Daub & Stuff is moving!

July 6, 2011
Wordpress to dot com image

We're now @ daubstuff.com

To allow for future progress and expansion, we have moved!

Daub & Stuff is now a dedicated dot com site.

Keep up on our everyday, ordinary, quirky, odd and extraordinary activities @ daubstuff.com

All our old material is available on the new site, and new posts will only be posted to the new site.

Re-bookmark us if you like to come back regularly, or subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

See you on the new site soon…

Brian.

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44 Gallon drum stove and woodpile update

June 10, 2011

The 44 gallon drum stove has been doing sterling service as a pizza oven. At least every second weekend the family feasts on homemade, gluten free pizzas and keeps warm from the winter evening by sitting around the fire.

The process has been systemised and made easier by the inclusion of a thermometer. It started out with it’s probe down through the top, but is now positioned for easy viewing in the side, with the probe supported by a bolt through the top.

Thermometer makes pizza cooking more predictable.

8-10 minutes @ 230 degrees C makes for a perfect pizza, hot melted topping and crispy base! The trick is to build up a good base of coals and keep the fire burning strongly. Some fire bricks for thermal mass would help, I think.

To keep all this activity going we have grown the woodpile capacity too. Now several meters longer and with quite a few large logs waiting for splitting. All the wood is sourced from free supplies left on the roadside for general collection by tree fellers, council workers, fire department and householders. The freshly felled timber is tough work to split and will need to age for a year or two before burning. I figure we have a few years supply now. And the pile is nearing capacity in any case.

Longer woodpile, several years supply?

Ethan helps by chopping any errant wood chips for kindling.

Lumberjack Ethan

Other projects related to the fire and wood collection include a smaller fire drum for general warmth and fun, as well as burning “sticky” garden rubbish. I trialled a “bio-char” burn the other day which I read about on another blog. Filling the drum and lighting it from the top creates a fast and clean burning fire with the ash left for the compost heap.

Small fire drum

Small fire drum

I’ve also flashed up the fire poker stick, a piece of “reo” steel, by fitting a turned pick handle piece to the end and flattening the other end a little. The original wooden handle I made split when forging the flat end by hammering the red hot reo steel.

Turned pick handle for poker stick

Winter is a good time to test out wood fired stoves and pizza recipes, source firewood and make stuff for the fire.

Brian.

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Recycle

April 24, 2011
Grace Miller

Grace

The first post by Grace Miller (12)

Now, as you know or at least I think you know that recycling is a big part of our lives if we start now we will make our world a better place to live in.

You can recycle lots of things like cans, bottles, paper and aluminium, but there are some things that you can’t recycle like glade wrap, plastic, leftover food.

recycled rubbish

rubbish waiting for recycling

We can also recycle clothes, shoes, blankets, toys, books. You may be thinking how on earth do you recycle these things, well it is very easy gather up your clothes, shoes and other things you don’t want and then either take them to charity shop(hand in hand) or hand them down to friends and Family.

Guess what! You can recycle food as well but not just any food if you recycle things that had to be eaten straight away after being bought of open it would go mouldy. But don’t just have to recycle food you can also give food away to people who don’t have food like baked beans, tin corn, baby food, tin fruit and basically anything that is in a tin, it will stay fresh.

compost pile

compost pile

Also if you are into gardening another way to recycle your food is to make a compost bin or pile. Get a few hundred worms, a bucket or make a pile of fruit, vege’s, anything that not cooked foods, dirt and there you go a worm house, just make sure that no pets or animals eat it. Then once the worms have fertilised the food you can put it on your garden to feed your plants.

recycled wheelbarrow

recycled wheelbarrow – growing yummy food!

You can also recycle water. Water can be recycled out of water bottles, dog baths,  cups and out of the washing machine. The water from the washing machine goes through a pipe and down in to your garden, but don’t put the washing machine water on the vegetables or fruit gardens because the soap power is in the water.

