Friday, August 22, 2014

Long Boat

     This is what I've started working on. Parts of the story are loosely based upon the Viking sagas. I've been interested in it for a long time. Leif Erickson, and his father, Erick the Red will be central to parts of my story line just as they are in the Vinland and Greenland sagas. Because some of the sagas don't cover the timeline in depth I'm having to fill in bits here and there just like everyone that's written stories surrounding the sagas. Then again, I think the writers of the sagas filled in a bit here and there. 
     Of course, the sagas were written down about two or three hundred years after the events they were writing about and they consist of what had been spoken tales. There's a good chance that things were added to make for exciting campfire tales. Regardless, there's still a kernel of what really happened.
     Where I'm trying to be totally accurate is the actual historical archaeological evidence from the time. As a result I've been heavily studying Norse shipbuilding techniques and how they built their homes. So far I've learned a lot. I'm not sure I would want to hoist one of those felt sails for one. It would be kind of neat to actually do some of the carpentry though, it was amazing what they could do with hand drills, planes, axes, and draw knives.
     It's been many years since I first heard about L'Anse aux Meadows and the short term settlement that was there. Since then it's been proven it actually was a Norse settlement. I believe when I was reading through the sagas where the place is actually mentioned. Based on, both the sagas, and the archaeological dig it was never permanently settled. After reading a bit through the sagas I do understand why it would be short. Leif, and company, didn't treat the natives very well. I'm sure I would have been a bit upset too. Still, it's fun exploring it a bit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Added a window.

     If you remember about a week ago I built a new back door. The idea was that I wanted greater energy efficiency long term. In this image you can see the old door underneath the bedroom window. You can also see the new door installed. It works really well but there was one detraction. If someone was knocking on it you had to open the door to see who was there. I write things like that where the person you don't want to meet is on the other side.
     I'll note that on the old door you could see frost that had collected on the inside during the winter. If you're seeing frost built up it's not a good thing. If cold is coming in you also have heat going out. A simple concept to understand from physics is that no matter what the surface is the temperatures will try to equalize on both sides of a surface. It kind of transfers. They'll try to become the same temperature and so heat will transfer to a cold area and vice verse. Why you insulate is to eliminate the transference if at all possible. Usually you're eliminating air movement.
     Now so care is required for window placement. It's not like I want someone smashing out the new glass and reach the door locks. Sorry, that's not secure. It required some thought on where I would place the new window as a result. Very quickly I decided double glazed was the only way to go. Roughly double glazed windows are four time more efficient that single glazed windows are. For one, you one have two panes of glass, second you have an air space that doesn't move.

     It took a lot of thought to create something that would work well for the intended purpose. That's one of  the reasons why my writing came to an end for the time being though I am researching for a project that centers around the Vikings in Newfoundland. One of the things I was thinking about is someone taking a hammer and smashing out the glass, reach in open the lock. Somehow that doesn't work for me. Of course, I write nutballs that would do such a thing and come into your house to kill you. Yes, that's the kind of nightmares I have to tell you the truth.
     I priced around new energy efficient windows. They are around $300 each which is not in the budget. Since that's extremely expensive so I started to look for a different solution. After much thought I finally came up with what seemed to be perfect There was a window in the old door. The mechanism no longer worked for opening the window, and honestly, it wasn't very energy efficient. Each of the panes was about 6 inches by 15 inches. That's a good size I felt. Here the panes are drying after their first bath. It was a literal pain to get them out of the aluminum framework. 
     The screws at the corners didn't want to loosen up. Then again the original window was over 40 years old. Finally I succeeded and got the panes out of the aluminum framework.

     Here I was testing out some various methods of spacers. There were a lot that were ejected rather quickly. Using some of the left over 1/8" plywood was one of them.

     With the glass ready for use I had to have a new frame to hold it in place. Of course with the requirements I had you need a spacer of some kind. It's not important if the spacer is all that precision made. It just needs to be about the same for the length. Sealer will make up the difference. There is also the fact it doesn't expand or contract all that much with temperature. 

Here's the framework put together and has begun to dry. The pieces of wood for the frame were reused when I cut the door to size. I figured they were already the right thickness.

     Here I've assembled the glass panes. The sealant hasn't dried yet.

     I've installed the window here. It will take a day or so for the window to dry effectively before I add the molding. 

     If all goes well I'll have the most energy efficient home built back door window as you can get. I really don't want to pay to heat up the exterior of the house. For further ideas you can get a copy of my Offsets and Savings book. It's available in many of the major e-book stores.