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I Forge Iron

Getting back to it.

fleur de lis

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Howdy fellas.  Been a while. Been a really long year, all around.  Had the rona back in March.  Was down with that for a couple months & really sucked. Got feeling better & was getting back to normal. Then I took a bullet to the knee. Which doesn't tickle much.  Down for a couple months with that too. Got back to work for a couple weeks and wham! Injured the same knee again & there goes another month. 


Finally getting back to a new day job tomorrow, my little fab shop is starting to recover from the inside shutdown & I'm thankfully getting to swing a hammer again.  

Gots a friend in  Moscow who's wanting a chef's knife.  Something like a deba  or Usuba. Different purposes but single bevel is the goal. Made the billet a year ago & it's been just sitting, waiting for a reason.  


Anywho, it's nice to be working on things again & talking to folks. 



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So Moscow Russia and not one of the USA Moscow's  (I've been to several of these and currently live in a state that has a couple of well known city names that are NOT the major ones people think of, Las Vegas NM and San Antonio NM for instance...There was a Hotel chain that put up a bill board that there were multiple hotels in their chain in San Antonio---never mentioned the state and about 15 miles down the road was San Antonio New Mexico with no hotels and only a couple of businesses---population 165 last census.)

Moscow, Arkansas, unincorporated

Moscow, Alabama, unincorporated

Moscow, Idaho, a city

Moscow, Indiana, unincorporated

Moscow, Iowa, unincorporated

Moscow, Kansas, a city

Moscow, Kentucky, unincorporated

Moscow, Maine, a town

Moscow, Maryland, unincorporated and census-designated place

Moscow, Minnesota, unincorporated

Moscow, Mississippi, unincorporated

Moscow, Ohio, a village

Moscow, Licking County, Ohio, a ghost town

Moscow, Pennsylvania, a borough

Moscow, Tennessee, a city

Moscow, Texas, unincorporated

Moscow, Vermont, unincorporated

Moscow, West Virginia, unincorporated

Moscow, Wisconsin, a town

Moscow (community), Wisconsin, unincorporated

Moscow Mills, Missouri, a city

Moscow Township, Muscatine County, Iowa, township

Moscow Township, Michigan, civil township

Moscow Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota, township

(from wikipedia)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still a whole lot of nothing out here if you want to build your own cabin!  (I remember working with Europeans who were gobsmacked reading the local paper about the prices to BUY A HOUSE AND LAND!  I had to point out that a lot of those places were an hour or two drive from a paved road and then another hour or two to a grocery store, many did not have any city utilities, off the grid, woodstoves, poor wells, etc.  When my Daughter was going to the University out here she rented a house that some Californians had bought when they visited the town---couldn't help themselves as the houses were so cheap!  Then what do you do with it?  College town, always a rental market.)

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I've been watching house prices in areas like Edgewood and Tijeras, Even Belen and Socorro.  I found a great one that was totally off grid, Solar, well, and everything else on 42 acres.  I'm just lacking the nearly half a million to buy it.  Oh well.  No too fussed about the distances involved.  I currently live in a pretty small town 45 minutes from the nearest Wal Mart.  Farms as far as the eye can see.

What I'd love to do is get a spot in the mountains and build some earthbag houses.  Maybe talk to UNM's Architecture school and convince students to come out and fill the earthbags up for credit in a sustainable building class of some sort.  Roof it with Catalan vaulting tiles.  It's a fun little fantasy and who knows, it might pan out.  

Incidentally, Eathbag construction is really fascinating.  You could build a heck of a forge workshop really cheap that way and it would be sturdy as heck.

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Funny thing; Earthships don't do well in my area as it's too hot.  They do better up around Taos where due to altitude it's cooler.   Might keep that in mind for Earth Bag houses too.   I wanted to work out from a nice mineshaft; but have decided that my wife and I are too old for remote living; shoot even my kinfolk tended to move to town by the time the grandkids were running the farm...

