else’s handiwork. I have grown to hate nail guns and barbed / ridged nails. I decided to install all the trim with screws so if the next person who owns this place wants to remove the trim and install carpet, it can be easily removed without damaging the baseboard and potentially reinstalled. I found some really nice slender screws with a small hex head that could be self driven into the trim without pre-drilling. This made the job a lot quicker and the trim was securely anchored to the existing baseboard. First I had to disconnect the cast-iron radiators, clean up the floor and apply tung oil. I left this task to the end because I needed help moving them and up until now I was running solo.


Measuring, cutting and dry fitting

Before installing the trim, I put down two coats of tung oil next to the baseboard. I could then install the trim after it had dried and then finish the floor with two more coats of tung oil.




Trim installed and first coat of tung oil


Second coat of tung oil


Second coat in the master bedroom


Home office finished and occupied

I estimate that I have spent two days a week over a twelve week period working on the floors, somewhere in the region of 200+ hours. I spent roughly 20 hours over 5 days on paint removal solutions that didn’t work, so 4 sqft per hour. (It’s also taken me seven hours to write this report including selecting and editing the pictures!).

For future projects I estimate my time at 5 to 8 sqft per hour depending on the starting point. The work was backbreaking and very uncomfortable during the summer months. Most of the time I was wearing heavy boots, knee pads, thick trousers, gloves, ear protection, eye protection and a dust mask.

Here’s a list of all my costs, excluding sales tax:

Tools

Shop Vac + extra pipes: $180
Paintshaver Pro: $924
Belt Sander: $353
Router, bits and table: $443

Total: $1900

Consumables

Woodwise (4 gallons) : $173
Tung Oil (4 gallons) : $234
4 x 24 sanding belts (4 packs) : $80
Sanding disks : $22
Citristrip (3 half gallon tubs) : $81
SmartStrip (2 gallons) : $114
Trim boards : $102
Screws: $44
String: $14
Paint brushes / rollers: $26
Heavy duty trash bags: $30

Total: $839

Tools I already owned:

Crow-bar
Cats paw
Knife
Metal trash can
Circular saw
Multitool
Off cuts for filling floor
Hand sander
Personal protection equipment
Extension cables
Clip on work lights
Saw horses
Japanese saws
Clamps
Mitre saw
Paint scrapers

Going forward, I have all the tools for the rest of the floors. (I can sell the paintshaver with little depreciation - they go for a lot on ebay.) Consumables work out at just under a dollar per square foot.

Thank you for reading this far and especially if you are the review . . . Another tricky one but hopefully no piano factor.

Cheers, Edward

Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Great job!  Certified for 200 oddball points.

 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1415
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
730
trees bike woodworking
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I’d like to apply for my Straw Badge:

permies.com/p/1321548 - 1 point
permies.com/p/1331933 - 3 points
permies.com/p/1333304 - 1/2 point
permies.com/p/1341097 - 2 points
permies.com/p/1344338 - 3 points
permies.com/p/1406752 - 3 points
permies.com/p/1508208 - 1/2 point
permies.com/p/1525608 - 1/2 point
permies.com/p/1525687 - 1 point (possibly the hardest oddball point ever)
permies.com/p/1560231 - 200 points

Total: 211.5

Cheers for all the help in getting these and the feedback from the staff.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified!

 
pollinator
Posts: 184
Location: North Island, New Zealand
202
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Bamboo is quite invasive where I live. It gets into river gullies and chokes out other vegetation (native and non-native). I recently found a thicket of larger bamboo in one of my local gullies and removed a couple of stems of it.

I had been running low on chopsticks (lost about half of the set after hosting an event and letting folks use them), and I decided that, rather than purchasing more, I would make some myself. Using a few nodes of invasive bamboo, I cut and carved at least 20 pairs of chopsticks. Getting them all the same was the challenging part, but I managed ok. They work great! I am an experienced whittler, and the whole lot took about 1.5h.
mb-bb-oddball-013-chopsticks-1.jpg
Whittling bamboo chopsticks
Whittling bamboo chopsticks
Staff note (gir bot) :

Opalyn Rose approved this submission.
Note: I certify this badge bit complete and award 1.5 points.

 
Anderson gave himself the promotion. So I gave myself this tiny ad:
Work Trade for the 2023 Garden Master Course
https://permies.com/wiki/190487/permaculture-projects/Work-Trade-Garden-Master
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