When you go shopping do you put your food in plastic bags or cloth shopping bags? Well instead of using plastic bags try to use the cloth bags. If you throw plastic bags into the recycling bin it takes 400 hundred years for a plastic bag to disintegrate so next time you go shopping please try and use a cloth bags it is just going to help the world a little more.

old socks

Ethan's sock re-used (too many times!)

We can also reusethings in your house hold like milk bottles, fruit cups, ice cream boxes, lids and containers.

recycled container

Container recycled for Ethan's toys

The containers can be used to put paint in, sandwiches for lunches, beads, craft things and even plants. We can also recycle and reuse clothes by wearing them more and that will reduce the water supply in your house.

So before you recycle, reduce the things that you buy and throw away like I said before put the food in your garden, make use out of what you do every day.    Then if anything is left after we reduce it, we can reuse it and make things out of it, after all that we can recycle      

By recycling paper, clothes, and food is wonderful for our land, body’s, but we can also just let nature grow and instead of cut down forest that we still need let the plants grow, die, plant themselves again by the seed and eventually we will have a place of wonder and life.

home grown corianda

Live life to the full, make every moment worth the ride.

And if you reduce, reuse and recycle you are helping the world become a better and safer place for us, the environment and living creatures of our world.

Grace.

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Espalier olives update, and some other garden stuff too

April 16, 2011

It’s been a while since my last post, so a quick prune and tie-up of the espalier olives seems like a good opportunity for an update.

The olives have been going great guns over the summer. It wasn’t too hot, and there was plenty of rain, so they haven’t really been tested yet in their north facing exposed wall location.

I did a quick prune of a few wayward shoots, and tied the latest growth back. They are up to the top of the frame already. I think it’s been about a year since they went in.

Espalier olives on north wall

We’ve also been finishing off the harvest of a few more productive crops lately too. The last of the tiny tom tomatoes came off the plants today, as well as a lonely full sized fruit. (different plant!)

Last of the seasons tiny toms, and a rogue big feller too!

I also grabbed what will probably be the last of the figs the other morning whilst out at the chook shed on the regular egg collecting trip. These were really big, juicy and yummy! Made for a beaut morning tea snack.

Mornings harvest, figs and eggs

Figs made a yummy snack, with kiwi fruit and Greek coffee

More soon…

Brian.

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44 Gallon Drum Stove, now a pizza oven!

February 22, 2011

First pizzas from the drum oven this weekend!

The pizza bread is made from home bake, gluten free mix and needed to be toasted lightly on top to allow the toppings to be spread on.

still a bit smokey

I re-sealed the flue with more fire cement where the first attempt had failed due to getting too wet before curing, then oven was lit and the fire let burn for a short time. Once it was steady, but still a little smokey, the first pizza went in. Garlic and cheese thick base.

It came out perfectly! Yum.

Cheese & Garlic, the first pizza

The next two worked well, although I nearly burnt the bottom of the big one. Would a pizza stone or fire brick help to distribute the direct heat from the fire box? Probably.

Ready to eat?

Good fun and tasty pizzas.

family feast!

Then a big log on the fire and sit down to watch the bush telly.

big log makes good viewing

Brian.

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44 Gallon Drum Wood Stove – Oven Sealed!

February 9, 2011

More news on the drum stove, now with working oven!

The fire cement arrived and I just had to test it out and seal up the oven space on the 44 gallon drum stove. I sealed the flue and the floor of the oven. I also fixed a fibreglass rope around the oven door to stop smoke getting in there.

It rained that evening before firing the stove and the sealant went all runny. Seems it is water soluble before curing!

Once it had dried out I added a few extra beads in strategic places and set a fire to do the curing.

burning with little smoke

A bit of smoke was created on initial lighting, but the stove quickly settled down and I had a steady flame going in the fire box and just a small amount of smoke coming out the flue!

first test of the oven – toast! (the burnt edge shows strength of direct heat)

No pizza’s prepared but I did manage to find some flat bread to toast as a test. A couple of minutes on a baking tray and it was done, yummy!

over ambitious fire?

