Saturday, April 18, 2015

Solar panel racking system installation

I finally mounted the solar panel racks, and I have a pile of $$ saved up...so I guess this is really happening! I built the travel trailer part, now it is time to really make is a solar powered travel trailer! The installation was quite a step by step process. The brackets that the rails mount to are anchored to the trusses with the same 1/4" steel L brackets that the trusses are mounted to the top of the walls with. First I marked the pre-drilled the position of each L bracket, and then cut away the foam roofing board. I put a piece of pressure treated 2x4" in the roof so that I could tighten the bracket to the roof and make it water proof.
The I put the L bracket back in place, making sure that the holes in the truss still lined up, and pre-drilling through the roof, which was nerve wracking! 22 holes through my water tight roof!
This is what the assembly for each bracket looks like: stainless steel rack mounting bracket with a 3.5" stainless steel bolt passing through the roof, into the chunk of wood, which was tightened with a fender washer and a nut to make it water tight. Then the bolt passes through the iron L bracket and is fastened with a lock washer and a nut.  The assembly is held perpendicular and rigid to the roof by the two nuts on either side of the iron. Then the iron is through bolted to the truss.  

I used butol on the backs of the washers on top of the stainless steel brackets and on the under side of the bracket in contact with the roof to seal the hole.

I had extra brackets and scraps of rail, so I mounted two short 2' sections on the south side of the trailer right beside the bathroom. I would like to build a solar water heater unit to mount here, so I can have an out door shower, and also plumb it through the wall to send solar heated hot water into the bathroom.



There are 26 feet of rail on the south side (port side) of the roof, and 7 feet on the north side (star-board) side, and the roof is 54 inches wide. This gives me approx. 150 square feet of roof space for solar panels. I will have to buy some high wattage panels to compensate for my limited real-estate.


 
Thank you to my friends Dylan and Mark for helping me out with the parts that I couldn't do by myself!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Creating a Love and Flower Garden

 My neighbor and lover have been working to create a beautiful enclosed space for me to live and work in. He built a road for me to use to come and go with my home when the time comes, he built a fence around my home to give Monkey space of his own, and I have turned the space into a garden of flowers. He also made me stump steps, and brought a heart of pine. I recycled steel poles on the property
to build a clothes line and whirly-gig love monument, old molding for an arch-gateway and a climbing rose. I planted the gardenia bush I have been hauling around in a pot at the base of the persimmon tree, and made myself a nest to compost in. I look forward to seeing the bulbs and seeds I have planted in the compost he made bloom through the spring and summer. Thank you, thank you so much. I take this time and this care as inspiration to keep doing my best, and finish my work on my home. Thank you for making a comfortable, safe and beautiful spot for me to live and love in.

 My friend gave me the neat idea to use T-posts and pallets to build a fence. I built myself a corale for my fire wood.


 It was so nice having breakfast here the other morning.



 A climbing rose and my rescue gardenia in the ground at last.
 Thank you for making these stump steps.

 I have built a durable, practical, recycled monument to Love and Playfulness & BIKE POWER!!!!

 Thank you for building this road for me to travel on.... .literally and figuratively, and for creating this enclosed space for me and Monkey to be in and enjoy.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Floor: Finishing the Finishing

This has been a piece of work, and no mistake. But.. it's finishe
d now, and it's beautiful. I can start building the cabinets now, and putting together the solar system.

There is a concerted call being made around the world for individuals, endowments and corporations to divest from fossil fuel investments. In 2008 the banksters stole my mutual fund investments. Since then I have contributed to a mutual fund through one of my jobs. I am grateful that I am in a position in life where it is easy for me to make the decision to sell this investment in keeping with my beliefs. I have stopped making contributions and after the 6 month waiting period is up I will sell this
fund to help fund my solar investment. No Rent. No Bills. Crapitalism, KI$$ MY A$$!

Primed sub floor.
Cut away openings in the nose to allow future access to basement compartments. Both of these will be accessed through lift out shelves in the bottom of the cabinets.
 One opening is to the emergency brake away battery/wiring
 The other opening leads to the kitchen plumbing. Filters and pump.

There is a light in this compartment, for use as light if I need to look in there and see what's up, but also for heat in case of extreme cold, to keep my plumbing from freezing..

 Each piece of floor board was coated twice on all six sides with clear gloss polyurethane, sanded between each coat before final installation.


 There are some lightening bolts in my house! Under my feet!
 My friend Jimena Lloreda, a puppeteer from Puerto Rico sent me a long letter written on a chop stick!
 Before the sub-floor in the living room went down I used some old campaign yard signs to make screens to make sure that no critters will be able to move into the battery compartment via the vents in the exterior walls.
 I have been house-sitting for a friend, and used this time as the opportunity to do the final installation. The fumes from the polyurethane are intense, so my dog and I have been able to sleep in my friend's house and escape the smell. There is also a table saw here, and I was able to use the stacked dado blades to cut the recesses for the floor storage hatch frames.

 Many of them were hand chiseled though.
So, once pieces were done I brought them inside and got myself organized. I numbered each piece so I would know how to put it back together. Piles of 10's, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's 70's and 80's.
 I ground wood shavings from the chiseling into dust in a coffee grinder, and then mixed that with fiber glass resin epoxy to fill in cracks and gaps in the floor, after all the pieces were fitted in on top of the sub-floor.
 In particular there was one mistake I had to fix.....in order to put the floor back together I numbered each piece. Piece 6 needed to have four hole made in it for the pump wiring to come up through..... but I mistook piece 9 for piece six and made the four holes in the wrong piece!!!! So, to fix it I found a busted handle of a shovel in the fields adjacent to where I am parked for now, and used it to make plugs for the holes. I filled in around the plugs with the epoxy/saw dust mix, and then went over that with the final coats of polyurethane.

 I also used the mix to fill in knot holes.

Meanwhile, outside I put the finish on the floor storage hatch lids.
 Finished Finishing.