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Author Topic: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon  (Read 8544 times)

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Offline schweizer

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Hello Group,

I've been looking over the Forestry Forum for the past week or so, enjoying reading the threads, and thought I'd try it out.   

This section of the forum is what I relate to best so here's where I'll write a short intro.  My wife, 2 kids, and I live off-grid in a new hand-hewn square-cut log home on 320 acres of timberland in Southern Oregon.   Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to mill and hew the logs ourselves like many of you here are doing.   The house does have some real timberframe joinery though!  We bought the land from some loggers who had just selectively harvested, so it's still zoned commercial timberland.   We basically started from scratch w/ cutting some roads and drilling a well.  Then put up a "powerhouse" cabin, solar panels, battery bank, inverters, etc.    Just finished building the real house about a year ago.   Our backup power is a Lister 6/1 clone single-cylinder low-rpm diesel that I run off of farm diesel and waste motor oil (WMO)!   (While I didn't initially plan to be off-grid, the power co wanted $50k to bring up power 1000+ ft from the last house and charge $200/month service charge just to have power.)   We heat the house w/ a masonry wood stove, which also heats a 500 gal highly insulated storage tank under the house.   That, in turn, preheats the domestic hot water before it gets to an on-demand propane water heater.   Here's the website documenting our journey so far (hasn't been updated in a while, but will be soon):   http://www.docbryner.com/mossy_hollow

Thanks for the interesting forum.   I like to build things and I'm especially interested in ideas for building a barn in the next few months.   If you have questions/comments about alternative power or living off-grid, I like to discuss.

Merry Christmas!
Marcus

Off-grid on 320 acres of timberland, masonry wood stove, thermal mass H2O storage, old D4, Kioti DK45

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temp Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Ben Franklin, 1775
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Offline Magicman

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 04:41:46 pm »
Merry Christmas to you too Marcus, and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  It certainly sounds like you bring a ton of information and experience with you.  I will look forward to learning more about your adventures.   :)
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Offline Buck

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 04:49:33 pm »
Merry Christmas and welcome. Magic forgot to say we like pictures. ;D
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Offline Magicman

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 05:09:12 pm »
Wow, I just finished reading and looking at your website.    smiley_thumbsup
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Offline Norm

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 05:35:54 pm »
Very nice home you have there and welcome to the FF.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 06:55:26 pm »
Marcus, welcome to the FF and thanks for sharing your story.  You would enjoy the posts that another one of our members made about his journey into an off-grid home.

When you get a chance, do a search for Thomas-in-kentucky and read his blog.  I think that you'll enjoy it.

Link

Scott
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 07:31:51 pm »
Marcus :  Welcome to the FF.  I really like your Masonery Stove.  It is super cool.  I haven't looked at all your links yet, but it they are anything like the Stove I will read them all in time...Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline Buck

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 07:37:34 pm »
Web page is awesome!
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Offline doctorb

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 07:39:40 pm »
Welcome!  Impressive stuff!
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline OneWithWood

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2011, 08:13:41 pm »
Welcome, Marcus.

I noticed you are running a Lister 6/1 clone.  I happen to have three Lister single cyl diesels of military origin.  I intend to mount a 5kw head to one of the engines.  The generator is set up for 1800rms.  I have yet to figure out the pulley sizes I will need to run it off the Lister.  What size head are you turning and what did you do to set it up?
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 09:47:09 pm »
welcome to the forum... all i can say is wow :)
the experts think i do things wrong
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Offline Mooseherder

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2011, 10:30:41 pm »
Nice work!  Looks like you've thought out and planned the details.
Very impressive. :)

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Offline schweizer

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2011, 10:30:50 pm »
Thank you for the kind words.   

