Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blog Update

Woke up at 4:05 am, brain started churning & chattering with ideas for the coming year, wouldn't let me settle down enough to get back to sleep. So here I am editing my blog format in the wee hours of the morning, organizing the links in the column to the right, with Pepper sighing and huffing occasionally behind me because he doesn't like it when I pay more attention to the computer than to him. In the interest of keeping this post from becoming another rambling, self-indulgent & introspective jumble, it is time to toss up more pictures.

This is what has taken up a large amount of my time between rain storms and other projects. Down-side: lots of hard work felling, chunking, splitting, hauling & stacking. Up-side: boy did it ever keep me in shape, it was free and saves me a load of money without needing to switch to Geico!

I finally got around to reconditioning, painting & putting new seals in the old Scandia 100 wood stove. I am very proud of how it turned out. Interesting story (at least to me): I found this stove for free on the side of the road almost a decade ago while riding with my parents in their van. It appeared to be a rusty, pitted old chunk of scrap-metal, with the reliefs barely visible under all the corrosion and my folks thought I was being ridiculous because I lived in an apartment with oil heat at the time and would never foreseeably need a wood stove. Regardless, they humored me and my Dad helped me to load it into the van. It moved everywhere with me and went into storage for a while. When I bought the cottage it seemed like it would be far more efficient than the cheaply-made "smoke-dragon" that came with the place. Upon further research, this model of stove is a bit hard to come by because it helped with the demise of a Taiwanese subsidiary of the Franklin Stove Company. Apparently this subsidiary was shut down due to a large lawsuit brought by Jøtul because of trademark/design infringements. This model is a direct knock-off of a tul "Black Bear" 118. Hey, if you are going to copy something, may as well copy the best, right? It is relatively efficient, burning up to six hours with a full load of hardwood and a healthy bed of coals still there after 10 hours if the damper is set correctly. By coincidence, it was also manufactured in the year of my birth.
Lovely reliefs of pastoral/woodland scenes & critters.

I am very proud of how it turned out, being my first stove-overhaul project ever.

Now it heats my whole house quite comfortably and I do 90% of my cooking on it during the colder months. It saves me several thousand dollars a year on propane.

But OH! and OW! Wood stoves are not all wine, roses and romantic firelight. They bite hard when you aren't careful with them! This is what happens when one is attempting to adjust some of the internal buffer plates before checking to see if it is cooled enough to work on with bare hands & arms.

Thanks to my friend Murph for snapping this pic. Because I burn a fair amount of pine, I have to do this 2-3 times a year. *This tempts me to put on a top hat and black coat tails & sing in a Cockney accent: "Prevent a house fire, schtep in toim, prevent a house fire, schtep in toim! Never need a reason, never need a roim, prevent a house fire schtep in toim!" I dare not dance on this particular roof though. (5 bonus points if you get the reference)

While we are on the subject of singing... on the TENTH day of Christmas (or Thanksgiving?) my true love gave to me, in addition to a bunch of livestock & indentured servants performing various acts like milking, leaping, swimming and perching in fruit trees, TEN TURKEYS PECKING, among the blueberry bushes out in my side yard. They have become so commonplace around here, sometimes as little as a couple or as many as five dozen. They are attracted to the bags of shavings I've been spreading around under the trees as mulch. The shavings come from the animal cages at work so they are loaded with various seeds and food pellets.

A fuzzy, uninvited guest who ended up in my bathroom. It was a little surprising to get out of the shower, glancing once and thinking it was just a large moth, then again and realizing what it really was. He made a hell of a high-pitched racket when I trapped him in a coffee can and turned him loose in a tree outside.

Another uninvited house-guest who somehow got inside over the summer. My cats had him (or her?) trapped behind the wood rack so I caught him and hustled him outdoors too. My sister, and now I, have started calling them "Dreaded Angii" ("Dreaded Angus" as the singular form). She says because they remind her of angry little Scottish men when they are scolding you from up in the trees.

And while we're on the subject, this was yet ANOTHER guest who almost became lunch for my cats. I'm not sure if it's a mole, vole or shrew.

