My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin

Started by MountainDon, December 20, 2006, 02:03:09 AM

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Quote from: MountainDon on October 02, 2009, 01:53:20 PM

When I could foresee continued use over a period o time, like spring through fall in previous years I never worried about the fuel. I used it fast enough to keep it from going bad. Now that our power needs are being met by the PV system the generator will see much less use. My plan is to run it once a month, at/near the beginning opf any month. With that in mind I'm doing two things with the fuel. Number 1, I'm being sure to add a dose of Sta-Bil to each and every purchase of fuel. Previously I would only be sure to add Sta-Bil to gas that was likely to sit stored for several months. Number 2, I will close the fuel supply valve whenever I run the generator and let the carb run dry. Previously I only did that in the fall and winter as it was used frequently enough in summer to make that unnecessary.

BTW, I also run small engines lie the chainsaw dry when they are not likely to be used in the next couple weeks. I've ound that if I do that I'm never plagued by carb/fuel problems.

Don I ran across this on another forum which was discussing Sta-bil.  Intresting. 

I just got off the phone with an engineer at Gold Eagle, the company that markets STA-bil fuel stabilizer. Seeing their recent introduction of "Marine" STA-bil, I wanted to know the differences... In a nutshell:

* Current fuels (the ethanol actually) is playing havoc with aluminum components. Old (red) STA-bil isn't keeping up.
* New marine STA-bil (green) has better corrosion resistance and fuel stabilizing capabilities than the old.
* STA-bil has a shelf life, once opened, of about 2 years if container is kept tightly sealed.
* Old STA-bil can be used with today's fuels (marine storage) but increase the mix ratio to 1 oz / 1 gal fuel.


Interesting. I've been using 1 oz per gallon for years.    :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Oh boy! We moved out a couple good loads of wood Saturday.  :D  Mark, with the big black dump trailer came back and took a second big load. That Dodge Cummins is chipped and has a 6" pipe; it made the up hill hauling look like child's play.

Another load went by Ford Powerstroke.

We were also burning slash; tree tops, branches and rotten fallen dead stuff, hence the smoke.

Loaded and just about ready to go...

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


After a month of using the Oasis hand water pump, I have to say it's a good pump. It works well. It does need to be primed for use. The "rhino horn" I added to the pump outlet helps a lot. The prime seems to hold for a hal hour or so.

To prime I leave the plug in the pump outlet and remove the cap on the "rhino horn". IWith the handle in the raised position, piston down I pour about 20 ounces of water into the pump. Ater a couple strokes the pump is primed and water will flow out the horn. Then I cap the horn, remove the plug and fit the hose. Pumping into the water tank in the cabin it takes 10 strokes to the gallon.

Pumping water to a pail on the ground at the pump results in about 8 strokes to the gallon. There's a little loss in volume in the slightly uphill journey to the cabin tank.

Anyhow I'm happy with that pump. This is the shallow well version. For water levels deeper than 20 feet Oasis offers a deep well version. The price is deeper too. This one was $90, the deep version is $300+.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Lots of good stuff in this thread!  Got to love a thread that has everything from cabins to forestry even 45 Colt in it.  Thanks for your efforts.

Those Puma's sounding interesting.  Us my Marlin in 45 Colt for silhouette, hunting, HD and fun.  Favorite load is a 315 gr WFN cast bullet pushed to about 1500 fps.  REALLY impressive on everything I've shot with it.  Big Bore lite.

"The secret to life is to be alive.  To live ultimately by one's own hand and one's own independent devices." -Ted Nugent


Thanks for the kind words.

Quote from: Yonderosa on October 07, 2009, 10:09:49 PM

Those Puma's sounding interesting.  

see this thread...   ;D

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


   Looks like everything is coming together! 

   I sure like that gooseneck dump trailer . . .   [cool]

   The garden hose, entering your cabin, so close to the water heater?

    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .


Quote from: bayviewps on October 12, 2009, 02:03:52 PM

   The garden hose, entering your cabin, so close to the water heater?

Yes, it's close, I'll admit. I would have preferred more clearance outside, but cramming everything into a 5 foot wide, 28" tall space (the confines of the main kitchen base cabinet) was difficult. The hose doesn't stay there all the time anyhow. The exhaust heat from the burner exits the grill to the right, not the louvers. Don't know the reason for the louvers; the same heater as installed in the RV does not have the louvers, only the grill.  ???

Inside the cabin the water fill pipe takes a right angle turn just inside the wall (kitchen cabinet base) and heads to the left as viewed from outside.

The water heater also seldom runs on full burner. Usually just the pilot light. With the water tanks additional 2 to 4 inches of foam insulation there's no discernible heat loss from the tank inside the cabin. Couple that with frugal hot water use and the pilot burner supplies all the hot water we need most of the time. I fire the burner on the lowest thermostat  setting when we arrive after an absence, then turn it to "pilot only" after the thermostat turns the burner off. Sometimes the water actually gets to where the temperature is too hot to touch without mixing cold. It's amazing what a pilot burner can do to a well insulated 6 gallon tank.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


It was great to get up to our mountains after a 2 week absence.

We arrived Saturday AM to find... 

It was not a surprise. I had been following the weather on TV and via the remote weather station. It snowed about mid week and the temperature dropped to 18 or one night. Brrr!

So the first thing we did was to build a fire in the VC Aspen wood stove. The second thing we did was ste ire to a few of our piles o slash.

As the day progressed the sunshine melted the snow and instead of a winter wonderland we has a muddy mountain mess. 

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


As well as having fun with fire one of the tasks I wanted to get underway was the installation of the wall mount direct vent propane heater.

There were two possible locations, the location I had planned on from the beginning and the other, a late comer of a thought. The first one ended up with a clearance problem due to changes like a longer than planned kitchen counter and a larger than first planned table and chair set. Number two seemed to be 100% better. I made measurements and everything checked out. I marked the hole positions using the template provided with the Housewarmer (Empire) heater. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole through the wall, inside to outside. This was to mark the center of the 6 1/4 inch diameter hole or the concentric intake and exhaust. I marked the circumference and cut out the interior with my cordless saber saw. Voila! The hole...

d* d*

Hmmm. Seems I forgot that for some reason I ran a wire across the wall a few inches under the window sill height. I forget I did that, and don't know why even. There's also a wire that runs further down at the receptacle height. The wire was too tight to bend around the pipe. Dang! I probably could have orced it but that would bother me.

The left side of the hole is about two inches from the wall stud and the wire is tight, no slack to speak of. I was a little disturbed by this development and went outside to throw some stuff on one of the blazes. I cut up some felled trash trees to vent some frustrations.

I could not move the hole down. Reason one was that would place the heater too close to the floor making it difficult to hookup the gas piping which is at the bottom of the heater. Secondly, moving the unit down would make it necessary to get into patching the hole in the wall as the hole is very close to the top of the unit. That can be seen in the wall plate to the right. Dang! Okay, I'm lazy, not wanting to patch and repaint the wall. I'll accept that.

Making a splice and extending the wire was impractical to my mind, and frowned upon by best wiring practices. Dang!

So I convinced K. that the best solution was to mount the heater higher up the wall. That way I could tape the first cut out back in place and not worry about making it pretty as the metal wall mount would cover the error. On the outside, well it was unfortunate that the 1/4 inch locater hole had been drilled, but that could be worked around.

So here's the mounted unit...

The cord is for the optional pre installed blower. The heater will function without it, but the blower will aid in circulation if we desire.

Here's the exterior cutout showing the concentric intake and exhaust.

The completed exterior cap assembly.

The unused 1/4 inch pilot hole was filled by pumping a good amount of caulk into the hole and between the siding/sheathing gap. The patch will be painted when it is warm enough.

By chance the paint on the vent cap is a close match to the trim. Next time I'll drill through the floor and install the gas pipe.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Don sounds like one of my little projects. ;D  You are fortuneate that you decided to cut out the interior larger diameter hole first.  When I started mine I began taking photo's of the stages.  I have often referred back to them for wire placement especially in the log walls.  It really came in useful when I had to cut the chinking for the exhaust fan when it was near the feed for the fan.  Thank goodness for digital cameras.  Alls well that ends well.


