Fall Nears


Berry week didn’t work as well as I had hoped. We ended up getting about a half gallon more of raspberries and these five quarts of Elderberries for wine I’ll make this winter.

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The low temperatures have been in the thirties for almost a week now. Luckily we haven’t had any hard freezes yet, and have lost only the squash, corn, and peppers.

The Boy and I have been taking advantage of the cooler temps to put up firewood. We have about half what we need so far:

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I discovered our hot water system was thermosiphoning BTUs into our floor anytime a flow check valve I installed was open. I also discovered check valves (at least the brass ones I’ve been using) don’t really work reliably. Thermosiphoning is a truly amazing and much more efficient process than I previously believed. Three hundred more dollars to Granger, two solenoid valve bodies, two 110V 60Hz actuator coils and I fixed the problem :

Photobucket The tank temps shown are about 10 degrees below normal since I had taken a shower right before taking the pic.

Some of the girls are taking getting ready for winter more seriously than me:

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Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Still Busy


Here are some pics of a couple of the projects I’ve been trying to get wrapped up. Some of these were started four/five years ago.

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Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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New Catagory


I’m adding a new category that will contain only posts about building The Gulch home, called surprisingly enough Gulch Home.

However, most of the very early pictures and text will not be here since they predate this blog.

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 12:32 am  Leave a Comment  

House Finish Work / Done Kidding


I all but got done with the sheet rock in the house prior to the Last Log Party so I’ve moved on to finish work. We found a huge set of used cabinets at Restore in Missoula a little while back for $200. These are a darkish finish on Maple and when purchased new were top of the line, judging by the hardware and joinery. The lil’ lady wants to paint the kitchen cabs, and in fact the first set in the peninsula we bought new with a white primer finish. Unfortunately she has come to like the finish on these so I guess I’ll need to learn to do faux wood finish now. We got all the cabs in the pic, 3 other uppers for the kitchen (not in the picture but installed), a whole set of uppers for the utility/laundry room, and even had an extra upper I installed in the bath.

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Before anyone asks the flag in the pics is the Bunker Hill Flag. I extended the ends of the Last Log in the railing an extra 4.5′ on either side to hang flags, garlands, hides, trophy heads, etc. The other side sports a Gadsden flag for now. The counter top (like the last one) is Gin-u-wine Colorado Pondarosa Pine (AKA Bull Pine here in MT) I and a friend milled these (and butt-loads more) from timber I bought from another friends dad. I did a hand-rubbed finish with Boiled Linseed oil (same as the other).

I finished all the shelving in the master closet this week and tomorrow we are going to finally get to the last boxes.

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I think we are done with the unplanned kidding for this winter. We had 9 kids and didn’t lose a single one, even with the sub-zero temps right after they were born.

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Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 1:34 am  Comments (4)  
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Look What Santa Brought


One of these guys will lead a charmed life as our new billy, the other will be less fortunate and will go in the freezer. The short list of names is Feed and Seed or Heir and Spare.
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Also in current news we hosted a combined New Years and Last Log party.I invited everyone up the mountain that helped me build the house, everyone but three people made it. The Boy and I could have hung this log on the railing last week but figured everyone earned a chance to help.

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Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm  Comments (6)  
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No More Leaks….for real this time


We finished putting up the Frost Guard (self-adhesive, fiber reinforced, self sealing, tar paper) on the whole roof today. I can barely move my right arm, but I can check one more thing off the Must Do Before Snow Flies List.

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Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 12:23 am  Comments (4)  
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Monster Power / New Neighbor


We got a new Gulch neighbor (one of ‘em pesky anarchists), and installed enough solar panels (with help from the new neighbor) to run the whole house. The first four from the left are mine, the other eight are his, which I was able to find a secure place to store them for him.

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Speaking of solar we are picking up huge amounts of passive solar heat now that it is fall. This is what was planned except we are still getting daily highs near 90 degrees. Thanks god we have so much mass that the lows in the forties equal it out.

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 12:16 am  Comments (3)  
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Roof


So, it stopped raining about five days ago, and I was able to shift into my summer “must do” list. I’ve got 5/8 of the roof decking done. If only the weather will hold through the fourth or fifth the roving leaks when it rains will be a thing of the past. If however, it starts raining the day after tomorrow we are screwed. The flat stock on top of the insulation will funnel ALL the run-off into the roof cavity and life will be miserable. The four or five 1.5″ vent holes per cavity will probably not be able to keep up and we will end up with gallons and gallons in the house. Here are some pics:

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Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gulch heating efficiency results.


So we just skipped right over spring and got up to a summer like 86 degrees yesterday. We had a fire in the primary wood stove the night before and the morning temp in the house was 72 degrees. By 9AM the outside temp was 80 degrees and the sun was shinning bright all the rest of the day. The temp in the house peaked at 74 degrees in the SE room with 5 windows, the rest of the house stayed even cooler. (more…)

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm  Comments (3)  
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Well here we are again in the building season so here are some pics. I’ll try to get to my census, and gun rights rant I’m barely keeping bottled up soon. There is time to laugh at my buddy B who’s been trying to sell his property at 80% of it’s taxed value for the last year but was notified that his taxed value went up last year. The thin veil is slipping away.

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I had some pics of the 130 seedlings but the ghost of my camera claimed them for its self.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 3:24 am  Comments (7)  
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