Sunday, July 29, 2012

Small Building Construction, Part Eight

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I apologize for failing to post about what's going on with the chicken-coop.

We are currently experiencing a heatwave that makes it difficult to do any building, so it has been slow going, recently.

Just so you know, my family and I have been working on the metal roof for the coop. I should have pictures up for next week. Plus, ...

I fell off the chicken-coop's roof yesterday.

I was installing the ridge vent and slipped. I tried to stay on the roof, but the metal was too slick. I slide off the roof, dropping 7 feet onto the ladder.

I'm OK except for several bruises.

So, thanks for understanding.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Forth Half - Air

This is the forth half of the post on air. You will find links to other bloggers and websites about the subject for this week.


I couldn't find any blog posts about air. Bummer


Global Security - M40/M42 Series Chemical-Biological Mask

Defense Technical Information Center - History of the Army Protective Mask

Unknown - Who Invented the Gas Mask?

Third Half - Air

This is the third half of the blog post on air.

Oxygen or Air
When I was doing some research about building and supplying a blast shelter, I looked at supplying air to a closed air tight shelter. One of my sources suggested using oxygen cylinders to supply oxygen (O2). The cylinders would be stored under the floor of a steel tank.

I thought, a good idea because I can obtain O2 cylinders from a local welding supply house, cheap.

Until, I was watching television, one night.

The show, I was watching, was about the early United States space program. During the show, the narrator talked about the Apollo One disaster and the resulting accident review board.

According to the review board, one of the reasons LTC Virgil I. Grissom, USAF; LTC Edward H. White, II, USAF; and LTC Roger B. Chaffee, USN died was because 100% oxygen was used as their air supply. This 100% oxygen atmosphere allowed fire to spread rapidly in the command module.

So, guess what?

No, pure oxygen as a shelter air supply. We will use regular air, just like most SCUBA divers.

Second Half - Air

This is the second half of the blog about air. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.


M17 US military gas mask - A 30 to 40 year old mask to avoid

New M9A1 Gas Mask - a 40 to 50 year old mask to avoid

My Gasmasks - 50 to 60 year old masks to avoid

Russian Gas Mask! - 50 to 60 year old mask to avoid

M95 Gas Mask - Instructional Video - Short Version

The above video is a great infromational video. You can use this video as a reference on how to use other protective masks.


How to evacuate a group of people with one mask and external filters for everyone else.
One person wears the protective mask. Everybody lines up single file behind her. Everyone else puts the screw end of the opened filter in their mouth and holds the filter with one hand.

Their other hand holds on to a long rope, belts hooked together, or sheets torn into strips to make a long rope. Everybody, except the person wearing the protective mask, closes their eyes.

No breathing through the nose. You have to breath, using your mouth, through the filter, so you may want to plug your nose with something that doesn't allow you to breath through your nose. The person wearing the mask leads everyone out of danger.

A variation is to form a single line and hold on to the shoulder or belt of the person in front of you. But, if a person in line dies, that person will release their grip on the person in front of them. Anyone behind the dead person will lose contact with the person wearing the mask.

I would do this only as a very, very, very, very last resort. It sounds scary just typing about this technique.

Other Information:

On January 6th, 2005 two trains collide releasing a toxic cloud of chlorine gas. Nine people died

On July 3rd, 2007, a man climbed into a manure holding pit. Think of it as a very big septic tank that is uncovered. The methane gas, in the pit, displaced the oxygen. The man was overcome by the gas. His wife, two daughters, and another man tried to rescue him. They all also died.

In the winter of 2007-2008, a man was using a gasoline powered concrete saw to cut a hole in a basement floor. He built a plastic sheeting enclosure to reduce the amount of dust in the basement. He was overcome by a build up of carbon monoxide from operating the gas-powered saw. He died.

Some of these deaths could have been averted by using a protective mask with the proper filter or practicing proper enclosed space procedures.

When buying a protective mask, you are going to need to buy the proper filter for your anticipated emergency. If you live near a chlorine gas pipeline, you need to have a filter rated for chlorine gas. If you are planning for a chemical weapons attack by a terrorists or foreign military, you will need a filter rated for the military chemical weapons.

Filter size and duration of protection
Some obsolete masks use a 60 mm opening for their filters. The International standard is now 40 mm. There is an adaptor that reduces the 60 mm opening in the mask to a 40 mm opening for new filters. If your mask requires this adapter, return your mask or replace it with a new mask.

Protective mask filters only last so long once exposed to chemical agents. The size of the filter will determine how long the filter will protect you. Most filters will have a different rated time for different chemicals.

Wrap Around Visor or Individual Eye Lens
When choosing your protective mask, you will need to decide which one to get. Some masks have eye lens, each eye has its own lens to look through, or a visor, a large wraparound lens both eyes see through. I prefer having separate eye lens. Early in their development, protective masks with visors lost the seal around the mask and the visor allowed air to leak in.

Where to Buy
I was amazed when I found out that firefighting supply stores may have protective masks for sell. Instead of the internet, you might be able to use the phonebook and a telephone to find a protective mask near you.

I also learned that the local police/fire departments have protective masks for responding to chemical weapons attacks. If you know a police officer/fire fighter, you might ask them the type and brand their department purchased, and how do they like it.

When I was looking for protective masks for my family, I did an internet search. I read a lot of information about the various types of masks, over the course of a few months. I also ordered a few surplus masks.

One mask was the Israeli German-made civilian protective mask to check it out. I can tell you, there is a difference between a bare bones mask and a more expensive mask.

I finally decided on the M-95 protective mask. The mask has a shelf-life of 20 years. Large eye lens and the ability to mount a filter on either the left or right side for use of a rifle. Uses the common/standard 40 mm filter. Easy to wear for a long time and the ability to verbally communicate.

There is a down side to this mask. The family must practice using the M-95 mask. It is not a escape hood that requires little or no practice to use. A M-95 mask is a military-type protective mask; it has a distinctive look. An escape hood comes in a nondescript package that can be carried in a backpack or large purse.

Remember your threat analysis when choosing your type of mask and filter.

It is getting time to order new masks for my family. I will buy the same type of mask. I will save one of the old masks as a trainer, so my family and I can train putting the mask on and taking the mask off. I will also save the others as backups for unexpected guest that don't have masks or as mask to be stored at likely attack sites.

Additional Equipment and Supplies
If you buy a protective mask, you will need a carrier and spare filters. Remember the filters last only so long when you are in a chemical environment. You might need to change the filter as you evacuate the area. You will aslo need a carrier big enough to hold another filter or two.

I also suggest, as you look for a carrier, to buy a carrier that is easy to open. The quicker you can put your mask on, the better.

Enclosed Space Policies:

Week Six - Air


Check and Test your smoke alarms and change the batteries if you didn't when daylight savings time began.

Don't have fire alarms. Even if you rent, go buy one for each floor of your home, and install according to the directions, today.

Blog Post:

Many weeks ago, I promised I would write about air, the most important element to survival after thinking. Let me begin.

