Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Macgyver’s Corner’ Category


Review of Summers Heat 3000 Sq. Ft. Wood Furnace from Lowes.com

Review of Summers Heat 3000 Sq. Ft. Wood Furnace from Lowes.com

I dont get impressed by a lot of things, but I would have to say that I am very impressed with this wood stove. As you know we own an old elementary school that has a gym, which is over 3000 sq. ft and is about 25 feet high – this is about twice the size of a normal house. This little stove is listed to be used as an “add on” to an existing furnace, however, I am not using it with any additional furnace. It is being used as a stand alone wood furnace, in a very large room.
I live in Northern Minnesota, so the temperatures here are frigid, yet, this little stove is able to keep this huge room between 67 and 70 degrees, and this gym is not insulated at all!! The cost of this unit was about $1200, which is FAR less than what you would expect to pay for a unit that heats this well. In fact, we tried using a much more expensive wood stove, and it was not able to heat the room to a comfortable temperature.

What are the downfalls? The primary downfall to this stove would have to be the fact that it requires electricity to run the fan that blows the heat around the room. I classify this as a downfall because if you lose power and the fan is not running to cool the stove, I fear it would likely overheat and cause permanent damage to the unit, as it has a thermostat on it and on the thermostat it denotes maximum temperature that the firebox should not go past. My solution to resolve this downfall was an easy one, however. I bought a large battery for a farm tractor from a store called “Fleet” in Grand Rapids, MN, as well as a power converter that could handle up to 800 watts of draw. I placed the battery and the converter near the stove so that if we lose power, I can simply unplug the stove from the wall and run it on the battery power, and because I bought a very large battery, I can probably run the stove for roughly 2 full days or more on just battery power if I need to. For anyone buying this stove, I would highly recommend having a battery backup with a power converter just in case of an emergency. Just as a footnote, we lost power for about 2 and a half hours yesterday morning, and the battery backup worked wonderful, and the room stayed at 69 degrees the entire time that the power was off.

Even with this small downfall, this stove has an amazing ability to heat, especially for it’s extremely low cost. I like the stove so much, that I have purchased an additional one to heat our tunnel system under the house (old fallout shelter area), and it is doing a wonderful job keeping that area warm as well. Comparing this stove with, lets say, the Lennox Country Canyon ST310 stove, I would definitely give this stove (the Summers Heat) a 5 star rating, especially when you add a battery backup, because then it is able to run completely off the grid in an emergency.

Read Full Post »


Thought of the Day: My Thoughts anyhow…
OK, you want to change the way the entire world looks at the US and change our economy with near lightning quickness? Here’s what you do (and I have already sent an email to the White House suggesting this) We will begin with the fact the most of the world views the United States as the “World Police”, and that is why many countries dislike the U.S. these days – because we shove policy down their throats with arm military, and no one likes that. So, these wars, did you know it costs the U.S. Taxpayers roughly $170 billion dollars a year to maintain these wars? Here is a thought for any president to try: You say you are going to completely withdraw active war military personnel, and actually do it. This would make many Americans very happy, first, to be out of the wars, and second, to have loved ones back home, but it also saves $170 billion a year! Now, here is a thought for you: If you took this $170 billion and the government held a type of ‘lottery’ for small and medium sized businesses to receive money directly from the government, on a contract that it would be used for the sole purpose of hiring new employees at the rate of $200 per employee, per day (so as to make sure that they actually do it, make it a criminal offense of larceny under Federal law if they don’t use it for it’s intended purpose (we all know how we got screwed by the banks because there were no contracts)) O.k, so now you have a bunch of small to medium sized businesses sharing this $170 billion dollars to be used for the sole purpose of hiring employees at $200 per employee/ per day. Do you know that do that would employ roughly 4,657,490 people a year, 7 days a week at an annual salary of $48,000? Want to boost the economy AND look better to the entire world? Well, here is one of my thoughts as to how to do just that.

Read Full Post »


Today, I am going to do  a chronology of today’s task – to get the roof on the chicken coop.  I’ll update this throughout the day.

