Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wood burning

I've always liked heating with wood, having a place to warm up or sit and read by, so I'm really enjoying our wood stove. I'm actually looking forward to a cold snap of 30 below or colder. Our house is so efficient, I can hardly keep the stove cold enough when it's not below zero out.

So far the Jotul F400 stove seems like a good choice. It's very simple, with no damper, just a + /- control for air. It's also the easiest stove I've used to light. It's efficient, with a secondary burn chamber. Not quite as efficient as a catalytic converter model, but less finicky. It burns about 6 hours with 3 ~5" logs, so I can run it on about 2 easy arm loads of wood a day. I'm trying to burn whenever it's 10 degrees or colder to offset heating costs, though fuel oil is almost down to half the cost it was when it peaked this summer.

The big glass door is nice for viewing the fire, though it cleans itself best when running above minimum temp, which is why colder weather will actually be welcome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

garage completed

I've been working away on the garage, mostly on weekends, and it's now basically done. Outside is fully sided, lights and outlets are installed, and my dad came up do help wire the place inside, which went smoothly.

Then he actually came up again for a weekend because the lake was freezing early so he needed a place to stay, so I had help building the workbench, which turned out really nice. It spans the full 24 feet of the garage. There is abundant storage in the garage as well, big shelves up high on each side, and one full wall of shelves, plus another couple metal shelf units. There's a lot of space under the workbench too. All this, and both cars still fit fine, with room to work at the workbench.

With all the shelves done, this weekend we spent moving boxes of camping gear, garden stuff, sports gear, luggage, and all the crap we seem to have out into the garage. This included the tools that were still in our living room, so now our house is more like a house!

In the process of organizing stuff, we found the little bed Roland used to sleep in. It was on the floor, and he climbed right in. He actually managed to fit, it seems like he can make his body just slightly larger than his head.