We process a lot of firewood here and these two simple additions have made life a million times easier. First, we made up a thing to put long bits of wood in for cutting. Its a heavy bottom piece with uprights made from easily replaceable pallet wood, spaced so that cutting midway between them leaves us with 10″ pieces. Simply fill it up with wood, and you can cut mountains of fiddly bits with just 3 or 4 cuts.
It seems that concentrating on range cookers for a while seems to be attracting them. Until a couple of weeks ago we’d never heard of the Wellstood Two (or WD 36) stove, and then having just put one in, out of the blue we are very kindly offered another.
I have a terrible habit of browsing Gumtree for interesting sounding things, and specifically for old, cheap range cookers in the hope of finding one that will keep our old Doric on the road. A couple of weeks ago I was rummaging around and turned up not a Doric, but a Wellstood Two – the bigger brother of the Doric, from the same 1950’s era, but with the addition of not only a warming oven, but a hotplate cover. In the world of little old ranges, these are positively the bells and whistles of any self respecting range cooker.
Rocket Mass Heaters are a really efficient way to heat a space, that you can build yourself for a relatively low cost. They are designed to burn at a high temperature, which results in less smoke and a more efficient fire. Ours is always a source of fascination, and when lit, the big room is warm in no time. Steve is off to Mayo in September to help run a course in building one, and in the meantime, here’s a reminder of how ours was put together.
I’m going on tour in September to teach a rocket mass heater workshop at our friend Claire Templar’s place Tir Na Nog in Mayo. Not many of these get built so its a rare opportunity to find out how and get hands on experience.
Last winter we were the masters of firewood. Ample supplies, thanks to kind folk,and having our own huge sycamore fall over in the wind. The summer of 2015 saw the woodyard completely cleared, as amazing volunteers helped us split, chop, and stack the whole lot inside.