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About djbobbins

  • Rank
    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Warwick / Dusseldorf
  • Interests
    Forestry, football (Man City), home brewed beer / wine
  • Occupation
    Energy sector

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  1. Good if you the OP has an adjoining / nearby building to house the boiler and tank. I would have thought it only makes sense price wise against oil (at the moment at least) if the wood is cheap?? For what it’s worth, I have a similar dilemma to the OP, looking at a 70’s detached house which currently has an oil boiler fitted, ceilings are too low to accommodate underfloor insulation and heating. There is space in the garden for a ground source heat loop, but does that give better output temperatures than air source heating?
  2. djbobbins


    I was up all night wondering where the sun had gone... ... then it dawned on me!
  3. Cheers folks; for some reason I can’t put my thumb on, I am thinking of getting a Toyota iQ (the one that looks like the b*stard love child of a Smart car and a washing machine). The ones I have looked at are free to tax and allegedly cheap to insure, plus will hopefully be more reliable than the Fiat 500 the daughter says she wants. Buying one will sting a bit at a couple of grand for an eleven year old car but I reckon they will hold their value pretty well, unless she mullers it (mind you, I will have had three years’ part time use out of it by then anyway).
  4. My eldest was 14 a couple of months ago. As we live in a rural(ish) area I want her to start with driving lessons once she is 17. I was thinking last night - is it worth buying a cheap car, something with low tax, to insure in my name and build up some NCB? My thought was that if I had 3 years NCB on a policy, even though it is going to be a big hike in costs by adding the daughter as a named driver, the NCB might help save a few quid? She probably still won’t be the main driver, as the car would be used between myself, the wife and the daughter. Anyone done this / got any ideas?
  5. Thing is, how much profit would the manufacturer make per unit on those and how many would they sell? Some committed sales into military markets might help but I don’t think there is enough of a market for utilities (a few for DNOs and BT, but meter readers are not going to be given 4x4s to do their rounds in). I reckon LR are going for higher priced cars and making more money per unit, as well as making more models to try and compete in different segments in order to sell more volume as well. Sad thing is, even the cheapest new LR is outside my price range!!
  6. I have got a Niro “self charging” hybrid (apparently a piece of terminology manufacturers have been banned from using in other countries!) as a company lease car. It’s been okay but not faultless, however with a year left to go on the lease I am wondering what to do next. If I take the money instead of a car, I will get taxed and charged NI, so will have about £290 a month take home, out of which I would be obliged to source a car (must be less than 5 years old), insure, maintain, service etc. So I reckon that is out, unless I buy something cheapish like a two year old Insignia and hope it doesn’t make any major mechanical issues. I was already toying with the idea of staying in the company scheme, but going for an EV - if the BinK numbers are true, that definitely looks more tempting...
  7. I was involved in a previous life in the E.ON biomass plant at Lockerbie. That had short rotation coppice planned when the project was built, as I recall, but it just wasn’t viable - it would have taken thousands of acres to fuel a 44MW power station. Agree about growing nitens and leylandii in the UK though - if I had some land I would be planting a bit of both, as part of a mixed selection, to get some earlier yielding stuff for firewood.
  8. djbobbins


    They told me I would never be able to do poetry because of dyslexia. I’ve just made a vase and two mugs - so fuck them!!
  9. Erbauer Sabre Saw; I think mine was about £40 from Screwfix with a carry bag and a few different blades. Handy for lopping up pallets for firewood, recently used mine to also cut spiked ends onto 40mm x 5mm angle iron which it did with no fuss and a lot less sparks / din than a grinder would have made.
  10. The problem is that the customer claims the costs of the work against incomes for the rental property - so saves on paying tax on the net profits from the rental property. It is tax evasion and by taking part as a supplier is knowingly helping them commit an illegal act.
  11. To be fair, in the past I have paid for softwood arisings then dawn and split them myself. However, the wood I bought was all much more manageable (biggest diameter about 12”, most of it more like 6-8”), cut into lengths that were liftable by hand on my own. And critically, three piled-high MPV loads, which did us a winter’s worth of logs for our stove, for £23. The lot I posted the link to above will, I expect, come down in price as reality bites. There seem to be a few homeowners around here advertising wood for free at the moment; maybe the effect of more garden projects being done and recycling centres having been shut?
  12. £120 for some pine “logs” that will need a good sized saw to ring up, plenty of splitting and probably a few months to season too! https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/366177541005155/
  13. I’ve got the X27, a cheap maul (Chinese car boot stall job) and some wedges. TBH I’ve got to the stage that if I can’t spilt it with the X27, I give up and noodle it with the saw, or leave the bigger knotty pieces for burning in the garden chiminea rather than the stove. Lots of using the maul or wedges with 14lb sledge knackers my shoulders, whereas I don’t get that with the X27. Incidentally, one of the best things my father had when I was a nipper - and still has, as far as I know - was a thin but really sharp wedge - about 10” long and 2” wide, but I’d say only 1” maximum thickness on the end of the taper. For splitting big rounds with knots in them, or that were part seasoned, that was really helpful as it could be used to open up small cracks, with only a lump hammer or 7lb sledge. Either of those could be held with one hand, meaning no risk of the sharp wedge bouncing out. If anyone knows where I could buy such a wedge now, I would definitely be up for it. Sadly I think my father’s is a one-off, it looks like it was hand made!


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