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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 9:09 pm 
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Thanks for the pix and updates!

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:18 pm 
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Looks great! Even better than what I had imagined when we chatted about it!
The only suggestion I have is if you need to bring in bulk materials (gravel, top soil, etc) buy in bulk and have them bring it in during the summer. You can always move it around later, and only have to have the guy deliver once.
Did you ever determine if the pond is stocked with fish?

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:32 pm 
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Glad you got a chance to check out the thread. And nice to hear it surpassed your imagination. :clap: It sure has been wowing me. While out there I have to work hard at not being overwhelmed by it all.

At this point the only materials I will likely need to bring in is gravel for the easement road and drive area. The soil is pretty rich and I will likely rent a chipper to get some wood chips when I start felling trees. But good advice on buying bulk and having piles to then use. As I develop the place I might end up doing that. Always can find uses for gravel, sand, etc so having some piles of it could be a good plan.

I haven't seen any fish, however that doesn't mean they aren't there. At this point just getting up to the pond edge is not an easy task, so really scoping out what might be in there is not easy. There are only a few locations to get to the edge, and then you can't see much from these parts. There is definitely some good life in there as evidenced by the turtle in the pic and me having seen ducks hanging out. So it is possible there is fish, but also it might have been stocked at some point but then fished out. I will want to wait on stocking it until after doing some dredging so I don't introduce fish then disturb them with such activity. My plan would be to wait for late summer and when the water is at it's lowest, and then start dredging out and deepening the pond so it can hold more water as well as support a wider variety of fish and life.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:21 am 
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We recently graveled the entry road to our property. In total is there was 6 gravel trucks with approximately 13 yards each. Just to give you an idea of the numbers. Also some lessons learned:

Clearing:
Surveying and flagging takes a long time. It took me 4 months to flag the outside edge of a 1/2 mile loop using a machete to hack through the brush. Also I used different collored flags to identify turns.
After the road was marked, we brought in excavators and a dozer to clear/grade. The cleared space is a 15 ft wide path. The road itself 11 ft wide, leaving 2-4 ft for drainage ditches.

Grading:
Crowning a road is the most important part of grading. Crown the road to allow for drainage, no matter what anyone says. It is important.
Don't use culverts. They are expensive and difficult to maintain. Instead I use rolling dips to allow cross road drainage.


Gravelling:
We graveled the first 300 feet and seeded the rest.
Home depot sells a 50 lbs bag of native seed $140. Plenty to cover the road.
Roughly $300 per truck delivered (Quarry only 5 miles away).
4 trucks loads covered a 11 ft wide x 300 ft long section
2 truck loads for a parking area & part of another road.
The dozer graded the gravel and my neighbor used his tractor to grade the parking area.
It is best to have the gravel trucks drive down the road and spread the gravel as best as they can. Spreading from a pile will be much more effort.

One of these days you should come down and check out our road/property.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 am 
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Black November wrote:
We recently graveled the entry road to our property. In total is there was 6 gravel trucks with approximately 13 yards each. Just to give you an idea of the numbers. Also some lessons learned:

Clearing:
Surveying and flagging takes a long time. It took me 4 months to flag the outside edge of a 1/2 mile loop using a machete to hack through the brush. Also I used different collored flags to identify turns.
After the road was marked, we brought in excavators and a dozer to clear/grade. The cleared space is a 15 ft wide path. The road itself 11 ft wide, leaving 2-4 ft for drainage ditches.

Grading:
Crowning a road is the most important part of grading. Crown the road to allow for drainage, no matter what anyone says. It is important.
Don't use culverts. They are expensive and difficult to maintain. Instead I use rolling dips to allow cross road drainage.


