If there has been a single constant in my adult life it has been a complete lack of storage. I am not a packrat by any stretch of the imagination, I find throwing things away and “lightening the load” to be very liberating, but at the end of the day you need a place to store the stuff that you actually need and use.
The first house that my wife and I owned in Tucson had a 1 bay carport, no enclosed garage of any kind. Since I have almost always had a project vehicle or some kind, I was constantly fighting the storage war. During those 15+ years in that house, it usually meant renting an over priced storage unit near by and every time I needed something like my air compressor I would have to make the drive over, get it, take it home and use it, and then return it to the storage unit when I was done. After we sold that house we lived in two different rental houses that had full 2 car garages, which were great for being able to store things, but because of the garage being used for storage, I could never actually park my daily driver in the garage.
When we started house hunting in the Olympia area, we had a couple must haves on our list, first and foremost was a little bit of land and some isolation from our neighbors. Second on my list was a large garage/shop, we ended up with the first, but the place we bought had a standard sized 2 car garage. Since the new place sits on 2 acres, and we are also doing a vegetable garden each year, this simply means that we have even more, and larger items, that need a home. In this case a riding lawn mower and a rear tine rototiller. Of course they ended up in the garage and yet again I had a two car garage that I couldn’t actually park my daily driver in.
That all changed this last week with the addition of a brand new 10′ x12′ storage / garden shed. Not only have I been able to move all of those large items out of the garage, I have actually managed to park my Tacoma in the garage.
It’s a little tight in there, but they do fit, and the Tacoma will have a roof over her head for winter which is just around the corner.
Now I just need to work on the second constant in my adult life, the lack of a dedicated workshop.
The Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator attached to my vertical smoker
While this isn’t directly related to my UDS pellet project, it is an indirect part of it, so I wanted to share an update. I have been wanting to move into the world of “cold smoking” for a long time, but there are a lot of challenges with doing that, the main one being the ability to generate smoke without increasing the temperature inside your smoker, smoking cheese wouldn’t work all that well of the cheese simply melted. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, and I went with what you see in the above picture, the Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generator.
To keep things very simple, a cold smoke generator is nothing more than a small device that you put combustible materials in, that is separate from the main chamber in your smoker, and when the material in the cold smoke generator burns, the smoke is released into the smoker, but very little heat is transferred since it is isolated from the main smoker. Please visit the link above for demo videos from Smoke Daddy.
I will be posting another update in about a week after I sample the cheese that I used for the test smoke this weekend, from what I read smoked cheese should sit for at least a week for the flavor to set, and I will report back on that, but in the meantime the next image is of the amount of smoke being generated by the cold smoker.
Smoke being generated by the Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator
Got a little more work done on the UDS smoker project this weekend. After the recent burnout, the next step was to give the barrel a quick sanding and painting. To give it the quick sanding / stripping I used one of my favorite things from 3M, their paint / rust remover attached to an air powered die grinder. Considering that most of the paint was actually burnt off from the fire, it really just took a few minutes to get it down to bare steel.
Many years ago I bought a can of high temp paint with the plans of refurbing a grill I had at the time. I ended up replacing that grill but still had that can of high temp enamel on the shelf, imagine my surprised when it turned out being white paint instead of the black that I was expecting. Still, I wanted to give the barrel 3 coats of paint so the first coat ended up being the white.
I ended up finishing the task up with 2 coats of high temp black enamel.
It’s time to start adding some of the hardware needed for the cooking racks and handles. I am planning on going with stainless steel hardware and will update the blog here as I get to that. I will be out of town this coming weekend so things might be sitting in this state for a couple weeks.
Burning out the barrel for my current smoker project
Mother nature brought us a good amount of rain over the last 24 hours, it has been very dry for at least 6 weeks, and according to internets the local burn bans had been lifted. This gave me the opportunity to do the next step in my UDS project which was burning out the barrel, so I filled it up with some scrap cedar, which burns very hot, and lit it up.
Burning out the barrel accomplishes 2 things. First, and most important, it cleans out the inside of the barrel and does away with any chemicals or residue that might still be there. The 2nd thing it does is help remove all the paint on the outside of the barrel allowing me to more easily paint it with a high temp paint in the color I decide I want to go with.
Stay tuned as more updates will be coming soon.
My 1968 FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser
Long time readers of this blog, long before I broke off the photoblog and then messed up my database and reset things here, will remember that I used to post updates here about the rebuild project I had going on with my 1968 FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, Sancha.
Sadly that project got put on hold for a lot longer than I really wanted it to, pretty much 2 years, part of that was due to our move to Washington state from Arizona, but an even bigger part was simply not having the extra money to dedicate to her.
Sadly the budget side of things has not changed, but I am feeling the need to get back to work on her. Fortunately there are a lot of things I can do that won’t require a lot of money, a big part of that is simply breaking things down again after I bolted everything back together for the move. Sadly those blog posts no longer exist here, but I do have an online archive of the rebuild project on a Land Cruiser forum and over the next few weeks I will be re-creating a lot of those posts here to get everyone up to date on where I am at with the build.
Stay tuned and if the planets align, maybe I can get the old girl back on the road before another year or two passes me by.