Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bicycle Camper Pre-blog

I’m currently out of work, and don’t know when I’ll have the money to finish my motorless home. I know some of you have been waiting patiently to see it, and I apologize that it’s taking so long. I promise you that someday it will be finished. I already have several ideas for different bicycle campers, all of which have solid walls. Tents on platforms are LAME.

I’ve been bored and itching to make something, pining over the camper, so I decided to use scraps leftover from the motorless home to make a small camper. It took me two days, and part of today, but I’ve got it made. I slept in it last night, and while it’s a bit cramped, I loved it! It was about 30 degrees out last night, but with my alcohol heater on the lowest setting it was 70 inside! I also did some cooking with the Nomad, and had to prop the door open as it was over 80 degrees! I’ll sleep in it tonight with a candle heater, maybe a new one, and see how that works out. There are a couple of things I’d like to add to the camper, so once that’s done I’ll post a real blog and some pics, probably tomorrow.

Pics and blog HERE

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Yet Another Wood Stove

I “foraged” this popcorn can from someone’s recyclables. I knew I’d make something out of it, and decided on a wood stove. This isn’t as nice as my postal stove, but it wasn’t meant to be. It just shows what can be done with “trash” in a minimal amount of time.

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I decided to build this upside down. Why? Because I have a bat fetish, that’s why! No I mean the can would be inverted, for 3 reasons: the top is wider, allowing for a greater heat base,  with the lid on the bottom it would allow for easier clean out, and if the lid was up top there would be the chance of smoke leaking out.

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First part of the Sapporo can chimney installed. This was scavenged from the postal stove…I’ll make a better one for it once I fix it…and if I ever have the funds to finish my bicycle camper and mount the postal stove in it!

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Inside view showing flaps in the flue that were cut and folded over to secure it.

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More “trash”. I had this laying around. Unfortunately denatured alcohol is now sold in plastic containers =( This will be the stove door…and possibly a baffle.

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Inner lines are what will be cut out of the body.

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I always get caught up in the making and forget to take photos of the process! Why I’ll probably never make an instructables! The next thing I did was take the piano hinge off my heiny keg wood “stove” and mount the door. Then I made a latch and installed it. Then I took the scrap from the stove body and made the cover for the air inlets. I laid the cover on the door, traced it, then drilled the air inlets, then mounted the cover with a rivet.

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Gratuitous shot of the latch. The whole door flexes, so I didn’t have to make the latch on a pivot point.

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This isn’t airtight when closed, but it serves its purpose. Just showing what can be done in a pinch, after all!

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Rudimentary chimney finished!

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Looks like someone may have stolen the popcorn!

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I’ll build a trap for those popcorn gnomes yet!

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Just enough room for a hiking pot (filled with popcorn kernels…rotten gnomes, take the bait!).

NOW LET’S GET OUR PYROMANIA ON!

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FIRST FIRE OF 2013!!! You can see the sticker burning off the top.

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Lights out!

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>;D>

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Works with the door closed!

And because I can’t get enough fire:

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Today it’s a candle heater!

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This is a crayon and carbon felt tuna candle!

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Gotta make sure it works with the door shut!

Commemorating The Devil

All this snow we’re getting here today has me wishing for summer, so I was going through some pics and found some cool shots and thought I’d share. 3 years ago I made a heineken keg fire pit with a little devil face on it. It worked ok but the fire wasn’t very big and it took a lot of babysitting, so the following year I got my hands on a propane tank and made this Hot Devil:

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I’ve had a lot of good times with this little friend.

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I’ve had the passerby call this a bonfire…yeah it’s pretty impressive but a bonfire it is not! It took a few hours to make this bad boy. First I had to drain the remaining propane. Then, with the valve open, I had to take my time tipping the tank horizontal and adding water, then tip upright, and repeat…many many times! Fill it all the way up, the water pushes any lingering fumes out so you don’t maim yourself when you drill it out. The only tools I used were a drill with 1/2″ bit and a jig saw.

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Pretty straight forward and a little monotonous, but it was fun when it was done!

