Life goes on - Winter 2020

Continuing the discussion from Life goes on - Summer 2020.

Carry on!


Yes, winter is coming. The plan is to make a small hike this weekend to see all the colours in the woods, but if it stays this windy there won’t be any left.


November in October.


Yesterday l came to a conclusion my old sow has more skill in her mouth thain most people now days with 2 good hands…


I hesitate to say . . . .
such a nice cold dry spell here. Might break the magic. La Nina winter for sure.
Great for me/us northern.
Bad, bad for the more southward wild fire still in California to Colorado.

The first two days of cold made dropped black walnuts and leaves in our circular driveway.
Ha! The only place I have to leaf rake and pickup.
This very rare non-native black walnut was one of five bucket grown tried here back in the early 1990’s. This one froze back too. Many times. Survived. And grew.
Says something about true Survivors, eh. Ain’t so important that all make it. Is important that some make it. The tough. The hardy.
I keep trying to grow more from this tree.


Do you do anything with the black walnuts, Steve? My hometown neighborhood is littered with the things, and every year I’ve got friends from the city asking me for the bumper crop I usually end up picking up from around my mum’s yard. I know they’re fairly tasty when roasted and candied, and also some people like to use the husks to make dye, but I could never be bothered to do anything other than toss them in the compost pile. Always been a fan of the smell, though

Hey MarshallM.
No not much with just the one lonely tree.
The green leaf sprigs harvested and summer dryed down do make excellent in-house fleas killers stashed under the beds.
Have to be air dried or the woman complain.
Very staining.
I think there may be some medicinal uses if not overdone.
Me. I always look at the trunk wood as gunstocks :innocent:


When I left work today and walked across the parking towards my truck, I discovered a small bag hanging on the driver’s side rear-view mirror. I have no idea who put it there.
This is what I found inside the bag. Looks famiiar? :smile:


Sort of, when I am in Amsterdam


Are they gasifier lighting matches?


Steve, that’s right.
Joep, I suspect you’re thinking about something else :smile:


Hey J.O.
This is the other Steve. SteveU.
I am finally getting a handle on using this Birchwood supplied to me for heating.
I see now why you Nordic guys like this fuel wood.
Ha! So coaling hot I am consistently melting the ash. This never happen with my native Douglass Fir wood.
enter “firewood” into their GO search window for the article

Gives good fuel-oil equivalencies with out confusing Kcal’s and BTU’s.
Without irrelevant open fireplace burning characteristics.
Good article too, their: Benefits of Inefficient Living.

Ha! Ha! Too bad I have so little of this birchwood. I could learn to love it.
“When you cannot have the one you’d wish to love”
“Learn to love the one to got”
My Doulas Fir woods.


The article gets my approval, so to speak :smile:
Tru of course, different wood species contain more or less energy per volume. However, energy per dry weight is almost the same for any wood.
But, as the article points out, there’s more to it. Resin and ash content for example. I’ve found mountain ash and different sallow dry extreemly slowly. Our gray alder is soft and easy to split, but extreemly bulky. Lots of variables.

Especially important for downdraft gravity fed applications, apart from density, is the fiber structure. Our spruce burns hot-hot for a while, but burns hollow and leaves a glowing skeleton. By the time it falls apart there’s almost no char left. Birch on the other hand, burns hot too but shrinking, with very solid char. Perfect for chunk gasification.
I live way too far north for hardwoods like oak or beech and a just a WAG is your Douglas Fir is similar to our spruce?
Learn to love or learn to get around the cons. Maybe the same thing. With my downdraft boiler I can stack birch logs all the way to the top and get a nice consistent white-hot flame for several hours. Towards the end of the burn the last remaining logs, on top of the glow, still have unaffected white flesh. With spruce I stack half way up at the most. Another partial refuling in 1-2 hours knocks the remaining glowing skeleton down.

I could not find you second article “Benefits of Inefficient Living”.

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Your spruce management does sound similar to how our Doulas Fir is managed.
Bigger fire box capacity to manage the lower density. OVERFILLing leads to a too vigorous conflagration. Fragile hollow not much density to the charcoal. Very easy to burn out the charcoal before new made burnt free. Super low below 1% ash.
Hemlock here is higher ash content. Micro twisted grain needing power shear fibrous grain splitting. Most here will leave it to rot versus woodstoving with it.
Western cedar here is kindling starting up wood. Very, very poor coaling.
Red alder can even be burnt sap wet. Properly dried is popular as a slow release hardwood. Coals well. 4-5% ash.
Maple is a good hardwood stove wood. Just never enough of it.

The Benefits article was 10 down on the brought up scroll listing for “firewood”.
Says, woodstoving forces a person to be daily active.

Steve Unruh


As related to woodgasing for engines I have woodgassed all of my local species.
They can all be made to work even the river bottoms cottonwood.
Once past controlling the wood chunks dryness; then it is controlling the chunk sizing.

Gasifing then you are stuck.
Theses are 1% to 10% ash woods.
Varying ability to form in-place density of charcoals.
Widely varying energy release rates.
Varying content of pitches, saps and resins.

How to run in the same gasifier?
A command active grating system.
I’ve learned to run only these.
Then you are much less dependent on just velocity.
High ash cotton wood you must slip a lot of charcoal to keep the ash cleared.
Super low ash Douglas Fir grate shake very little. Never have any slipped charcoal.

You can even indirectly effect the core temperatures by forced grate slipping.
Think about it. Try it. You will see.


I am not happy with silver maple because I have too much silver maple . I do like birchwood .


Mystery death and towing of the 7.3 diesel powered van

Warm it up and see if it magically runs. Probably the fuel just jelled that photo looks cold…

Sounds like a plan. It sure died like that happened.

If that works I would go get some kerosene you can mix it all the way to 50 50 with diesel fuel so you really don’t have to worry about getting too much probably 10% would be enough to allow you to burn out the last of your summer mix or get the water out that might be in there.

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