We take it for granted, until you need it. Struggling to reach the surface of the lake as your lungs beg to exhale and breath fresh air, choking on the smoke as you crawl from your burning home, or dry land drowning as your lungs fill with fluid as a toxic cloud drifts through your work place from a terrorist attack.

Air and the oxygen it contains is important to our survival, so how do you obtain air in an emergency?

You are going to have to spend some money and/or learn some techniques to use when you need air.

The first technique, I use when swimming underwater. As you swim underwater, CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) builds up in your lungs. If enough carbon dioxide enters your lungs, your body sends a signal to your brain to breath. If you slowly exhale, a little bit of the air in your lungs and some of the excess CO2 is released. The body's mechanism for breathing will be temporally overridden, so you can swim a little farther underwater.

Remember opinions, it has worked for me in a non-emergency situation; it might not work for you.

There is a similar method that SCUBA divers use, but this keeps their lungs from bursting. As the diver gets closer to the surface, the air in her lungs expand. The air must be exhaled to keep the lungs from over expanding and bursting. Remember this technique if you ever have to come up from a submerged wreck.

Your laying in bed and all of a sudden a loud noise sounds.

What's that noise? It's the fire alarm!

Roll out of bed to the floor. Don't sit up because the hot, toxic smoke from the fire raises to the ceiling. This smoke can disorient you or cause you to pass out. Quickly leave the building.

There is more to surviving a fire, but this post is about air.

With that said, you can purchase a smoke hood. These hoods protect you from the toxic gases produced by a house or workplace fire. No matter the type, you want one that has a hood that will cover your head, is compact, and easy to use.

When I researched this a couple of years ago. The Evac-U8 was the best smoke hood. It had a hood that was totally clear. Filtered out carbon monoxide, and was easy to put on and seal.

Some of the masks have a hood that has a small viewing area, once the mask was on. Since hoods can shift, your view may be blocked as you try to escape. The Evac-U8 has a clear hood. If it shifts, you can still see.

Some masks have a head harness to place the filter by your mouth and nose. The head harness takes practice to use quickly. The Evac-U8 has no head harness. It has a nose piece to close your nose, and the filter that goes in your mouth.

Some smoke hoods don't filter carbon monoxide or are only good for 5 minutes. The Evac-U8 is good for 15 minutes.

Lastly, the Evac-U8 has a training hood for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of an actual smoke hood, so you and your family can train with the mask.

With all that praise for the Evac-U8. It has recently been recalled, by the manufacturer, for all models sold September 2000 to March 2006.

Remember those opinions, the Evac-U8 is near the top of my list for must buys for my family.

Smoke hoods are only good for chemicals produced in a fire. If there is a chemical spill or a chemical weapons attack, you will need a protective mask.

Protective masks are designed to protect the respiratory tract, your esophagus and lungs, and the eyes. Avoid the ones that lack protection for the eyes. Some chemicals, like chlorine, will damage your eyes.

A protective mask protects you by using a filter. The filter traps the dangerous chemicals. Some filters are contained in the mask (internal) and some filters are external. The United States military M17 series (M17, M17A1, and M17A2) protective mask and the soviet M10-M mask have an internal filter. The British S10 and the US M40 protective masks have external filters.

The internal filters are very hard to change. There is also the chance of damaging the mask when changing the filters. You will also need another mask if you plan to change filters in a contaminated environment. The reason, you have to take the mask off to change the filters.

If you know any US military vets; ask her/him how hard it was to change the filters on a M17 series mask. It will be the same for a soviet M10-M protective mask.

The external filters are the easiest to change. Hold your breath, unscrew the filter, screw a new filter on, and clear the mask. 45 seconds and your done.

You can spend varying amounts of money for a protective mask anywhere from $10 for a surplus Israeli civilian mask to $300 for a new MSA Millennium CBRN protective mask.

Some people will tell you to totally avoid surplus masks. Some people, I'm one of them, will tell you that surplus masks are OK. They are reasonably safe if you know what to look for.

To determine if a protective mask is still usable you will have to inspect the mask.

Make sure you can return the mask. If not, don't buy the mask. If you can't return the mask for a complete refund, don't buy the mask.

This is the first sign that a surplus protective mask is unserviceable (not usable).

First, look the mask over. Is everything there? Is it dirty? Smells like mold, mildew? If it does, send the mask back to the company where you bought it.

How old is it? 20, 30, 40, 50 years old, send it back.

Is it a Russian/soviet model? Send it back!

Next gently pull on the tabs that holds the head harness. The head harness is the thing that goes behind your head. It holds the mask to your face. If you see any cracks, rips or tears, send the mask back.

Check the buckles, if the mask has them, for bent, broken, and/or proper function (should not slip when holding the head harness straps) If not, send the mask back.

Next check the face piece. This is the mask itself. Any holes, cuts, rips, tears, splits, soft or sticky spots, send the mask back.

Next check the outlet valve disk. This disk closes when you breath in and opens when you breath out. You will usually find it around the mouth area on the outside of the mask. Make sure the outlet valve is present then gently take your finger and make sure the valve spins/does not stick. The outlet valve should also be flat, not curled or distorted. Some outlet valves are shaped like a cup, so be careful looking at the shape of the valve. If the outlet valve is curled, distorted, cut, and/or missing, send the protective mask back.

Next check the inlet valve. The inlet valve is usually near the nose. Make sure the outlet valve is flat, not curled, distorted, cut and/or missing. If the inlet valve is curled, distorted, cut, and/or missing. Send the mask back.

Next check the lens. The lens allow you to see when you are wearing the mask. Any scratches, broken lens, discoloration and/or missing lens, send the mask back.

The last item I will tell you to check is the head harness. Some head harnesses have nets, and some have pads with 6 to 8 straps coming off the pad. These straps attach to the tabs on the face piece. Insure the head harness has an even number of straps, free of cuts, tears, missing straps, and/or loss of elasticity. If you can't get a replacement, send the mask back.

Check any of the equipment that came with the mask. Does it have a hood? The hood should be free of holes, tears, rips and/or falling apart. Does it have a carrying bag? The bag should be free of holes, rips, tears, frays, and any other damage. If you can't get replacements, send the mask back.

This is a basic inspection of a mask. If any mask new or surplus fails any of the above requirements, immediately return the mask to the company you bought the mask from. Don't use this as an excuse to return a mask that has been in your possession for a year or that you screwed up.

The next thing you want to do is check the filters. Masks with internal filters are difficult to check. Be careful! Removing the filters from a M17 series mask and a M10-M mask can destroy the face piece; additionally, the filter may have mold and mildew from being wet.

No matter what, you will need new filters.

Why? Filters, once opened, are only good for a few days or weeks. The M17 series and M10-M protective masks are over 20 years old; the filters are at least that old.

