1269E Logwood Wood Stove

1269E Logwood Wood Stove made by The United States Stove Company is the stove we bought this past year to replace our Jewel wood cook stove. Since we needed to replace the cook stove immediately because winter was coming, we chose to buy a cheaper model small stove just for this winter. At this time we could not afford to buy a good cook stove because we had just spent a lot of money replacing our old batteries. My husband ordered it online at Home Depot’s website so he could pick it up locally and not pay for shipping. It may not have been expensive but it was enough that it should at least have been a decent stove to get some heat from. Right? Sad to say, it is a piece of junk.

Smoking Stove
Smoking Stove

The U.S. Stove Company says “it is a modern EPA-certified stove providing a clean-burning heating solution”. I suppose the clean-burning heating solution is the fiberglass wool sheet that is installed in the top the stove where the smoke is supposed to pass through. What we find that does is to block the flue and the smoke comes out the door as soon as it is opened. It also makes it impossible to clean our chimney by dropping a chain down it as we always have done, due to this blanket. We are suffering from much smoke inhalation.

Door Handle
Door Handle

Another issue is the handle which is one of the worst designs I have ever seen. It has a handle that goes in the holder to the side of the door. I find that using a potholder is much easier and faster for me. I keep one nearby so I can add wood without messing with that silly handle.

Handle Holder
Handle Holder

The handle is awkward to say the least. It is not just me who does not like this thing. My husband finds it cumbersome to use also. I think he uses it anyway. Not me. I am always in a hurry when working in the kitchen. I am just thankful that this stove is just temporary until we can buy another cook stove.

Handle on Stove
Handle on Stove

Would I recommend this stove? Absolutely not! I myself, will never purchase any stove made by The United States Stove Company. If they made this one and had it built in China so it would be a cheap model then shame on them. They have ruined their good name by doing so. Nope, do not purchase this stove. We are stuck with it but it will be in an outbuilding in the future. My husband will be modifying it so it will be usable and not smoking every time you add wood. Removing the fiberglass blanket and metal plate (baffle) will be the first thing we do when it warms up. Now hoping for a warm day soon!

katlupe

 

Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole

Building Your Own Batteries

Batteries Being Sodered
Batteries Being Soldered

I explained in my last post, Replacing Lead Acid Batteries, that we had to replace the old lead acid batteries. It was time to upgrade our homestead alternative energy system to new technology. This is where the lithium-ion phosphate batteries come in. We bought two brand new ones and loved them. They were beyond our expectations. The downside is……..VERY expensive for most off the grid homesteaders. Yes, VERY! Approximately $900.00 apiece. YIKES!! I can hear you now!

Lead Acid Batteries
Lead Acid Batteries

My husband had been studying for a number of years now, the progress of the Tesla powerwall. Now instead of wasting money on the old fashion batteries he had started building a DIY Tesla Powerwall. I myself, cannot give you the technical information on how to do this. I plan to have a future post when he is all finished and we are actually using the first one to share his information. It appears quite complicated to me, but he assures me that he knows what he is doing. If you want to research it for yourself, go to YouTube and put the search term “DIY Tesla Powerwall” in. Some of those guys are powering whole modern houses using this system. It is amazing!

lithium ion phosphate batteries
Lithium-Ion Phosphate Batteries

Where did he get all these lithium-ion phosphate batteries? On eBay of course. He bought new ones. Other people doing this are buying used laptop batteries and taking them apart to build with. The reason he did not do that is because some of them will not be good and to find that out you have to test each one. He bought about 80 of them, I think. They are all good. He figured it will be less than half the cost of a new one and they will be bigger and give us more storage than the others we bought. They are good! Not saying they are not. If you have the money and can afford to buy them, then go ahead and do that. I am just telling you what we are doing. My husband always believes instead of paying more for convenience, he would rather save that money and do it himself. One reason is that now he can take that money and buy more cells (lithium-ion phosphate batteries) and build even more. His goal is to power our whole house, including heating and cooking. I am with him on this!

old 1850 house
Our house

Our house is old and needed a lot of repairs and remodeling when we moved here. Since we are not rich, we had to do it a little bit at a time. I think we have done pretty good considering. Now after eighteen years, next spring, maybe sooner, we will have running water in the house. It is connected and you can turn it on in the cellar but you would have to carry it upstairs. That is not happening! It is easier to carry it in from outside. I am really excited about being able to use my washing machine. Even if it will only have cold water in the beginning. I have a brand new unused washing machine waiting to do our first load of laundry. We bought a lot of equipment and other items to use in the future. Bought ahead and then wait until the day it can be used. Sometimes it doesn’t take that long and other times it can be waiting for a few years or more.

Pressure Water Tank
Pressure Water Tank

I will share the progress of the DIY Tesla Powerwall as soon as we are using it. I can’t wait because we have more solar panels than we can store their power coming in. It is wasted. It goes into a diversion and that is not good because it is just wasted. In the future the diversion will be heating our water in the water heater. That is not hooked up yet. Soon.

 

 

katlupe

Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole