Friday, February 15, 2013

A door to the past

What's on the front door? Where did it come from? I don't know its origins, but I do know that it is one of a set of twins. The other one lived out the end of its life as a passage through a fence to the neighbors house where I grew up. This one spent that time as the front door to one of my dad's coworker's wood shop. Now it is here.

126 is the street number of the Firehouse, where the early stages of construction happened. These are the actual street numbers from an old door that I found in the basement. 

While it was not built at the Washburn shops, I did do a lot of daydreaming about the plans of this house while working in the Washburn shops. The Washburn Shops were the foundation of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute when it used to be a free institution. Students would learn the fundamentals of engineering while working in the shop, producing goods for the industries of Worcester. I spent much of my senior year in a temporary office set up in the welding shop in Washburn.

This doorknob was also an artifact from the basement of the Firehouse. This style once adorned all the interior doors there. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


 Over the past week I have been picking away at some paneling for the gable walls. I had some extra shiplap pine that was too twisted to use, so I ripped it into narrower widths and put a tounge and groove joint on it to make v-joint paneling. I also bought a new shaper for the shop that I really wanted to try out.

Here is the finished product. It came out well and didn't take very long either. This week I also insulated the gable wall panels where the pine will go. Before I can install it though I need to properly fasten the wall panels to the frame from the inside so that they are still removable once the siding goes on (they are temporarily affixed from the outside). Remember that the roof needs to be removed to transport the house.

Finally, one last detail for the week, just in time for the snow storm, is a threshold under the door. I should have built this years ago. I have always had trouble with the weather sneaking under the door, and it only took me about 30 minutes to make.


Another nor'easter. Worcester received over thirty inches of snow this weekend. I was ready to go enjoy the warmth of the stove and grid-free electricity when the power went out in the city, but it never did. I finally made it over to shovel out the house this morning. There was no snow on the roof or solar panel, none piled up against the house, and only a sprinkling of fine white powder that found its way under the door where the solar panel wires enter. Not bad. I had quite a bit of snow to move to open up the paths around the house though.

This drift is five feet high.

The other tiny house fared well also.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

More solar data

Nothing too exciting here, just more of the same. Again it looks like on the best days of sun I have been generating about 10 amp hours of energy. Theoretically I should be generating around 50 amp hours per day this time of the year. I'm not too worried since I am still using less than I am generating. When it becomes an issue I will remount the panel at the proper angle, but right now the house is surrounded by 30 inches of snow from Nemo- not the best time to be on the roof. You will notice many days with little charge on the graph. This is actually not due to lack of sun, but is because the charge controller thinks that the batteries are full and cuts the charge. I still need to tweak the settings for the NiCd batteries.