My New Property 2/10/09

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133.5 acres of vacant land about 20 miles NW of my house. Quite remote for this part of the state. It has a large, flat, clean header at the bottom and old logging roads going all over the place. Southern exposure, great view once you get up there a bit. A small stream with many small waterfalls. A large stream across the road. State land on one side and one corner. 1000's of acres of State land nearby.

pic1 Looking west at Crane Mt.

pic2 Looking south

pic3 Looking SE towards the Hudson

pic4 Header at the bottom near the road.

pic5 Stream. Across the road

pic6 Topo map

If you have Google Earth this file is really cool

Portable, on demand hot water. All you need is water, propane and 2 batteries.

4/10/09: Log skidding trailer for my ATV. We tore down a trailer at the Barn and I salvaged these parts. It cost me a few spoons of grease, some welding wire and some sweat.

4/18/09: I got to spend my 1st night on the land. I had to use my ATV plow to push and hack away the snow bank by the road. There is still a speed bump of ice but at least I can get in. It sprinkled all afternoon, rained in the evening and there was a hard frost in the morning but Sunday was nice. It's a large parcel, it's got both steep and flat areas. It was logged pretty well 7-10 years ago but whoever did it was pretty responsible. I've got a lot of trail clearing to do.

Big rock It's unusual because it's not in a field of rocks. It just rolled off the hill and stopped here. Might be a good place for a deer stand. Correction, 12/11/12. The rock is probably a Glacial Erratic.

Camp 2, May 23-26 2009. I was able to get things much more comfortable. Running hot and cold water, big tent, lots of food and beer, no frost. The mosquitoes were very bad all Saturday and Sunday morning. It rained a few times and was humid but cool. Monday and Tuesday were beautiful. I didn't use bug spray at all. I did some exploring and trail clearing. There are some great views from up on top. I have a lot of Beech and was able to get about 1.5 cords down to the clearing. I have a lot of work to do to make it a real camp. I met several of the neighbors and they all seem like good people. Bob owns 600 acres behind me and he took me all over it on ATV's. He's got trails going everywhere.

Camp2 May 2009 Pic 1..2..3

6/6/09 Log skidder in action.

3/20/10 It took 2 quads with plows and 4 hours to get a passable trail to the clearing. 1 2 3

4/3/10 1st camp of the year. No bugs yet. 1 2

8/12/10 Pic1

3/29/2011 We had a lot of snow this year so I hired a machine to clear out the access road. I hope we don't get anymore. pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4 I hope to get started on some kind of a more permanent structure this summer.

9/2/2011 I'm about to start building. I should have everything I need. Irene washed out both ways in but it "should" be repaired in time. The town has more important roads to fix before they get to me. I spent a lot of time setting things up to happen now and it would be very disappointing to postpone it. I have to get things weather proof during this vacation to keep the interior dry. I can then finish it off as time permits.

Foundation pic2 The beams are a bunch of treated 2x6s sandwiched together. Seams are staggered so no 2 are together. When finished the only way they'll be exposed to moisture is through the gravel from below. The 2x2s are just there to hold the plywood. Once the plywood is in place I'll build the 2x6 floor, add insulation and then more plywood. The 2x6s will be on 16" centers and only span about 6.5' so there should be no sag or bounce. I'm using rough cut lumber throughout so a 2x6 is really 2 1/8" x 6 1/4" The walls will be 2x4 on 24" centers and the roof will be 2x8 on 24" centers.

Profile The porch roof was my friend Johns idea. I like it. It should be steep enough for the snow to slide off easily and even if it doesn't it will be plenty strong with the plywood bracing.

9/6/11 Lumber I should be a little heavy on all the wood. Running back home or to the mill in the middle of construction would be a PITA. I made 5 trips in my old van with the trailer to get it here. Plywood not shown. Because of the washed out road I had to take the back way in. That added 13 miles to a 17 mile trip.

I built a small, 12 vdc generator to run the tools. 2.5 hp air cooled diesel and a 160 amp truck alternator. There are two batteries to store power and a 2500 watt inverter to give me 120 vac. It worked very well and could run a small air compressor and skill saw at the same time. Anything more and it would trip the breaker on the inverter. Eventually it will recharge some deep cycle batteries for regular low amperage camp needs. Pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4 pic5 pic6 It has a special voltage regulator that gives me a true, fully adjustable, 3 stage charge and the ability to limit the alternators output so as not to overload the engine.

9/8/11 I've spent the better part of 3 days getting all the lumber, tools, generators, etc. up here to build and I'm ready to start. The weather is supposed to be good for the next 3-5 days. John and I got about three hours in today and the floor is done. All 2x6 with 3-5" of cellulose insulation. I thought I brought enough. I had more at home but wasn't going to waste 1.5 hrs. to go get it. Pic0 Pic1 pic2 pic3

9/9/11 My friends Russ, Jay and Steve got here around 10 in the morning. John and I had were starting on the first wall. He's a very thorough, professional carpenter and was able to show us a lot of tricks of the trade. pic2 pic3 pic4 pic5

9/10/11 John couldn't get there till afternoon so Russ and I finished the rafters for the porch roof extension. We didn't use a template so the rafters were pretty far off. John fixed it. Pic1 pic2 pic3 Pic4 pic3 shows Russ, John, me, Steve, Jake the dog, and Jay, left to right. Russ deserves a special note for his work on the main roof. I didn't like the height and the sun was reflecting off the roof right up at me. He got the job finished and did great work. Jay and Steve did a fine job on the board and batten siding as well.

9/11/11 We got the porch roof on as well as the siding on three sides and wrapped up about noon. Pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4

9/12/11 John and I got most of the front finished off and put the window in. Pic1

9/13/11 John and I got the front finished and put the door in. We put some splash protection on around the base and it's protected from the rain. It's pretty amazing how much got done in less than 6 days with about a 3.5 man average on site. In October I have some more time off. I'll put the braces on the porch roof and it will be ready for an Adirondack winter. The porch and interior finishing can wait till I get the time. Pic1

9/25/11 I couldn't wait for vacation. I got the porch roof all braced up and ready for winter. Pic1 pic2

10/2/11 I put the sides on the porch roof, put in the loft 2x4's and started on the insulation. Pic1

10/21/11 I've been up there most days for the past week. I got the ceiling 1x8's up and it's insulated. The walls are insulated and the footings for the porch are poured. I'm going to start on the wall 1x8 siding but I'll have to put in a side window first. I only have one window so I'll have to cut out the other one after I find a window. On Thursday I watched my tent turn into a kite. A gust of wind came up and it turned over. Pulled the stakes right out of the ground and ripped it up pretty well. It was raining and all my shit was in there, I had to scramble. The frame is good and I have a tarp I can put over it but I had to put most of my stuff in the shed so it's a pain to work in there.

10/26/11 I put in the window, the stove thimble and got the siding up on 2 walls. I'm going to need more 1x8 and it's going to have to dry for a while so the other 2 walls will have to wait till next year. I'm using a lot more 1x8 than I thought I would but that's partly because I used 40% more than originally planned for on the outside. (all 1x8 instead of 1x4 and 1x8) I have a 8000-15000 BTU heater on a 25 lb. propane tank and the building heats up quickly on the low setting. It wasn't that cold out but it shows it will be very easy to heat. Pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4 pic5 pic6

11/6/11 The deck is done. Pic I also spent a night up there. The only heat was a 10,000 BTU kerosene unit. It got down to about 18°F and the cabin was 70°F in the morning. I had a window opened about an inch on top and bottom. It's so tight I need to be careful about smoke, CO and low oxygen levels. I do have a smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

11/27/11 I closed things up. I have a few weeks off due to hernia surgery and it's about time anyway. The real winter is about to arrive and I won't be able to get up there anyway. pic

12/12/11 There hasn't been any real snow yet and I was able to get a few more things done towards the end of my leave (with help) All the inside walls are done, I just need to put up some more 1x8 in the loft, put in the floor boards and trim it up. I painted the wood stove and piping and burned it in. I also put in a couple days of unproductive deer hunting as well.

4/17/12 The boards for the loft are all up. I'm trimming the windows and corners and then it will be time for the floor. Last winter a friend of mine told me he had a bunch of left over Maple from when he did his floors. So for $600.00 I'm getting a lot more flooring than I need plus a few gallons of water based poly to finish it with. The Maple is all from a local mill, 4 3/4" wide by 3/4" thick and up to 16' in length. It will all need to be sanded before it gets finished but I have a belt sander for that. It won't really match the rough cut 1x8 walls but it sure will be strong. I'll probably use it for the countertop as well.

4/29/12 All the trim is done. Now it's time for the floors. Since the sub floor is OSB and there will be large and sometimes rapid temperature swings I'm going to use 3" deck screws and screw it down from the top. I'll be able to get deep into floor joists that way. The screws will be counter sunk and hidden with a mixture of saw dust and glue. I better get some new knee pads.