The whole project is a still a lot of fun, even when I have to walk down to the powerhouse every night to start the generator to make enough electricity to keep the batteries charged up.   Even w/ 3 kw of solar panels we don't make enough every day in winter.   We use about 10-12 kwh/day, which is quite efficient, I think.

doctorb: what is your specialty?   I'm Dr. B, too. (interventional radiologist).

onewithwood:  my gen head is oversized for the 6 hp listeroid -- I went w/ a 7 kw ST head, which is about double what a 6/1 can output continuously, but all the rotating mass can start some big loads then.   The ST heads are simple and relatively cheap.   The pulley ratio is about 3:1.   Listeroid runs about 600 rpm and the gen head at 1800.   The specific size pulley will vary w/ your exact engine.   There are many different Lister clones.   I belong to the www.listerengine.com forum and the www.microcogen.info forum.   You'll find lots of data there.   Also, Tom Osborne from Georgia Generator is a supplier.   He's on the web and also sells on ebay.

banjo picker:  I'm sitting next to the masonry stove right now, waiting for the relatives to arrive for Christmas*.   Wife just pulled the bread out of the built-in bakeoven.   :)

Marcus

edit: fixed microcogen link, and listerengine.com has been down for some reason for the past day
Off-grid on 320 acres of timberland, masonry wood stove, thermal mass H2O storage, old D4, Kioti DK45

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temp Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Ben Franklin, 1775
"The 2nd Amendment is the RESET button of the US Constitution"

Offline GAmillworker

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2011, 10:56:38 pm »
WELCOME TO FF

Just finished looking over your project.  WOW

Very Very Nice.

Thanks for sharing.
Thank the Lord for second chances

Offline mad murdock

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2011, 01:53:08 am »
welcome to the forestry forum schweizer! i hope your Christmas was merry.  Very nice work on the home place!  I am an aspiring off-gridder, though not there yet.  i hope to be within the next 24 months.  I have enough water flow/vertical head to support micro hydro, and will move in that direction and later incorporate solar.  My whole approach is doing it on the cheap.  That is the challenge.  When i get some of my more pressing projects done, I hope to get started on the power generation/storage/distribution. You are near the heart of Oregon's mother lode country!  We do a lot of work in that area (Curry Co, Coos Co, Douglas Co, for  private timber companies.  There is a lot of that yellow stuff down in that part of Oregon!  Need to stick a pan in yer creek and check it out, you might be surprised what you find :) The way you are improving your place you are producing quite a gem as it is!  Thanks for sharing, and posting all your "doings" on your web blog. Very impressive!
'64 Garrett 15A, JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2011, 09:23:58 am »
Welcome to forestry forum!  Interesting and well laid out website.  Maybe the first time (that I know of) to see a masonry stove.  Impressive. 

Wonder why you have the very high fence around the garden, deer?

With such a pretty stream through your property I can't help but ask if it has fish and do you fish for them?  (What kind?)

Glad to have you here!

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Offline clww

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 02:56:54 pm »
I will be making many visits to that site.
Welcome to the Forestry Forum!
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Offline Radar67

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 04:55:51 pm »
I too will be visiting that site often. Welcome to the forum, glad to have you aboard.
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Offline schweizer

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2011, 12:44:05 am »
mad_murdock:  microhydro on the cheap is a challenge.   Future project for me.

fishpharmer: Yep, fence is for the deer.  They're like rats on stilts around here.   Yes, the creek is a steelhead spawning stream.   Technically not allowed to fish it, but who would know when you're fishing on your own land.   The Applegate and Rogue River have great fishing, but their smaller tributaries like our creek are off-limits.   Oh, for the masonry stove, look for Heat Kit (www.heatkit.com) to see what can be done with them.

Off-grid on 320 acres of timberland, masonry wood stove, thermal mass H2O storage, old D4, Kioti DK45

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Offline Holmes

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2011, 10:46:34 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum schweizer.  Your project was extremely well done. It is nice to see someone using a masonry heater, most people do not know how well these heaters work. In the 40 some years I have worked at plumbing and heating I have seen maybe 10 masonry heaters built. They are rare but the are one of the best ways to keep your house warm.   Holmes
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Offline doctorb

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2011, 07:59:30 am »
Schweizer -  I am an Orthopaedic surgeon - subspecialty:  trauma
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Offline dail_h