Gravelling:
We graveled the first 300 feet and seeded the rest.
Home depot sells a 50 lbs bag of native seed $140. Plenty to cover the road.
Roughly $300 per truck delivered (Quarry only 5 miles away).
4 trucks loads covered a 11 ft wide x 300 ft long section
2 truck loads for a parking area & part of another road.
The dozer graded the gravel and my neighbor used his tractor to grade the parking area.
It is best to have the gravel trucks drive down the road and spread the gravel as best as they can. Spreading from a pile will be much more effort.

One of these days you should come down and check out our road/property.


Thanks for sharing this. And yes I do want to get down and visit your place, I was bummed I wasn't able to come last time you had a camp out there. I had really looked forward to seeing your place, as well as just hanging out with everyone and doing some camping.

As a heavy equipment operator, I am familiar with how important a road crown is. As well as the practice of trucks tailgating gravel to spread it along the road. A good ditch on the up slope side of the road for water management is also very important. Culverts have their place when you have to have water cross the road, but a culvert is not the only option nor is it always the right option. I went out last weekend to start cutting back the over growth along the easement road to my property. Yes it is a huge and laborious job. And yes, you need to cut back a lot more than just a narrow path for the road itself, something a lot of people don't realize. Thankfully there is an old dozer cut road already in place for my property that isn't too bad, just needing to be cleaned up and cut back to allow some dozer touch ups before gravel is added. I still have a lot to do still before I will be ready to have gravel trucks come in, but have started the process.

Here are a few good videos on the subject of road building for folks not familiar with all it does take.





This Cabela's video has some good tips on the maintenance of rural roads after they have had issues.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:36 pm 
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We used to drag tractor tires on chains behind the trucks to pack the gravel roads back down. After the rainy season at least once a year, or any time the ruts got bad.
Slowly please.
Works pretty good if you don't have access to heavy machinery.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:38 pm 
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So filled out the paperwork and paid for the property, there is one final piece of paperwork the sellers are having trouble finding to finish the deal. But at this point the land is mine, and I am starting to move forward with plans. Like installing a mailbox and getting an official address. Which will let me register my vehicles to that address, change my voting registration, etc...

I will also be looking into renting some equipment soon to work on fixing the road, and clearing a nice pad to park a trailer on the property. Since I want to get living out there as soon as possible so I don't have a 6hr commute form Western WA to go work on the place.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Woooooooooot! When you have a Monday-Wednesday off this summer let me know. I'll come over and help clear/make camp set up!

Congrats once again! Big achievement for you!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:26 am 
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Tagging this for further wonderful homestead adventures.

Congrats.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:36 am 
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URBAN ASSAULT wrote:
Tagging this for further wonderful homestead adventures.

Congrats.

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Thanks, hopefully progress will start to pick up a bit now.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:40 am 
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ineffableone wrote:
So filled out the paperwork and paid for the property, there is one final piece of paperwork the sellers are having trouble finding to finish the deal. But at this point the land is mine, and I am starting to move forward with plans. Like installing a mailbox and getting an official address. Which will let me register my vehicles to that address, change my voting registration, etc...

I will also be looking into renting some equipment soon to work on fixing the road, and clearing a nice pad to park a trailer on the property. Since I want to get living out there as soon as possible so I don't have a 6hr commute form Western WA to go work on the place.


When you go to calculate your stone/gravel for the road or whatever your building I have a cheater formula for calculating the amount you need. Measure your total area in square yards. It takes 120 lbs. of crushed stone per square yard per inch of lift. so as follows;

1000 yd2 X 4" lift X 120= 48000/2000=240 tons

Conversely average grade crushed stone weighs 3000 lbs per cubic yard.

Good luck. If you have any questions about the roads, I've built roads on 4 continents when Uncle Sam was my travel agent. Take pics and get yourself a "lock level". Look on you tube for how to use it. It is a cheap tool that can help the old eye balls make decisions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:34 pm 
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They finally found that last piece of paperwork and filled everything today. Officially the place is mine 100% now. Yay.

And I got my mailbox installed on Mon, so have on official address now. Which 005 folks will be happy to hear allowed me to finally register my CRV in WA, no longer sporting NJ plates on it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:36 pm 
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Awesome. congratulations.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:47 pm 
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ineffableone wrote:
So I got some really good tips and suggestion in PM and got permission to go ahead and repost it here in a quote. Some of the info was already known to me others not, but this is a really good list for anyone starting out to reference.

LowKey wrote:
2. Keep spares of the usual suspects that go out on your vehicle and tractor. Starter. Plugs. Fuel pumps. Belts. Hydraulic lines. Know how to swap those parts out.





If you have a 4x4 truck, make sure you know your 4X4 transfer case shifter control linkage rod and the pins/bushings that keep it in and maybe have replacements on hand. It is fairly common for the pins or bushings to wear out and the linkage rod to fall out especially if you or anybody who drives it is in the habit of forgetting to shift into neutral before shifting into four-wheel drive. We dropped ours in a mud bog and got the truck stuck. We pulled the truck out with the tractor and a recovery strap, but replacing the linkage rod and bushings turned out to be a bigger hassle than we had expected.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:40 pm 
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The truck I have actually advertises you can shift into 4X4 without going into neutral as long as your under 35 mph. As well as being able to move from 4L to 4H or the other way around without going into neutral.

Though while they say you can, I don't really plan on using this and plan on just making a habit of going into neutral first. I guess though it could be a handy function if you loss traction while your moving. But as I said I really don't plan to use this function, seems like it would just set up bad habits.

I do plan to eventually stock up on parts and spares for a lot of things. Though it might take awhile to get there as there is just a lot of stuff I need to get and set up. Building a homestead is a lot of work and I have a lot of stuff to buy to build the infrastructure I will need. Water tanks, solar and wind, water filter, a travel trailer to live out of, materials to build a garage and storage space, etc.... While it would be nice to have spares for stuff for the truck, until I have the place set up for winter, I will have to make do with what I got and hope I don't bust it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:18 pm 
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Been out working on my property over the last week. Mainly just clearing brush, and especially the overgrown access road, though also picked up my snow plow and dropped it off on the property. But thought I would share my camp set up with folks. sorry about the shaky low quality camera phone video, but it is all I got at the moment. Something is better than nothing I guess.




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:47 am 
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Great video.

Was that a stihl kombisystem I saw? (We picked up one for our place. It seems to work well.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:06 am 
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Yep it was the Stihl Kombi. Actually had trouble with it the first day. :vmad: I bought it got it to the property, and it would not turn over. Nothing. Took it back the next day, they worked on it, explained they didn't have another 130R in the store, I suggested I leave it with the over night and come back the next day, and yay they got it to work. Turns out some exhaust valve was stuck closed.

After that, it was working fine. Great tool for clearing land. And cutting back dead tree branches. And they have a ton of other attachments.

Something I found out too, the Kombi will fit and run pretty much any other brand's heads but most other brands take some modification to run other brand heads, especially Echo it seems.

Sadly my brother's Stihl chainsaw was in the shop getting repaired while I was out this time. But I will have it next time to cut the bigger trees down that need to be removed.

Thanks for the kind words about the video. I realized after several days of being out there, I hadn't taken any pictures. So felt I needed to do something to share my adventure with folks.

I am back on the West side now, but plan to go back in a week or two to try and rent a skid steer with a 6' blade on it to do some road repair and land sculpting on the property. Hopefully I can get a bit more video done on the next trip and folks can see some real progress.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:42 pm 
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So I just ordered a big part of my off grid power set up from Missouri Wind and Solar. https://mwands.com/store/index.php?route=common/home

4 Monocrystalline 100 solar panels. $556.00
1600 Watt 5 Blade Missouri Rebel Freedom Wind Turbine $329.98
3000 Watt 12 Volt Pure Sine Power Inverter $699.00
12 Volt DC Crossflow Cooling Fan $19.98
300 Watt Divert Load Resistor $11.98
1500 Watt Diversion Dump Load Resistor Bank $124.98
Hybrid Dual Amp All In One 440 Wind and Solar Charge Controller $319.00

Still need to get batteries and cables as well as a mast for the wind turbine, but want to source those locally as shipping batteries and a turbine pole is just too expensive.