Today’s agenda: Now that I am back in the fight with Mother Nature and seemingly winning (Temp today will no longer be in the 30’s – back to the 60 degree area!!) I am going to go cut and build the rest of the roof trusses to the new chicken coop and try to get them up (by myself, which is always fun – ever tried to put up roof trusses by yourself? Yeah, BAD idea!!) If I get that done, I’ll be putting the actual roof on as well (carrying 3/4 inch 4×8 foot pieces of plywood up a ladder and holding them in place while screwing them to the trusses should be rather interesting as well!! 🙂 ) We’ll see how far I get today and how many interruptions there are that prevent me from getting it done.

DAMN! have to change gears slightly again! I forgo that I am putting in a 6 foot by 4 foot triple pane bay window in the one end of the new coop! Grrrr!! Now I have to do some carpentry and build out the end of the coop with the window, get that attached again, squared, and THEN I can start on the roof! ever notice that when you are trying to get something done that there is ALWAYS something else that comes up that prevents you from staying on your time frame? GRRRRR!!!

Oh, by the way, for those of you that don’t know how heavy a 4×6 triple pane bay window is, it normally takes 4-6 grown men to move it – Guess how many people will be used to move it today….This should prove to be VERY interesting considering the window is in the garage, about 300 feet from where the chicken coop is and I have to take it across a paved driveway….can you say “one slip up and I will have crushed glass EVERYWHERE??”

ok, a little update: Got the damn window moved. Holy cow is that thing freaking HEAVY! anyhow, don’t you know, I got the damn thing over to the chicken coop area and then the frame started falling apart on me! so now I either have to repair and reinforce the old frame, or whip out the router and start making a new one….THEN, I get to make the wall end around it on the ground and THEN lift the heavy arse thing into place and attach it to the rest of the coop. After all THAT, I get to start on my agenda…..the roof. LOL isn’t today the day that we have 45 hours of daylight so I can get this all done???

*laughs* I KNEW IT Just Knew it!! Almost have the end of the coop done with the big bay window all reinforced, and guess what? I have like 10 deck screws left! Are you kidding me? I have run out of screws? Really?? So now I either quit for the day, or, I drive almost an hour to the nearest city to Home Depot to get another box of screws….Grrrrr!!!

Nope! Not giving up on this – can’t waste the time driving into town today! I’ll use every screw, nail and if i have to, Duct Tape! This is going up today, even if it is all I get done! I’ll post some pics after a while to show the progress of the day on this pain in the butt!!

GUH!! Now I need to charge the batteries for the drill and saw! Come on, really? WTH? Starting to think it is about time to just quit for the day! Nah! Anyone that knows me, knows I wont quit until I get it done….Gotta wait for the batteries and I’ll get back to it!

FINISHED THE BAY WINDOW!!!  Pics are below of the before and after.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »


This morning is was a balmy 20 degrees outside, so, I see I need to get back into my fight with Mother Nature today and let her know that I will not tolerate anymore of this winter type stuff.  Going to go do some logging today in the back-40.  Below, is the “before” I start picture and later I’ll post the “after” picture just to see how much wood i get done today.  Wish me luck!  Going to go be a Popsicle and see if I can chuck wood like a woodchuck!!

*Note, I have to move the big old hay bales before I get started, so that will slow me down a little!!

Read Full Post »


Come on, someone be in my corner on this one.  My little girls cannot be growing up this fast, can they?  Here is Sierra, after Mom got done with her.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »


Tonight is the Father/Daughter Ball, and I am taking Belle and Sierra to it. Now, while my wife professes to not want the kids to grow up, she helped Belle get ready for the dance. What I want to know, is WHAT DID SHE DO WITH MY LITTLE GIRL?????? Check out what she looks like now!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »


Well, winter is really trying to stick around, here, in northern Minnesota. 2 days ago we got a nice little snow storm and this morning is was a balmy 35 degrees. I said it a couple of weeks ago that I was not about to Mother Nature dictate when Spring was going to come to this area, and I seem to still be fighting her. Regardless of the weather, my quest to force Spring to be here continues. This morning, I took my son out to the driveway and we temporarily put up 3 sides of the new chicken coop that we are building, to get it off the ground. Below are the pictures of the current state of the chicken coop.
I plan to put a cement slab in and put the new chicken coop on it, and starting figuring it out the other day, by using bags of quick-crete, and it will take about 52 bags of cement (80 pound bags) to make the slab. yesterday, when we were in Grand Rapids, i decided to get some more bags of cement. That is when I came to the full realization about the weight of things. I bought 12 bags of cement yesterday – that comes to 960 pounds!! Needless to say, the Suburban wasnt real pleased about having nearly a half ton of cement put in the back of it, and 12 bags is nowhere near the 52 that I will need to complete the slab!! Going to have to make a few trips into town for cement I think….
This will be my first crack at trying to build roof trusses. Wish me luck! Youtube is good for some things, but I have always found that applying things that you read or watch to actual practice, by your own hands, is usually not the same. I am generally pretty good about working my way around things though, so we will see if in mid-winter, if I still have a roof or not.
Here are the current pictures of the 3 sides I have so far. The last side is going to be a major pain in the butt because it will house a huge triple pane bay window that is nearly the size of the wall. (Thanks for the Windows Dee! Dee owns the Spring Lake Store about a mile away).

To save on money, I will be looking around for used wooden pallets, tearing them apart and using the wood for the siding of the coop. That triple pane bay window that I mentioned is so heavy, that it took 3 people to move it into the garage. Puting that on a wall and lifting it into place should prove to be very interesting – especially since i will likely be doing it by myself!!

Read Full Post »


A couple of days ago, I reported that the truck got an 86% increase in fuel mileage by using hydrogen as a secondary fuel. Well, being who I am, I often times like to try to push things to the very edge, which meant fine tuning of the hydrogen system and the electronics that I have hooked up the the car. Well, I am please to announce that I don’t think I will be changing the setting from what I have right this minute. Took a test drive today after modifications to the number of amps i am using on the hydrogen unit as well as modifications I made to the high performance chip I installed. The results? 78 miles using 3.1 gallons of fuel! That may not seem like a big deal to anyone with an economy car, but for anyone that owns an older (2001) Suburban, they know that this vehicle gets 10-12 mpg and the 12 mpg is somewhat rare. Today’s numbers, with using hydrogen at 26.4 amps of power, resulted in the vehicle getting a whopping 26 MPG!! that is more than DOUBLE the normal mileage the vehicle gets on straight gasoline!! I have also noted that the vehicle is now purging itself of carbon deposits. Because, when hydrogen burns, it produces water, I now have water dripping out of the exhaust, but, the water is black in color, which I guess is a good thing, since that means that it is purging carbon deposits. Not sure how long it will take for the vehicle to completely purge the carbon, but when it does, it means that I will have to change oil less often and that the emissions will drop even more – possibly to zero.
In an economy such as we are in, with gas prices raising as much as 6 cents in a single day (in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, there was a 6 cent difference in regular unleaded gas from yesterday to today), using such things as hydrogen start to become a must. even if your increase in mileage was only 50%, you would save a lot of money fairly quickly, depending on how much you drive, while at the same time, help to clean your engine of carbon deposits. I would strongly suggest to anyone, to think about converting your vehicle to a hydrogen hybrid. As Chairman of the Minnesota Energy Conservation Council, I can firmly state that I have tested using hydrogen as a fuel and that it does, in fact, make a huge difference on the mileage and smoothness of the engine of a vehicle. I will be posting a short video later today (going to go outside and do the video after I post this).


Read Full Post »


OK, I know some of you may be skeptical about using distilled water as a fuel, so I thought I would start today’s post out with a quick science lesson/refresher course that you would have learned in school. The molecular structure of water is an easy one. H20 – 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Does hydrogen burn as a gas? From Wikipedia, we have the following statement:
“Hydrogen gas (now known to be H2) was first artificially produced in the early 16th century, via the mixing of metals with strong acids. In 1766–81, Henry Cavendish was the first to recognize that hydrogen gas was a discrete substance,[6] and that it produces water when burned, a property which later gave it its name, which in Greek means “water-former.” At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, nonmetallic, tasteless, non-toxic, highly combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2″
So, now we know that Hydrogen, as a gas, is burnable, but not only that, when burned, becomes water again! Now, is Oxygen able to be used as a fuel in a gas form? Yes! That’s why hospitals tell you to not smoke around oxygen.
So, now what we have is some interesting facts. In liquid form, water can be used to put out fires, however, when broken down to it’s base elements of hydrogen and oxygen, water becomes a gas that can be used as a fuel. Interesting, isn’t it? But now you know that water can, in fact, be used as a fuel if it is broken down into it’s basic elements of hydrogen and oxygen, and therefore, can be used to run anything from a hydrogen torch to a vehicle and much, much more. So ends today’s science lesson. Hope you enjoyed it and learned something new.

Read Full Post »


I have waited a few days in reference to posting the results of my newly converted 2001 Suburban to a Hydrogen Hybrid because I don’t like to say something about things unless I know what i am talking about. Here are the results: After fully converting the Suburban to a Hydrogen Hybrid, the truck has gone from an average of 10 mpg to the current 18.6 mpg!! That’s right, I gained nearly 9 miles to the gallon by use of hydrogen as supplementary fuel! Not only that, but the emissions have dropped off to almost zero, which means that it no longer leaves much of a carbon footprint at all. The amount of power that the hydrogen has given the vehicle is incredible, to say the least. From a rolling 15 mph to 65 mph is less than 4 seconds. I have 3 backup safety devices that I have installed to make sure the vehicle is completely safe as well as a high performance chip to deal with the Suburban’s computer because the addition of the hydrogen makes the vehicle run a little on the rich side due to too more oxygen than the truck is used to using, so the performance chip modifies the way the truck handles the hydrogen and oxygen.
It is hard to believe that the rest of the world is not using water as a fuel, however, I noted that recently, several car manufacturers has started working harder on building hydrogen hybrids, but the manner in which they are trying to do things, to me, is wrong. See, the big car manufacturers, it seems, has teamed up with some of the big oil companies, who, ironically, the big oil companies have made a join effort to make a huge hydrogen plant that creates a liquid hydrogen, which they plan to sell to you at the gas pumps – which, to me, is a complete rip-off, considering my truck is separating water molecules (H2O) into their respective elements of hydrogen and oxygen, and burning them in the engine in an “on demand” type ordeal. Why would you go to a gas station and BUY, what is virtually, distilled water? Anyhow, because the car companies are working on hydrogen cars, the oil companies have obviously stepped up their game to make the hydrogen for those vehicles.
Total cost I have into my conversion to hydrogen hybrid is less than $1000. Now, while that may seem like a lot, you must take into consideration that gas, as of today, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is running $3.739 per gallon, and you take into consideration I am getting an 86% increase in mileage, then you will note that the system pays for itself after roughly just 268 gallons of fuel purchased!! For me, the entire system will pay for itself in about 3 months – after that, I save a TON of money at the pump since I am using roughly half the gas I would have used before, to go the same distance. It isn’t too hard to justify the cost when the overall savings per year is around $4000! Kind of a no brainer when you look at it that way, isn’t it?
I still have my hydrogen torch that I made, and have perfected that for safety purposes. Now the temp from it runs around 3200 degrees and is able to cut thin metals with absolutely no problem. I am still working on my invention as well, when, it is finished, is likely to go GLOBAL overnight. What is my invention you ask? Well, for that, you’ll have to keep coming to this blog site and find out in the future. Still working on the prototype, but this is something that nearly every home in the world will want (and in many cases NEED).
Tomorrow, I will post pictures of the Hydrogen unit on the truck, or maybe just post a video (which is probably better). So, until then, take care, and feel free to read all of the things going on in the life of Crystal Rayne on this blog.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »