Miter saw and cleaning the stove cap

I got the new Miter saw up and working after much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I’m a newbie in regards to some of these new tools safety features so most of my cussing was in regards to releasing the lockdown bolt for the saw arm. If you push down on the saw arm to release the tension on the bolt the saw arm will move up and down easily.  I installed a new saw blade after some figuring out how to remove the safety guard. I have to say the instruction manual for this saw is not the best I have ever used.  I’m glad I got a premium saw blade for the saw. Especially since it is a bit of a pain to replace.

On the actual use of the miter saw for cutting up mill ends for the wood stove, It took much less physical energy compared to using the B&D circular saw. The saw blade made fairly clean cuts on the old mill ends and over all this miter saw makes does a decent job as a chop saw, plus less physical work than a circular saw for cutting mill ends for fire wood is a great thing for me.

The wood stove has not been drawing air via the chimney.  Mom and I have been dealing with two basic fires. The smokey smudge and inferno.  I got up on the roof and the chimney cap was clogged with a lot of creosote. I knocked out most of the creosote build up around the stove cap and the fire place is starting to draw air properly. From what my chimney sweep told me when exposed to cold air the stove cap/spark arrestor will build up creosote because of the change in temp. from hot air from the chimney to cold winter air outside.  My wood pile got wet, so I did not burn dry wood all the time. Wet wood will cause a build up of soot and creosote. I have covered my wood with additional tarps to keep the rain/snow off of the wood. I bought some metal brackets with the addition of 2x4s will let the wood dry naturally. In addition My hope is I can add a cord per month until June/July and that will give the wood a little extra time for wood for winter to dry.

Over all for my wood stove, it looks like I need to stock up about 6 cords of wood and correct the current wood pile arrangement to insure a thorough drying of the wood.  That would give me dry wood for the upcoming winter season and dry out the extra wood for the next fire wood season.  Buying six cords of wood seems a bit daunting at first but if Idaho has more warm winters, getting a cord of wood each month should keep costs manageable.  I’ll have enough wood on hand for 2 years. At worse I know with 6 cords of wood I will have more than enough wood on hand for a very cold winter.

The Home Depot class for making a storage shelf/bench using a wood storage crate (as a base) that was outstanding. Mom and I took home one of the example/finished storage project crates and fits perfectly in the backdoor entry way for a storage bench. I was surprised by how good the the little storage crate bench looked finished and I want to add a few variations on that concept here in the house for additional storage that is functional and looks great.  I look at the basic storage crate and I know I could build that with a bit of trial and error. Everything after building a simple box that is a matter of scale and angles. Simple does not mean easy, but getting the basics down in wood working and carpentry will make big projects doable.

Update on the radiant heat barrier in the chicken coop. On average the chicken house is at least 10 degrees F. above the outside ambient temperature. Mom is not using the electric heater, and the only heat is via a 100 watt light bulb used more for 12 hours of light rather than heat.  Egg production is increasing again though Mom has older birds of the 2-5 year range.  I think Mom is a bit over zealous about “protecting” her chickens, but I am very impressed by the how well the radiant heat barrier has preformed stopping drafts and retaining heat in the chicken house.

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