Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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His Divine Shadow
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

First log hewn on all sides.

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Two more to go, it's a real workout, arms trembling. the smaller and lighter axe is better for rough cutting and less exhausting, then you do the finer work with the hewing axe.

Also the foundation is almost done, left to apply more render on the outside, then I can finish the underground drainage and fill up the outside and inside with gravel.

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LaCroix
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by LaCroix »

Good job... Really nice job, indeed.

Violating the addage "If you see a man hewing a log in the heat, leave him be - anyone willing to do so is allowed to proceed in his own manner" - have you tried doing the rough hewing with a long axe while standing on the log? I like that because gravity does most of the work for you. I used the hewing hatchet only for the final pass(es). I feel that this is so much easier on the back.
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His Divine Shadow
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing how that would help, unless you had a really long axe handle?

I found that my back was a lot happier when I lifted up the log a bit from the ground so I could stand straigher and work on it. I can either stand to the side, or stand straddled across the log. The latter is the traditional way in these regions.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by LaCroix »

Standard axe works as well. When standing on the log, you instinctively bend your knees a bit for balance, and (while still hunched over), the longer handle and the fact that you are hitting something at "floor height" means that you only have to lift the axe and only swing minimally to achieve good impact. Over time, the only strain to your back is holding the posture.

When hewing larger chunks from the side, you are still most of the time hunched over the log just as much, but have to provide the cutting power and brace against the impact to make it work and not only do superficial cuts. So for me, I have to use my back and shoulders so much more, which tires out the back quicker.

edit:
was looking up a video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sgLU5wM-zM&t=200s
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.
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His Divine Shadow
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

That's still a pretty long axe handle.... Might be worth a shot, I am unsure how it would work for me, I dislike standing with my legs bent for longer periods of time. Perhaps I need leg excersizes...
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

Cobbled together a stand for my post vise, really need a vice I can put outside so I don't have to use the angle grinder inside. Gonna put two wheels on the back, so I can tilt it back and move it.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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Rebuilt my forge, no longer has a chimney. I found that coke smokes so little, not at all really, that I don't need it for outdoor forgning. The earlier design prevented access from all sides as well. Now I can put in a long piece of stock easily.

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I made a little hook, haven't forged since last autumn, feels like I am back at square one.

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I am still considering a welded design in the future, that'll be even lighter and easier to move. I am considering a conventional bottom blast, but I am not sure, I do like the side blast, but a bottom blast can be made much lighter.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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One pic failed:
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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My walk behind mower died, or the gearbox melted (plastic) and seized up. Front wheels wouldn't even move. I was able to remove the gearbox with a hammer once I got out the pin that kept it on the shaft. Now it's a push mower.... This made us finally do what we've been wanting for years.... Got a robot!

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Our yard is pretty complex though with multiple levels, drew a map:
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Red is the boundary wire and blue is the guide wire. The walls are retaining walls from rock.

Last night I made a sloped path so the mower can get down to the lower levels:

About 8 or 9 wheel barrow loads of gravel and I got a path with a 16 degree incline (mower handles 22 degrees). Still left to add a layer of topsoil and perhaps buy some "lawn on a roll" as well to speed things up.

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Then it can proceed to mow this passage
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And the lower area, need to cordon off the logging & hewing area for now.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by The_Saint »

I'd be very curious to see/hear how that goes. The local chainsaw/mower place keeps trying to spruik them but apparently they can't convince people of the benefit.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

It seems robot mowers are a thing where the nordic countries are ahead in implementation. I wonder if that is because some of the earliest manufacturers of robot mowers where swedish (Husqvarna), but they are pretty common here and people who got them love them because no more mowing! Or at least they ony have to trim a few areas with a weed whacker.

Anyway we found Elvis (my son named him) like this when we got home, it'd been down and mowed but got mixed up when it was supposed to go back up. I believe it's my fault, I thought the manual implied that in a tight passage, it'd follow the guide cable and not do the normal thing which is pass over the boundary wire by 32cm or 12".

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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Got up this morning and the lawn looks well mowed, found the mower "downstairs" and working, but it ran into problems again in the same ramp and going back up. Tried to turn while in the corridor. Seems to work fine going down. I am gonna continue fiddling with the ramp, but so far it seem to be working and getting around our complicated yard and keeping the grass in check.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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It made it up back up this time! Changed some settings to make it follow the guide wire closer on returning and I also added more soil over the gravel and compacted it, seemed to work better.

Panorama of part of the lawn, the mowers been at it for a day here, results are looking good, we're cutting the grass pretty high here. Not sure I am gonna cut it much lower either, it saves a lot of flowers this way.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by LadyTevar »

I need someone to come put a new roof on Mom's house... or at least re-shingle the damned thing so it doesn't leak.

oh, and fix the back porch where the asshole took a break halfway through and never came back. And the floor joist in the basement where the support (a literal log of wood) doesn't reach anymore, leaving nothing supporting the joist. And the ceiling in the basement entrance where the leak in the roof has rotted it out.

