Wood-for-Power Living on Small Acreages

I was explaining the theory of gassification to the wife the other day while burning cardboard in a burn barrel, showing here how you can get a flare out of the lid if you cap off the fire at the right moment, or once the fire has burned deep into the barrel and the flame will momentarily exstinquish and reignite at the top of the barrel. She said “seems simple enough what’s all the extra crap for?”
:rofl:

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My wife explained to me how the dishwasher the washing machine the vacuum cleaner and whole heap of other household items once and i have to admit they all went over my head ! maybe we are just not built to think like women we go a little beyond the power plug ,water and detergent and more into what makes things tick :nerd_face:

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Are you suggesting that I shouldn’t wait for my daughter to help disassemble this curb shopped vacuum. I thought maybe she would be interested. I just want to look at the impeller design or maybe borrow it for another project that I need to draw about 12" of water and I will need to use a 12v battery.

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My wife doesn’t give a damn about how a gasifier works. What she cares about is what makes the washer work. Hint. It’s electricity. She won’t be using a scrub board if the grid goes down.

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Yes. Exactly on the clothes washer, to score spouse points.
When I’d four months saved back, and Birthday gifted my wife “her very own” Honda EU 2000 . . . she was not impressed.
Ha! Until I cord’ed it in, and showed her it would operate her Maytag Neptune clothes washing machine. Even having shown her it operating her hair dryer had not impressed.
She can easily envision cloths drying on her two out lines set ups. Or by the wood stove. But NOT washing on one of her old wall hanger, washing boards!!
I’d hinted about buying her a new production Maytag wringer washer available out of Saudi Arabia . . . supper that day was cold sandwiches.
Meaning it was my job to provide the heat, power and lights, for her, and the household BEFORE the man “toys” got power.
Steve Unruh

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I’m lucky enough my wife does dishes willingly by hand so save on dishwasher power, but I don’t think I could convince here to walk down To the creek and scrub my nasty oily grease work clothes. Maybe there is somewhere a gassifier option for clothes washing…

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Hey Marcus,
The thing about a rider lawn mower set up gasified like DonM, Jakob and other have done is it is a Jeff Davis-like: PORTABLE power supply source.
My five acres is still near 1200 feet across.
Battery portable power tools are nice . . . until the spendy, one-of-a-kind NiMh or LiPo battery takes a dump going internal short, or open circuit. My first 1990’s 12vdc Sears Craftsman power drill now lives on with a alligator clip’ed cord. Still have one useable battery for the early 2000’s 14.5 VDC Makita. No more use-extending, hot swapping. Some day it will become cord converted too.
Now that gasified rider mower with a 31T, or 31P truck battery can be those tools electrical power source. Or heck; even install a 1000 watt inverter.
Rider trailer tow your engine driven compressor, or welder; out to a corner and do a welded up stout-as-hell fencing corner, eh. Fueling their engines from the mower gasifier.
My towable 10.5 B&S hydraulic wood splitter! Towed to the tree. Fueling from the rider gasifier already been then driven hot working.

Power then delivered. On demand. Where needed.
All of my 10kW stationary power projects were very stationary heavy.
And even the 10kW pto driven John Deere tractor one would have been clumber-some. Near 30 feet from the bucket nose; to rear deck tail. And that tractor will rut badly driven across the yards in wet season softness.
Steve Unruh

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Iv learned the power tools pretty well, burned a lot of money on team yellow when working in the wrecking yard. Gave away the last impact and sawzall that lived 7 years, didn’t have any battery’s left that would hold a charge. Switch team green for affordability and been happy so far. By everyone around me team red is the only way to go by far. I know of several milwaukee guys running the same 18v tools and battery’s 15+ years, zero problems. Of maybe 60 tools in framing, plumbing, automotive,electric and diesel fields all of which were the 18v red flavor, I can count on 2 fingers the number of tools fail (1drill, left outside for a week in snow, 1 drill failed after cranking a old plate compactor till she let the smoke out) and 1 battery. No fault of the battery if it gets kicked off a 200’ cell phone tower! The kicker was the case was obliviated but the cells were good. We tore the battery apart and used it to fix my 18v default battery that’s getupandgo gotupandleft :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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If you know how to wood for power you will not have to use this wood to wash clothes.

You could use it to strum, tap out a beat of a rhythm with it up side down, while the clotheswashing machine does all the work.
I think if anyone would have to wash their clothes with a washboard and a tub of water just once, they would welcome the idea of generating power to wash their clothes on wood and not on this kind of wood. Thousands and thousands upon thousands of people are still washing their clothes on rocks at the river shores to this very day.
They are living off grid too.
Bob

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My 18v nicad circular saw batteries were toast so I cut a non-working B&D 20v lithium weedwacker battery mount off and hot glued it to the back and now I use the batteries off my good weedwacker and drill and leaf blower to power that little bugger. Real handy for small jobs.

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Reduce, reuse and repurpose :+1: I like it

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I washed all my clothes by hand in Mexico for over 2 years, and on the road in central America before that. (Don’t travel with jeans)… Not so bad if you have a proper wash stand like are standard in Latin America. People down there often prefer hand washed, the clothes come out cleaner. Even if people don’t do the washing they’ll have someone hired to do it. It’s a very useful skill to have in your back pocket.

