Moved Into Our Tiny House

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CuttingEdge
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Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:43 am

Well this has been our 3rd night in our Tiny House!

When I bought my father's farm 5 years ago, with it came my Grandmother's Farmhouse. It was an old 1929 Four Square with attached bathroom making it a mere 1100 square feet! Our old house was a 3000 square foot ranch, but wanting to downsize, and actually use the house, we have been fixing it up over the last 5 weeks, then finally moved into it on Sunday Night. We are going to rent our old house out, its larger size and much better shape, giving us more income.

Things have actually went pretty smoothly. The old house had only 6 outlets when we started, 2 upstairs and four downstairs, with pull strings on every light. I ripped out the drywall and rewired the entire house, put in insulation because it had NONE, then fortified the framing, moved the kitchen into the livingroom, the living room into the kitchen, made the bathroom bigger, put the hot water heater and cold water tank upstairs from the basement, and re-sided the house.

Having a sawmill has really helped because this was in such bad shape framing wise. The second floor for instance had 2x5 floor stringers spanning 18 feet at 2 feet on center! Yes...I jacked 2 inches of floor-sag out of the floor. I sistered on (2) 2x5 beams next to the existing stringers then added a 8x8 carrying beam in the center to cut the span back to 9 feet instead of 18! But the sawmill has just plain made sawing custom wood. The inside walls for instance were 2x2-3/4...you cannot buy that lumber and still match up wall thicknesses. The greatest use of the sawmill though, was in making clapboards. Here, clapboards cost $1.79 a linear foot and I needed 2000 feet of them. using the sawmill, some Eastern Hemlock I had kicking around, I would saw the log into a 10 inch wide cant, then wedge, and remove wedges to make 3/8 thick clapboards 10 feet long. It took us 7 days, but we sawed and installed the clapboards costing me a mere $51 instead of $3500!

There still is a ton of work left, but it will give me something to do over the winter, mostly installing trim and building a new kitchen instead of the tempoary kitchen Katie has now.

As for set-backs, the only real one was planning on a propane heater to heat this place, and finding out it was busted. I had a pellet stove kicking around in the woodworking shop that was not being used, so I threw that in, and it seems to be working. The other night it was 31 degrees and yet at its lowest setting was 77 degrees downstairs, and 71 degrees upstairs. BUT how will that pellet stove work when it is 20 below zero outside (no windchill factored in?) We shall see?
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by Stan Disbrow » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:28 am

Hi,

All right! Sounds like a Grand Plan to me. :)

My uncle had a portable sawmill. Of course he did, this being the same uncle who had the equipment dealerships. We would borrow it at times to make our own building materials. Handy thing, that. ;)

When I first came to live in NC, it was a temp job (which became permanent), so I rented a place. All places here are built with heat pumps. Think air conditioner which can run backwards: cold air outside, warm air inside. Works great until outside hits freezing, then they boost it with resistive strips. Good thing we have a nuke plant to run all those!

Well, I was used to seeing pellet stoves up in NY. I dragged one down and stuck it in the fireplace. Now a really cold night here is +10, so that ain't -20, but it would overdo the inside of the house at +10, and that was a 2000 sq ft place. That was my only pellet stove since I ran a regular wood stove up in NY. But, it might work out well for you.

After I sold my place up in NY and bought my first place in NC, I put the pellet stove out in my 30x40 race shop. I would start it and then run a gas heater to boost the temp, then the pellet stove kept it up nicely. Pellets were cheaper than filling gas bottles, plus a pellet stove doesn't sound like a jet engine. I left it there when I sold that place and he is still using it. I bought it in 94, so it has lasted nicely. The farm here is all gas heat, both in the house and the workshop.

Stan
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77 Ford
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by 77 Ford » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:04 am

That sounds like a great project to me, I really enjoy working with the old houses. I got into a project last summer helping a guy remove the last remaining knob and tube he had in his basement.......
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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:01 pm

Yeah I replaced all the Knot and Tube...

I have all new Romex now, all 1200 linear feet of it, but also installed a Green Switch while I was at it. I put that by the front door, then mounted my Forever-Power outlets to the refrigerator, furnaces, outside lights, etc. While I was at it, I put a Forever-Power-Outlet in each room so in case I wanted to run an AC unit, it would run while the Green-Switch shut the rest of the power off while we were out and about.

They say the return on investment for #12 AWS wire versus #14 AWS wire is only 4 months, and #10 AWS wire versus #14 AWS wire is 6 months, all due to amperage loss. So, if that is the case, then having the power off to 90% of the house when we are out, should really add up. I always wanted to do it, but until now never had the chance to rewire an entire house.

But I did other things right too like run #12 AWS wire throughout the house that way if I ever want to upgrade to 20 amp outlets I can just upgrade the circuit breaker and outlet. It is a lot easier to do that then fish new wire through the walls.

Obviously the kitchen and bathroom have 100% 20 amp outlets, with the microwave and other heavy use outlets being dedicated circuits. So are all the forever-power outlets, just because I could.

