Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turning 29

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I turned 29 yesterday – for the first time!

Honestly, I don’t mind it. Age is just a number. I even expect not to be shaken by my 30th birthday in a year. In my universe, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. are considered more “major” numbers anyway 😉

As mentioned in a previous post, some of my geographically closest relatives visited my on Sunday, November 17, for an informal dinner and afternoon tea/coffee/cake. My purpose with the event was also to show them my house and neighbourhood. With a cloudless sky and bright sunshine the weather was at its best in quite a while. A very nice day indeed.

Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I was at work most of the day. Thanks to my co-worker Karina, my monitor had birthday flags taped to it, which meant I got a lot of greetings. Mid-afternoon I fetched some cakes from a nearby bakery.

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In the evening I helped my brother move “officially”, i.e. registering it electronically with the authorities, and I went for a short run. Some might say I have some experience regarding moving 😉 Regarding running, I have planned a schedule for the next two-three months, which will take me slowly from four to ten km.

Hmm, what else is current…? Ohh, yes, I think my car is starting to demand some kind of love. I have driven approx 20,000 km since its last service. One of the major front bulbs died, so I’ve changed the pair. The job almost made me crazy. It doesn’t end there, as I also have to change a pair of smaller bulbs, and I’ve decided to change oil, oil filter and air filter. At the same time I will make the switch to winter tyres. I might have a small hole in my exhaust system, but I’m not going to do anything about that for the time being.

I’m currently planning to add 15 or 20 cm of insulation to my attic, and I’m pondering whether or not to install some air ducts in the process. The purpose is to circulate the warm air from my stove to the rooms in the other end of the house. If I decide to install them, it should be part of the insulation job, as the ducts will be surrounded by the insulation material.

Changing my circulation pump is temporarily on hold, as I’m quite busy with other stuff and because I actually use very little electricity, all in all. I have just had my expected yearly amount lowered to 2,000 kWh, and I honestly don’t expect to reach even 1,500 kWh. The sensible thing is of course still to change the pump. Which reminds me that I need to add water to the central heating, as the pressure is quite low… Air in the pipes probably isn’t the best medium for transporting heat.

Good night!

Making things happen

I’m sitting here on my soft couch, with my legs horizontol, on a Sunday evening, staring into the lively flames in my awesome stove. I’m pretty tired from an eventful weekend, where I spent all of Saturday and the morning of Sunday preparing for a visit from a large part of my family on Sunday afternoon. Some of the evenings of the previous days were also utilized. The occasion was my birthday (in nine days) and my purchase of real estate. It was the geographically closest part of the family, or sort of.

I’ve built an extra table, fixed my lawn mower, splitted logs, washed clothes, done a lot of shopping, borrowed tableware, mowed my lawn, cleaned my windows, vacuumed, dusted, set the tables with tableware etc., put together two large cream/fruit cakes, and probably other stuff that I don’t remember. Just fixing the lawn mower involved sharpening its knife and changing its air filter, spark plug, oil and gasoline. Using a sandpaper roundel on my angle grinder, the knife went from utterly dull to very deadly.

I’m starting to get the hang of using my stove. I light it by removing most ash residue in the burning area, opening all secondary air intakes and then placing two thin logs at the bottom, some kindling on top of them and two or three firelighters between the kindling. The door is kept slightly ajar, while this pile burns down and gets the stove warmed up. I let the pile turn almost into embers before proceeding. Then I add two logs, still relatively thin ones, close the door and open the primary air intake at the bottom (the “choke valve” if you compare the stove to a combustion engine). While these two logs burn down, the primary air intake is open. Since my stove has Aduro-tronic, I have to force this using the Aduro key. Now, after probably 30 to 60 minutes, the stove is ready to burn bigger logs and without forced primary air. I wait until there is almost only embers left before adding new logs. The trick, or challenge, is to wait as long as possible without letting the stove lose some of its heat. When adding new logs I use Aduro-tronic to open the primary air intake for approx six minutes. I might have to extend this period at some point by turning a screw somewhere inside the stove.

