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David's picture

Well, things around the house have simmered down quite a bit. The holiday haze has receded and Patricia and I are beginning to work on some new things. The festivities and the break from our labours was a nice change, but now it's time to get back into it. I don't want to get too rusty ya' know. So what's next? Before I get into that, I'll recap on where we're at right now.

The cob studio has done very well so far. Actually, there hasn't been any sign of trouble whatsoever. I figured as much being how it's just wood sitting on an earthen wall and covered with metal. Sadly I'm missing a key component to really put the building to the test ... Heat! Without that difference in temperature from inside to outside of the building, there's really not much that can happen. But still, there were a couple of small things to take note of.

With our steep pitched metal roof, the snow is having difficulty hanging onto it. The only place it does sit on the roof is at the dormer. So the snow it pretty well clear of the front door, but everywhere else there's a nice berm of snow that has built up. The door does open outward and at least I know now that there shouldn't be any issues of the door being sealed shut with snow. And the berm around the house seems like a good outcome. I noticed on our barn that the snow will pack on the roof and slowly slide and build up on the overhang. When it can't hold itself any longer, it all comes falling down at once making a quick berm in front of the barn. Unlike the snow berm at the cob studio which, in general, is quite fluffy and airy, the barn berm is all packed snow and ice. Quite a bit more difficult to shovel. So with our roof design we don't have to worry about being clobbered by a snow slide, nor should I ever have to use more than a shovel to clear the berm. Plus, the berm may even act as a wind break if I just left it alone.

I'd also like to mention that the trombe wall will not be very useful for winter. The clouds just don't let the sun stay out long enough to heat the wall. So far there have been a few sporadic sunny days, but never one right after another. And I'm sure one day of full sun won't make much of a difference. But that's just Winter. Fall and Spring should see much more sun, and although still a bit chilly, they generally have warmer temperatures. I think this is when the trombe wall will shine.

So far that's about all I have observed. Now for things to come!

I started installing the reclaimed flooring. I put in the first few boards but quickly stopped. I realized I could be working with lead painted floor boards. I don't know the year the house was built that I pulled them from, but it was pretty old. It had to be demolished, after all. I read that the paint alone would be harmless and that only when it's ingested does it cause problems. Well I was scraping the edges clean which I'm sure caused airborne dust. Anyway, I have a whole pile of the stuff and now I'm not sure what to do with it. I could go ahead with the install and forego the scraping. I'm pretty sure I could come up with some methods of preventing dust when cutting the boards, along with cutting over a sheet of plastic to dispose of the saw dust. I can also see if installing it paint side down would be feasible. But it is an issue that needs to be dealt with. If I don't use it, then I'll have to find something else to use for the flooring.

I also started working on a pocket rocket last night. I got a hold of an almost empty metal bucket, with lid, last Fall, and just now got to cleaning it out. There was still a small amount of roofing tar inside so I had to get most of it out. I put the bucket on top of the wood stove to warm up the sticky stuff and get it nice and soft. A few minutes later it was ready to be scooped out. Now all it needs is a good firing to get rid of the leftover residue on the walls of the bucket and then it's ready for construction. If I can get the rocket going, I'll be able to get some heat inside the studio. That would be nice.

So that's where we are at now. Patricia has even started looking into her gardening again, and is planning for a better herb garden this year. Last year was a bit rushed because we first had to prep an overgrown garden. Just a few trimmings this year, and it should be ready for planting. Patricia wanted to preserve her herbs from last year, but never got around to it. Maybe this year though.


Criddles's picture

Its about time you started blogging again brother!!! Its been a while since i visited because nothing new was now I gotta catch up!

Love and miss you all!!!!!!

By Criddles