If I got too ambitious and loaded the fire box up with wood it got a bit out of balance and pumped out too much smoke. A bit of practice and I should be able to make some tasty pizza’s.

oops! too much smoke

Next job? Source some pizza trays and make up the gluten free pizza bases for Ethan and Sheryl. A thermometer would be nice too. Ebay for that one I think.

steady flames make good oven cooking

burning nicelyStay tuned, Brian.

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44 Gallon drum stove & Fire wood update

February 3, 2011

Just a quick post to keep up to date with this project.

The 44 gallon drum stove is progressing following testing late last year on a cooler evening. (hard to imagine using the stove at the moment, the temperature has been over 30’c for the past week or more)

The cute little chinamans hat has been fixed with rivets instead of solder to hold it all together.

Stove with more inlet holes and repaired flue hat

I have also drilled many extra holes in the door panels which will aide air flow. I also plan to make the flue entry hole in the firebox a little larger, and open up the top of the flue by removing the small holes and making a single large exit port, under the repaired hat.

A source for high temperature specialized fire sealant has been found (http://pivotonline.com.au) and ordered, so this should allow for the stove to be sealed from the firebox and made into a pizza oven! (sealant tested to 1400’c!)

The firewood pile has also grown in both capacity and actual holdings. It is nearing capacity again, so another extension may be called for?

Woodpile grows

Woodpile nearly full

More later… Brian.

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Camping Boxes

January 31, 2011

These boxes were designed last Easter when we went camping at Wee Jasper, near Canberra. They didn’t get made until this holiday season, just in time for our next trip to Wee Jasper.

camping boxes

My carpentry skills are limited, so I went for simple butt joint screw and glue construction.

construction is simple, like my carpentary skills!

I was pretty pleased with being able to cut all pieces from a single sheet of 12mm and single sheet of 9mm ply. I now have a full sheet of 9mm left over for another project. Or more boxes!

I used the left over varnish from the lounge room floor, to make them look nice and shiny. The fronts of the draws got three coats. Probably overkill?

Handles were a problem. I tried the local hardware to no avail. Eventually I decided to make my own from 12mm ply, heavy fencing wire and reo offcuts, drilled each end to take the wire. The result is effective and nice to look at, but a but of a knuckle buster to use. They need a limiter to stop them folding up completely when lifting and squashing your fingers.

home made handles

In practical use the boxes were a success. They can fit into the back of the Kombi in several configurations, the favourite being with all draws accessible from the rear door. Handy when traveling and in need of something. (I forgot to take a pic of them in place.) At the camp site they keep everything in place and make a handy kitchen bench and draw set. No, I didn’t consider a sink for the top! (again, forgot a pic)

room for lots of stuff!

I may make up another box for food storage? With space for the gas cooker on top. This would put everything in wooden boxes, except personal items, tent and tarp.

Next camping trip? Wee Jasper again I think.

Brian.

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A bumper plum crop, and other edible garden stuff.

January 6, 2011

A wander around the garden found some of the plants fruiting, or sprouting. Not everything here, but a sample…

The plums are interesting. We used to think it was just an ornamental tree as the fruit is normally small and not very tasty, until this year. The really good rains have produced a bumper crop of big, juicy fruit. Yummy!

The grapes looked like they were about to set fruit too, but it seems like they have decided not to. Why? Not pollinated? Not sure. It’s not from a lack of water this year, that’s for sure.

Off to eat some plums now, more edible gardening to come…

Brian.

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How many gates are enough?

December 29, 2010

I counted the gates on our block today. How many would be enough? Well. I guess you need one for each hole in a fence you don’t want chickens or dogs to go through, but you need to go through yourself at some time. The current count is 15.

Some are commercial gates, unaltered since we moved in. Some are commercial gates fitted, or modified to suit our needs. Some are manufactured on site from scrounged materials. Others are “bush gates”, made in existing fences from the fence itself.

Here’s the tour;

How many gates is enough? 15, until we need another one!

Brian.

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