The only other power conservation things I did was add 3 and four way switches so that it was convient to turn lights off. Sure LED's today help, but not as much as if they were not on at all!
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by townlineterry » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:09 pm

Remodeling a house is a true test of a marriage, if a relationship can survive that it can survive anything. My parents took 16 years to redo their house. mainly because of my mother. when she said "we are going to do this or that" it meant we did the work and she told us how we were doing it wrong. She was an expert. Dad would get fed up throw down the tools and say "you know how to do everything why don't you do it?" What ever we were working on would sit there half done sometimes for months.

After house was done he use to spend a lot of time in the garage.

Sounds like two are still on speaking terms, good for you.

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:25 am

Oh shoot, building or renovating houses is all we know! :-)

On our other house, Katie was a trooper. She had 3 temporary kitchens before she got the kitchen of her dreams 4 years later only to move out of the house when it was all finished. Granted we did not expect me to get cancer either and her having to go back to work.

Our plan now is to rent that house out, then in the Spring convert it into a Day Care Center so she can stay home. She is a banker, and it is lucrative enough, but is also high stress. With (4) young daughters, one of us have to be home. Because of the way that house is arranged, it would be perfect for a Day Care Center and we could get more for watching kids then we ever could renting it out as a residential home.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:43 am

Stan Disbrow wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:28 am
My uncle had a portable sawmill. Of course he did, this being the same uncle who had the equipment dealerships. We would borrow it at times to make our own building materials. Handy thing, that. ;)
Like the Walton's, we always had one growing up too. It amazes me know that my parents would allow me to be around the thing when it was working, when today I would not allow my kids at the same age to ever be around the ones we got. I was almost killed by the thing many times.

The one we had growing up, and still have, is a 1900, 48 inch, rotary sawmill powered by a 1965 327 CI Chevy. When that thing blew in the 1990's, we bought a 6 cylinder White Diesel Engine to power it, and have it sitting on an engine stand ready to go, but never installed it.

That is because we have a Thomas Bandsaw Mill now, that while slow, makes for some very nice lumber.

I built a homemade chainsaw mill from ProCut Plans you can buy online, and honestly its carriage is to die for...a really nice system to secure the log, but it was so slow. I always joked that you would start a board today, and finish it tomorrow. So I had a 18 inch bansaw kicking around and converted that into my own homemade bandsaw mill powered by an electric motor instead of gas. With my log trailer it is just easier for me to bring the log from stump to sawmill by the house then to have to bring the log halfway to the mill parked somewhere, so I do not really need a gasoline engine. I built it more for the challenge of building it then need.

Right now I am using a Norwood Sawmill after a friend brought it over to saw logs for his house. He had a sawmill, but no land and was living in a camper, so Katie and I figured we got more then enough trees here, so let him have 7000 bf of Eastern hemlock Logs to frame his house. But because it is here, I have been using that sawmill, but I am not a huge fan of it. It has some HUGE deficiencies for sure!

Finally, we have a shingle mill which I guess counts as a sawmill. That is of 1900 vintage, but we never use it, as it is far to dangerous. It is so bad that when we built the building for it, we bought the shingles from the local building supply company. :-)
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by townlineterry » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:32 am

I have a Woodmizer all hydraulic, only way to go IMO, turning logs by hand is hard on the back, especially when you work by yourself. Don't do portable anymore. Liability insurance got to be to much, and it is easier working at home where I am under roof and have a forklift. So now when somebody has logs they want sawn I bring them here. Other thing that bothered me was when customer insisted on helping they usually had to have their beer. I like one or two, at the end of the day, not when I'm working and a sawmill is nothing to be stumbling around half kicked in the ass.

Terry

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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by 77 Ford » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:14 am

I've always been very fascinated saw mills, when I was very young my uncle had one. I keep an eye on Craiglist and one of these days I'm going to find a good deal on one. I don't really want it to cut wood productively like for money but just the fun of restoring and operating it so I'm holding out for an old school rotary one. I kid around with a friend of mine who's into steam engines if I ever find a steam powered one we can go in on it together.
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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:45 am

townlineterry wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:32 am
I have a Woodmizer all hydraulic, only way to go IMO, turning logs by hand is hard on the back, especially when you work by yourself. Don't do portable anymore. Liability insurance got to be to much, and it is easier working at home where I am under roof and have a forklift. So now when somebody has logs they want sawn I bring them here. Other thing that bothered me was when customer insisted on helping they usually had to have their beer. I like one or two, at the end of the day, not when I'm working and a sawmill is nothing to be stumbling around half kicked in the ass.

Terry
I agree completely, only adding that I think of all the sawmills Woodmizer is probably the best. I know for sure that Norwood is not as it has some serious deficiencies. I would say, "You get what you pay for", except I think the amount of money they want, for what a person gets, is not great. I think it would b better to spend the same money on a USED Woodmizer then to get a Norwood.

