Sunday, October 18, 2015

(Oct 18) Furniture Additions

I must admit, the weather's been really nice the last couple of weeks and it's been hard to get motivated to do lots of physical work outside. So, we've been puttering around the house and getting some little stuff taken care of. I re-plumbed the pumps for the sink and the shower. We also hauled off a lot of the construction trash just to clean up a bit.

Last week, we spent Saturday at IKEA and got some small furniture needs taken care of. We got a TV stand ($59) as we had brought a TV out a couple of weeks ago. We also found some little ottomans (14" cubed at $14 ea) that were hollow with padded lids that can be used for storage. They'll have multiple uses as foot rests while we're kicking back, storage for little stuff in the living area and they'll provide seating for guests as they are padded on top. They also fit nicely under the TV stand when not in use. Another piece we got was a medicine cabinet for the bathroom. We mounted it to the side wall to cover the breaker box and set the hinges so that the mirror opens out into the room when you need it or need to access the breakers. We may end up repositioning it directly behind the toilet but we'll have to see.

We found a nice wooden bench that will be the storage for our composting toilet aggregate, currently peat moss. Both it and the medicine cabinet are made out of cedar and match the walls in the bathroom. I would love to find a larger matching piece to house the actual toilet bucket but it looks like we will end up making that one ourselves. The one we got for the peat moss is just not quite large enough to have a bucket and a diverter which we've decided is a must. Our last purchase was a small bench to use as a chair at our computer desk. We agreed that the full sized chair that we tried at the desk was just too deep and congested the flow into the kitchen area. We needed something that was sturdy and wide but shallow (I'm not getting any skinnier as I get older!) and would tuck up under the desk farther. The bench we got was actually very comfortable and will get even more so with the custom cushion Kim plans to sew for it. (She's sew talented! lol) Here are some pics of our additions. :)

Medicine cabinet mounted over breaker box in bathroom. 

Bench for computer area. Also found a nice trash can to match our metal mesh drawers. 


Sofa table that we will use as a TV Stand


55" Plasma TV on the stand. 


3 ottomans to be used as seating for guests


Pull them out as you need.


They leave lots of floor space when tucked away and look great with the other pieces in the room. :)

Just a note about the TV. DO NOT GET A PLASMA TV if you have any concerns about power consumption in your Tiny House! This was an extra that we had at our house in Arlington. It rarely got used so we thought that we would bring it out here and enjoy it. I figured I could run our small generator (1,400 watts) at night for just the TV and fridge (150 watts). NOT! When the TV kicks in, it drags the generator down so far that the voltage drops below the TV's tolerance and the TV shuts off. We only measured it at 600 watts but it all hits at once when you have a white screen or something bright on your show. In comparison, our 65" LED only draws about 125 watts. Running the larger generator is not a problem, it just eats more fuel. At 3,500 watts, it's plenty of horse power to run the house with the TV, fridge and microwave or vacuum (not both at the same time). Needless to say, at some point we'll be swapping the TVs and bringing the LED out here. For now, we'll just have to deal with the extra power draw. The other concern (not so much in the winter) is that the Plasma TV puts off a lot of heat. That's where most of the 600 watts goes. Just don't want to be running this during the summer. It's like having a space heater on low any time it's on.

I decided to redesign the little brick rocket stove we had built last month. It wasn't getting enough air flow to get the heat it needed to become self-feeding. I played with some layouts and this is what I came up without having to buy more bricks. It works very well and within minutes we had a 4"-6" flame shooting up out of the stack. As I said before, this will be a brute force stove. Just something to heat some water as it doesn't have any draft control and want to run full out all of the time.



Prepping to burn some scrap trim wood from when we were building the interior walls. 


Just a couple of pieces and we had a roaring fire to heat some water.
The other note about rocket stoves is that although they don't require large pieces of wood, they burn through their supply pretty quickly and have to be fed constantly to maintain a blast furnace effect. The large landscaping stone (18" square) that I used over the supply area actually stayed cool to the touch (due to the volume of air flowing in) through the entire burn. Easily can use this as a staging platform or food prep area. I did split one brick to cap off the pattern (middle row on open end) on both sides. I used a screw driver as a chisel and a hammer to lightly score the brick all the way around. Then, one tap directly on the brick with the hammer and it broke very nicely in two.

We are constantly finding new wildlife out here. Birds that are migrating through. New lizards and snakes. Reptiles like turtles. This week, we got a visit from what appears to be a Blue Garter Snake. Very pretty and non-venomous. They just run around eating bugs and small frogs. This one appeared to have recently finished a meal as you can still see the lump in his stomach. Happy hunting!

Glad to have the help in controlling the local wildlife populations. 

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