Don, I'd say you recovered nicely from the "revoltin' development" of the wire in the wall precisely where you wanted to put the vent. It seems you were also very fortunate not to have damaged the wire with the reciprocating saw as you cut the hole! All's well that ends well!
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson


Quote from: Redoverfarm on November 03, 2009, 06:41:44 AM

When I started mine I began taking photo's of the stages.  I have often referred back to them for wire placement especially in the log walls.  It really came in useful.......

Oh I have pictures.  8) Right here in the laptop.  :D However, the laptop was on the coffee table here at home and I was 66 miles and 1.5 hours north at the cabin.  d* d* d*  I thought long and hard and told myself there could not possibly be anything in the wall to be concerned about.  ::) But when I cut the hole I held the saw off the surface so the blade wouldn't go deep. The wire never had so much as a scuff mark.  :D It's a good thing it was a 2x6 wall and that I ran the wires down the center.

A lesson for others to learn from.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


My intention was to get the propane direct vent wall heater hooked up to the gas supply and operational. I got busy with people dropping by or firewood and didn't get to it until Sunday PM. I drilled the hole through the ceramic tile and mounted some of the fittings...  (there's more pieces there than necessary. The heater has a 3/8 pipe fitting into the regulator, but I already had a 1/2" valve I was determined to use. As it turned out I also had the 3/8 to 1/2 adapter in the brass odds and ends box, so it worked out fine.)

... then I discovered I didn't have the copper tubing. ??? Looked everywhere.

When we got home it was waiting for me on the garage floor.   d* d*   Better luck next weekend.   >:(

The copper line is 1/2" OD which is what the manufacturer called for.

On an upbeat note we sold the snow machine.  :) :)  It turned out to be a $100 experiment. Not too bad or a learning experience.  
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Just a question on the piping. Why did you use a union on the system? The flare to the 1/2" copper will provide the same function and will be one less area of potential leak in the future. Not saying anything is wrong with that way just been my experience the fewer joints and fittings the better.
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That's an excellent question and point. The reason stems in part from my plan changing several times. Originally I was going to run black pipe down through the floor space and transition to copper tubing outside. So with the change the union is not really needed.

However, a reason to retain the union as the break point if the heater has to be removed, is to retain the shut off valve usefulness. The copper tubing flare joint is on the wrong side of the valve to allow using it as the break point without having to interrupt the propane supply. The way it sits I can use that shutoff and leave the balance of the propane system in service.

And you are right on fewer joints being fewer places to leak. I use the Teflon laced paste joint compounds as I have had nothing but great experiences with that material as compared to Teflon tape. It is messier though.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


At last! The propane heater is hooked up, leak free and it blows hot air!    Here's the connected end at the heater. After forming the flares on the type L copper tubing I realized I forgot to slip the trim plate on. So for now there's no trim piece. I'll have to get a split type or make up something myself. That's pink fiberglass insulation peeking up around the tubing. The bottle is my non corrosive, no residue bubble leak tester.

Here's the other end of the copper. The iron pipe comes down from the regulator. The iron heading off to the left leads to the refrigerator, range, and water heater.

Here's the pilot flame and the red hot thermocouple tip.

The heater can be used with or without the blower. It becomes a convection heater with the an unplugged. Plugged in the blower operates when the heat exchanger chamber is hot. With the blower running I expect the total output to be slightly higher than otherwise. It will help to heat up the cabin upon arrival in cold weather. It will also be handy for taking the chill off on those mornings that don't quite need a full wood fire.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


MtnDon, you guys are living the life of luxury!   [cool]

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


I also hauled up a load of 16x16 concrete patio squares. 44 of them made or quite a load in the Cherokee. The Jeep didn't look like it was lifted at all with those in there. The idea is to have a path from the cabin to the shed that does not turn into mud when wet. It had snowed a little the night before (Friday) and I simply placed them in a rough path, dodging tree stumps. We'll fix it up proper in spring.

Then it snowed more Saturday afternoon. There was a winter storm warning out so I had one eye cocked to the weather. I split more firewood for the winter, burned some more debris. Falling snow makes for safer burn conditions.