I am also planning on ordering a triple fuel (propane, natural gas, and gasoline) 3000 watt generator soon. Though still making up my mind on Honda http://www.centralmainediesel.com/order/Honda-EU3000iS-Tri-fuel.asp?page=EU3000iS_Tri_Fuel or Yamaha http://www.centralmainediesel.com/order/07684.asp?page=I_07684 . I am leaning toward the Yamaha, but need to do some research on repair services in the area, since if no one works on Yamaha in my area it would heavily influence my decision.

This combo of alt energy and generator should be more than enough power for my needs for a good while. Allowing me the ability to grow into it and not have to rush to increase it as I grow.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:30 pm 
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Wow! Great buy! That should last you a while! And will easily be able to scale with you for sometime!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:58 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
Wow! Great buy! That should last you a while! And will easily be able to scale with you for sometime!


Yep, while there are definitely cheaper smaller systems I could have opted for I really wanted to go with a system I could grow with easily. I would rather invest a little more now and not have to stress about needing to upgrade to new inverter or controller etc in a year or two. With this set up I will be able to move it over to a house when I build it and still have a functioning system, with maybe a few more solar panels added and a bit larger battery bank.

And while the 1600 watt turbine sounds like a lot. 1600 watts is only the max output and for high winds, as in over 55 mph (plus the 1600 watt is actually for 24 volt and I got the 12 volt, 12 volt really gets up to just under 1400 watt, to get 1600 the winds would need to be way to strong to have the turbine running). In a more sedate wind of 30-45 it only generates 600-800 watts. Still a good number, but a lot of folks don't take into account the watt number of a turbine is the max output and not the standard. Often folks undersize their wind turbine and then end up needing two or more to get the power they expected. AQ big part of why I picked the turbine I did though is it kicks out power at very low wind speeds. It will actually start producing power at 6 mph winds. Making it a much more useful turbine than a lot of the smaller 600-800 watt turbines that don't kick in until the wind speed is in the teens and producing well under the 600-800 watt rating.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:10 am 
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For locally sourcing a mast for the turbine... Don't know how viable the idea is but what about fabricating your own along the lines of a ship's mast? You have raw material for the main structure itself readily available, although finding the right trees is tricky. Deciding if you want to do whole trunk or fabricated (sawn staves glued around a hollow center and banded in iron or steel hoops for added strength similar to a barrel) would depend on what diameter you decide you need and what heights you want the mast. Most ships had multi-part masts (ie. Main-mast lower—Main topmast—Main topgallant mast, etc.) to make them more manageable for taller masts (some well over 100'), so height isn't a hugely limiting factor if you have the tolerances figured out as far as diameter, length of sections, etc.
Considering the weight of canvas sails as well as yards and/or booms plus rigging, I'd assume that style of structure could easily handle the turbine.
It more complicated than just sticking a pole in the ground, but there's lots of resources out there for folks building wooden boats and such.

Might be a temporary lower cost (but more labor intensive) solution to get things up and running while you get permanent solutions found and financed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:13 pm 
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That's pretty awesome man, thanks for the pics and videos!


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Thanks Quazi. I will be posting more as I continue to develop the property. Hopefully it can help others who are looking to head down this path to see my successes and failures.

Thanks Shulatt for the suggestion. The wind turbine I bought is designed to be fit to a metal pole and have the power line run down inside the pole. So I am sort of locked into getting a metal pole for this. I am planning to use a mounting system that will allow for easy lowering and raising of the mast for servicing. Using 2 short poles cemented into the ground that the main mast connect to in 2 places, giving it a hinging effect to lower the mast.

Like this
Image

Though there are other options like these I could end up using instead.
Image
Image

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