External filters will also need to be changed, before you use the surplus mask. To check an external filter, make sure the can is free of dents, cracks, rust, and is still sealed. Once a filter is opened; it is only good for few days or weeks. (I am trying to find a source for a better estimate)

As you can tell, by now, finding a serviceable surplus mask is almost impossible because they are almost impossible to find.

This includes the Israeli German-made protective masks.

Generally, the Israeli masks you see for sell are returns/surplus. The Israeli government supplies masks to its citizens in time of emergency. Once the emergency is over or the mask is returned; they are put into storage. Once the shelf-life is reached, the masks and filters are sold.

So, what is a person/family to do?

Buy brand-new protective masks. You will need to replace these masks every 15 to 20 years and possibly sooner, depending on the mask's shelf-life. Same with the filters, but filters last only about 10 years.

OK. You don't have lots of money. You could buy an escape hood. These hoods are basic, bare bones protective masks. They get you out of the area.

And that is the idea. As a civilian, if a terrorist chemical weapon attack happens, you protect yourself and get out of the area. Leave the clean up for the trained expert. This includes chemical spills.

And this brings up my next point. You don't need to buy a protective mask or a smoke hood. You just need to know the behavior of smoke and chemical agents. (Chemical agent is the military term for the small group of chemicals that militarise use to cause death)

Smoke will rise to the top of a room. If you crawl on your hands and knees or do a belly crawl, you can avoid breathing the smoke. If you are outside, you can move away from the smoke.

Chemical agents behave differently. They are heavier then air, so they will sink to the bottom of a room. If the attack is on the first floor, move to the top floor. The higher the better. If you are in a warehouse, climb the ladder towards the roof or get on a scissor lift and raise the lift to its highest position.

Don't go into the basement, subway, or other below ground area during a chemical attack because the chemical agents will settle to the lowest area.

Recently, in the last 30 years, a group of school children were visiting a World War One battleground, I think in Belgium or France. Some of the school children entered a foxhole/below-ground bunker; they died or were injured from chemical weapon residue, from WW 1.

Some chemical agents have a certain smell. I heard a joke one time. "If you smell new mown hay, you're going to die anyway."

This is true and false. Chemicals must be at a certain concentration to harm you, but you will also have to use your other senses to detect a chemical attack/spill.

Rand has a report called "Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks." This report has some suggestions on surviving a terrorist's chemical weapon attack.

If you're outside and seeing people start falling over for no reason, Run!

But where do you run to? The Rand corporation suggests moving to the closest building, close off the outside air by closing all window and doors and turning off the heating and cooling system and if possible move to a higher floor in the building, find an inside room or office and seal the room. You can use rags, rugs, paper towels, toilet paper, even your clothes (Better to be naked then dead. Save your shoes. You will probably need to walk to get help after the attack)

Remember what I wrote in Week Two-Shelter. Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal the room if you have it.

If you hear a load "Pop" and see smoke or vapors, Run! If you are outside follow the recommendations above.

If you are inside, Chapter 3-"An Individual's Strategy" on page 25 suggests some actions on your part. Make sure you read the report.

Guess what; there is a problem. The expensive mask you bought or didn't buy might not protect you from an industrial chemical spill, because filters are design for certain chemicals.

Guess what, again. The chemical spill may be so concentrated the mask and filter are overwhelmed by the chemicals. If you live near a gas pipeline, railroad tracks, a rail yard, interstate highway, chemical plant, or other industrial area, you might need to buy a self-contained breathing apparatus for everyone in the family.

The protective mask will also protect you from biological weapons or the flu, but a $200 mask is slightly expensive for protection from the flu virus. There are inexpensive masks such as the N95 mask by 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing).

The recommendation is to use a new N95 mask everyday, so everyone who leaves the house needs a mask. Do the math and buy them now, if you are preparing for a flu pandemic, because once a flu emergency starts there will be no masks at any price.

There are some homemade or other methods of providing air for you and your family. These methods lack certain criteria needed to totally protect you from a chemical spill/attack.

One is called extra air. It is used by scuba divers in emergencies if their air tanks run out. This lacks a hood/protection for the eyes. These tanks also have a limited air supply, usually counted in minutes.

Another method is a dust mask described in "Nuclear War Survival Skill." The dust mask is a soviet design to protect a person from breathing radioactive fallout after a nuclear strike. They offer no protection from chemical agents or industrial chemicals; however, the dust mask may protect you from dust from an explosion or building collapse.

I call them respirators. They are protective masks that only cover the mouth and nose. They have no eye protection. Wearing goggles or other eye protection will still leave your eyes exposed to chemical agents or industrial chemicals.

Lastly, I provided links to companies selling protective masks. I have never used these companies. I provided links to them for the pictures or the information on their sites. So read the links and I'll ...

See you next week!


Fire Safety for Kids:

Consumer Product Safety Commission - Smoke Alarms

CPSC - Alarms: Why, Where and Which

Jesse Hunting - Gas Mask Page:

Approved Gas Mask - Masks

Approved Gas Mask - Filters

Approved Gas Mask - Defective Masks

Approved Gas Mask - Buying Guide

The Travel insider - Review of Evac-U8 and Training Unit

Rand - "Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks"

Rand - Chapter 3- An Individual's Strategy

FDA - Respirators for Public Health Emergencies:

SCUBA Suppliers - Extra Air Source

Saturday, July 21, 2012

37 Things You Need In A Crisis, Part Two

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I just loooove those list articles, so I have searched far and wide, not really, to provide you a list about lists. Ha ha ha ; - )

37 Items
Here's a link to a .pdf titled "37 Food Items Sold out After Crisis" It appears to be the booklet from the folks that prompted part one of this article.

 - 37 Food Items Sold Out After Crisis

20 Things
Here's an article from The Economic Collapse blog titled "20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins"

The Economic Collapse Blog - 20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins

55 Items
From Modern Survival Blog comes a list of "55 Preparedness Items"

Modern Survival Blog - 55 Preparedness Items

37 Things
Survival Cache has a post titled "37 Things You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t"

Survival Cache - 37 Things You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t

100 Items
Lastly, the classic that has been around the internet for over 10 years (that's like a hundred years in 'regular' time)

The Power Hour - 100 Items to Disappear First

Needless to say, watch those opinions. There is no guarantee that any of these items, mention in the above lists, are need by you and your family as you prepare to survive a disaster.

37 Things You Need in a Crisis

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

OK. I need a break from building the chicken coop and writing about it, so I want to talk to you about ...

Have y'all seen the site "37 Things You Need in a Crisis?" Pretty slick ain't it especially for only $49.97. Wow, under $50!!!

Well, I would like to give you my list, for free.

1. Secure Shelter
To me, you and your family need to have shelter that will keep you warm when it's cold, cool when it's warm, and dry when it's raining.

Now, don't misunderstand me. You don't have to heat the whole house in the middle of winter, just one room. The same goes for a hot summer; you and your family just need to cool one room. For my family that's the room we would sleep in.

Heck, you don't even need a house instead you and your family could use a travel trailer for your shelter during a disaster.

2. Water
As everyone knows, without water, you and your family would be dead in about five days, so y'all need to store water. One quart of water a day per person is the minimum; one gallon a day per person would be better, for at least two weeks.


A family of five would need to store 70 gallons for those 14 days.

Don't forget your pets!

3. Food
For starters, y'all need to buy the same kind of food you normally eat.

Once again, a two week supply of the normal canned, boxed, bottled, and bagged food you and your family already eat. If you want to store more, go for it.

Again, don't forget your pets!

4. Protection
For most folks preparing for an economic collapse, handguns should be the first purchase

Yes, I said handguns, with an "s." Your partner is going to need one and any older children, too. I'm thinking sixteenish or older.

You will also need a holster, magazines, and ammunition for the handguns,

Don't forget the safety training.

5. Medical Supplies
Folks, stuff happens like scraps, cuts, burns, diarrhea, constipation, motion sickness, athlete's foot, and ... to name a few, even during disasters, so y'all need to have a first-aid kit. If you want or think you'll need more advance medical supplies, stock the supplies.

Don't forget the multivitamins and any prescription medicines you and your family currently take; you'll need them during a disaster, too. Once again at least a two-week supply.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Contact users. Don't forget your contact supplies!

6. Communications
I believe, a weather alert radio and a small portable AM/FM radio both using AA batteries or a 9 volt battery are the best buys for most folks. The weather alert radio will notify y'all of an immediate threat, and a AM/FM radio will inform you of what's going around you.

7. Transportation
Needless to say, one of the easiest methods of dealing with a disaster is to leave the area, so y'all will need a reliable form of transportation. This could be your family car, bicycles, or a good pair of walking shoes.

Of course, you will need to store fuel, if you and your family plan to use a motorized vehicle for bugging out. Bicycles will need flat repair kits, bicycle pumps, and spare innertubes.

8. Emergency Evacuation Kit
For some disasters, you and your family will need to immediately leave your home. Yes, the police will knock at the door and say something like 'A train has derailed. It was carrying dangerous cargo, and it's leaking. You need to leave right now. Lastly, here is a map for the safest route away from here.'

Trust me. You will believe them because every TV and radio station will be broadcasting about the accident. Heck, friends and family from out of state will be calling you to ask if you're OK.


Your family needs to have pre-packed bags, so you will be ready for that knock.

9. Power Production
For most folks, battery power will be the safest and simplest method of providing light during an emergency. A cheaper method, but more dangerous, is to use candles.

You will also need power to heat your home. A wood stove, fireplace, or maybe a kerosene heater comes to mind. Remember, you'll need to store fuel, too. Plus, all of these methods will allow you to heat food for a warm meal.

10. Other Stuff
Soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, can openers, pots and pans, forks and knives, plates, pillows, blankets, bed sheets and pillow cases, and ...

Long-term food storage (wheat, white rice, dried beans) self-packed in mylar bags, with oxygen absorbers added, stored in plastic bucket or cardboard boxes. Learning how to cook using whole grains. Grain mill to grind the grain to make flour, and ...

Water filters, plans for making a slow sand water filter, maps with the location of rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and ponds marked on it. Chemicals to treat the water, and ...


I have to stop because, by now, you know that there is no list that will provide you and your family with all the items y'all will need to survive during a disaster. You will have to do the research, gather the supplies, and learn how to use the tips, techniques, and equipment.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Forth Half - Guns

This is the forth half of the post on guns. You will find links to other bloggers and websites about the subject for this week.


NSSF - Aiming for Accuracy: Two Major Newspapers, Which One Got It Right?

Shots Across the Bow - Self Defense 101

The Defensive Handgun Blog - George the Travelling Salesman and the Joy of Go-Pants

Random Nuclear Strikes - Buyin’ Guns — the Free Way

Home On the Range - Home Security - Something all Families Should Read


InSights Training Center - Selecting Equipment

Stability For Our Time - Why We Follow the Four ...

The Firearm Blog - How to handle AK-74M

Scribd - Places to Stash Firearms

Alpha Rubicon - Expedient Firearm Repair

Kurt Saxon - Fantasy & Weaponry

I apologize, this post is mixed up and I didn't get everything add that I wanted to.

Third Half - Guns

This is the third half of the blog post on guns.

Interchangeability of Ammunition:
Ammunition is specifically designed. A .308 rifle cartridges will not fit in a 380 caliber pistol. One reason is the cartridge is too long. Another reason this doesn't work is the caliber is wrong; additionally, some cartridges are designed to produce a higher pressure when the round is fired. Some/Most guns can't handle these higher pressures of a different cartridge. Some can.

One of these is .38 Special cartridges in a revolver designed for the .357 magnum. These is an excellent article, explaining this interchangeablity, by Richard Malay at

Rangy Lyman produced a chart showing the cartridges that are interchangeable. The chart is at

But what about the lack of interchangeablilty between the .308 and 7.62 NATO cartridge?

The .308 cartridge can be loaded for a higher presure than a 7.62 NATO round, so if you fire a 308 round in a gun designed to shoot 7.62 NATO, the rifle could be damaged.

Another danger is the 308 round is shorter then a 7.62 NATO cartridge. If you use a 308 cartridge in a rifle designed to shoot 7.62 NATO, the cartridge could rupture. A ruptured cartridge case would send very hot gases, from the burning powder, back into your eyes, face, and hands.

Chris Byrne, of The ArchAngel blog, has an excellent post on buying a scope for your rifles. His article is archived at You will have to scroll down to "Scoping Out." It is his August 4th post.

Second Half - Guns

This is the second half of the blog about guns. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.


Teach Childern Firearms Safety

NRA - Learn Gun Safety with Eddie Eagle

Nuke1Show - Gun Safety

limalife - Choosing Your First Handgun: Part 1

limalife - Choosing Your First Handgun: Part 2.. Calibers

limalife - Holster Talk Part 1

limalife - Holster Talk Part 2

limalife - Holster Talk Part 3

limalife - Holster Talk Part 4

NRA - The Untold Story of Gun Confiscation After Katrina

Survival Podcast - Thoughts on Basic Survival Firearms

Survival Podcast - Solid Values in Firearms for the Survival Minded

Today's Survival Show - Episode 45: Guns on a budget, Shoestring Survivalism


How to Store Ammunition
The first option is to store the ammunition in its original cartons. If you have a dry place away from extreme heat, this will work for a short time. Usually months to years. However, if you have humidity, there is a danger of the ammo, interchangeable with ammunition, corroding or rusting.

To increase storage life, place your ammo in US military ammunition cans. These cans will protect the ammo from humidity and water. The cans will also make your ammo easier to transport.

You need to make sure you inspect the cans before you buy them.

Look on the outside of the can. There should be no major rust. If there is rust, make sure it has not eaten a hole in the can. Minor rust can be sprayed with a rust converter paint then painted over.

On the inside, check the rubber seals around the inside top of the can. The seal should be present and pliable. If the seal is missing, the ammo can will leak.

