More power, more power, more power, more power. 

Yesterday Stan and I wired up the new solar panels. Today we made over 20kWh😀

Now we have a pair of Midnite Solar Classic controllers. 

Both the pos and neg lines have breakers in Midnite Solar combiners. All the solar gear was supplied by Jennie at Independent Power NZ who are awesome to deal with. 

Today despite using lots of power tools building the batteries hardly got off float. 

Very exciting. 



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All the flashing on

After a big day by DOD, Stan and I. The house is fully dressed and sparrow proof now with all the flashings on. 

The western side. 

The north side or front of the house. 

The eastern side. 

Working at height on that narrow strip was not as much fun as it looks😐 

The purpose of this hole is to let light into the lounge. 

DOD checking out the progress. 

The rail was to minimise the risk of a sudden stop on reaching the ground. 

Got to love visual progress👍👍



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Spicy Lentil Dahl

Jo got this recipe from BBC goodfood and it is the best ever, number one, all time greatest Dahl. Even Stan who doesn’t like Dahl said it was good. We generally have it with boiled eggs. 

Pic from tinternet. 


1 tablespoon sesame oil, 

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

4 cups of water or stock

1 cup dried red lentils

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander 

1 teaspoon tumeric

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon tomato paste


Soften the garlic, onion, and ginger in heated oil

Add water or stock, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 20 min until lentils are soft and tender. 

Stir in tomato paste and cook until desire consistency is reached – up to you. 

Garnish with something green and yogurt. 

Beautiful I could eat this for breaky, lunch and dinner. 



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Laundry bench

The glue up for the laundry bench took every clamp I had. It is made from 3 layers of merbau bench tops to Make a 75mm bench. 

The first 2 layers glued with liquid nails

I used polyurethane glue for the next layer. Bloody messy stuff it foamed everywhere. I will need a lot more clamps before I use it again. 

When you make a 3600mm x 600mm x75mm bench make sure you have a way to lift it. Near killed me getting it up there. 

Annoying when you go to a lot of trouble to make something straight and to cut an accurate notch and then find the wall is bent😡 will still look great though. 



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Another 4.5kw of solar goes in.

Stan and Pete designed the new solar frame, getting an Ex RAAF engineer and an Ex Army Warrant Officer to reach an agreement is a rare occurrence so these are very special frames. The low profile is excellent. Stan fabricated the frame. DOD and I rammed the posts in, And I welded the frames to the posts/ This took all of Saturday. Then yesterday DOD and I installed all the panels. With DOD washing the accumulated dirt from storage off the panels.

All the posts in. With all of them more than 1000mm in the ground. They aren’t going anywhere. Using the laser to mark the level on each post which was double checked with a spirit level before cutting. The top hats were used as a 10m straight edge.


Frames clamped on ready for welding.


The frames all welded on.


The top hats are screwed to the frames.


All the panels on. Looking good. I think this frame which Stan and Pete designed is the best one yet.






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2017 Garlic planted today

Today I planted this years garlic. After soaking the cloves overnight in a mixture of water, seasol, Garlic seed inoculat and facultative anaerobic microbes I planted each variety in a separate bed and then watered them in with the soaking solution. 

Lokalen a silverskin in this bed

Spanish Roja a creole in this bed

White Zaar a rocambole in this bed 

And Spanish Solace a creole in this bed

I took the pictures so I can remember which is in what bed😀 

Now I have to build 8 more beds to plant into next year. 



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Flashing the House.

Very exciting at the moment as Stan and DOD (Dear Old Dad) are here to help with the build. In particular the flashing as the pieces are long and floppy and I can’t hang them by myself.

This is the west side.


The whole side done. Amazing how the flashings finish it off.


From the other angle. Stan in pic. After 2 days climbing up and down ladders and holding steel above our heads while drilling and fastening we were shattered. But the results were worth the pain.


Starting on the atrium


Looking great


The last side of the atrium, Stan trimming the corners.


Same side different view.


You could play tennis on our roof. The green is the grass growing back after the fires.


For todays effort we flashed the Juliette balcony and half the east side.


Looking north having a colour bond moment


A huge amount of progress. Happy, happy, happy!!




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Island Bench part 2

As well as getting the gas on today I glued down the trim on the island bench. 

I used Sika 291 here again as it sticks like shit to a blanket and is flexible forever. As you can see I could not clamp the top to anything so I weighted it down with bags of concrete. 



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Cooking With Gas

Why spend a lot of coin on a domestic oven that looks like a commercial oven when you can spend less and get a proper commercial oven. A low maintenance kitchen will be a joy. 

All the laser film removed (I hate that stuff it’s a real pain to remove) and in place in all its shininess. 

A shot of the whole cooking part of the kitchen. 

A close up. 

And throwing out some joules. We had to turn it off quickly as it heated up the room so fast the plumber and I were melting. 



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Trimming the Island Bench

The last couple of days I have been trimming the island bench in Karri. Some tricky joinery, at least for me, as there are a number of mitre joins involved a mistake on any of them would result in ruining an expensive piece of timber.

A dry run to check all the mitres are good.20170319_022546429_iOS20170319_022542718_iOS

Each mitre gets 3 Dominoes. Epoxy is strong in shear and tension but not in peel so the domino prevents peel forces. And glued with epoxy.20170319_045137732_iOS

Then each mitre is clamped with a Chestnut mitre clamp from the Chestnut Tool and Chowder Company, which are a very cool piece of kit and Jim is a great bloke.


A full width view. I am very happy with how it is going and am looking forward to what it will look like finished in the Livos Oil.





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