I could not resist taking a falling snow photo Saturday night.

Sunday 8 AM...

Then it snowed or an hour.  :o  No pictures, but it added up to 5 inches. I was a little concerned and took a drive off the ridge. Down lower (500 feet lower) there was considerable less snow to I retired my "worry wart hat" and stayed the rest of the day and night. By mid afternoon it turned sunny.  :D

Came home today.    :(
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


 :D Looks great Don-----the only thing more exciting then the first snow of winter is------the last snow of spring! 
Rwanders lived in Southcentral Alaska since 1967
Now lives in St Augustine, Florida


just read it ALL- nice

Q? did you need a CO? when completed.  Since you're off grid wondering if this is also off Uncle Sam's radar as well?


We and our two neighbors are off grid, out of sight, surrounded by national forest, pretty much left to our selves.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Don when was the last time you were up?  When we had spoken before you had a cold or something. Just wondering if the roads are still passable or not.


Well, John we just got back.  :D :D

We went up Sat AM. I had to get a new battery for the Jeep first though. The old Optima gave out at 49 months; developed an open cell, deader than a doornail. So I got a new Optima at Sam's Club at 9AM and we were on the road by 10AM Sat.

It was 33 degrees outside the cabin when we arrived, no new snow since mid November. It was 21 degrees inside  :o the cabin so we threw open the windows.  [crz] I lit a fire in the Aspen wood stove and fired up the propane wall heater. Two hours later it was 71 degrees inside!! 40 degrees rise in 2 hours!! That's a new personal best warm up time. That propane heater made a big welcome difference.

We burned some more ground debris, hung out inside and read some and then would check the debris fires every hour or so. This was very likely the final trip this year where we can drive all the way up. There's a snow storm coming through today and tomorrow. It began snowing at 10 AM today. The area forcast is calling for heavy snow tonight and tomorrow, accompanied by high winds.

The good news is we have found a way to cut down the snowshoe in time from 2 hours or so, down to 45 minutes, maybe an hour.  :D :D  Something clicked in our minds while we were up there, we put 2 and 2 together and came up with a plan. There's an old logging road that goes off our road near enough to the cabin. We've hiked it before. Using it we can cut off a big section of road and come down a slope into the little village just off the highway where we turn onto the forest road system that leads to the cabin. I packed the chain saw up that section and we cut through several trees that had fallen across the path.

The best route comes down to a very large house in the village. Really big. So we walked up to the door, knocked and said Hi!  We received a friendly greeting. We asked the couple if they would mind us snowshoeing up to the back of their 3 acre lot and into the national forest. We told them why. They asked us in. They had a carpenter doing some interior work and it was very nice so we told them so. Barbara gave us a complete tour, 3 levels, 5 bedrooms, huge great room with cathedral ceiling and stone fireplace, 1000 gallon underground propane tank, 3 car garage, billiard table, radiant heat in the floors, spiral staircase at one end of the upstairs, wide curved staircase at the other end......  Very impressive home. They have 3 others in various places. The place in the Jemez has a colored concrete driveway, likely the only concrete drive or miles. They were extremely hospitable people, so we asked another favor of them and got a 'well, of course' reply. We can park on their property when we can not drive all the way up to the cabin as long as we park off to the side. Hey, that's no problem for a Jeep. Then we can snow shoe up and back when we want. Cool!!

We plan on spending the week before Christmas up at the cabin. We've stockpiled a load of freeze dried foods, as well as other foods that won't be harmed by being frozen, so we don't have to pack much up.

I'm also toying again with the idea of getting some taller (33" in place of 32") and narrower (9.5" in place of 11.5") tires so I can get chains in the wheel wells and clear the rear springs and front suspension arms.   :-\  I'd eel more comfortable driving until the snow got deep.   :-\
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Not much for the up hill climb but a set of skies would be great on the decents.  Snowshoes work better for climbing rather than sliding down. ;D.  Maybe get yourself some skies to go with your shoes.  Wouldn't have to be high dollar.  Something along the lines of the old cross country type that just fasten to your existing boots.  I used a set of those in Extreme Weather Survival training and I think they were from the 1950's, about 7' long but they worked.