Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back from Fairbanks

Extremely productive shopping excursion.

We ordered our new stove - the Harman Oakwood non-catalytic high-efficiency woodstove with grill (for the stovetop oven box) and two warming shelves. It had to be ordered from Anchorage, but should be here in a couple of weeks. It's rated for 2000 sq ft, which should be enough to keep us toasty in our sub-arctic 800 sq ft with over 3 cu. ft of firebox, and extended burn times of 12+ hours means we might even get some sleep this winter :)  Harman switched their vendors, so we got it through Northern Wholesale; but still picked up our Excel insulated stainless-steel chimney and through-roof kit from The Woodway, and will re-use the telescoping ULTRABlack double-wall flue pipe we got from them for the tent last winter.

We also ordered our windows and doors, shingles, gutters and Thermo-Kool blown cellulose insulation from Lowe's. They're even going to deliver it all for a reasonable flat fee. Even if we don't get things finished up enough to actually blow in the insulation before winter, we can at least stack the bales up along the walls, right?! And we still have all the 3" foam from the tent so we can put that on the ceiling/roof to keep from losing all our heat. It's not optimal, but will be a whole lot warmer than nothing or doing the tent again. Let's just pray that we get framed and sheathed before the heavy snow and deep cold! Everything else can wait if necessary since we bought the mother of all heavy-duty tarps to throw over the roof just in case :)  No shingling when it's so cold they'll crack when you nail them down.

We also got the ABS/Speedo sensor for the rear differential on the truck. Gene's was too busy to fit us in for an appointment with the service center, so we just got the part and will replace it ourselves. But it was a total thrill to drive in, all around the city, and back with the ABS/Brake warning on and a non-functional speedo & odometer! I'm just happy that they actually had the part in stock and it wasn't something that needed to be special ordered.

We also put in our winter pet food order at Alaska Feed and that should be ready to be picked up in a couple of weeks as well. Bulk orders are wickedly awesome, and Steve really helped work with us to get the best price to feed our critters for 6 months :)

Settled everything up with Northland Wood for the replacements order and all the damaged supplies that we ended up keeping instead of returning. Justin totally rocked and spent the time factoring in all the price changes between the purchase and now, so we barely owed them anything in the end :)  One day he'll actually get to make a delivery out here himself, probably when we get the lumber for the barn... he was so bummed that he couldn't bring this last order.

As usual, we stopped in to chat with Daniel at Six Robblees and picked up some heavy duty ratchet straps so maybe I won't get crushed by anymore lumber shifting on the trailer :)  And swung by The Prospector to find me a decent pair of real winter gloves since I sort of melted/torched mine last year fidgeting with the charcoal chimney under the oil pan trying to thaw the truck out.

We also stopped in to talk with Roger as ABS Alaskan to discuss replacing the batteries in our power system since the refurbs we bought last year are slowly ending their useful life (if I have to hear that inverter beep at me one more time I'm shooting it!!).  With any luck he'll put us together a decent set of new or refurbed batteries that will give us 900 amp hours just a little more consistently. May end up replacing the 12v sealed lead acids we have now with some 2V deep cycles. They cost a little more, but you get more power longer and they're more reliable. We'll see what Roger comes up with for us.

So we're back home, unloading our groceries and assorted goodies and then we'll head up to the road and grab some more of our firewood that Mike's delivered.  Ripley mostly minded her manners staying with Ken & Sarah, although she did teach their 3 boys how to escape the fenced yard. Since Diesel, Dozer and Tank are all older than the Ripster, I think they were really happy to have her go home... she just has more energy than they can handle for an extended stay. She's making us feel guilty about abandoning her, and refusing to eat at the moment, but otherwise no worse for the wear. Charlie seems to have forgiven us for the truck ride and the hotel stay, but probably not for bringing the dog home us when we got back LOL!

So, we should have everything we need and all our winter stock in by Halloween which is normally our "drop dead" date for winter conditions around here.  If we get a move on, we may even have a shell of a cabin ready to go... please please please!

7 comments:

Linda said...

That looks like a cool stove and the grill look awesome! You're so lucky to be young and adventurous!

Walkntom said...

So, will this be both your primary heat and cooking unit? Do you ever plan to have an actual wood burning cook stove?

Marybeth said...

Good Luck!!!! Can't wait to see some more pictures especially when you're nice and toasty warm inside the cabin this winter. No tent for you (keeping my fingers crossed).

Quinton said...

What type and size sawable logs do you have? Do you have enough timber to sustain enough firewood production to meet your needs? Sending best wishes for getting the cabin closed in.

Plickety Cat said...

We may eventually get a dedicated wood cookstove for the big house, but the heat stove cooks great with a few mods for baking. Our cabin really isn't big enough to need two stoves and cookstoves aren't really designed to be run full-bore 24/7 to heat a whole cabin through arctic winter. The cookstoves that are designed as heatstoves are kinda ugly and they tend to be huge... our cabin is just too tiny for a Kitchen Queen! But I do lust after the little Heartland Sweetheart cookstove :)

We have a couple of decent stands of 12-18" dbh building timber (spruce) that should work for smal-framing with posts & beams, and getting a few planks and such. Off the property on the state land, there are plenty of the really big guys - 24" dbh and up if we want to get into more than simple milling. As for firewood on our 80 acres, it's all completely forested, I doubt we could ever run out of firewood even if we tried. We'll be clearing out the saplings and little stuff, doing proper woodlot management, as soon as the cabin is built. That should let the remaining trees get bigger faster, but we're not too picky with firewood... saplings and branches burn just fine and you don't have to split them :) We pretty much go with aspen for a cool fire, spruce for a hot fast blaze, and birch for a long hot overnight.

Anonymous said...

http://www.antiquestoves.com/margin%20stoves/flameview/index.htm

That is my dream wood stove. Not only does it cook but you can crank it down for over night heat. It has a water closet and there is a way to hook it to a 40 or 50 gal water heater that is also sold here for hot water. A nice 12volt system would work as a great pump on this... at least that is what Im thinking...


Cant wait to see pictures of your progress. Hopefully you will be getting it done and closed in soon. We got snow down to 2500 feet today... the mountains got slammed...

Washkeeton...

Anonymous said...

May you have ideal conditions for working on your cabin.