Now my, now retired, Pastor built a haybale house, very traditional, it's lovely and easy to construct and live in. (Traditional lime plaster, no rebar, used bamboo instead, etc.)

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Earthbags should have similar characteristics to Adobe.  High thermal mass.  You can do things like double layer and infill or even fill the bags with scorite or rice hulls or a number of other fillings.  I have even thought of using it as part of building a hobbit house.  Doesn't matter, I want to be above 6k feet anyway.  Preferably with some trees around to shade the compound I have in mind.  A rocket mass stove for heating and then the modern AC and heat as backups for when I feel too lazy to cut firewood.

Fleur de lis, I'm new to this whole beating on hot metal thing, but I hope you are getting back on your feet quickly!

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6K isn't hard out here; next town west, out NM 60, is Magdalena NM at 6572' and then Datil at 7400' and Pie Town at 7778', (continental divide).  Though I am in the valley around 4700' I can see 10K from my front porch.  Might check around Rowe 6821' and near to Santa Fe. (Between Santa Fe and Las Vegas).   Christopher Thomson Ironworks is around Rowe.

I have a passive solar house with a stabilized adobe wall for a heat sink.  We have a woodstove as a backup and because we like sitting on the couch reading by the fire...

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Paul:  If you are looking to settle above 6,000 feet there is more than northern NM available.  There is a decent bit of Colorado above that elevation, the western slope is cheaper than anything near the Front Range or ski towns.  Also, parts of southern Wyoming meet the criteria, I'm just outside Laramie at 7,500 amsl.  Of course, the further north you go the winters are more robust.

Finally, be careful about building and living in the red zone where even if a wild fire doesn't burn you out your surviving house is surrounded by a burned out landscape, although it does open up the viewshed.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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In Kansas I'm about as far north as I want to be :)  I'd like to be in a place where If I want snow, I can drive to where it is and then go home when I'm tired of it.  Sadly, that becomes more of a problem with more altitude.  That's why I have been looking in NM and AZ.

though I will say that no personal income tax in WY is pretty darned attractive.  How is Sheridan?  Thinking about applying for work with Weatherby 

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Welcome back fleur de lis. Bullet to the knee........and no explanation? Such a tease.


Paul Tiki, where I work we go through a ton of the FIBC aka Super Sacks.  I have been looking at them as a possible earth bag possibility. The ones we have are 35"x35"x52" and rated at 1,000kg with a 5:1 safety rating. My personal favorite design for where I live in NV is the subterranean.

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Well those could build a heckuva earthbag house :)  There was a nice subterranean place here in Kansas for sale.  A former Atlas Missile silo, only half a million.  What you might call a fixer upper.  It only needs, everything...  It would be great in case of the Zombie Apocalypse.

The downside is that my wife doesn't do subterranean.  She needs big windows.  So the search goes on.  It'll be a few years until I get the savings back up for a cash purchase on the next house.  Paid cash for this one and I do not miss the mortgage at all.  The goal is to be as off grid as possible when I retire.  It doesn't have to be in the middle of nowhere, but energy independence is a must.  

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I once visited someone on Cape Cod who had an extensive subterranean home built into a hillside, so that the living room had a huge panoramic window facing out to a little cove. Best of both worlds.

(This person was also a world-renowned breeder of daylilies, and the entire area above the house was covered with them. I was lucky enough to visit when they were in bloom, and it was awesome!)

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Yes a "slot house"   two window walls and earth on both sides and perhaps the top.  Easier to build and if you can orient it correctly and do the correct overhang; good solar heat yet cool in summer.

I actually looked at an underground house for sale in Ohio once.  Poorly designed/executed; had water running down the bedroom wall. I knew enough that it would take a complete rebuild to fix that sort of issue.  (Out here in NM they would probably charge you extra for that "feature"...)

Down in the Bosque, (woods along the Rio Grande) a local fellow built a large Quonset hut and then built a house inside it---not made it into a house; built a separate house inside it.   Turned out to be an excellent design the next time a wild fire zipped though...

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