My poor poor little devil…on the 4th of July weekend of 2012 he was badly hurt by a mean old tree:

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This guy covered the entire back yard…and fell as I watched! This was first thing in the morning, I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. There was a windy thunderstorm and I was watching it from the back door. I heard two low concussions and instinctively took a couple steps back. That car you see was right in front of me. A moment later the car and fence in front of it had radically changed shape…and that was the most surreal instant of my life so far!

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To help you get an idea of the size of this here’s how the backyard looked from the driveway.

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Here you can see part of the back door I was standing in. Had I not stepped back I would have been struck by small branches that came in the door. Had the tree fallen differently and hit the house there would have been a lot less blogs on this site!

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The headlights are still on and the horn still blaring when this one was taken.

So my fire pit and mailbox wood stove were both damaged but are still functional…the really weird thing is that my bicycle cargo trailer was partially struck and undamaged!

Winter Cycling So Far

This is my first winter cycling. I don’t mean just for fun, but for transportation. I thought I’d need specialized gear, such as a face mask and goggles, and these nifty things called pogies or moose mitts. They’re a glorified mitten that attaches to your handle bars and covers the brake levers and shifters, so that you can slide your gloved hands in.

So far I’ve been getting along just fine by wearing fleece under my jeans, thermal socks, my carharrt coat, gloves, ushanka (rabbit fur hat with ear flaps), hood on coat and alpaca scarf. I would like the moose mitts, as my hands are the only thing that gets cold. To solve this for now I’ve got a bunch of hand warmers.

Temps here lately are in the teens, farenheit, that is. The only days I haven’t ridden were in the single digits with windchills, about 2 days. It’s actually been a lot of fun on the trike. I get asked “aren’t you cold?” quite a bit, but no, I’m not. If anything I have to unzip my coat or loosen the scarf so that I don’t start sweating! Studded tires would be nice, primarily for the rear tire, and for emergency stopping, but all in all the trike handles well in the snow and ice. Another thing I need eventually are fenders, as water splashes onto my gloves! All in time. The tires that came with the Rover are racing tires, for better traction I put the rear tire from my bent bike on it, I don’t know what you’d call the tread, it’s the kind that comes on most mountain bikes. I did this because I was getting flats, I think storing the Rover indoors and taking it out, the drastic change in temperatures, was causing cracks in the tire and allowing small stones to slightly puncture the inner tube. There’s definitely more traction, and I can still fishtail in snow and ice!

Now I do not like the cold one bit, but I’ve honestly been having a lot of fun! Normally in the Winter I have to walk or borrow a friends car, and by spring my legs have lost all their recumbent muscle. You see, riding a recumbent bike or trike utilizes different muscles in the legs than a diamond frame bike. That’s a common complaint among those new to recumbent cycling, especially when going up hills, but once you get your bent legs good luck keeping up on a diamond frame! Bents are plain and simple much more efficient than regular bicycles. So I’m loving keeping my bent legs toned, as the first month or so of Spring my legs would be in agony.

The only complaints I have aren’t seasonal. I don’t like it that most motorists don’t know hand signals, unless you’re turning left that is! I don’t like getting cut off anytime of the year, but especially not when there’s a windchill. I mean, what’s the hurry? Tell me just what is so horrible about being in your car? Is it difficult to apply pressure to the correct pedals, turn that power steering wheel? Is it too much to ask to use your turning signals? It must be awful in there, with that climate control and music, the way most people drive!!!

Get out and pedal, even if it’s just a trip to the corner store! Save some cash on gas and the gym by doing what you could in a car on a bike. You’ll feel better, and you’ll become more respectful when it comes to sharing the road when you see how most people drive! You might just end up driving more carefully, leaving for destinations a little earlier so you don’t have to speed. This could lead to less potential for tickets or rocketing insurance. You might just save yourself or your loved ones injuries or worse, just by driving respectfully. Our society here in America is all about NOW NOW NOW!!! That mentality does your health absolutely no good whatsoever! Stress affects the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Slow down! Enjoy the ride!

Life is a ride, no matter how you take the ride, do so in a manner that’s best for you and those around you!