Other Information:

NRA's Safety Rules and More
Remember me writing about the NRA's Gun Safety Rules at There is so much more information at that link. You need to go back and read some more of the website.

Recommendations on What to Buy

Very Small Budget
* M-91 Mosin-Nagant Rifle, 7.62X54R
* 12/20 gauge single shot Shotgun
* Model 10 Smith & Wesson Revolver, .38 special
* 22LR single-shot Rifle

Small Budget
* Lee-Enfield Rifle, .303
* 12 gauge Remington 870 Shotgun
* M-65 Taurus .357 magnum Revolver
* 10/22 Ruger Rifle, .22LR

Another Small Budget
* SKS Rifle, 7.62X39
* 12 gauge Remington 870 Shotgun
* P90 Ruger Pistol, 45ACP
* 10/22 Ruger Rifle, .22LR

Medium Budget
* AR-15/M-16 series Olympic Arms Rifle, 5.56mm
* 12 gauge Remington 870 Shotgun with 18 inch rifled slug barrel w/rifle sights and a 28 inch barrel
* 1911A1 Springfield Armory Pistol, 45ACP
* 10/22 Ruger Rifle, .22LR

Large Budget
* M1A Springfield Armory Rifle, 7.62 NATO
* 12 gauge Remington 870 Shotgun w/18 inch rifled slug barrel with rifle sights, 28 inch barrel
* 1911A1 Springfield Armory Pistol, 45ACP
* 10/22 Ruger Rifle, 22LR

The above recommendations are firearms picked based on price. You will have to do the research to see if the various guns fit your needs and your budget.

Yes, all of the "Very Small Budget" and "Small Budget" recommendations should be/are used guns. You can also buy used guns to reduce you costs for a "Medium Budget" or "Large Budget."

Remember your spouse and children will also need guns for protection and hunting.

If I was limited to two guns for protection, I would buy a 357 magnum revolver and a SKS rifle. The .357 revolver would be my carry gun; additionally, the .357 will also shoot .38 special rounds. The SKS is a short and handy, semiautomatic rifle perfect for the suburbs. Some people would substitute a Remington 870 shotgun for the SKS rifle.

These two guns also limit the additional equipment you need to buy. A holster and belt for the revolver, and a sling, ammo carrier and stripper clips for the SKS. You will need a cleaning kit and ammo for both weapons.

Many people will recommend having 1,000 cartridges for the rifles and 500 rounds for the handguns. If you are on a limited budget, 250 cartridges for the rifles and 100 rounds for the handguns, I think, would be OK. Remember your threat analysis.

There are some people that have over 10,000 rounds for their rifles, 2500 rounds for their pistols, and around 20,000 cartridges for the 22LR rifles. I assume, their threat analysis includes a possible ammunition ban, civil war/invasion, or other threat requiring lots of ammo.

Others' Opinions

Survivalist Blog - The Poor Man's Arsenal

Sh*t Hit The Fan Blog - Top Ten Best Guns for Survival

Bison Survival Blog- Rimfire Arsenal

Surging Again
Remember me talking about "Surging" a couple of weeks ago. Here is another example about surging not working.

During the 1992 riots in California, after the trial of four police officers for violating a citizen's constitutional rights, people tried to immediately buy guns. The gun dealers turned them away because they didn't have the necessary permits and hadn't completed the proper waiting period.

Week Five - Guns


Find someone to teach you the safety rules of using guns. The NRA, Pink Pistols, and former combat arms military veterans will be able to help you.

Blog Post:

This is the part where most people get confused about preparing for an emergency. They think a lot of guns are all they need, or a lot of guns are needed.

They're wrong.

Now, don't get me wrong, guns are needed to defend yourself, obtain meat, protect livestock, kill elected/unelected government officials (The reason for The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United Sates of America), and as nauseam. Just don't confuse a gun hobby with having guns for emergency preparedness.

Before we start, I need for you to get something straight.

Gun, Weapon, Pistol, Revolver, Shotgun, Rifle, Air Rifle and all the other words to describe these various instruments/tools are interchangeable with firearm for this portion of the blog.

A firearm is designed to send a projectile down the barrel towards a target. The firearm does not care about the target; a paper target or a living target, all the same to the firearm.

A loaded firearm, pointed or un-pointed, when the trigger is pulled sends a projectile down the barrel. Almost all projectiles will go through a human body. Don't believe me. Check out the video in the links. Make sure you watch part 2/3 and part 3/3 of the video.

So unless you are superwoman, you, your spouse, your child, the cat/dog and anything else in the way of the bullet will get hurt, broken, or killed.

Got It. Good.

If You Don't, Stop Reading, and Come Back Next Week To Read About Air.

So, with that said, let us continue.

The first thing you need to do is get safety training. The NRA is the best source for this training. State conservation departments have firearms safety training, usually staffed by NRA trained instructors. Gun ranges will have instructors, so you can ask there. Combat arms type soldiers or combat arms veterans might be a good source. As a last resort, you can ask friends and family to teach you. Be careful, some folks are not that safe.

Avoid police officers and armed security guards, most of them don't get that much training. It's a shame but true. They carry a gun for 8 to 12 hours a day and might get to the range four times a year or less. Some never pull their gun out of the holster, unless training or cleaning it, their entire career.

Some of you live outside the United States. You might be able to get training from current military members, military veterans, family, or friends in that order. Once again, avoid the police/security forces.

NRA Gun Safety Rules

1. Always Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction

2. Always Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Ready to Shoot

3. Always Keep the Gun Unloaded Until Ready to Use

As a responsible adult, you will need refresher training as you see fit.

Now some people suggest you get more training. This depends on what you are preparing for, check your threat analysis. If you decide to get additional training, there are many fine firearms training schools and firearms instructors in the United States.

Outside the United States, you are going to have to ask friends, family, current military, and military veterans to help you.

Whatever you do

Make Sure You Get Firearm Safety Training

Most people will tell you get this gun, get this, and leave that one alone without telling you why; additionally, these people won't show you how to make an informed decision.

The first thing is why are you getting the gun? Food or Defense?

First, Food specifically meat.

The best way to obtain meat is through trapping. The traps are on 24 hours/7 days a week, however you may be in an emergency that trapping isn't going to work or is prohibited.

So, you will have to hunt. A shotgun in 12 or 20 gauge is usable for deer, pig, turkey, and duck. A 20 gauge is best for most people. A 12 gauge is usable by most people, but not all people.

To find out which one is best for you, get out and hunt. Some hunters have a loaner gun for a friend, so try to borrow before you buy.

Before you go hunting, you will need to get a hunting permit.

Even during an emergency, police, game wardens, and other law enforcement personal will be working. You need to make sure all of the required permits are in order before you go hunting.

Now which barrel type/length will you need? Depends on what you are hunting. For deer use a 18 to 20 inch slug barrel. Shooting duck, you will need a 24 to 30 inch long barrel. Don't forget the chokes. Don't know what I'm talking about; ask your family member/friend the hunter because I don't know.