My dog loves corn, but only if it's husked, he seems to enjoy stripping the husks, then eating them.  Reasonable substitute for hunting critters I guess.

Asian Praying Mantis hanging out on the windowsill on the front of the bird-room at work.

In my neighbor's tree: made me do a double-take, thinking it was real at first.

An incredibly effective home-brew directional wifi antenna which I made out of a coaxial connector, a length of coaxial cable, a tuna can, a small copper wire antenna, a discarded metal primestar dish I found behind the wood shed when I bought the place, and picture-hanging wire. I am very proud of this project too. Connected to the router, it gives a very strong signal no matter where I am in my yard, connected to my wireless card via a home-made pig-tail adapter, it can pick up networks from a quarter mile down the road.

This is the trailer which came with the property (I didn't live in this one, it was used primarily for storage).

The town had a bug up their arse about it and ordered me to have it removed, so some good friends of mine threw a "Trailer-Tear-Down Party". Here is one pic of the high-jinks which ensued. I'll post a video of the actual act of tipping it over at some point.

So classy! After a long day of demolition, a couple of beers around the camp-fire are in order. The toilet came from the trailer.


CrackerLilo said...

It's awesome that the wood stove is saving you money and doing a good job heating your home this winter, but I hope it doesn't burn you again.

Thanks for the pictures of rural life (the literal ones and the mental ones you painted with words.) I love how you repurposed the toilet.

Glad you updated!

Kenneth J Doyle said...

Sir. I have recently come across this very same model of stove and want to embark on my own refurb project but no nothing about refurbishing.This is my first stove!
I wanted to ask about your own process and journey with the stove.What methods/products were used to remove the rust,did you need new parts,if so,were they hard to come by?Did u completely take it apart?How would I redo the heat seals? Any advice would be really very much appreciated!



Kenneth J Doyle said...

Sir. I have recently come across this very same model of stove and want to embark on my own refurb project but no nothing about refurbishing.This is my first stove!
I wanted to ask about your own process and journey with the stove.What methods/products were used to remove the rust,did you need new parts,if so,were they hard to come by?Did u completely take it apart?How would I redo the heat seals? Any advice would be really very much appreciated!



Nonsequitur said...

Kenneth, I simply used a fine wire brush to remove the rust. Then I gave it a couple coats of black stove paint, giving the coating a very light, gentle sanding with a fine-grade wire brush between coats and bringing the stove to full temperature for several hours after each coat to season the paint finish. During the initial heating process there was a lot of smoking and chemical vapor emitted from the paint so it would be best to do this sort of thing outside. I was fortunate to find that my stove came complete with all parts so I didn't need any except for some of the bolts. There is some information floating around out there which states many of the parts are interchangeable with the Jotul 118 but the info was vague & unreliable at best. I've read opinions from a few others who our model of stove, stating that if you need parts it would be best to buy a junked model of the same stove if you can find it. The company who originally produced it is no longer in business (read the blog post to see why). If you need replacement bolts, this model has non-standard, metric sizing so it might be best to take the original bolts (or plate they are screwed into) to a hardware store for comparison. Brass bolts are more expensive but will stand up to the prolonged heating & cooling cycles much better than standard steel/galvanized bolts. I also added in lock-washers with all the bolts to keep them from unscrewing due to the expanding/contracting the metal. As far as the heat seals, I used graphite stove-sealing cord in various sizes, depending on which part needed it. I think I used 1" thick cord on the corners (which was a mistake; too thick, I'll be using the flat-tape-type cord on the corners in the future) as well as the area between the main fire box & the top chambers, also around the bottom rim of the top-plate of the stove where it rests on the side-plates (in retrospect, smaller cord would probably have been best here too), 1/4" cord on the stovepipe fitting as well as the decorative plates screwed into the pipe ports on the upper stack. Some folks tell me you can use a commercial stove sealant between the joints instead of cord but I've also heard others say this isn't safe & could cause the metal to crack because the parts expand/contract at different rates. Best of luck to you, I hope this information helps.

wood burning stoves said...

Judging from the pictures, I can say that,that is one awesome place. I am so envious. The bear picture got me. :)
Btw, it looks like a mole to me.