JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Finished the vertical planks on the north wall

This was the week after the accident with my hand. We did DYI on Wednesday but skipped Friday. Saturday DIY again, but skipped most of Sunday due to the frost.

Wednesday 27 January

Last week on Sunday I had an accident. I strolled around the farm, slightly clueless after returning from the emergency room while my wife and son took over my work. They did it beautifully. My friend came and helped me drag a cable from the helophyte pump to the place below the utility cabinet.

It was a little tricky to figure out how to shower without making the bandage wet. I took a plastic bag around the hand. It worked like a charm.

The nurse at the hospital had predicted that I would have the most pain on Monday, which was fulfilled. I worked the whole day from home with office work. I switched the computer mouse to the left hand, and I can do that because I am double-handed. The wound is not hurting much at all. It is the wrist that hurts.

We ordered nails for the nail gun that we did not run out of because of the accident.

On Tuesday I also worked in my old home. I went to the health center to get the checkup that the doctor at the hospital had said I would do. There I got a new fresh, clean bandage, and I was told to come back on Thursday.

Things are sorted, I am taken care of, and so far, I got no bills to pay from this adventure. I am curious about what this will cost.

I canceled the holiday on Friday. Initially, that was planned to be the third building holiday in a row of five. Instead, I will do regular office work from home on Friday and let the hand rest a little more.

Now over to today, Wednesday. In the first half of the day, I worked from our old home doing my office. The second half of the day, I wanted to do light DIY work at the new house.

On the east side, we had electricity cables sorted. I wanted to put up the wood next to the door and above the door. It looks completer already. It will be nice to have the lamp above the door, the doorbell, and the electrical outlets below. The weather was not so sunny today. It was cloudy and drizzly. The day was almost over when I remembered to take a photo of the achievements for today.

The real achievement is that the hand was cooperative in my activities. Okay, I could feel the hand, and it was not always pleasant, but in essence, the hand did what it had to, although I did light tasks only.

Our plumber and ventilation specialist was also at our new house today. He installed more air canals. We had the inlet of our ventilation system on the house’s north side in the original design. That is a bad idea. The wind usually is coming from the south and west side of the house. We decided to change the design to take fresh air from an inlet on the south wall. That is the house’s hot side, but it has the least impact from our woodstove’s exhausts.

Saturday 30 January

Yesterday during our regular day at work it was raining awfully much. 23 millimeters. Today it is going to stay dry, but it will be cold. In a way, we had a lot of luck that we decided not to work yesterday because of the weather. My wife had a hectic day at her work, she is also working from our old home, so it was good for her to cancel the DIY holiday this Friday. The nails we ordered arrived in the afternoon. That was also another reason we could not work on Friday. We would soon run out of longer nails. We bought two boxes of six coils each.

The first mini task of the day was to put up the two remaining planks from the previous set. I made a hole in one of these and let the cable for the heating pump’s outdoor sensor through the hole. For the other plank, I had to remove the wall mount for the scaffold. To compensate for the missing wall mount, we now got three diagonal supports at the ground. It is less stable, but the scaffold will not fall over like this. Safety always comes first.

With the two planks from the previous set, we started taking out 21 long planks from the container. While sorting the planks making sure the “mice ears” are pointing upwards, we discovered one plank where the knot had fallen out. It is a perfect illustration that the theory of how the branches of a tree are growing. I talked about this in the previous blog. I am glad we now understand this and make use of it as it is supposed to be.

Over the day, the wind picked up intensity, and the temperature stayed just above freezing all the day. It happened a couple of times we had to escape indoors to warm our hands at the stove.

Our son was with us today. He was planting the pear trees that we received the trees on 20 August last year. We already planted them, but the location was just temporary. We now decided on a final location. It is a “straight” line of fruit trees along the west edge of our plot 6 meters from the edge towards Mrs. PMT and between every tree two meters. First, we got the two apple trees and now the five pear trees. We will get another two apple trees soon.

For the sake of the pace, there was no room for slack today. That said, a neighbor came to us to thank us for the electricity we provided at the end of last year. She had a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate for us—a much appreciated present. With the electricity, their house was heated so the floors could dry up. That meant they could move in sooner. Not everything was ready in the house right now, but she was happy to live there. Such a sweet lady! We were happy we could help the couple.

We, on the other hand, cannot move in just yet. First of all, we need to get the “skin” of the house finished. So that was the goal of today. The wind picked up more while we were working. It was freezing, but it stayed dry throughout the day.

The idea was to hang up all the 21 planks at the top of the wall. We left an opening every six planks. In the end, we had all but three planks mounted at the top of the building.

Then we got the help of our son. My wife held a beam at one end at the height where the nails would go in, and our son held the other end of the beam at the other end. This way, I could hold the nail gun at the beam and not need to worry about missing the plank’s support. If I shoot the nail next to the support, the plank is not fastened correctly. This way, we fastened the 21 planks at a record speed. When the nails ran out, we had more on the stock. I kept shooting nails, bam, bam bam.

But Jens, how did it go with your hand? I could definitely feel pain in the hand while working. The wrist complained from time to time. I preferred using my left hand with the gun, but I even shot with my right hand. The wound is not doing so much pain. It is the wrist I have problems with. Since I can use both hands, I switched and used my left hand instead as much as possible.

With this ended this Saturday at the new house. Tomorrow we will start finishing the loose ends on the north wall, but we will also measure the west wall’s fascia boards. The fascia boards are a long-running project that needs to be going before we can start on planks, so it is good to start with that tomorrow.



Sunday 31 January

When I woke up and looked out of the window at our old house, I noticed a thick layer of frost on the roofs. It had been freezing during the night. It was a little nerving while preparing breakfast getting ready to go to the new house. The question was, how will we cope with the cold today?

We drove to the new house, and when we came near the area of the house, we noticed roe deer in the fields not far from our new house. There was a group of twelve roedeer, and they were far away.

When we arrived at the new house, I could erase all illusions that our roof and scaffold were free from frost. It was a thick layer of ice crystals. On the scaffold, all planks were covered. When walking on the crystals, a thin layer of ice was forming. This was not nice.

Every puddle had a sheet of ice on the top. Instead of working on planks, I suggested that we mark up our future vegetable garden, and my wife liked that idea. I had the idea of doing it thoroughly with paths and everything, and she thought I meant to put out the four corners. While we worked on this confusion, we also talked about how we would like to have the garden. We worked from the scribbly map that I made on 5 July.

One drawback with the original design was that the compost is located right outside the hallway’s window. We tried different solutions and decided on putting the Farmbot Genesis XL along with the house and the compost behind, as seen from the hallway window. For the rest, we will keep the patio in the middle and a meandering garden path. It is not so that we will put out the entire garden the first season. We will start the garden from the west side and create it towards the east. The good thing about this change is that the garden will be more accessible from the east side. The path can start already there and go along the Farmbot. This is better.

Here is version two of the garden plan. Each square is two by two meters in reality. The southwest corner of the house is the origin of the grid.

  • BB is berry bushes
  • W is the well.
  • P is the patio.
  • R is FarmBot Genisis XL
  • C is the compost.

The berry bushes will frame the garden. We calculated a two-meter-wide stripe for the bushes, but we will start with one meter. The compost will be two compartments opposite each other. We will put a path along the northern side of the garden as well.

This was an excellent exercise. I liked this a lot. It will be nice to work more on the garden. For now, we will continue with the skin of the house when possible.

The next thing I wanted to do was to clean up the table with our tools in the workshop. I got no expensive tools, but the tools I have are dear to me. The table is a second-hand door on two trestles. More and more dust had collected between the tools and odd bits of wood and stuff you cannot call tool. One day when I am a grown-up man, this room will be a workshop.

We cleaned the workshop and had lunch, and outside, the sun was shining. We got an all-time high on our 24 solar panels today, 20.5 kWh. The maximum peak wattage was just above 5 thousand watts. As the year progresses and the sun gets a better angle towards the panels, they will produce more energy. Since we never had panels before, this is exciting as it is.

There were not many people around. At one point, our buzzard was sitting on a pole at the border of our garden. He is such a frequent visitor of our garden it is about time to call him ours. Obviously, we don’t own him. It is more that we are intruding on his land. So he was sitting there, and I noticed a grey heron walking along the border of our plot. Our buzzards were sitting very still as just buzzards can do. The heron walked past him and continued a couple of meters before it decided to fly. It is a big bird! Not soon after, our buzzard decided to find a more quiet place. It was too crowded here.

In the afternoon, we went out and defied the ice crust on the scaffold. We took planks from the north side’s top-level and moved these to the top level on the west side. With that, we could start the work on the west side. We measured the fascia boards. Then we went ahead and cut these boards. Now we can start sanding and paint these boards, but that is for next week.

We talked about having more planks on the scaffold. That would be great!

For a long time, we have been working on only one thing, the red planks. There are other things to do as well, but they are not being done. Today I had the feeling I could do that little extra, such as rolling up a garden hose.

It had been excellent with a roll holder for the hose, but we don’t have that. I tried rolling the hose on my arm, but that is too much. Finally, I tried a simple solution, a box from a decommissioned small business server. A solution like this is not just popping out when you need it. It takes some trial and error. This is both frustrating and rewarding.

When I removed the box, the roll was looking beautiful. The orange straps are decorative!

Here ended the work of this week.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.