The same for hunting with a rifle or a pistol. I don't hunt, yet.

You need to find someone to teach you because these are skills that you will need to learn and practice, before the emergency, to be good enough to bring home the bacon, turkey, deer, or ... Same goes for trapping.

I do know some things though.

Avoid uncommon calibers. Most people really mean uncommon cartridges. A cartridge is the combination of a bullet and a cartridge case. The cartridge case holds the powder, the primer and the bullet. An example is .257 Roberts. This cartridge has a bullet .257 inches in diameter (the caliber) and a cartridge case based on the 7X57 Mauser; this means the cartridge is 56.7 millimeters long.

Calibers or cartridges which one is it? This is one of the problems with guns. A lot of people think they know about guns and throw around terms that they really don't know what the term means. This is one of the reasons why guns are a popular hobby.

You get to learn about different words, their exact meaning, and shoot guns. What's not to like!

So I will have to explain to you what is right, as far as I know, and what you will hear.

The easiest way to find which common cartridges are in your area is go to a gun store, sporting goods store, Wal-Mart, or ask a friend. At the gun-store and sporting goods store ask which calibers are most popular in the area or just look at what is on the shelf. At Wal-Mart look behind the counter and see what they have the most of on the shelf. When asking your friend, ask which calibers him and his friends use? The type of bullet? And, who makes it?

In the US, 22LR (LR means Long Rifle), 30-30, 308, and 30.06 are the most popular calibers for hunting. 20 and 12 gauge are the most popular for shotguns. There are regional variations because of terrain, density and type of vegetation, and the type and size of animals hunted. You will need to get experience to learn the most popular cartridges for your area. Remember cartridge is the whole thing, bullet, cartridge case, powder and primer. The caliber is just the diameter of the bullet.

Just so you understand. There are probably 100 different types of cartridges for a .308 diameter (caliber) bullet.

Let us talk about defense.

There are two philosophies for handgun defensive cartridges. Small and fast or big and slow.

In the small and fast category is the 9mm (said 9 millimeter or 9 mill). In the big and slow category is the 45 ACP. 45 ACP is usually just called 45. Now "mm" means millimeter, a unit of measurement for diameter. ACP is an acronym for Colt Automatic Pistol. The diameter for a 45 ACP bullet is .45 inches in diameter or about 11.43 millimeters in diameter.

The 9mm travels from 1,100 feet per second to 1,200 feet per second and weights 123 grains. Small and fast.

The 45 ACP travels at about 900 feet per second and weights 230 grains. Big and slow.

Some people won't talk to each other because they disagree over which one is the "best" caliber for defense.

Guest what? They both work. They are both good defensive calibers, so is the 40 caliber. The 9mm is easier on the hand, less recoil. The 40 caliber is next, and the 45ACP has the most recoil. Some people are sensitive to recoil.

Recoil is how hard the gun "kicks."

It is the same way for how expensive the cartridges (remember bullet, cartridge case, powder, and primer) are 9mm is the least expensive, 40 cal (short for caliber) is next and the 45 is the most expensive when using the same type of powder, primer, and type of bullet.

Now different cartridges will be more or less expensive. Using a better powder, it propels the bullet to the target, increases the cost. Using a different type of bullet can increase the cost, and quality control by the manufacture will increase the cost.

I am not going to discuss quality control. All of the manufactures (avoid, like the Plague, Indian .308/7.62 NATO) have generally good quality control. I am not going to write about powder, either because you can do that research on your own.

However, I am going to talk about bullets.

FMJ means Full Metal Jacket; it has a metal cover over all of the lead part of the bullet except for the very bottom of the bullet. This type of bullet is used by the military. The bullet does not expand or get bigger.

SJ means Semi Jacketed; its metal cover just covers the bottom 1/2 of the bullet. People use a variation of this bullet for defense. The bullet will expand.

Then there are the non-jacketed bullets. They are usually just lead. I don't know how they expand.

Now bullets come in various shapes. Solid nose and hollow point. A solid nose bullet can be round, flat or another shape, but the nose is always filled with material. A hollow point has a hollow point. The abbreviation for hollow point is HP. I have provided three links, if you want to read more.

With all that said, you want to buy cartridges with a FMJ or SJHP bullet. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) to practice with and Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) to shoot people with. Why?Because the best round for one-shot-stops, the bad person stops attacking, is the 125 grain SJHP .357 Magnum cartridge; additionally a brand-new FMJ is usually less expensive then SJHP.

Before you start asking about the 125gr. SJHP 357 Magnum round (round is interchangeable with cartridge). I want you to remind you about opinions. The wikipedia "Stopping Power" article offers some opinions; just like I did in the paragraph above. You have to get out there and talk to people, read articles, and make up your mind on this stuff. Be careful though defensive shooting is a multi-million dollar a year business, same with hunting.

The .357 Magnum cartridge is used in revolvers. They are the guns that look like they have a wheel. They are also called wheel guns. Below are two links showing some folks shooting revolvers.

Revolvers are relatively simple to operate and maintain. They come in single action, cowboys carried these types. You have to pull the hammer back every time you want to shoot, the video with Lenka. Double action revolvers you can squeeze the trigger to cause the hammer to come back and fire the gun, or use it single action, like the Colorado video.

I can recommend Colt, Taurus, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and others. There are lots of different manufacturers. Remember ask friends to take you to the gun store. This gives you a chance to see the quality of workmanship. Workmanship will cost you money.

While you are at the gun store, check out the other type of handguns, the pistol. A pistol is a handgun that will fire then automatically reload an unfired cartridge. These come in single and double action just like revolvers, but there is a difference. A single action pistol requires you to pull the hammer back once, from then on you squeeze the trigger and the pistol automatically reloads a new round, you squeeze the trigger again; the gun fires and reloads and this can continue until the magazine is empty. A double action pistol requires you to only squeeze the trigger to make the gun fire. Just like the double action revolver, a double action pistol can be fired like a single action pistol.

Once again, I can recommend Taurus, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Colt, and Springfield Armory. All of these and others make good guns.

Before I continue, let me tell you a story.

There was an cowgirl drinking in a bar. A drunk bumped into her. She said something; the drunk said something back, then the drunk hit the cowgirl. The cowgirl hit the drunk back.

The drunk suggested they take the fight outside. As soon as the drunk stepped outside, the drunk pulled out a big'ol knife. The knife was 3 feet long and razor sharp; it still had blood on it from the last fight.

The cowgirl whipped out her gun and shot the drunk. As the dead drunk hit the ground, she turned around and said "Stupid drunk bringing a knife to a gunfight."

When all is said and done, the choice of a pistol or a revolver, a 9mm or a 357 magnum, blued or stainless steel. The gun you have with you is the gun you will have to use. You need to practice, practice, and practice some more because that is what really makes the difference in a gunfight.

Enough about handguns, lets talk about rifles. There are various types of rifle operating systems. I am going to limit my writing to just two, the bolt action and semi-automatic action; eventhough, there is a third, called the lever action.

Bolt action is just like it says. You manipulate a bolt to get a round in the chamber to shoot the gun. Most hunting rifles use this operating system.

A semi-automatic rifle is just like a pistol. Gases from the first fired cartridge puts an unfired cartridge in the chamber ready to shoot. Most military rifles use this system.

The bolt actions are rugged. I have seen bolt action rifles, that are still fired, over 110 years old. Bolt actions come in different cartridges. The 22LR is used for hunting small game, squirrel and rabbit. 308 is used for medium game, deer. 30.06 is used for larger game like elk. The common cartridges found in bolt action rifles for killing humans are 30.06, .303, 7.62X54R and 8mm Mauser.

8mm is used in the German Mauser rifle of World War 2 fame. 30.06 was the cartridge used by the US in World War 2, and the .303 was used by the British in World War 2.7.62X54R is special.

The Russians have been using this round for over a hundred years. 7.62 is the diameter of the bullet, in millimeters. 54 is the length of the cartridge, in millimeters, and the R means it has a rim.

If you are interested in the rim issue, do some research. The bolt action rifles that use this cartridge are rifles used by the soviets and others during WW1 and WW2. They are called Mosin-Nagant. You can get one for about $125.

Another WW2 rifle is the German K98, sometimes called a Mauser. It uses the 8mm Mauser round. These rifles go for about $250 to thousands of dollars. Some are collector rifles, most aren't. Mitchell's rifles aren't.

The Lee-Enfield rifle uses the .303. It has a magazine that was intended not to be removed. You can get one for about $250. James Darkin swears by these rifles as an inexpensive survival rifle.

The bolt action rifle in 30.06 that you will commonly see is a civilian rifle not a rifle designed for war. The bolt action war rifles in this cartridge have become collector items. These are expensive when compared to the other rifles, costing over $700.

If you are going to get a bolt action rifle as your primary killing people rifle you need to stay focused on the .303, 8mm, and the 7.62X54R because you can buy military grade rifles for these cartridges. That is important because you need a rifle that will shoot and shoot and shoot some more every time you need it to, a quality military rifle will do that.

Semiautomatic rifles are finicky. They have to be better cleaned, better cared for, and have detachable magazines, something most bolt action do not have.

The common semiautos, short for semiautomatic, are 5.56mm, 7.62 NATO, 30.06, and 7.62X39.

The 5.56mm cartridge is used by the US and a few allies. The most common rifle is the M16 series. I say series because the US has been using this gun for over 40 years. There has been the AR-15, XM-177E2, M-16, M-16A1, M-16A2, M-16A3, M-16A4, and the M-4. Civilians will normally see a semiauto copy of the M16 series rifles. These are one of the "assault rifles" some people want to ban.

The 7.62 NATO round is used in the FN-FAL, G3/HK-91/CEMTE, M-14/M1A. Some people will tell you .308 and 7.62 NATO are interchangeable; nope. See the "Third Half-Guns" for the reason why.

The classic 30.06 cartridge was used in the M1 Garand rifle. General Patton called the M1 "the greatest battle implement ever devised." This is probably true for WW2 but time marches on.

Time and Mikhail Kalashnikov give us the AK-47. With over 10, 000,000 manufactured in the last 50 years; you won't see one in your local gun store. The rifles you see are a semiauto version of this famous gun. Just like the M-16 series rifle, we have had the AK-47, AKM, AKMS, and AK-74. There are many manufactures of this type of rifle; some good, some not so good. Like the SKS, the AK-47 uses the 7.62X39 cartridge.

Any of the mentioned rifles are fine. Some are better then the other because their magazines are cheaper. So which one should you get?

I am going to let you pick based on a partially informed decision. How far do you want to shoot someone? Are you going to shoot through something to hit them? Remember the video? How much money do you have? How many are you going to buy? How many magazines are you buying?

-Magazine Prices-
Price -- Rifle
$0 -- K98, Mosin-Nagant, SKS (No Detachable Magazines)
$1 -- M1 en-bloc clips (the famous "ping")
$3 -- HK 91 magazine
$8 -- FN-FAL magazine
$8-$20 -- AR-15/M-16 magazine
$30 -- Lee-Enfield magazine
$20-$50 -- M1A magazines

A democrat was elected to the US Presidency, expect magazine prices to rise very quickly or a ban of ownership enacted.

-Rifle Prices-
Price -- Rifle
$125 -- Mosin-Nagant
$250 -- K98, Lee-Enfield
$300 -- SKS
$400 -- AK series
$500 -- M1 Garand from CMP
$850 -- AR-15 by Olympic Arms base model
$1,000 -- HK 91 clone PTR-91, FN-FAL by DSA model STG-58
$1,300 -- M1A by Springfield Armory base model
$2,000 -- AR-15 by Colt
$2,000 -- HK-91 by Heckler & Kock
$2,000 -- FN-FAL by DSA model G1
$3,000 -- M1A by Springfield Amory super match grade

These prices are a general beginning price range. As prices go up, you are paying for better material, tighter tolerences, and collectable rifle status. You can also pay less by looking around.

Remember: If it sounds to good to be true, it probaly is.

-Maximum Effective Range-
range -- cartridge -- rifle
300 meters -- 5.56mm -- AR-15/M-16 series
300 meters -- 7.63X39 - SKS, AK series
800 meters -- .303 -- Lee-Enfield
800 meters -- 7.62 NATO -- FN-FAL, HK-91, M1A
8oo meters -- 7.62X54R -- Mosin-Nagant
8o0 meters -- 30.06 -- M1 Grarand

Maximum effective range is how far away an average person can hit a target, and the bullet still has enough energy to kill the person that is hit by the bullet.

After all is said and done, none of these rifles are perfect. The FN-FAL is a very long rifle. The AR-15/M-16 shoots a round that doesn't go through big, thick trees or bricks. The AK series won't reach out to 500 meters with any accuracy. The Mosin-Nagant is a bolt action. You will need a lot of shooters, if you are attacked by a large enough gang. The M1A has very expensive magazines.

Once you have bought your guns, you are going to need stuff.

Cleaning kits, patches, bore brushes, gun oils, ear and eye protection, ammo cans, ammo, slings, holsters, belt for the holster, gun locker/safe, common spare/repair parts, magazines, magazine pouches, belt for the magazine pouches, and other stuff as you see fit.

Remember, this is a multi-million dollar business for a reason.

Lastly, once you learn to shoot, even the basics. You need to take people shooting; from work, church, home or school doesn't matter, teach them shooting. This gets people involved and they might start to prepare. The more prepared people are the better off for us all. So go to the gun store and I'll ...

See you next week!

National Rifle Association - Home Page

Pink Pistols - Home Page

Military Shooting Test-1/3

Bullet Basics 1-Materials:

Bullet Construction 2-Shapes:

Modern Handgun Bullets:

Grain and Grain! What is Grain?

Stopping Power:

Video of a Revolver-For the Gentlemen

Video of a Revolver-For the Ladies

George Carlin-Stuff

Special Note:
Thanks to Say Uncle for looking over this post to make sure I didn't screw-up, too bad. Thanks again!

Say Uncle:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Small Building Construction, Part Seven

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The floor, four walls, window's rough openings, ten trussessiding, six windows and now ...

Double doors have been added to the small building.

I wanted double doors, so we could use the small building for multiple purposes, such as a storage shed, chicken coop, emergency shelter, or an office.

Now, I have built doors using various methods. I built one with a frame around the outside, with the 2X4s flat; I built one with a frame on the inside, with the 2X4 on edge; but I have never built one like I did this time.

First, I measured the door's opening; it is 48 inches wide and 73 1/2 inches tall. Plus, I wanted the door to match the siding.


Side View of Door
showing the plywood and siding glued together
I cut down a piece of siding to the correct dimensions (48 by 73 1/3 inches) then I laminated that piece of siding to a sheet of 3/8 inch plywood.

To laminate the two pieces of wood, I laid the plywood on a flat level surface (garage floor) then I spread glue on the piece of siding, laid the siding on the plywood, and evenly placed a lot of weight on the two pieces. I let it sit for about a week.

After the week was up, I carefully cut the laminated siding and plywood to the proper size, again Now, I also removed about a 1/4 of an inch from the outside edge, so I ended up with a single piece of wood 73 1/3 by 47 1/2 inches wide.

Both Top Inside Edges Marked with a Pencil
Next, I cut the sheet of wood in half.

I used a certain method to accomplish this. I placed two 2X6s on top of my plastic saw horses then I cut the line; I had drawn.

This protected my plastic saw horses. If I had been using wooded saw horses, I would have just cut the wood, with no protection for the saw horses.

After I cut the laminated siding and plywood in half, I made a mark, with a pencil, on the top inside corner of each piece of wood. The mark allowed me to keep track of which side/edge I was working on.

Of course, I have been agonizing over the design for the door. Should it be a "Z," or an "X," or some other design?

See the Mark
I finally settled on a very simple design. The design would be two 'bars' with a center piece of 1X4 surrounded by 1X4 trim.

To start the design, I measured a piece of 1X4 (73 1/3 inches) for the center. I glued it then I centered it on the edge, allowing the 1X4 to hang over the edge by about two inches. Next, I clamped two clamps, turned the 'door' over and screwed four 1 5/8 inch long screws through the door.

Next, I measured 12 inches from the top and bottom of the door than I measured from the door's outside edge, cut two pieces of 1X4 (about 22 inches), spread glue on it, clamped the 1X4 to the door, turned it over, and screwed four 1 5/8 inch long screws through the door into each pice of 1X4.

Double Door
right-hand side
After I did that, I mounted the hinges to the door. I kind'a followed the hinge's directions. Next, I took the door to the small building, centered the door and mounted the door. I had to use a few wedges to get the proper clearance on the door's top and bottom. Next, kind'a following the hinge's directions, I mounted the door to the building.

I kind'a followed the same process for the other side of the door, but I only glued and screwed the 'bars' to the double door's left-hand side.

The Finished Door

The Finished Door

The Finished Door

Now, the double door is large enough that a person needs to open only the right-hand side to enter the building. Both doors can be opened for any large objects.

Needless to say, I'm not finished, yet.

I still need to add 'stops' for the door on the top, sides, and bottom. I also need to add drip edge to the top and bottom of the door and doorway.

Why drip edge and door stops?

The drip edge will protect the door from any water dripping into the door this prevents the door from rotting. The door stops will help seal the door, preventing any drafts. Chickens don't handle drafts very well.

That's it for now. Next will be the roof.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Small Building Construction, Part Six

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Before we begin, I added some commentary and a few pictures to "Small Building Construction, Part Five."

Plus, I would like to apologize. I had the wrong date and time for this article.

Remember when I talked about headers, sills, and cripples, nows the time to talk about installing windows.

Four Holes Drilled Through the Siding
Needless to say, the siding is now covering the rough openings that I cut in the sheathing, so I have to cut the siding.

First, I drill four holes through the siding. (If you want to save some time, you only need to drill two holes)

Connecting the Holes with a Reciprocating Saw
Next, I use a saw-all (reciprocating saw) to cut the wood. Basically, I connect the dots ; - )

Of course, my lines weren't very straight, but this is the rough cut that creates an opening for the window.

Opening for the Window
the scrap siding falls away
Next, I cut the siding as close as possible to the 2X4s.

You will notice, in the picture to the left, this messed up the tyvek house wrap around the rough opening. : - (


Repair to the Tyvek House Wrap 
I had to add some house wrap around the window's opening, before I put the window in place.

You will notice that the pieces overlap. so any water that gets behind the siding will always flow between the house wrap and the siding.

1/2 inch Bead of 100% Silicon Caulk
Top and Sides Only
Next, I added a thick bead of 100% silicon caulk around the top and two sides of the window's nailing strip. I didn't add any caulk to the bottom so water will drain from the bottom of the window.

Two 'Big' Windows and Pop Door Opening
Next, I screwed the window into place using the window's instructions. The screws should go through the siding and into the 2X4s underneath the sheathing.

Lastly, I finished each window by placing caulk at the very top of the windows to prevent water from getting through the little groves in the siding.

Needless to say, I used the same techniques for all six windows.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Forth Half - Food

This is the forth half of the post on food. You will find links to other bloggers and websites about the subject for this week.


Viking Preparedness - BOB Food

Survival Podcast - Modern Survivalism Tenet Number Five

Grain Storehouse - Bulk food storage containers: Pails, Buckets, Cans and Glass

Survival/Special Cooking


University of Maine - Be Prepared with a Three-Day Emergency Food Supply, #9006

Meal Time

Meal Time - What Should Your Emergency Pantry Look Like?

Heirloom Seeds

Colorado State University - Food Safety and Storage for Emergency Preparedness

Westside Gardener - How to Build a PVC Hoophouse for Your Garden

Home Front: Thirsk - Your Food in War-Time

Armand O. Deblois - Make a fully functional cold storage pit/mound ...

GeoPathfinder - Energy Efficient Food Preservation - Counting Calories in Food Processing

Articlesbase - Healthy Portion Sizes for Vegans and Vegetarians

USDA - Index to USDA Home and Garden Bulletins

Life After the Oil Crash - Doomer Food production: Prepare to Garden

The Survival & Self-Reliance Studies Institute - Food Storage & Cache

SleekFreak - GTZ - Solar Cookers in the Third World


Livestock Research for Rural Development - Home

FAO - Small Scale Dairy Farming Manual

University of Minnesota - Small-Scale Poultry Production

Christina Pirello - Christina Cooks: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Whole Foods But ...

Christina Pirello - Cooking the whole foods way: your complete, everyday guide to healthy ...

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