Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home Made Log Arch For ATV

Log Arch

Home Made Log Arch For ATV

This log arch was made from all scrap/salvaged materials and has worked really well for us. Here is how it was made:

The log arch measures 14” wide at the front and 37” inside the arch on back.

Basic materials:
Two 1 1/2” pipe 6 ½' long
One 1 1/2” pipe 6' long
Three 2” pipe, 22” long
Four 2” pipe 14” long
Angle Iron
Square steel (2”)
Misc. iron/steel plates
Tires from a Ford PU truck
Boat wench
Trailer hitch
Twelve feet of 3/8” cable
Slip hook

We started with two pieces of 22” long (2”) pipe and cut a 40° angle on one end of each pipe. Next, we took three of the 14” long (2”) pipe and cut 40° angles on both ends of the 3 pieces.
Those five pieces were welded together to form the arch.

Once those pieces were welded, we welded one end of each of the 6 ½' (1 1/2”) pipe 90° to the bottom sides of the arch with the other end welded to each end of a 14” (1 1/2” x 1 1/2”) angle iron.

Then we welded the 6' (1 1/2”) pipe to the center of the top of the arch.

The forth piece of 14” (2”) pipe was then welded to the center of the angel iron that holds the two 6 ½' pieces of pipe and the other end is at an angle and connected to the 6' (1 1/2”) pipe.

Hubs were then welded onto the outside of the arch where the 6 ½' piece was welded to the 2” piece.

Next, we welded a 14” piece of 2” square steel to the center of the angle iron on the front and welded flat steel on the bottom of that to reinforce it.

A piece of 2” square steel about 16” long was welded onto the end of the 4' piece straight up and down at 90° to the 4' piece for attaching pulleys. We then welded this to the top of the arch along the 6 ½ ' piece of pipe.

We notched each end and drilled a hole through to mount the steel pulleys on each end of the 16” piece.

A 1/4” triangle steel plate was welded to where the 4' and 16” piece meet for reinforcement. And 4 gusset plates were welded over each joint of the arch, also for reinforcement.

A short 1 1/2” angle iron piece was welded on the bottom of the 6 ½' (1 1/2”) pipe and the end notched, leaving a 2 1/2” tab that bent around the 2” pipe and everything was welded together to reinforce for pulling the log.

A boat wench was bolted to the front bottom side of the of the 6' (1 1'2”) pipe. We took about 12' of 3/8 cable and ran it through the pulley and clamped a slip hook on to it.

On the front we bolted a 1 1/2” trailer hitch.

We mounted the tires and the arch was ready to go.
So far, so good.

Log Arch

Log Arch

Log Arch

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easy Baking Recipes; Apple (or Rhubarb) Sauce Bread

Rhubarb sauce is simple to make, just cook it as you would an apple sauce; rhubarb with some honey (or sugar) and whatever spices you like in a sauce. We have made it with and without cinnamon.
Apple (or Rhubarb) Sauce Bread

Apple (or Rhubarb) Sauce Bread

4 tablespoons butter; melted
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 cup apple sauce or rhubarb sauce
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup walnuts; chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" loaf pan.

Combine melted butter and honey. Add the egg and apple (or rhubarb) sauce and mix well.

Sift together the dry ingredients and stir into the butter and sauce mixture.

Fold in walnuts.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Microsoft Be Gone

My husband finally made some major changes to our computers...and for the better. Here's his story:

The Operating System That Broke the Homesteaders Back

Well it finally happened, “I've had enough!” After working on computers for many years I have put up with their crap, but microsoft (small “m” they don't deserve a capital) has gone too far, and I've had enough with their ill fated attempts at trying to create an OS (operating system) that actually works, not software that does no more than raise your blood pressure and push your nerves to their ends. Oh sure, if you never put any other software on the computer except what comes with it you might have half a chance at the whole thing working somewhat right, but if you start loading on software that's actually useful …......well now you just entered the “microsoft, beat your head against the wall, pull your hair out, shoot yourself in the foot world,” the world of - it ain't gonna work no matter what you do. And the software that comes with the computer is either useless or trial software, so now if you find it to be useful you have to pay more money for it. OK, so you get the idea that I'm not a microsoft fan; that fact alone makes anyone ten times smarter than microsoft.

Vista. Ah yes, Vista- a she devil put into an operating system, it's only function in life is to crash, lock up, slow down or any other sort of malicious function it can perform just to--- ; you see were I'm going with this? It all began with the purchase of two Sony Vaio's laptops; two years of pure hell. But I said, “no I'll give it a chance and work out the bugs, I'll learn the operating system,” 730+ days I think is a fair chance. So my wife and I decided to upgrade to win 7. Back in November of 09 we saw a copy of win 7 three license family pack on sale for $149.00. In late February we decided that it might be the time to go back and buy it, one license for each laptop and the third one would go onto the file server I am building. After checking the original store and many others and not being able to find a copy we turned to the place were the lazy go, were the unadventurous go, were those who see the outside world as a demonic void of inhumane----- sorry, the Internet (I'm referring to myself ). It didn't take long to learn that not only did ms stop producing the family pack, but any on line store that had a copy was now charging in the area of $300.00 of more depending what site you went to. As you probably already figured, I went off the deep end. After boiling a few hours I finally had an epiphany and figured out a solution. Although some of you will laugh, some will be puzzled and a few of you will think to yourselves [it's about time, I could have told you that.] The solution? Screw microsoft, I'm switching to Linux, to be specific Ubuntu 9.10.