5/29/12 John and I got a bit more than 1/3 of the floor done yesterday. It went rather slowly with all the drilling and screwing. It was also hot out. I work a lot slower in the heat. On the plus side it sure will look nice. I did get new knee pads. I also straightened a few outside wall boards that shrunk and put some "Great Stuff" in the cracks to keep out bees and critters.

6/24/12 The rest of the floor is down but there's still a lot of work to do. Sanding, filling in the counter sunk screw holes, filling any cracks and finishing. I also bought some wood floor filler. It was pretty inexpensive and will work better than the glue and sawdust.

9/8/12 The main part of summer was busy and I had to make 5-6 trips to NJ to see Mom. She's been in a nursing home. Now in Florida with my sister. The first 80 grit sanding of the floor is done. The rest will be easier but it's still going to be a lot of work.

9/28/12 I bought a trail camera and set it up at the end of the field. Bear1 Bear2

11/20/12 Not to much time spent at camp or hunting this fall. Still busy with other things. I've done some work on the floor, the counter sunk holes have their first coat of filler and I may get the last coat down this week. As long as the snow doesn't get to deep I'll keep plugging away at it.

12/2/12 Second coat of filler has been put on the floor and it's all belt sanded down to 120 grit. I'll probably do a quick final sanding with 180 grit using a small orbital sander.

12/2/12 Got a pic of a nice 8 pointer on the game camera. Deer

6/16/13 Been up to camp a number of times but didn't do anything worth posting about till today. Got the final sanding done on the floor and lay'd down 2 coats of water based poly finish. Looks good and I'll put 2 more coats down tomorrow. Pic1

6/18/13 4 coats. Turned out real nice. Pic1

7/4/13 I Put the wood stove in. It's a military surplus tent stove. I've got it set up for wood/coal but there's an insert that lets it burn gasoline, kerosene, motor oil or pretty much any liquid fossil fuel. The cement board is spaced 7/16" off the wall and covered with old roof slate. It will put off enough heat to drive you out in the dead of winter. Stove1 Stove2

8/21/13 I built a table and a counter out of the same maple I did the floor in. They turned out nice. Table Table2, Counter, Stove, Counter Finished

9/15/13 I added a couple 55 gallon drums to capture rain water. Water

10/15/13 A pic of my new truck at camp. Tacoma

11/10/13 I bought a 100 lb. propane tank and a propane heater. The heater is a pretty good one from Empire. It has a thermostat that modulates the flame from 8500-20,000 btu's and shuts it off when satisfied. If it's cold in there I'll warm it up with the wood stove and then turn on the gas. At around 22°F it runs 20% or less of the time at 8500 btu's with a window cracked an inch. That's at night when the door isn't being used. Pic1

11/15/13 I wired the place for lights before I put the walls up. There are 5 lights on the inside and 2 on the porch. With 13 watt cfl’s I only need 2 on the inside to light things up quite well. I have 2 deep cycle batteries and a small inverter to give me 120 VAC. The batteries should last a long time even if I plug in a small stereo. A solar panel and charge controller will be installed sometime in the future.

12/15/13 We got our first real snowstorm of the year last week and for the first time ever I got to plow from the inside of a truck rather than on an ATV. Heat, how nice. I went slow at first but it's pretty easy.This means I'll be able to keep camp open longer than usual.

12/25/13 The battery powered lights will work fine in the warmer months but not so much in the winter. Cold batteries and a lack of sunshine will kill a battery so I bought a couple of gas, wall mounted lamps. Mr. Heater makes them. They say they put out the equivalent of a 70 watt Edison bulb and two of them on the inside are all I'll need. I piped in an extra fitting for a porch light but I don't have the lamp yet. I also piped in fittings for an outdoor grill and an indoor, two burner stove. I built a little gas manifold to mount outside to plug the piping into. The gas lines are running on the outside but it's to late to put them the walls. I didn't want them inside. I could have finished but I forgot the damn teflon tape. More pics when it's all up and running. It was in the teens when I got there last night and went to about 0°f by morning. I got the place warm with the wood stove. After that the gas heater kept it warm easily.

