I would have preferred to use broad leaf ligustrum as my weavers but I didn’t have the time or money to harvest so frilling many to have a fence made out of them. Instead I found a guy who had just cleared out a batch of invasive bamboo and had a thousand linear feet or so. I had him trim off the leafy bits and leave me with the straight stalks. Driving in the posts (juniper that don’t rot in 20 years) took me 6 man hours. Weaving in the wattles took 2 man hours. Total length that I built is 32 feet.
- Green bamboo is more flexible and better.
- Once the diameter is over 1″ it becomes hard to weave
- Make sure your posts are lined up! Use a tight line to guide you. I got off a little and it caused some bamboo to break around that pole.
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So the front orchard is going to need water. I could have just run the irrigation hose to the back tanks, but noooo that would have been easy. Instead I chose to harvest more water off the front of the house where very little water is harvested. I already have two 55 gallon barrels taking in water on the front, those water the fig tree. They only catch a fraction of the rain from 1200 sq ft of roof surface during a rain. So I put in another rain downspout, and ran it under the sidewalk. The tank is a 330 gallon IBC tote, painted and with a shade cloth to mitigate algae growth.
The easy way to tunnel under a side walk is using a water hose with water going full blast and shove it under. It erodes out the dirt and I can reach under and pull out the rocks. Took 20 minutes to dig the trenches on each side of the sidewalk but only took 10 minutes to burrow under. So the premise is the water will fill up the pipe, go down, then go back up the pipe and fill into the tank because the tank level is lower than the starting downspout level.
Then it rained a week later, the tank filled up and then overflowed, because I forgot to drill anti siphon holes on the top of the overflow U, the entire tank drained out. But I discovered that at the end of the rain and fixed it, so the tank filled 1/2 full before the end.
The front orchard has 8 trees in it: 2 Texas Persimmons (at least 40 years old), 2 jujubes, 2 Pomgranates, and a VDB fig.
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Another Spring upon us. The winter was inconsistant with periods of cold and warm, thus most of my fruit trees didn’t get enough chill hours to bloom.
In the front yard, I got a Celeste fig planted near Biff Polywog, our sea dragon.
The front yard swale now has 2 Jujube trees (Honey Jar and ?), 2 Pomgranates (a Wonderful and an Eversweet?), some family purple Irises, and soon another Fig from Dad’s place I call a Center White as it is a white fig with closed eye.
Bought a roll of driveway rebar wire to make tomato cages and tree protector cages. It was tough to work with but it does the job.
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The LX 100 camera is great compact 4/3 sensor camera. But it is prone to dust on the sensor which is likely pulled in by suction as it telescopes out.
Taking the camera apart is a chore, but I’ve read someone using a vacuum to apply suction to the lens assembly to pull out dust. Didn’t think much about it, but when I got dust on my sensor after 6 months, well. Had to try.
I turned it on and off twice to get the dust semi-airborne I hoped. Then turned on my vacuum cleaner and using the extension hose, i held it on the front side of the lens assembly then turned the camera off, which collapses the assemble and hopefully exerts positive air pressure. I repeated this 5 times. Then checked the camera using a white background. Poof, dust on sensor gone! Boy, was I surprised. I wanted to make an adaptor out of cardboard between the camera lens and the vacuum, but it wasn’t needed.
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My little orange tree at Schick that I bought at the nursery with unripe oranges this spring, finally ripened up and I harvested 8 oranges off of it. Possibly ripened by thanksgiving. Definitely ripe on Dec 8. Plan on making some cuttings to ensure the plant lives in case it dies this winter. The other tree, at my house didn’t have oranges this year. Dunno if that is a function of 3″ of soil on a rocky slope, or the youth of the plant. The Schick property has far better soil.
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The spoon carving knife I forged this summer at summer camp has finally been heat treated and tempered. With a propane blowtorch I got it up to cherry red for a few minutes then plunged it into vegetable oil. While it didn’t temporarily catch fire, it did harden the blade. Then I treated it at 400 deg in the oven for an hour. I’m hoping for a hardness of 54-60. Other knives can’t scratch it now, and it was a bear to sharpen, so I know it is harder, but not how much. Next I’ll sand the handle to 200 grit and coat with oil, although I do kind of like the roughness for handling it.
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After a few months of on and off excavation, the pad has been poured.
The excavation in the limestone was around $1800, the form $200, the concrete $1700, and the pumping $500. Not cheap, but I wanted a strong foundation.
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Ground is sloped at about 16%. Having to excavate a step foundation for a monolithic slab. Hopefully soon we’ll build the form.
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For some odd reason, I’m a little obsessed with scarf joints. Dunno why. I notice them when I travel and see old structures. I took photos of them at Czocha castle. Anyway, I’ve had it on my bucket list to make some and it has taken up way too much brain time. So I made one to get it out of my system.
It started out cutting down a hackberry tree in the back yard. Lopping off a straight limb and then hatcheting it to reasonable square. From there, I used my japanese plane to make it square and flat. Once I have useable dimensional stock, I then made a template of the joint and drew it on the side of the stock to guide the saw cuts. I may have made the points a bit too sharp as it was a pain to get a chisel in there, so next time, a much lower angle of attack.
If this scarf joint was used for some serious load bearing application, I’d have used a 1:8 ratio of thickness of beam:length of scarf. Since this was a demo I just did 1:2.
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Once the leather was cut, I had to square up the rough cut. Then the design went on pretty fast. After that, the cutting and tooling was long and methodical.
End result, I like!
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