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Thread: choosing to build a house on plot of land, Ruza, west of Moscow.

  1. #76
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    Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?
    Just a flint, with something designed to spark against the flint; looks like pretty standard camping gear kit of some kind. Sparks catch okay if the bark scraped into dust beforehand and pretty dry.


    Thinking about your house: what do you hear / read about what should be done to treat the wood (on the outside)? I don't know, I presume it's meant to be restained or painted or protected. Rough guess would be that it's supposed to be done every three to five years or so, and actually done every 20 or 25 years or so, if that.

    The downside being that if you start the process of prepping/checking the wood you sort of have to rip out any rotted bits and fix properly, which probably explains why it doesn't get done - nobody wants to start for fear it'll lead to yet more work, repeat etc. (Which is pretty much what owning a house is like anyway...)

    I'm kind of guessing though, honestly curious what the recommendations are.

    (My other slight insight is that the 'natural' stains/wood protectors work just fine but don't last as long, so they need to be more frequently applied, but then hardly anyone does, so it turns into a bigger job)

  3. #78
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    Due to the faded colour of the house (apparently was a dark bluish grey colour) I would say it hasn't been painted for many years. At first I thought it was gloss paint but it cant be, as I would have seen peeling of paint. I think it is a stain. The house opposite us appears to be painted in croesite. The windows and the surrounding decorative fretwork I plan to paint in white. I will be making some enquiries and I'll get back to you on that. There are are a lot of dachas that have similar design, only difference is different colours. For rotten and deterioration I don't see any on the original dacha, but the extend parts do need seeing to. Yes the old 1920s solid square logged house with a brick base is in much better condition than the 'new' summer house area. And as for the barn, wood is splitting, a lot of concern with the roof. The condition of the barn logs in reading up is die to movement and sinking apparently., Again I'll be back on that area. We have booked a surveyor for some advice, with particular concern about the adjoining barn. Here's an example of what another dacha similar design would look like. dacha-168820__340.jpg

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?
    Longer fireplace matches, or usual matches + small qty of fire liquid (жидкость для розжига)
    https://yandex.ru/images/search?text...87%D0%BA%D0%B8

    https://yandex.ru/images/search?text...B8%D0%B3%D0%B0 - flammable, be very careful.

    Both should be available in network grocery shops like Perekrestok, Magnit, Diksi, Pyaterochka etc.
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  6. #80
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    I'm sure I wouldn't be efficient at using it for proper haying at all. Nowhere near the technique.[/QUOTE]


    use these -trimmers- the park service uses to cut the long grass and special AROUND trees or bushes. at the bottom instead of a blade there is a sort of rotating nylon string that guts grass. the whole contraption is held in the hands and with a sling like a rucksack over the shoulder. powered by a small petrol motor. Safety shoes and goggles and thick gloves though are recommended.something like this, cuts the thickest grass and weeds. https://ru.images.search.yahoo.com/s...g&action=click
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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  8. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?
    collect corks from wine and Champagne bottles. put them in a big glass. soak them in lighter fluid, paraffin or the likes. not that smelly stuff you use for - shashlik-. the corks will then burn a long time, lighten even the most hard burning wood.https://macgyverisms.wonderhowto.com...corks-0138343/
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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  10. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    Due to the faded colour of the house (apparently was a dark bluish grey colour) I would say it hasn't been painted for many years. At first I thought it was gloss paint but it cant be, as I would have seen peeling of paint. I think it is a stain. The house opposite us appears to be painted in croesite. The windows and the surrounding decorative fretwork I plan to paint in white. I will be making some enquiries and I'll get back to you on that.
    Definitely look into it, before painting as well. My understanding is that for outdoor bare wood, it's important to use something that penetrates deep into the wood and prevents rot / discourages various microbes and bugs etc as well as partly repelling water. Painting over that may make it more difficult to treat/stain in future; I suppose you can just keep painting over to keep water out but that won't get into the wood as well. I presume stains available in different colours, or possibly as a top coat. If you want to paint windows etc that's more manageable.

    When I have done this (decks etc) stains easier as you mostly don't have to remove any paint beforehand.

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  12. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    use these -trimmers- the park service uses to cut the long grass and special AROUND trees or bushes. at the bottom instead of a blade there is a sort of rotating nylon string that guts grass. the whole contraption is held in the hands and with a sling like a rucksack over the shoulder. powered by a small petrol motor.
    That's what johnsimpson called a strimmer. What I meant when I said "proper haying" was cutting longer grasses to be dried and collected for feeding cows etc. You can't do that with a strimmer, it chews everything up. A scythe is fine for that but it's real work and requires some technique.

    I've gone away from using petrol tools wherever possible. Those small engines have terrible pollution and noise and are smelly, too. I read a thing that in immediate area, the particulate pollution is off the charts (like hundreds of times what would be allowable in a factory). Breathing that stuff is not recommended. The disadvantages of electrical equipment are really minor for my uses - mostly minor inconvenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    collect corks from wine and Champagne bottles. put them in a big glass. soak them in lighter fluid, paraffin or the likes. not that smelly stuff you use for - shashlik-. the corks will then burn a long time, lighten even the most hard burning wood.
    I think the question was what the guy in the video was using to light the birch bark. It's a flint - stone against metal usually to get a spark, like in flintlock weapons.

    Good suggestions for firestarters, I'll have to try that.

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  14. #84
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    I didn't have much long gr**** simply stinging nettles mixed with a tall plant (1.5 to 2m high) which appeared to have thistle or burdock flowers, but wasn't sharp or thorny( a soft leaf). I used a sickle, sometimes a shovel to flatten and then cut the stems with the shovel, also I simply pulled out the plants by its roots, very easy to pull out. I used the different techniques as my son was fascinated by the sickle and learned to use it.

    Yes, must get that fire-starter. Looks cool to start off an outside fire.

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  16. #85
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    Yes , I will be avoiding standard gloss paint for the exterior of the house, including the windows. I don't want peeling of paint to strip down a number if years later. Something I don't have at the moment to do, thank goodness.

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  18. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    I didn't have much long gr**** simply stinging nettles mixed with a tall plant (1.5 to 2m high) which appeared to have thistle or burdock flowers, but wasn't sharp or thorny( a soft leaf). I used a sickle, sometimes a shovel to flatten and then cut the stems with the shovel, also I simply pulled out the plants by its roots, very easy to pull out. I used the different techniques as my son was fascinated by the sickle and learned to use it.
    A wild guess that the plant without the thistles may be comfrey of some kind. Not a problematic plant and easily composted, supposedly high in nutrients for other plants.

    Stinging nettle: on the positive side, krapivo is said to be a sign of pretty good soil and the best 'shchi' is made from krapivo (although you need young tender plants and I'm too lazy to try and prepare it). I've found that if you want to rid an area of krapivo, you pretty much have to pull it up by the roots - it just comes back every year if you're only cutting it; well-established krapivo has solid roots that just bounce back. Thick rubber gloves work fine or - pro tip - forego the gloves and just put up with the pain; the endorphins kick in and you get a cheap high for a full day or so. If you're really, really diligent and cut the krapivo before it goes to seed, it might work given enough time, but uprooting works much better.

    Side note on soil: useful to dig down and see what you have. Since you're close to a river, you may have great river sediment and loam. Everywhere I've seen in podmoskovie has thick clay soil below. Nothing wrong with clay soil but can be a pain and sometimes drains poorly, becomes a thick mud in spring and brick-solid if it ever dries out. It doesn't need to be 'fixed' per se, but can be improved; relatively easy to deal with by adding as much organic material as possible. If you do the trench composting I described above, you can also dispose of as much woody stuff as you can - branches, rotted wood, etc - by tossing that in there as well, just bury the stuff. It'll rot over time and just become part of the soil. I really, really try to avoid burning stuff just to get rid of it - hate the air pollution from jerks burning all their yard waste. You can also bury charcoal and some - not too much - wood ash.