And if you look into the old tech, wash boards were superseded by lever action washers 100 years ago and more, and then came the maytag gasoline motors. Not lady safe though, far too many spilled gasoline on the porch floor and then fired up the unit, or had it in the kitchen next to the woodstove… Parents neighbours wife did that back in the 20s - 30s, bye to the house and a toddler. So electric became the only adequate power source. Look online, there are pedal power conversions of clothes washers, looks really sound. Probably better yet with 2 pedal units to halve the work. How times have changed, near impossible for people to get their heads around taking a step back.

Now for a dive into political incorrectness. The ladies don’t want to work. Though judging by physical appearances, many could do with some more exercise. Men too mind you, but there are a lot of very sedentary women out there. Very. But they love expending resources provided by others and are ever watchful of social comparisons / competition. “Never wrong, never responsible” is one disastrous way to lead households and society.

Funny how resources coming out of a cord, or pipe have almost unlimited uses just keep them coming. Water carried in a pail gets heavy fast, all of a sudden running that tap steady to wash a pot isn’t a great idea. Natural gas heat? Windows open no problem, thermostat jacked to shorts wearing temperatures. Carrying armloads of wood, suddenly it’s an issue, no objections to putting a heavy blanket on the bed. Not that the wood would ever be cut and split by the house leaders in the first place.

That’s my left turn into the weeds… :smiley:

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Hey, how’s this for some pee-lootion? :smiley:

What would your granola munching neighbours say about this practice?

Cleaning up some abandoned hay land.

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Here you go. More picture of my now downsized 5 acres Life.
This one looking across our now new SE corner on to the 5; then plus 5 more acres the wife sold off. Saves us now $2200 in annual property taxes.
6-7 of the 13 houses now build. And this property converted from growing carbons capture trees, to growing children.
See . . . ALL houses with black asphalt-fiberglass shingled roofs.
One dark grey house. The center one actual black. The smallest white two story farm-style (our favorite!) actually has an outside brick chimney with an in room woodstove.
2 of the 13 did pay to put in wood heating. I anonymously donated feed bags of cedar fire starter to them mid-winter.

One of the 672; then 150+ trees we had harvested off these 13 acres before the sale.
DF here past 35-50 years and you are just making a bigger equipment harvest problem for yourself. This average-large one ring counts out to 95 years. I Have 43 of these clouds scrapers left. That’d be 10 western log truck loads. 20 years worth of fuel woods.
With another ~70 trees a’growing: 4 years to 35 years.
S.U.

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Who did you have do the falling? It’s rare to see a conventional cut in the woods anymore, most have adopted the humboldt or a variant humboldt cut since the 70’s for production cutting

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Gary. There are hit squads of feminazies out there that will hunt you down and beat you badly for such talk. Your a farmer. If your married I’m sure your wife has plenty to do besides hand wash clothes. Never seen a farm woman that didn’t put in more hours than a man. Anyway in my many years as one of those ridiculous preppers I have seen every possible permutation of alternate household labor replacement devises. Seems totally stupid when all you have to do is plug what’s readily available into a generator.
Or you can pretend you are wealthy Amish and for only $250 U.S.D. you can get a hand wringer and instead of weeding the garden while your washing machine washes your clothes you could flip flop them in a $900 dollar Lehman’s washing machine.

My associates and me and no longer preppers. We are now self-sufficientists. Not as easy to mock.

I agree SteveU that five acres is plenty for a working homestead. When I was full tilt gardening , I was tending a one acre plot and I was a bit younger and it was still all I could manage. I never got food self-sufficient on it but maybe three quarters on a good year. Did not grow any grains unless you count corn. Kind of doubt I could have collected enough dead fall off what would have been my wood lot on that size parcel to supply my fire wood though but I’m sure that with a more sensibly sized house it may have been doable.

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$2200 property tax for 5 acres of something what looks like an agricultural land? Its not a tax, its roberry in a bright day. :upside_down_face:

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You can do it but the 75% is still pretty good. Just curious, how much ‘organic’ no-till do you guys do? I keep hearing about soil health and bacteria/fungi/nematodes, and beneficial insects being promoted. And then using mulch, and compost/compost tea, as well as cover crops to help keep the weeds down. Which is essentially intensive no-till organic gardening but it is popular again. I know we did some mulching and that was about it.

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IMHO, self-sufficiency is not a problem of amount, but problem of diversity of your food throughout the year. And obviously long term storage and conservation.

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$2200 property tax for 5 acres of something what looks like an agricultural land? Its not a tax, its roberry in a bright day. :upside_down_face:

Welcome to washington. Land of land taxes, and it gets far worse depending on the county your in. Many a poor soul is still locked in king county paying highest land tax in the state, and I say that even though seattle and tacoma are in that county full of…colorful people…there are still a lot of farmers, some ranchers, and other good people there that their lives are dictated by the vote of those in the city’s. Pierce county where I’m at is following there lead steadily

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