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A family member gave me an idea today, which I’m considering. When I’m adding insulation to the attic at some point in the early spring, it would be a great idea to install some piping and a blower to move hot air from the living room to the other end of the house. The piping would be in attic and be isolated. The only visible installations would be two or three air ducts. The blower would be controlled by a thermostat. It turns out my brother has some experience installing this kind of things.

Over and out. Party hard. Don’t use “fate” as an excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen. \m/

Cheap, custom-size table

Okay, you’ve invited some friends or family members for an event, but you realize that you need a bigger table in your living room for them to have a place to sit and eat. Also, you want to avoid using the table in your kitchen, as it will be a self-service table with food and drinks. No way around it – you need to buy, borrow or build a table that can extend the table in the living room. Preferably, the extra table will have the same or almost the same width and height as the table it’s extending.

Since I’ll probably need the extra table a few times each year, I discarded the borrow option. Additionally, I can use the table for other purposes when it’s not being used for an event. That leaves buying or building. All the cheap tables and table tops for sale that I can find in nearby warehouses are too narrow. Okay… To the table building machine!

Using wooden shelves and metal legs from Ikea, planed lathing boards from Bauhaus and assorted screws I had laying around, I’ve built the following 138 x 84 cm table for approx 260 DKK. It does the trick when covered by a tablecloth.

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Connecting my stove, part 3 of 4

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After a few naive attempts with messy newsprint and a too large piece of wood, I have managed to start the first real fire in my stove. The suction from the chimney seems to work, and the oil burner’s blower doesn’t seem to disturb the fire. If anything, the blower generates more suction for the fire as well. I ignite the fire using only firelighters and kindling. In this particular case I’ve ignited top-down, which worked well.

Here’s ten seconds of video 🙂

Realistically, the final part of the saga – the house warming – will not happen in 2013.

Oh, and what else is new? Let me tell you… I attended the awesome Aalborg Metal Festival on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday and Monday (yesterday) I visited my parents for Mortensaften, where we had delicious duck, caramelised potatoes, prunes, Risalamande, etc.

Excuse me – I have to add a new piece of wood to the fire 🙂

Connecting my stove, part 2 of 4

Hmm, four parts, not three? One of my coworkers pointed out that the series needed a part 4, where the stove is inaugurated with a housewarming… 🙂

Today I’ve adapted the smoke pipes using a grinder and finalized the setup. I ended up only having to cut 52 mm off one of the pipes, as the pipe going into the sleeve in the wall could just be pushed further in. The connection of the pipes to the stove and the sleeve is sealed with fiberglass cord. It was quite difficult to force the itchy cord in between the piping, but I succeeded after many attempts.

I’m convinced that the setup is tight, but to be safe I’ve ordered a carbon monoxide alarm. It seems that the oil burner blows gasses into the chimney at a rather high rate, which might disturb the stove. Time will tell if this becomes a problem.

Hopefully, the chimney cleaner approves the setup on Thursday. (Update: He did! Yay!)

Enjoy the pictures 🙂

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If you consider jumping into a project like this, you’ll need some tools 😉

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Connecting my stove, part 1 of 3

Today I’ve begun connecting my stove in the corner of my living room. The first and most difficult step is to create a Ø160 mm hole in my wall and chimney and fasten a metal sleeve in the hole using fireplace mortar. With blood, sweat, swearing, sparks, advice from my dad and a heavy hammer from a friend I completed that step today. It’s one of those jobs I don’t want to do for a living and will only ever do for my own benefit. At least that’s how I feel at the moment.

I imagine part 2 being about the smoke pipes and part 3 being about lighting the stove for the first time.

Since I’m all out of energy, you’ll have to settle with the following twelve pictures. Click to enlarge.

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