Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Got a project that you are working on that is not a tractor? Maybe a barn to hold your tractors or just fun stuff like woodworking, glass, tools, sheds, gardens, custom implements, etc., this is the place to talk about it.

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Lt.Mike
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Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:30 pm

With all that's going on and strong recommendations to stay home Ive finally got time on my hands.
Being retired a couple years you'd think I would have gotten to this sooner but I guess we've all got obligations to family and friends too, but not so much now.
I've had a brush pile that originated from some 16 trees that went down in Hurricane Sandy 8 years back. I was working 50-60 hrs a week so it got put off till someday. Well that someday is now. :{_}:
The brush pile alone was roughly 100' x 20' x 5' high. The area around it was a mess or rotten logs, large firewood worthy logs and scrap lumber. I set to work on the mountain of brush with a little 5hp chipper running it mercilessly for about 6 days, all day.
I ran that poor thing like I was trying to kill it. Don't for the life of me know how its still running.
To tell the whole truth I don't know how "I'm" still running.
I'm thankful for my Biofeeze and heating pad. All that stooping, bending, and lifting left me hurting.
The entire area is under a few inches of chips now and there was a large mound of chips I push up with the grader blade on the Lo-Boy.
I used the SA to drag the big logs and telephone poles off to where I can deal with them. Paula's Cub pulled a 17 cu' cart that I filled with 20+ heaping loads of rotten firewood to dump down a washed out area on a hill in back. I'm using the chips from the mound to fill another deeply washed out area.
Once everything was cleared I set to assembling the second Shelter Logic shed I've been sitting on since last September.
All of this was done solo.
Note that I had already gotten a lot done before I started taking pics.
This was a big project that was hanging around my neck for a long time that was bothering me. Its good to have it done. Its also good to get some tractors out of the weather and have more storage space.

I had already shaved a foot or two of easy to access branches off the top.
In 8 years its amazing how intertwined those things can get making it hard to drag out to a chipper.
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This is about 2% of the firewood Sandy left me and about 10% of what was left that had become nonburnable.
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Ugly but good wood still for burning. Locust burns hot too.
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Lots of room inside but a tall exhaust has to be removed to roll under the door.
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The new shed having a rounded roof should shed snow better than the first with an A frame roof.
Snow loads are the biggest enemy of these sheds. Today I repaired and reinstalled the door on the old shed.
That old shed did survive a Hurricane with 120+ mph peak winds.
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There used to be a big batch of wild blackberries and raspberries around the log.
I carefully dug it all up and replanted them along the woodline.
There was also and old fence I took down.
That can be seen in the photo above with the logs. The McCormick Deering horse drawn mower sat to the right of the log.
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Last edited by Lt.Mike on Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Dale Finch » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:09 pm

WHEW! I'm exhausted just looking at the photos! How many snakes and other critters did you encounter?!

I know who I am calling when travel is approved again! I have some downed trees, some cut up, that need to be dealt with. But don't worry, I have 3 (and 1/2) tractors to help you out! :lol:

NICE JOB, Kiddo!! :hattip:
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby outdoors4evr » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:17 am

Great job getting that off your to-do list and off your mind!
Its looking great!
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Lt.Mike
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:49 am

Dale Finch wrote:WHEW! I'm exhausted just looking at the photos! How many snakes and other critters did you encounter?!

I know who I am calling when travel is approved again! I have some downed trees, some cut up, that need to be dealt with. But don't worry, I have 3 (and 1/2) tractors to help you out! :lol:

NICE JOB, Kiddo!! :hattip:

I thought I’d find critters too, at least wood frogs but nothing. Maybe to cold.
I’ll tell you what, from here in all branches either collected off the lawn or from storm damage gets chipped right from the trailer or brought to the recycling center for them to do.
The wood chips make a nice clean base under the shed but I’ll have to see it they hold moisture or stay dry.
That was a biggie on my to do list and good to have it off of it.
Today I’m dealing with another one. We’ve had an electrical gremlin in the house wiring where one circuit goes out but doesn’t trip the breaker.
If I hit the main it comes back on or if I do nothing it sometimes comes back on its own.
I know basic wiring but if I don’t find something obvious I might have to call an electrician. :(
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Jim Becker » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:20 am

Lt.Mike wrote:. . .
Today I’m dealing with another one. We’ve had an electrical gremlin in the house wiring where one circuit goes out but doesn’t trip the breaker.
If I hit the main it comes back on or if I do nothing it sometimes comes back on its own.
I know basic wiring but if I don’t find something obvious I might have to call an electrician. :(

I strongly urge you to make this the top item on your list. If flipping the main causes a temporary cure, it seems the breaker itself is the problem.

Any chance you have any aluminum wiring? How about a Federal Pacific breaker box? Either one is a problem area.

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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Don B. » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:33 am

And when you have your temporary cure, I'd go ahead and cut the individual circuit breaker.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:57 pm

This is one of those things that you wouldn’t really know if you got it until it “doesn’t” happen again. :roll: guess that kinda makes sense.
But... I believe I got it.:)
Power in the kitchen would flicker, go out and come back on on its own without ever tripping the breaker. I killed the power and searched the boxes for anything obvious, nope, then checked breaker function, all good.
Checked for loose connections as it’s said through years of thermocycling, warming cooling screws can loosen. I pulled one of the breakers that seemed loose on the bar and tightened its pinch connector. Went to the other that seemed loose and the out going hot lead just fell away. Wasn’t clamped down at all. I reattached it snug it’s screw down and others that I found loose (but not nearly as bad) and put it all back.
I’m sure 50 years back it’s connection was tight but this wasn’t even close.
I’m feeling about 95% sure I got it. Time will tell.
* It’s all copper wiring. One of the first things I checked when buying the house. If it was aluminum I would have beat the homes sale price down to have it rewired after buying it.
Yes aluminum wiring is a house fire waiting to happen .
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
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Don B.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Don B. » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:00 pm

Sounds like you got it. We live in a 95 year old house and have about every kind of wire there is, EXCEPT aluminum. Don't know why they missed that one along the way, but I ain't complaining.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:38 pm

Don B. wrote:Sounds like you got it. We live in a 95 year old house and have about every kind of wire there is, EXCEPT aluminum. Don't know why they missed that one along the way, but I ain't complaining.

I wouldn’t either.
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"

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Location: Farmingdale NJ

Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:50 pm

Update, #1 the issue still exists though I do have a clue, the issue only happens in the evening and the stove light wiring is coated in grease. :shock:
The easiest way to confirm this has been the cause is to leave the light off and see if the problem reoccurs.
#2 we do have a panel similar to Federal Pacific, it’s a zinsco panel with the stab loc breakers which may also explain why the lights have flickered and the breaker wasn’t tripped.
Didn’t know anything about them till now and after reading about it and the hazards the pose I’m going to get it replaced.
The loose wire on the breaker was an issue in itself and it was good it was found.
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby radioguy41 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:24 pm

Same thing happened at my sister's house in the Fall. The breaker didn't trip BUT when I went downstairs I could actually hear the breaker buzzing as it was arcing but not tripping. Replaced all the similar style breakers and the problem went away.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Stanton » Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:59 am

Lt.Mike wrote:Update, #1 the issue still exists though I do have a clue, the issue only happens in the evening and the stove light wiring is coated in grease. :shock:
The easiest way to confirm this has been the cause is to leave the light off and see if the problem reoccurs.
#2 we do have a panel similar to Federal Pacific, it’s a zinsco panel with the stab loc breakers which may also explain why the lights have flickered and the breaker wasn’t tripped.
Didn’t know anything about them till now and after reading about it and the hazards the pose I’m going to get it replaced.
The loose wire on the breaker was an issue in itself and it was good it was found.


Get it fixed. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, then hire it done. It will be money well spent to have a safe electrical system.

On clearing the brush, congrats! I know that is a "peace of mind" feeling associated with that! Looks a whole lot nicer!

BTW: What brand of wood chipper were you running? Don't recall you saying which make/model. Running it 6 days, all day, is a great testimony for its construction and durability.
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Lt.Mike » Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:11 pm

Stanton, the electrical bug was driving me nuts, really. Wasn’t the stove light or loose wire either though they needed attention anyway.
Everytime I think I’ve got it the lights would flicker again, go dark come back on and my blood pressure would go up.
I do believe I got it nailed now. I had to go through the list of what’s working at night, the only time we have the issue. I thought it might be my barn wiring but that was ok. I worked the list down to to my driveway lamp post. I found some serious McGyvering here. A wire coming down through the wall wasn’t long enough so a 1-1/2’ section was spliced in line with acorn nuts, electrical tape but no box at the connection which laid on the header board.
Not code.
Then the driveway lamp had the proper underground approved wire coming in which was spliced directly into house wiring with lamp wire !
Definitely not code. I don’t know what magic the PO did at the post but I suspect there’s lamp wire out there too. :roll: I removed the jury rigged wiring, installed proper wire at proper lengths with boxes so it’s all code now. The lamp post is just disconnected for now. I plan to completely rewire that with a hardwired timer.
It’s been six nights with that done and the issue hasn’t returned so I am cautiously going to say I got it. ;)
I got a couple new 20 amp breakers off eBay to swap into the box and have a few more new 15 amp breakers I bought from Amazon that might get shipped this week. I’m in their penalty box for checking off free shipping. If I paid the $7 shipping and handling fee they probably would have shipped it right away but when you go cheap and take the free S&H box they sit in your order at least a week before processing it then it comes in two days. It’s stupid.
These Zinsco breakers are like $22 each so that’s why I tried to save what I could.

Thank you on the yard work. It is a relief to have it off my back. Bothered me everytime I looked at it.
The chipper is an old sears craftsman with a 5hp Briggs on it. Our local repair shop rebuilt it and sold it to me for $100 some 15 years ago.
I ran the hell out of it then. One winter I borrowed the float out of the carb to get my snow blower running and it sat wet under a leaky roof for about 12 years. I pulled it out this winter to see if I could get it going and the carb was now trash. I found a cheap replacement from China for $10 on eBay and put that on with new line and a new filter. Total cost $20. Second pull of the cord and it fired ! The oil level was fine so I left it alone. (Yes I know, shameful ;) )
I ran it like I was trying to kill it and it still starts on the first pull. The exit shoot guard flew off and the cone you feed branches through is cracked about 3/4 way around. Going to need some welding tlc and probably an oil change, one every 15 years of use is good right? :lol:
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Drfting1 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:38 am

Great work on the clearing and shed...
Now that you have all that experience, you can come down to the Virginia house.... Have plenty of clearing to do here....lol
Also this house some questionable electric issues I've been trying to figure out... PO definitely was not an electrician. But have it almost all straightened out.
Once again, great job and be safe
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Re: Putting time home to good use clearing land and building a shed

Postby Dale Finch » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:20 am

NO, NO, NO!!! I have first dibs on Lt. Mike's clearing skills!!!! My place next! :{_}:
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