Here's how it's going to work. Once we get the disks, Vista on my laptop will be the first to receive the death sentence and undergo the transformation. I can't wait to kill Vista. The second will be the file server (we also ordered Ubuntu for servers). My wife's laptop with Vista and our Dell laptop with xp will stay as is for the time being, only because we need to find software for Linux to replace some of the win apps that we still use. Our network will then consist of file server wired to a Netgear wireless router that is plugged into a satellite modem (Wild Blue) our two Vaios will connect to the wireless and the Dell will be cabled.

March 3, 2010 at 9:06 eastern time the destruction of a demon began and at 9:26 Vista passed away on my computer, no longer to be heard from again, well not on my laptop anyway. As soon as the installation completed it had to reboot, this took about 50 seconds. No, that is no misprint: 50 seconds my computer was up. Not only was it ready to go, it had already found the net work and when the printer was turned on, it found that as well. Linux is so easy, it has not had any problems it doesn't freeze up; it's not slow. In fact when going on line, it is actually faster than windows; pages load a lot faster with out any problems. After playing for quite some time I had to call it quits so I decide to shut down and when I clicked the mouse to shut it down it took 8 seconds, yeah that's what I said. Why did I take so long to switch? The best part is Linux is free, always has been, always will be. It's open source. And while Linux users keep getting free upgrades, each time microsoft comes out with a new version of windows people dig deep into their pockets and pay all kinds of money for something they could get for nothing.

I have been waiting to try Linux for years, I just don't know what I've been waiting for. There is plenty of help out there, and if you think about it all kinds of people have been working on this software. They don't get paid, they do it because they want to, so it makes sense that this software would be better. There are also ways that anybody can get involved, by testing, programming and designing, just to name a few. Check out www.Ubuntu.com. I plan on becoming active with Linux and help get more people switched over to Linux.

They say that you can make change by voting with your dollars. Well here is a way to keep your dollars and vote at the same time. Although I should clarify the fact that even though you can get the software for free, it would be great to make a donation to the cause, whether it is by monetary or voluntary. After all, others are giving to produce it, so we should give back to support it. While I'm on the subject of free there are a lot of great programs under the open source category. Open source, if you are not familiar with the term, is free to use, free to copy and distribute; in fact you are encouraged to do so. I have always been a big proponent of open source, programs like Open Office are better than ms Word, and Gimp is comparable to Adobe Photo Shop, just to name a couple. It's pretty much certain that if you want a specific program, you can probably find an open source program that will do what you need.

So as I finish this rant, a final note; don't be brain washed into thinking that you're stuck with what you have, if you don't like what you've got change it, but before you do make a back up of your system just in case you don't like the new one (I can't imagine that), or there are two other options. First you can run most Linux disks as live CD's, or you can install it along side your version of windows (I just couldn't do that to Linux, I gave it a clean home.)

Update: Last Friday my wife wiped out her computer and put Linux on it. She's thrilled with it! (and I'm so proud...)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birch Syrup

Birch Syrup
Tapping Birch Trees

A few years ago we started doing something that caused quite a few “raised eye brows” around here- we tapped birch trees.

Birch sap starts to run about the time maple stops, and more sap is required to make syrup, about 60 gallons of sap to equal one gallon of syrup.

The trees are tapped the same way as maple, and the sap is cooked down in the same manner, simply boil until desired consistency is reached.

So far all we use the finished product for is making beer and, when cooked down a bit thicker, a replacement for molasses.

We have been successful in using the “birch molasses” in baked beans, breads and cookies; the taste is wonderful and it's one less thing on our grocery shopping list.

Future plans include birch soda and birch wine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Maple Syrup Season

Tapping Maple Trees
By the end of February each winter we start to go a bit stir crazy. We are tired of the cold, the snow, carrying so much firewood and worrying about the animal's water freezing. However when the first of March rolls around it's usually on a happy note, because I know there is not much time left before we start tapping maple trees for sap.

This year we have been very fortunate, the winter temperatures never got really cold (I think -12° F was the coldest) and we got little snow. This past week has started to feel like spring, and the maple trees got tapped.

My husband loves gathering all the buckets, spiles, drill and bit to begin tapping. Last Saturday he tapped 60 trees and already we are cooking down a lot of sap.

Each night we dump the buckets in to a large barrel which goes back home with us and we dip from it to fill our pots in the house.

Barrel For Sap
We cook all our syrup down in our house on the wood stove and sometimes on the gas stove to finish it off.

Cooking Down Sap
The syrup gets used year 'round for baking, cooking, flavoring, sweetening, brewing and snacking (we have been known to eat it with a spoon!)

So I know spring can't be far away...there's a smell of maple in the air!

Tapping Maple Trees

This post was entered into the "Grow Your Own" roundup, created by Andrea's Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie.