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About Ernesto

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  1. Ernesto

    House heating that isn't wood fueled?

    Hi J, probably worth a look at evans-engineering.co.uk . they're in Launceston, been doing water wheels/hydro since 1810. Ernie
  2. Ernesto

    Hazel commercial value

    Hi Acer, generally the system (around Berks/Hampshire anyway) to get over-stood hazel (which this will be at 18yrs old) back into rotation is as follows. You cut the stand for free and get all of the wood you want, or if the estate has a use for it, they will pay by the tonne. The wood won't have massive commercial value as you'll struggle to get much product out of the stand (either binders, bean poles or stakes). There'll be some but most will be bigger diameter stems (hazel gives good firewood logs, small size though). Then when the stand has regrown to usable size, 7 years or so, you also get the first cut of the newly grown back 'in-rotation' coppice, again for free as part of the original contract. This should be much more the right size for usable product. Then the estate has an in-rotation coppice as a usable resource for the future. Hope that makes sense. Ernie.
  3. Ernesto

    Whats the going rate for native charcoal?

    Hi Beau, much belated reply, been out and about doing marquees on the festival circuit, with a bit of charcoaling in between. Yes that's essentially what happens , Dr Adam sells you a set of plans with permission to build up to 4 retorts, you can pay per retort if you want to build any others. You have to sign a contract/confidentiality agreement re the design and send the location for those you build. Her's the result of the shopping basket batch 55 baskets in 3 and a bit burned away as too close to the vent, I knew we'd left a gap previously for a reason ,doh! Just need to do some weighing to work out the conversion rate. But overall a better burn with better conversion than when densely packed in. Ernie.
  4. Ernesto

    Whats the going rate for native charcoal?

    Finally got some time to get this done. The 2 flue stacks are 4m high (making it look like a model of Battersea power station) this was to improve the draw as we were losing a lot of heat out of the door of the fire box, we also raised the base plate another 100mm again to keep the heat underneath. The chamber is lined with ceramic fibre insulation again to keep the heat in the charge and not lose too much into the brickwork. The crack happened before the mods as we over heated the fire box/front corner trying to get the temperature up; crack repointed and also heat resistant silicone applied where it opened slightly, now airtight. Arb waste for the fire not for charge in the background. the pulleys lift the lid on a pivot hinge, for top loading. These picks are from Thursday, emptied the last load and refilled with a new charge (now in shopping baskets to make loading/unloading quicker and easier. Also stack nicely, we'll see how its works next Thursday when we look inside. The kiln had been lit about ten mins when I took these. Ernie.
  5. Ernesto

    Charcoal Wanted in Coppice association bags

    Hi Buster, can probably sort this for you. Am I right in thinking you're in Lincs? I'll be down in Berkshire working this week but am coming back home to Horncastle on Thursday. I could bring you 50 bags up on the van. It'll all be hardwood mainly hazel, with a bit of birch and chestnut. If that works for you let me know, email me your mobile number. email: marquees@tentorium.org.uk. Ernie.
  6. Ernesto

    Whats the going rate for native charcoal?

    Sorry for the delay posting again Beau been working in my main summer job on the marquees, up at Download and am back for the derig on Tuesday. Yes the retort will hold just about 4 cube of loose stacked wood but was only about 3/4 full for that burn. So probably looking at around 150-200 kg of charcoal plus loads of fines. I am going to see if I can moves the fines as bio-char, via the farm shops also. Anyway the only pics of the retort are on an old phone so I'll try and get some Monday and probably get them up here next weekend. Cheers Ernie.
  7. Ernesto

    Whats the going rate for native charcoal?

    Hi Beau Image of our latest batch in the Adam retort, hazel and birch if I recall. I think you're about right with your price, we also use the Selway coppice assoc bags; we get £2 for the small and £3.90 for the large from the farm shops near us. Not sure what the mark up is when they retail them on. Check out Oxford charcoal's website they sell retail from around £2.80 a kilo for Non species specific. Or Matt at Hertswood's Stag charcoal website ,think he's closer to £2 a kilo for "ordinary" hardwood charcoal. On the enquires I've made for larger bags, 10kilo, the best I've been offered locally is £1 a kilo, the argument being they need a 50%ish mark up in the shop for retail. Also at that end you're starting to compete with the12kg blue caterer's charcoal bags, imported which they sell for around£10-12. It's tricky but I think the market for high end charcoal is fairly limited outside of London. Most people will buy by price, or bulk( as we both know 5kg of well made charcoal gives you a greater volume than 5kg of the dense imported stuff. I reckon about 3kg of our charcoal will fill a bag that has 5Kg of the heavier charcoal in it, but people will often go for the 5 over the 3 as they think its better value for the extra 2kgs of weight, even though its the same volume) Hope that all makes sense, seem to have gone a bit convoluted and waffly at the end. Ernie.
  8. Ernesto