12/29/13 I got the lights plumbed in today and tested them but somethings wrong. Only the bottom 1/3 of the mantle glows white. The rest isn't lit up at all. I looked things over carefully and came to the conclusion the orifice is to small, they're not getting enough gas. I have a micro drill bit set on the way and I'll be able to measure the orifice with them and drill it out if needed. I downloaded an Orifice Drill Table so I'll know the orifice btu output and what drill size to use if I want to make it larger.

1/4/14 Another storm. This is the 2nd 12" storm we've had. Plow

1/12/14 I spent last night at camp. It rained a lot and the short way out was blocked by an ice jam. The water wasn't very deep but all the sand got washed off the ice and it would have been very slippery. If a tire went in even a small hole the other tires would have no traction to get me out. I didn't even have a come along and the thought of getting stuck and watching the water rise even more meant I turned around and made a 15 mile detour.

1/26/14 I spent last night at camp. Warmed it up with the wood stove and shut it off at bed time. It got down to about -5°f. The gas heater ran about 50% of the time at 8500 BTUs set at 60°f. Nothing wrong with that. I also spent some time experimenting with larger, gas lamp orifices. Nothing worked. I don't know why they didn't work in the first place. The next day I bought some standard orifices's and will try them soon. If that doesn't work I just don't know.

1/29/14 The new orifice's sorta work but the lamps don't seem to put out more than 35-45 watts each. There's enough light to do what I need or even read a book but it's not the 70 watts they say. At least they're quiet and easy to use. I did notice if you turn the lights upside down a screen in the nozzle can fall out and get stuck in the venturi. I wonder if this was the cause of my initial problems. I now have a local source for orifice's and their only $2.50 so maybe I'll try drilling one the next size up and see what happens. Gas lamp.

2/14/14 I spent last night up there for the storm. Before I left the local TV station raised the total snow fall to 14-18" At 3AM it was close to blizzard conditions. We wound up with about a foot. Pic. I put the preformed mantles in the gas lamps and they performed well. Still not 70 watts but perfectly acceptable.

3/9/14 I replaced the 13 watt, 120 volt CFL's with 4 watt, 12 Volt LED lights. They were only $3.29 each shipped. Now I don't need an inverter. They put out about 50% less light but they're much more efficient and have no warm up delay. 2 of them light things up enough to see and all 5 give plenty of light. I can also plug in a 12 volt stereo. I've been looking at a 200 watt solar package and already own 8 Trojan T105, 6 volt batteries. 2 should probably satisfy my camp needs but I'll probably use 4 anyway.

3/23/14 I spent last night at camp. I got there aroung 2:00 pm. I brought up 1, 12volt, Walmart trolling battery. (semi deep cycle) I had the stereo running from 2:00-9:00 pm and 3 lights on from about 7:00 pm on. The drain on the battery was negligible. It read 12.2 volts in the morning but using 50°f of temperature compensation it was still 100% SOC (state of charge)

3/30/14 In the cold weather there is a very large temperature difference from ceiling to floor. If I have to open a window to cool things off it's even worse. I bought this cheap 12 volt ceiling fan to help. It uses 6 watts which is very good. It worked well for a while but stopped when the voltage got down to 12.2VDC. I don't know for sure if it was the voltage or something else but I'll find out with some more use. I also bought splitters for the LED's so I could double the output when needed.

8/18/14 Update: That fan is crap, it stops running after 15 minutes or less. I gotta get something else though because the air movement really helps distribute the heat in the cold weather.

8/24/14 Update: I bought one of these. pic 12 volts, 10" diameter and uses 5 watts. I've read a couple good things about it. Should be here in a couple days.

5/15/14 The snow is finally gone and the bugs are only just coming out. Time for a few summer projects. 1st on the list is doing the stovepipe over. I'm going to make it shorter for a better draft and use double wall pipe, which will also help with the draft. I dismantled the interior wall last weekend and measured for the new pipe. After this it's an outhouse, some solar panels and if I'm really ambitious a well.

6/17/14 The stove pipe is all done with double wall. It turned out well and should draft much better. It's braced well on the outside and has plenty of insulation where it goes through the wall. I aso put a door and screen on the old stovepipe exit and am using it as a vent. pic1 pic2 Thimble

7/12/14 A friend gave me the tanned skin from the bear he shot last year. It makes a very nice wall rug. Pic

7/26/14 Field and wild flowers

9/28/14 Fall Color

10/26/14 My wood stove heats the camp to well. It's fine for getting it warm when it's cold in there but after that it just puts out to much heat without constant tending. If I try to use it at night gets to hot and then goes out before I get up and it gets to cold. I decided to try something a little different. I bought a few bags of nut coal at TSC. I blocked off most of the internal grates in the stove till there was a 6" opening in the middle. I put a 10" piece of 6" stove pipe over it, filled it and lit the coal. It wasn't very cold out but the camp stayed at an even 72°f all afternoon. I filled it up before going to bed and it burned all night keeping a steady 72°f. That's a very good start but I'm thinking I'll need more heat when it's real cold out. I cut a 9" piece of 8" stove pipe and will try it this weekend. pic1 pic2

12/6/14 I kind of thought that stovepipe might not last and it didn't. It burnt right through in a couple places near the bottom where the coal was hottest. I had some large fire brick laying around so I tried them setting their side in a square pattern. I'm using hose clamps to keep them in shape. A quick test looked good but it will be a week or so till I get the barometric damper and give it a real test.

12/21/14 I got the barometric damper installed yesterday and lit a wood fire. After the place warmed up I put some coal in. I set the damper so it was opened about 1.5" with a good fire going. I filled it up before going to bed and had to shake it down and refill about 0200. The place stayed an even 73°f all night and it got down to about 15°f. I'll need to learn how to set the controls for a slower burn. I used about 2 gallons of coal total in 15 hours. I'm very happy with the results. pic1 pic2

2/18/15 I put a manometer in a few weeks ago to see what my draft really was. This chimney doesn't draft to well on coal but I can keep it at -.02-3 PSI pretty easily. I can keep a fire all night and only fill it once in the middle. Once the place is warmed up I still need to keep a window open 3" or so top and bottom but that's fine. I also put in a 2nd carbon monoxide detector which reads out PPM in real time. I've seen it go to 50 PPM but only for short periods while filling but it stays at 0 PPM once the fire settles in.

4/9/15 Spring, where are you? I had to plow an inch of slush at home this morning.

5/9/15 The snow is gone, the frost came out of the ground slowly so there was no mud season to speak of. We're still getting some 30's and 40's at night but thats fine.

7/20/15 I've started on the long overdue Outhouse. The outside footprint will be 4'x4' and it will be set on skids to drag it around when needed. I found some privacy plastic in the barn and will make windows out of that. I built it at home in sections and brought it up there lase weekend.

8/12/15 The outhouse is built. Now I just have to figure out where to put it and dig the hole. pic1 pic2 pic3

9/6/15 Outhouse complete pic1

9/7/15 I saw the other day the old logging bridge I use to access 80% of my land no longer looks safe for ATV use. I decided to build a temporaty one till the weather cools off and I can build something more permanent. pic1 pic2 I had to scab some boards together as I'm getting short on lumber but I'm sure it's strong enough for an ATV

9/13/15 The new bridge is in place. It will easily carry a loaded 500cc ATV and is quite stable. If I pull it out in the winter it should last many years. I also pulled lots of snags out from under the old bridge so the water will go under it during high water events. pic1 pic2

11/24/15 I built some new steps for a little more convience when I come around the side of the building. I should be able use them in the winter as there's always a large pile of heavy and frozen snow in front that slides off the roof. pic

3/22/16 I went to here on one of the coldest nights of the year last month and couldn't get the place warm enough after 2.5 hours of trying so I decided to to seal off all the leaks in the stove and make the firepot about 40% larger. Hopefully this helps to put out more heat and to throttle it down when it gets warm enough. I want from 4 bricks in a square to a hexagon pattern. Pic

4/10/16 I decided to build a woodshed/storage building. It's 4'x8' and about 200 cubic ft. It's all framed and if the weather is good I'll finish next weekend. pic

5/6/16 Once the woodshed was done I saw a good place to store some tools and materials that were lying around. I then decided to build a 6’ extension to it to keep this stuff. I probably should have seen it before but I didn’t. I might start this weekend.

5/21/16 I got started. I have to get some weight in there soon. Pic

6/4/16 It's finished. Pic

9/15/16 I put up a camera and a salt block back in the woods. Bears were the only thing that came in. Where's the deer? pic1 pic2 He's pretty big, there were a couple smaller ones too.

10/26/15 I had 2 barrels on the ground collecting rain water from the gutter out back. I got rid of them and am now using 1, food grade barrel that's on a platform about 4' off the ground. Not that I'll use it for drinking water but I don't know what was originally in the others.

11/28/16 The improved stove configuration works well and I can run it very low but I need to wait for the real cold weather to see how much extra heat it puts out.


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