Log turning for me is not that bad, but only because I have a log loader that takes the back-breaking work out of it. It also takes the log from stump to mill without dragging it through the dirt so my bandsaw blades stay sharp much longer. It also makes moving boards a lot easier; I seldom lift boards by hand unless they are fragile clapboards or something.

Here, it used to be easy to get people to come in and custom mill logs for you, but that is no longer the case. When I was working, that was really my only option as it just takes to long to saw out wood otherwise. For me, getting the job done was the important part, and with only 1-1/2 days per week to get done what I need to (I go to church), so sawing lumber too just was not in the cards. It as just much more efficient to have the boys with the fully hydraulic Woodmizer come in and saw out the lumber in a day or two, then for me to fuss with it.

But I will also confess that I am NOT into sawmilling. It is sort of neat to make it a game and see how many board feet you can get out of a log to get the most lumber, but for me it is about as boring to do after 3 logs as watching paint dry. I typically run up to the sawmill, saw what I need, then come back and nail it to the house. I am not a person that likes to sit there all day chewing out boards from a log.

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I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:53 am

This is the log loader (and trailer) loading logs out in the woods. It works really good on logs 8-14 feet long, but 16 footers can be a little tough to grab, balance just right and get them out of the woods, but it can be done.

Image
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by Lu47Dan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:59 am

Congratulations on moving into the "new" house.
I have been gathering parts for a mill, but now have a couple new sawyer's with portable mills around here. Four years ago there were 5 or 6 who would do portable sawing, but their prices were out of sight. The new guys have taken up the overflow of work. One of them came and looked at my logs and said there were not enough to make moving in worth it. So we took a walk to my standing timber. Trees that are drying on the stump. I gridled them to season them. He said to get them down and up to the house and he would move the saw in. His prices (per board foot) are not bad compared with what I was quoted four years ago.
I think I will skip building the sawmill.
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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:37 am

I would be interested to know in how others mill wood. There is no right and wrong way that I would blast anyone for, it is just the my friend and I are diametrically opposed to how we saw lumber. How much he has sawn, I am not sure, and pretty sure he has only used this sawmill and thinks its great. Me...I think you only get x amount of wood from a log, and other mills are set up better than the Norwood.

For him, he saws the logs facing the large end, where as I saw them from the small end. I like to do that so I can pick the log up to take into account the taper of the log. This is my rub with the Norwood, there is no way to jack the front of the log up. In any case my friend does not do that. He just keeps slicing 1 inch thick slices until he gets down to a clean board, then flips. Even then he flips the log only 90 degrees and makes a second cut. me I flip the log around 180 and make the log even on 2 faces. Then I roll it up for my third and fourth sides to make my lumber out of a cant. Then I start slamming out boards.

When I used some boards he sawed for me, the slab pile was a lot smaller granted, but it meant me lugging more wood around that later got cut off and burned. I would say about 50% of the wood he "cut" was no good due to the amount of bark on it. I got better things to do then spend time and money sawing bark into boards.

But it also takes me a lot less time. If I am going after a specific width board, say 1x6's, he takes his sawn one-side barked edged boards and then puts them back on the mill and takes a 4th side pass, where as I saw around the log first, get the width I want by the 2nd cut, make a cant with the third and fourth side cuts, then start sawing perfectly widthed boards one after another. To me it is faster and not a waste because the boards I cut to get down to the width of board I want can be used for something else. Sometimes I will even grab a thick slab in the slab pile, and then mill off a quick board or stud that I need.

I was just curious as to how others mill.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

townlineterry
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by townlineterry » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:07 pm

I am with you Cuttingedge. Saw from the small end, with my mill I can raise the log to compensate for taper. You want to end up sawing parallel to the heart because the center of the log has poorest quality wood, you want to keep that low grade lumber in as few boards as possible. By turning 180 after the first cut you eliminate 50% of the edging you would do if you only turn the log 90 degrees. Also once you have your cant squared up do not just saw from the top down. You need to flip it 180 a few times so you are working towards the center of the cant gradually from each side. This releases the stress of cant evenly to eliminate bowing.

Another mistake people make is to keep sawing with a dull blade. That slows down production, produces wavy lumber and trashes the blade. When the blade starts to show signs of dulling put on a sharp blade, don't push it. A sawmill blade is like a chainsaw, when you sharpen it you want to really just polish it not grind it.

And pay attention to blade tension (on band mills). Tension is critical to saw accurate lumber and blade life, too much or too little will destroy the blade.

Terry

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:07 pm

Here is a photo of the north wall with the siding nailed on. I call these clapboards "Refined Rustic Clapboards" because they have a bit of character to them, but not a whole lot. That is, they are not wavy-edged like some homemade clapboards, but coming straight off the sawmill, there are some slight variations.

Still I could have bought clapboards and paid $3500 or put up with these and paid $51; $40 for (2) saw blades, and $10 in gas to power the mill.

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I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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