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2012, 06:09:06 pm »
   Hey Marcus,
     welcome man,,glad to see u over here. I'm on both the other forums (Dail R H ). now all u need is a coupla sawmills  ;D
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Offline Autocar

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2012, 07:29:40 pm »
Great web page I sure like your heating stove,very interesting thaks for scharing your adventure.
Bill

Offline crcoffeeguy

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2012, 04:01:04 pm »
Hey Marcus,
Great project!
I'm from Oregon, but now I live offgrid in Costa Rica. Looks like you have the same power setup I've got, but we use micro hydro.
Anyway, I was at the GEK gasifier workshop in Berkely CA a couple months ago, and we worked on a project that converts a lister engine into a woodgas burner. They started putting it together and had it working by sunday(an on hands prototype the visitors helped put together). It worked!
It would sure be nice to burn wood chips and have clean exhaust than used oil.(Yuck!)
You should check it out. Since you only need the gasifier and no engine or gen set it could work out very well for you.
They are really into this project and want to power listers all over the world with alternative fuels.
The exhaust from this is water CO2 and a few NOx's. It's definitely a cleaner option.
Look forward to seeing your progress.
Roger

Offline WoodenHead

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2012, 10:23:32 pm »
Excellent website and love your property Marcus!

We have been living off-grid for almost 7 years now.  We have a 2.76kW solar array, a 1kW wind turbine, and a small microhydro setup driven by our artesian well for power sources, as well as a Lister-Petter 7kW back-up diesel generator.  We have what I would now consider older Xantrex SW inverters (2 x 4kW), two MX60 charge controllers (one for expansion), and 12 x 4V (1400Ah) Rolls batteries.

We designed and built our house with being off-grid in mind.  Initially we started with 6kWh/day energy consumption.  Since our family grew (we now have 5 kids), our power consumption is now about 12kWh/day.  On top of that I now operate a renewable energy business from home (I sell panels, inverters, batteries and so on) and operate a sawmill+accessories, so our energy needs have been growing.  The 7.5HP planer and 5HP dust collector have posed the greatest challenge yet because of their starting requirements.

I'm impressed with how well-thought out everything looks from your website.  And from the pictures you've posted, I would say that your stream has considerable potential for providing for your energy needs.  You may also want to consider a larger battery bank.  The general rule of thumb is 3-5 days of storage capability without draining the batteries to less than 50% of full.  At 10kWh/day usage this would mean a battery bank between 60kWh and 100kWh. There are batteries that should last 15-20 years if treated well, but you also pay more for them  ;)  If you make use of your stream, especially if it runs all year, then I would say that it is less important to increase your battery bank.

Spectacular property!  I am jealous of your powerhouse, let alone your house.   

Offline maple flats

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2012, 02:25:35 pm »
Very interesting!! We are currently off grid at my sugarhouse (I make maple syrup). We have at this point 3240 watts of solar, with a 6000 watt diesel generator as backup. We however are in the process of grid tying and adding more panels. We will maintain battery backup. We are just getting quotes to double our array wattage. I installed my own so far but to go net metering I'm being required to use a approved/certified solar installer.
I really enjoy seeing and reading about those who use solar, especially off grid, but we decided we could not pass up the net metering and the various incentives available with grid tie. I met yesterday with a planner from our local utility to get power run into the sugarhouse, a distance of 425' from the power lines. Going 250' overhead primary and then 175' underground secondary.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline justallan1

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 08:19:15 pm »
Wow, Awesome site. Any new updates?

Offline Buck

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2013, 08:24:22 pm »
He hasnt been signed on in nearly a year...Hope he come back with updates.
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Offline justallan1

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 03:30:51 pm »
OOPS, lol

Offline jackfork

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2013, 02:24:23 am »
Very impressive. I was wondering if you thought the masonry stove kit was worth the price? I had some interest until I saw the price. Now not so sure.
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Offline red

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Re: New to Forestry Forum and living off-grid on timberland in Orgeon
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2017, 07:08:43 am »
This build included a masonry heater, you have to see it on his web site.
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.