    The other things you can do are plant cover crops - grechka (buckwheat), mustards, clovers, whatever - that root down and loosen up the soil and feed microbes. These are all supercheap at the usual garden spots and a lot cheaper than 'grass seeds' (ie the stuff you buy to make a proper lawn). It's really useful to do this when trying to get rid of the stinging nettles because something needs to grow there instead of the nettles, otherwise you'll just get other weeds growing in place.

    One interesting approach is to buy tillage or forage radishes - basically these are similar to Daikon. You sow them around this time of year and they die in the fall (or you cut them before the frost). They grow enormous deep radish roots - and when they die in the fall the huge radish roots rot in the soil and break up the harder soil for you leaving these pockets that other plants love. The seeds are harder to find and I can't remember what they're called in Russian but they're not expensive. (I recall I bought a bunch of seed stuff that was cheap in bulk online - they'd be even cheaper if you bought them in kolkhoz quantities)

    One small warning: in Russia as in other places, sometimes garden plots/dacha plots have a lot of broken brick, glass and other stuff including bits of metal, nails, screws, and lord knows what else. Sometimes these spots are just from old middens (garbage/compost dumps and even outhouses basically), sometimes from old buildings that just rotted away and there was kind of a myth that glass and whatnot was good for the soil (it's probably not bad for the soil, but it's whatever else was dumped there that's good for it). I'm not kidding, you can get cut from 'finding' old beer bottles. Everyone should have up-to-date tetanus shots and be a bit careful rooting around with their hands/use gloves.

    Note, none of these suggestions require a lot of work, just things you can get to over time while you're doing other stuff. I'm not sure about the forage radishes, but most of the other plants/cover crops don't need to be 'planted', just cast around at appropriate times of year.

    Avoid using herbicides and pesticides if you can. Probably pretty obvious - fortunately russia is less chemical mad than some other countries.

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  20. #87
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    A few really small thoughts on things I wish I did more of (even where I did a lot of it):

    -stuff to make sitting outside more pleasant. Why live in the countryside if you don't spend more time outside?
    -mosquito netting on windows improves life.
    -I know grilling on real charcoal is better. I don't care. Gas barbecues are easier and we grill outside and sit out with friends a lot more because we have one.
    -everyone enjoys a nice swing. Other simple outdoor stuff is great too.

    All just my opinion.

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  22. #88
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    Your posts on gardening are much appreciated, Armoured. I was planning on clearing the whole land, weeding frequently, using a hover mower regularly to encourage the grass to grow and develop into a lawn. this will make future work much easier. After that we will draw a plan for our garden, where the vegetable plots and paths will be etc. It worked in a smaller garden I had in the UK and hoping for the same results here. But I will certainly be taking note of your tips in also using clover, buckwheat, radishes etc. Thankfully, so far no sign of garbage, gl**** bottles etc in the garden, and seems to be garbage free.

    We have a lot of what appears to be white fungus on some of our trees. any tips for treatment?

  23. #89
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    After a large stock of of dry birch wood and its bark, and the skills gained for using a Russian stove do we really need a gas barbecue and purchased charcoal? Of course I hope to have some time to enjoy some time in our garden by next summer.

  24. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    After a large stock of of dry birch wood and its bark, and the skills gained for using a Russian stove do we really need a gas barbecue and purchased charcoal? Of course I hope to have some time to enjoy some time in our garden by next summer.
    I think no need to purchase charcoal. One can certainly grill without a gas barbecue; just my own experience is that it takes a good while to get proper coals for cooking outside, and often that means you say to heck with it, let's just cook on the stove. Gas barbecue, turn a knob and you're away. Grilled corn is actually my favourite. Oh, and use the gas barbecue year round. Except when the temperature falls below about minus 15, then the gas is a liquid ....))

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