So, you are in Erie, PA unless I read that wrong completely. I live just outside Jamestown NY, and I have always wanted to get into mushrooms. What do you use as a reference to determine what is safe.

“Mushrooms without fear” is a good book if you are just starting. It will get you a good handful of safe and tasty mushrooms to try. I think it is probably one of the best first references, and will direct you how to move forward. My Tumblr should help you to know what’s blooming in the area if you see it’s blooming in Erie it will likely be blooming by you too.
Happy hunting

Inkle loom

My Wife had me make her an Inkle loom. I got the design from the link below, but built it left handed (by accident). The left handed setup worked well though, turns out it matches the way she sits better. This is her first time weaving, so she is not using her home spun yet. She is having fun with it. I can tell because she has no clue what’s going on around her.

The newspaper cups work way better then I thought they would. They hold moisture really well and are more sturdy then I would have through. I am actually a little worried about how well they will decompose. We also like that you can, more or less, pick your pot size. Anyway, now that I know they work. I am going to put the design for the seed cup mold up on Thingiverse for free download. Should be up this week. Not that it was complicated, but it will save you some time working out the right dimensions.

One day after my first good hike, and I have a cold (from easter dinner with the family). I am stuck inside, so I am posting some of my printer projects. I know this really does not fit my tumblr, but what the hell I’m sick.

This is my piping geek iPad holder. I made up a small scale pipe and fitting library for fabrication mock ups, but it’s also fun to play with.

I am also attempting a arm guard for archery. I scanned my arm and made up a form fit model, but I need to play with the print settings a bit before I get it right. It’s really more a learning exercise in form fitting items then anything else.

Early spring walk

Took my first real walk. I am exploring the area we moved to. There is still snow in the valleys and it’s cold, but it’s worth looking around. I was really just looking for remnants of last years mushrooms, to see where good places to look will be in the summer. It is easier to get around and see before brush grows in. The first trout lillys are up and I found some ramps and fiddle heads starting, not much else to see yet. I am trying to find a way up the valley wall that’s not deadly. It’s steeper then it looks.

Red Cap

Red cup fungus, AKA Elf cup.

This is a new hunting ground for me, and this mushroom is new to me also. In reading up on it the Indians ground it to powder and used it to seal wounds. It’s red, the cup looks like a wound and the inside like blood, so I can believe they would use it it for that. It’s sort of an application of the rule of forms. I read enough to know its safe. So, I will dry some out and give it a side by side the next time I get some appropriate wounds. With how slick and steep the valley walls are here it will not be long.

It is still cold and the snow in the valley has not even melted yet so it came up early. Nice to see some color.

Happy hunting

Pallet cold frames

Pallet cold frame.
So, I decided to use the pallet from my last post plus one more, and some rescued glass, to make up a cold frame. I printed out some clips for the glass just to make it easier. I have the glass for two more. This is my prototype. The chickens are on cleanup duty because it is still cold here. There was snow on the ground this morning. I hope to get the other 2 frames done so I can get a little jump start on the season.

Taking apart pallets

Taking apart pallets.

I do a lot of projects using pallet wood but I don’t ever think I’ve shown how to take them apart. Pallets are amazingly useful and a great free resource, but if you can’t get them apart easily and without destroying the wood they’re not really worth using. I use a sawzall homemade pallet pry, and a sledgehammer.
It’s really pretty straightforward and easy. First cut through all the nails on the top and bottom of the pallet and the side slats, what ever you can get to easily. The nails towards the middle really can’t be gotten easily with a sawzall. I used the pry to take off the middle slats on the bottom of the pallet. I don’t use the pry for anything else. Unless I don’t care about the wood. Pallet prys tend to split and splinter the wood like in the pic above. The ones with the fork at a 45° angle do a better job, but even they messed up the wood a little bit. After I pry off the back of the pallet 1 jack it up on some of the pieces I have removed. Then I gently tap out the slats with the top of a sledgehammer. I try to get the nails to come out with the slats so the wood doesn’t get ripped or splintered. I then put the slats over a bucket or in this case a trashcan and cut off the Nail ends. That’s more or less it. You end up with a good amount of wood. However you certainly want to watch where and how you cut it if you’ve left the nails in. This wood is to make up my cold frames. I’ll posted as soon as I get to it.

I welded up my pry with some left over metal it’s ugly but does the job.