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County4x4

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About County4x4

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Carnforth, Lancashire

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Greenfires Chimney and Stove Services
  • Boat Location
    Carnforth

Contact Methods

  • ICQ
    0
  • Website URL
    http://www.greenfires.co.uk
  1. I posted a couple of these pics on the arbtalk forum, and two of the fungi specialists on there both reckoned it was Pleurotus ostreatus developed in the dark - that's the oyster mushroom by the way - so the omelette might not be right out the window yet! Andy
  2. Ahhh - Nottingham - the site of many a dodgy encounter in my single days at Rock City on alternative nights! Happy days indeed! My best mate at school is Professor of Molecular Virology & Director of Postgraduate Education at the QMC - so if you bump into Professor J.K. Ball, say hello from me, and just give him a little surprise by calling him Joddy Bollock - which was his handle at school! Haven't been out down there in - whew - decades now probably - but the Trip to Jerusalem, the Old Salutation, The Bell and plenty of others are well worth a visit. Enjoy!! Andy
  3. Joshua - I dream about customers like you!! Andy
  4. I can't believe that every single person who says Ecofans are great is only saying so "because they got conned into believing the hype". LOADS of people with stoves on land - not just here, swear by them. Are we supposed to think that they're all just trying to save face? I don't think so. To the best of my knowledge, a computer fan is an entirely different animal. The ecofan is designed with the sole intention of moving a large volume of air at a low velocity - not creating a fairly concentrated draught to cool a processor or whatever in a computer. Andy
  5. Sorry Jerry - I know you're only trying to help - but I couldn't let this one pass. People who go and get a B&Q "My first chimney sweep set" and then call themselves a chimney sweep are putting people at risk, as well as giving the rest of us a bad name to be honest. There's a hell of a lot more to being a sweep than sticking a brush up a chimney believe me, and most of us will have several thousand pounds worth of gear in our vans - my vacuum alone was over £700. The "have a go" guys fall into the same category as the weekend warrior "tree surgeons" - youtube is full of videos of these clowns and the damage they do. If your tree surgeon gets it wrong you could end up with a tree through your greenhouse - if the sweep gets it wrong you could die in your sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning. Please - leave it to the guys who know what they're doing! Andy
  6. Anti downdraught is not the same as increased up draught. Most cowls will actually decrease the draught of the chimney in calm conditions - some like the old Brewer Aerodyne and others are designed to produce something of a venturi effect in the wind which will increase draw - but only when it's windy. There are chimney pots that will help to increase draught like the Marcone - but this is largely due to it being so tall - and of course, it would look a bit odd perched on top of your boat! The rotovents are okay - but a decent one isn't cheap. Cheap ones will probably send you nuts in fairly short order as they squeak and rattle etc due to cheap bearings. I'd imagine there could be little worse on a boat with the sound of that coming down the flue pipe! Andy
  7. And sends clouds of unpleasant and probably toxin laden smoke down the way for the neighbours to breathe in too... One of our neighbours burns all his plastic milk bottles every week - in spite of the fact we have a recycling collection for them. Just what you need on a pleasant weekend morning - the stench of burning plastic all around the place... It should be fine though as you probably won't be affected in the boat! Andy
  8. Though of course if you're burning wood you shouldn't go overboard on cleaning out the grate! Haven't seen the grate in our Squirrel for about three years - we just take an inch or two of ash out of the stove every couple of weeks or so. I really couldn't be doing with having to rake out all the clinkers and ash you get from smokeless every day! We never purposely try to keep it in all night - it gets left at bedtime on whatever setting it was running at and we don't stoke it up. Probably seven times out of ten there will be enough life left in the morning to relight from the embers - we just chuck a few bits of briquette in and leave the door cracked for 20 minutes and then it will burst into life. Quite a few customers use our briquettes as they find they'll last all night. Whether the stove will stay in overnight - which is something I never recommend to land based customers with proper chimneys by the way, also often depends on the stove. Many of the modern clean burning stoves have extra fixed air intakes which mean that they can't be shut right down - the idea being that the stove will burn cleaner if not completely choked. This also makes it harder to keep it in overnight of course. Andy
