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Archive for January, 2017

Basic Information About Bio Fuel Bricks

Basic Information About Bio Fuel Bricks

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Bio fuel bricks are not a new idea, and they are a great way to make good use of paper or wood waste in order to get a fire going.  You can buy pre-fabricated bricks from many online vendors, purchase molds that can be used to make your own, or you can devise your own system as well.  Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider one of these options in order to establish a supply of bricks that can free you from the need use wood to build a fire.

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Why are they Useful?

Bio fuel bricks can burn for hours, are very lightweight, and don’t take a lot of resources to make.  As long as you have some newspaper, or other paper products, sawdust, leaves, twigs or other similar types of material, you can combine them all to make bio fuel bricks.  They can also be formed into different shapes, stacked and stored for long periods of time, and they are easy to transport.  You can also cut them into smaller pieces in order to use them in smaller, improvised survival ovens if necessary.

Surprisingly, a lot of people still don’t know how or appreciate the value of bio fuel bricks.  While they can not compare to what you get from a traditional fire, there is a place in your survival stockpile for these items.  They fill in a gap, and provide access to a quick fire without a lot of work.  The trick is to be equipped to make the bricks as compact and effective as possible.

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Basic Process

The first step is to gather the material and make cut it into small pieces, as close to shavings as possible.  This is easy to do when working with old newspaper or paper bags, but you may need to work a little bit on shaving yard debris in order to get the maximum effect.  The next step is to soak the material in a pot of boiling water until it turns into a gooey, pulpy mixture.  Then you pour the mixture into a form and press out the water.  Allow it to dry, and you’re good to go.

Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvisation and tweaking.  The quality of the fire you can expect to have will depend on the material that you use and the proportions of different ingredients.  It’s always good to make at least a third of your material from newspaper because the cellulose in the fibers acts as an adhesive.  On the other hand, the wood shavings or sawdust will promote slower burning.  The best advice is to play around with various combinations until you find the best option for you, and remember that the beauty of this method is that you can use whatever material that you have on hand.

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What to Avoid

There are some things to consider when making the bricks.  First, you don’t want to use shiny, glossy paper.  These are laden which chemicals that can release toxic fumes, and they also don’t burn as well.  You also want to avoid working with dust from wood products that have been treated, including paints, pesticides or varnishes, unless the affected areas have been cut away.  In other words, it’s important to choose your material wisely in order to minimize risk while maximizing the benefits of these types of bricks.

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What to Use for Molds

The other important thing to consider is what molds to use for forming the bricks.  As mentioned before, you have many options to choose from.  The important thing is that the molds that you buy or make yourself have enough holes in them to drain the water from the material as it is being pressed.  You may also want to consider using molds that impress holes into the material as well.  This will help to promote better burning while also speeding up the drying process.

Take a closer look at bio fuel bricks and see how they can compliment your preparedness efforts.  You can make them at your leisure and build up a nice stockpile, and they are useful now as well as during a survival situation.

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How to Make a Simple Chicken Feeder out of PVC Pipe

How to Make a Simple Chicken Feeder out of PVC Pipe

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Using PVC pipe to build a rudimentary chicken feeder can be beneficial for a few reasons.  First, it is more stable than funnel systems.  Second, it is stronger and can do a better job of withstanding wind and rain.  Finally, it can be very useful when it comes to keeping rodents and vermin out of the feeder.  Let’s take a look at how easy it is to create and start using it for your chickens right away.

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Required Items

1 length of 2” diameter PVC pipe

At least two clamps

1 “Y” or 45 degree angle PVC connector that is 2” diameter along with threads

1 cap for the top of the PVC pipe (2” diameter)

3 plugs for the bottom

3 threaded caps for the Y connector

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Putting Everything Together

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The length of the PVC pipe that you need will depend on how many chickens you have, how much they eat and how much space is available.  Remember that this is a vertical feeding system.  Attach the Y connector to the bottom end of the main PVC pipe and seal with epoxy.  Screw in the caps to all three holes on the connector.  Clamp the unit to the side wall of the chicken coop or feeding station, making sure that the holes on the connector are not too high above where the chickens will be standing. 

All you need to do is fill the main pipe with the feed and cap it off.  The feed will flow down through the unit and fill up the side holes of the Y connector.  Remove the caps on the sides when the chickens are feeding and re-attach it once they are done.

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Building a Feeding Station

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You can also build a feeding station for the chickens that is customized for this particular feeder.  Below are some basic guidelines, but you can also modify it to suit your needs if you wish.

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Required Items

2 pieces of plywood that are around 1×2 feet each

4 pieces of 2′ long 2x4s

3 pieces of 1×2 wood for a guard around the edge of the platform

3 steel angle brackets

Screws and glue to secure everything together

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The first step is to attach one of the plywood pieces against the back wall of your coop behind where the feeder will be situated.  Then, connect the brackets to this piece so that you can join the other piece of plywood later.  Put one on either side and the other in the middle of the bottom edge of the wall. 

Next, take two of the 2×4 pieces and place them beneath the back wall and underneath the brackets. Secure them to the brackets.  Next, measure and cut the 1×2 pieces of wood to fit along the front and sides of the other piece of plywood.  Cut an additional 2-3 inches off of one of the side pieces.  This will give you a space to scrape away debris and droppings when you clean the feeder later. 

Screw in the front piece so that it rests on its side along the front of the plywood.  Then, take both of the side pieces and secure them to the front piece as well as through the plywood beneath.  The notch you’ve made earlier should be situated along the back.

Attach the two remaining pieces of 2×4 beneath the front of the plywood piece you’ve just assembled.  Slide the plywood beneath the back wall atop the brackets and legs.  You may need to make the front 2×4 pieces a little shorter to offset any alignment problems you have during this step.  Secure the table and legs to the brackets and you’re good to go.

All you need to do now is to use or build a ladder so the chickens can climb up and enjoy the feeder.  Just make sure that you space the rungs apart properly and ensure that the slope isn’t too steep for the chickens to climb.  Use rounded pieces of wood or thick sticks for the rungs to make it easy for the chickens to grasp with their feet as they climb.

Try this out for yourself and see how this simple system can make feeding your chickens easier, less-messy while producing less waste.  It will also be elevated and secure enough to discourage rodents and other pests from trying to get into the feeder.  Feel free to modify and improve on this basic design, but following these basic principles can give you a finished product may be worth your time and effort.

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