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Working Alone

Post in 'The Gear' started by Eric Johnson, Jul 31, 2007.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Actually, this thread should be in the DIY forum, because it's about doing it yourself.

    I usually find myself doing things alone and over the years, I've come to prefer it. One nice thing is that you're always around when the work needs to be done.

    This afternoon I decided to lay my old Royall boiler down onto a pallet so that we can load it onto my pickup and off to another home when they deliver the new gasifier. I pulled it out of the boiler room last week with a chain attached to the pickup, so that I could paint the boiler room for the new rig. So I figured the truck and chain, plus the jack from the truck, would be all I'd need. That and a pallet. Oh yes, and some blocking. Here's the sequence, more or less, though I omitted some screwing around with the jack and blocking.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    In the last pic, you can see the newly-painted boiler room with the door taken out. Carpniels and I are going to wheel the new EKO 60 into there with a pallet jack. The space between the walls is 34 inches and the boiler is 32, so we've got a whole two inches to spare.

    Oh yes, the Royall weighs about 950 pounds. The EKO tips the scales at 2,050.

    I honestly don't know why the grate and ash pit burned out of this boiler. It was starting to go when I bought the thing used on Ebay about 4 years ago. It's a little undersized for my needs (150K btu) and I fired it hard with very dry wood, but there's something else going on that I don't completely understand. And it's about 35 years old, close as I can figure. Other than making a lot of smoke at inconvenient times, it's been a good boiler and doesn't owe me a dime.

    Anyway, I'm giving it to a friend, who's going to get it welded up and put in a new grate and firebrick. I hope he gets another 35 years out of it, though I suppose the environmentally (and financially) prudent thing would be to sell it for scrap. Probably worth about $50 in today's hot scrap market.

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  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    2050 pounds! Holy chit!

    I know how that working alone stuff goes Eric. Moved the six hundred and fifty pound old insert out of the fireplace and out of the house by myself last year. And then two 455 pound Englander 30-NCs in and one back out. And a few hundred trips up and down to install the two liners. And delivered nine cast iron gas stoves that I sold in-between.

    Much too old for that stuff. Heck I was too old for that stuff at 20.

    The good news is that my knees quit hurting a few months ago. I thought it was going to be permanent. Be careful with that stuff. A few years from now you will remember what caused every ache and pain. You would still do it all over again, but you will know.
  4. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Eric,

    Looks good. Nice contraption to drop the boiler on its side. The boilerroom looks nicely painted too.

    See you in September

    Niels
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Awesome project Eric. Thanks for documenting it.

    The new EKO should really be a treat. I can't believe it comes in at over a ton! That is some heavy iron.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    BB: My old man said his knees hurt for years when he heated with wood stoves. The problems stopped when he got a boiler. He and my mom still cut a load of pine sawlogs a week.

    Carpniels: Nothing like the fun you and I are going to have. Remember, you're the engineer.

    BG: Mostly refractory brick, I believe. It hits over 2,000 degrees down in the gasification chamber, so they need some serious ceramics to keep it contained.
  7. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    I guess I'll respond to the part of the post that I thought it was going to be about and that is the part about working alone. If I had my drothers, I would prefer a mixture of working alone and working with others. When I work in the woods by myself I seem to become more centered, in terms of being with Nature, and I really like it. When I work in the woods with friends, a sort of camaraderie develops that is really cool, and I like it. When I work in the woods with my immediate family, I get a sense of down-to-earth, basic level of human closeness, and I really like it. I guess I should work in the woods as much as I can, eh?

    George
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    My take on that is as follows:

    Working alone in the woods lowers your chances of being seriously injured.

    Being seriously injured while working alone in the woods decreases your chances of survival.

    I generally work alone and I prefer it. However, like you, there are a couple of family members that I really enjoy cutting wood with. And they happen to know what they're doing, so that makes it better.

    These days, I always carry a cell phone (good signal where I work) and I always make sure the truck is pointed out of the woods with the keys in the ignition. Of course, I always wear all the safety gear and make sure someone knows when and where I'm working, and when to expect me home (or a phone call saying I'm on my way home). If you're working in one area for awhile, it's probably not a bad idea to flag out the route from the highway or road back to where you're working. That way, the rescue squad will be able to find you easier in the event of an accident.
  9. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Great pic's , Eric - hope the rest of the job goes as smooth as it looked coming out of there ( I'm sure there were a few stumbling points, though)

    As far as "working alone" - I'd definately have to agree - it's usually my preference, and most times I get a lot more done that way. In many cases - it may not be the best idea from a safety standpoint. Even if you have a cell phone with good signal where you are planning on working - they are useless if you get pinned down by a tree, log (or boiler) and it gets thrown out of your reach. The point being - make sure someone knows where you are working, and maybe set a "call in by" time to make sure everything is OK.

    I'll be the first to admit - that's something I generally do not do, but maybe something we should all consider.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    My wife gets the future Bl and my son to help me finish over the garage to an apt. I look at her and said I don't have time to train anyone now. no matter what they do other than clean up the will slow me down and get in my way. Later on in the project she gets them to help paint the place This time I said nothing but ended up painting all the freshly plastered ceiling I did not inten to and re doo all ther work. I ended up purchasing twice the amount of paint save no time and took twice as long after I had to redo everything plus the ceilings scraping paint of all the windows.

    Not to mention they left all rollers and brush clean up for me. Note when I stripped and replace the 40 sq of roofing many times from the roof I could look over watching the lounge in the pool while I srtipped and shigled. then there was the time My wife informs me to wait for my son to arrive he is going to help If I waited It would have never gotten done he never showed up that day. So the wife is pissed at me for not letting him help me. I can't wait for it to rain and ruin everything beneath

    Eric I hear yeah about doing things alone PS I had permits for all work including the roof for you wise guy types
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