  9. You'll probably find they give a low heat output and produce a great deal of ash in comparison with wood. Lots of people have a go at making these and usually one batch of them is enough to convince them it was a waste of time! "Proper" wood briquettes are a completely different animal - but to make decent ones you'll need a machine costing up to around £100k. These however will produce briquettes that will stay in all night in a stove - quite a few of our customers use them for this very reason. They are also very low ash - we only take an inch or so out of our stove every fortnight or so. Regarding all the other posts about using a stove - with wood the best thing is to burn on a bed of ash so don't be clearing the whole thing out every day. The lower air control should be shut completely once the fire is going properly - though it's probably fair to say that some people on boats will need a bit of bottom air due to the much reduced draught available from a short boat chimney. Wood will burn cleanly if it's properly dry - if there's crap running down your chimney you're burning wet wood or not using the stove properly! Wet wood causes me (and my customers) more problems as a chimney sweep than any other fuel, and you're wasting most of the energy it contains if you burn it wet. Dry wood on the other hand is an excellent fuel both for the stove and for the planet! Avoid stuff like petcoke - burns very hot but will burn your stove out - and invalidate any warranty if it's a new stove. Andy
  10. So I was told when I was working at a haulage/warehousing company who had a load (and I mean a load!) of "official ones" in their yard. I've never actually checked up on it though as I wouldn't consider burning them! Andy
  11. Haha - I'll bet no end of folks have had a go at the paper briquettes and sworn never to bother with them again. I did a couple of batches one year and certainly won't be repeating the experience. As you say, a real mess and hassle to make, ages to dry out, and then basically they do little more than fill the stove with ash. Complete waste of time and effort in my opinion - I'll stick with my firewood briquettes ta very much! Andy
  12. My father in law burns nothing else at home in his stove. Dry softwood gives out excellent heat levels. If burned hot rather than slumbered there should be little trouble with tar in the chimney - especially with a short flue like you'll have on a boat. There's an awful lot of rubbish talked about softwood as a fuel to be honest - the Scandinavians burn very little else and they're way ahead of us in woodburning terms. True - it's not as long lasting as hardwood, but providing it's dry it makes excellent firewood - as does most wood come to that. Just avoid pallets that have been fumigated with stuff like methyl bromide - outlawed in many places around the world now but still a fair few in circulation. Look for HT stamped or branded on the blocks - this denotes that the pallet has been heat treated to kill any nasties rather than chemically disinfected. Also avoid any ply, painted, chipboard or other "manufactured wood" types. Pallet wood is generally pretty dry to start with - the boats you see with tar dripping down the outside of the chimney and over the roof are generally those who are scavenging deadfall and cut logs as they go along. Andy PS As far as processing pallets goes - run a chainsaw down the edge of the blocks, and cut the planks on a table saw. Avoids all the nails - simple. Blue pallets are generally owned by a company called Chep - they can enter premises and help themselves to any that aren't supposed to be there. They are also covered in paint and shouldn't be burned.
  13. Chris - is that a genuine email or one you've made up?! Just asking because I had one a year or two back from an African astronaut who was at that time living aboard the ISS, but was in the unfortunate position where his government couldn't afford the return fare to earth. They had however been paying his "astronauts wages" all the time he'd been stuck up there, and this amounted to quite a tidy sum. All ne needed was someone to get the money from his account and send a bit to NASA to get him home, and then he was happy to share the rest! The number of these emails going round - I must get offered at least $100,000,000 every week - suggests that there really are people stupid enough to fall for them! On the subject of scam baiting I once spent several hours on one of their websites reading about six months worth of emails back and forth between scammer and the bloke he thought was his victim. By the end of it, the scammer had got a tattoo to prove his allegience to the "church" the victim belonged to, and had also sent him about $50 to cover costs, as with the "victim" having taken a vow of poverty, he was not in the position to open a bank account and so on! That was the first one I'd seen where the scammer ended up getting scammed himself - a very entertaining read as there were dozens of emails and the scammer was obviously getting more and more frustrated as it dragged on. Andy
  14. A very good mate of mine, who is a very well adjusted sort, used to live in a very old house where doors slammed open and closed, furniture was thrown about, beds were rattled exorcist style, and all sorts of unpleasantness went on. He had several mates round at one time or another and none of them ever stayed the whole night or came back again. One said he had been physically strangled. He's only talked about it once - and doesn't really like talking about it at all unless pushed, so it's not as though he's out to impress anyone - not that he's that sort of bloke anyway. Make of it what you will... Andy
  15. Just to close this off - the lads completed their 1071 mile trip last night and arrived at Land's End just before 8pm. No major problems along the way apart from some overheating belts, brake failure and an exhaust shearing off on one machine - all easily sorted. Don't know the total amount they raised for their chosen two charities yet, but after the effort they put in, I hope they did very well. Andy