*sigh*. Grandpa and his boys just kit-bashed this house. :(
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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2nd log hewn
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Lumber for framing the walls (sawn 2x4 or 47x100mm, 47mm means it's the cheaper type with a live edge on one or two sides, good enough to frame a shed with)
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Cut to length
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Notch them all like this for the top plate:
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Assembling 1st wall on ground
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Raising it (myself)
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All walls up
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And the last roof beam is done, this will be the top beam and it's 6x7 inches, it's the smallest, the others are 7x8". But it will have the smallest load on it.

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Every log was faster to hew than the one before it. I was starting to get the proper swing and aiming accuracy more and more. Eventually I started getting the proper hewing pattern with a relatively sdmooth surface and diagonal cut lines running along the hewn face. Part of the trick was to, as I swung the axe downwards, to pull it towards me as well to create a slicing motion. I was explained this by another person who hews logs and works on timbered houses. It also became less physically demanding as my skill in hitting the right place increased, the reason it was such heavy work in the beginning was explained to me because I was new and I was not accurate enough yet and was using all my arm muscles to aim the axe and generally being tense. When you get better you start to relax your grip and other muscles and can just let go a powerful swing, knowing it will hit where you want to and that will make the work go faster and easier. I am not quite there yet, but I am finished for now with this. I need to find some more projects in the future....

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Also I improvised a tool from some old squares to make a nice tool for checking I was maintaining the correct size on the log.

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I managed to keep the final height on the top beam consistent to 1/8th of an inch.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by His Divine Shadow »

Posts for the roof beams
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Moving heavy beams easily with a dolly:
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First lifting attempt I used a kind of ladder
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Heavy work but I got it up
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Difficult to get it any further however. I went with a ratcheting winch in order to proceed. Got it almost all the way
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To get it the last way up on the center posts I needed to buy another winch and make two cranes
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And attached and with some diagonal bracing
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For the side beam, which is heavier (the top beam has the smallest load) I used the cranes again instead of the ladder.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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OK progress slowed down because I am back at work since last week, I did get the last beam in place however before sunday ended.

Next I made some scaffolding.

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And after that I put up one side of the rafters.

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I used the scaffolding so I could adjust the rafters, I only nailed them in place with a single nail at the bottom first. Then I used an axe and a chisel to adjust the beams so the rafters all sit evenly across. I used a taught line that I had going above the rafters from edge to edge, that gave me a reference to work from.

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In some places I used "shims" (a bit thick for a shim perhaps) which are also nailed and glued with PU glue. It was better I felt to shim some, or I would have had to lower all the other rafters and they where all sitting evenly and nice already.

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Oh and each side will get two more rafters so I get eaves on all sides, but I have to make the rest of the roof for that first.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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OK I am working of the roof now. Been having rain on and off recently and one incredible downpour. Really puts a crimp in working outdoors. I think I can put another purlin onthis side then I will switch to working from the other side, so that they are ready when I lay down the final piece of condensation plastic over the ridge.

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The material I have is not long enough to make one single purlin and the first attempt I made to extend it was kinda clumsly, so instead I decided to use my pantorouter, once set up it's quite fast to make a box joint, with polyurethane glue that should be stronger than the wood. One thing to keep in mind is try and get the joints at different places.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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Spent this weekend putting up the roof and wall sheeting, ran out of screws towards the end though. Ridge plate still needs installing and other stuff, but it's mostly protected from the elements now.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Post by LaCroix »

Since it does fit the theme, I am almost done with my latest project...

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Set directly over the septic tank, it doubles as a cover/decoration.
Also makes plumbing easier.. 8)
Post foundations due to soft ground and municipal laws forbidding foundations (nature preserve...),

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Setting up the wiring and test fitting the plumbing with the site manager...

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Best wire feeder, ever!

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Finished the deck. The railing will not extend to the right corner, as this is the cover for the tank, and lifts. It will connect to the
wall near the door, instead.
This place will be reserved for wife to act on her VSS (vertical surface syndrome :) ), maybe a potted plant or something else that
is easily moved when the pump truck comes by.

At this point, I was ready to declare the outdoor toilet done, but wife insisted the "outdoor toilet" needs to be more "indoor".
ERROR: INSTRUCTIONS UNCLEAR - DOES NOT COMPUTE.....

Anyway... :roll:

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Mocked test fitting of the intended roof.

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First 4 roof beams (the easy ones) installed, frame tied together and door installed.

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Diagonal beams need complex jonery to fit the corners, also need to be crowned to accept the roof boards.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?? :banghead: :wanker:

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Being a OCD anker does pay off, sometimes... :D

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Finished the interior walls. Installed sink. Wife seems happy, but not yet satisfied.

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Outer side of the double walls panelled, got the varnish (we call it lasur - not sure if quite the same thing) on.
Some broken concrete from the old porch doubles as nice stone veneer, wife had a severe case of VSS, and
needed to add decorations, already...

Still need to finish the railing, and the roof will get some (green) shingles nailed to, but that will need to wait.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.
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