    Ticks and Lymes disease

    Just thought I'd share. Found this when I was about to get in the bath after a day collecting up logs of overstood hazel. Got the wife's really fine tweezers from her lab assistant days to get it out. 2nd pic is this morning, ten days after removal, all good.
  9. Hi J we used to run an import 80 series Land cruiser, 4.5 petrol/LPG as our crew bus and towing 3.5 for the marquee side of our business. Really solid and comfortable, but sadly the gear box was giving in after 285000 miles, about 150000 towing. So traded it in for an import100 series with 50000 on the clock (£8k including the trade in), had it 18 months now up to 75000 and all good bar the gas assist on the front suspension. The gas pots run out of gas over time and then suddenly fail, leaving you with a dragster looking motor. The replacements are £600 each, will fail again after 50-100000 miles depending on use and you need 2! So went for a suspension kit from Pedders, which replaces the whole suspension front and rear with traditional shocks and springs, only £800 for the kit. Alternatively what about a Delica as driven by Bob at Aspenarb? Basically a 7-8 seater minibus body on a Pajero chassis. Had one prior to the Landcruisers. Really comfortable and roomy, not sure on the towing but Bob might know, he seems to get some weight behind his (see the towing in the snow thread. There's one on autotrader with45/50k on the clock for about £6k I think. Sorry that was so long but hope it's helpful. Ernie.
  10. Ernesto

    Making the news today....

    Agency guys are on hourly rate, and don't know the round so will be slower than the driver who gets paid by the drop so will try to do as many as possible in one day, so yes he will work faster and do a longer day and need 2 guys to cover his round. I did a month or so for DHL one winter 10 years ago as an agency cover driver, if you show any competence as an agency guy they just put more on you for the day. The main problem with these jobs is that when people take them they see the money that can potentially be made, but they don't take into account that you're self employed. If we as self employed workers whether tree related, or ground workers, are sick we don't get paid end of. The problem here is that these guys will take the extra wedge for the self employed status, but then if they get health issues wonder why there's no sick pay etc that PAYE staff get. The answer being that the PAYE Staff are paid less in the first place to cover this. I think there was a plumber working under similar rules who took Pimlico Plumbers to court over this? After years of being paid over the odds, cus he was self employed by them. Work interruption insurance is what you should have so if you get ill or your kit gets nicked you still get something. But as earlier these franchise/self employed deals are wrong they're a scam so the company has lower costs and fewer responsibilities, whilst the employee/agent has basically to work for them as if employed by them, I can't really see how they get it past the Revenue as self employed. But they do so hey ho.
  11. Ernesto

    Making the news today....

    Got a mate who works for DPD (15 years plus I think). Could be wrong, but as I understand their deal, the drivers hold a franchise for the area they deliver to and as such they agreed to be the DPD service for that patch, like Costa, McDonalds etc. I think he gets 2 weeks a year off where the company will pay for the cover as part of the contract, if you want/need more time off they'll provide the cover (agency drivers generally 2 guys to cover what the one driver would do) and then bill you for this. This isn't a fine its a charge for cover when you're not covering the work of your franchise area. Its expensive though as you aren't delivering and therefore no pay for you (they get paid by the number of deliveries) and then the cover charge comes out of your monthly amount. So 2 weeks off will effectively be knack all for the month. So yea the initial whinge is pretty much rubbish as those were the terms the guy agreed to. Also there's a lot of these self employed/franchise jobs out there, which apparently are ok with the HMRC rules, but I'd say with most of them its employed really.
  12. Ernesto

    Stake needed please ox/bucks

    Hi Daniel, we're producing the stakes for Kav. I gave him a call from the number on his website, as I'd been away for a couple of days and it was the quickest way to see if he still needed the stakes. We're cutting an overstood coppice around some ash/oak maidens that may then be felled and the whole wood deer fenced. The hazel is really overstood with a lot 6-8" at the butt end, or bigger on some stools. So essentially a lot is going to be charcoal or firewood, we should get a fair few stakes out of it but hardly any binders. The coppice is just south of Reading, so if you need any stakes, or limited amounts of binders, give us a call/email: 07876230293, marquees@tentorium.org.uk . I think spoke to you on the phone about 2 years ago when you were near Sleaford? Cheers Ernie.
  13. Ernesto

    1mCube Bags of Split Logs Available

    Hi again, problem solved, got someone to take them already. Thanks for the interest and thanks to Al for the sale. Should be gone before the fence goes up. Cheers again Ernie
  14. As per the title I have 30 x 1m cube SGBakers bags of split, seasoned logs (all at least 2yrs), hardwood softwood mix that need to go from our yard asap. Just been informed that there's going to be a new 6' high fence put in dividing the existing yard into 2; and really helpfully the intended line is through the middle of our temporary log storage marquee. So it needs moving within the next 2 weeks, or we'll be working around a 6' barrier. Preferably want to sell the lot as one, to someone who can collect, we can load with forks. Looking for £40 plus vat per bag (£1440 total inc vat). The bags are near Reading Berks in the RG7 postcode. Anybody interested drop me a text and I'll call you back, sorry no pm's as I may not be able to log in 'til Friday afternoon. Sorry there's no pics of these. Cheers in advance Ernie 07876230293
  15. Ernesto

    Any new small charcoal retorts out there?

    I've been looking at similar things (will do the first firing of our brick built Adam retort after Easter). We just needed a steel sheet for the bottom plate. In the end went for ss304 as will last longer than mild steel. Better suited would've been ss309 or ss310 or ideally ss430; It came down to cost for us. SS304 £142 for a 1250x 2500 x 3mm sheet, or ss310 (couldn't get 309 in the size from our local supplier) for £397. Didn't dare ask re ss430 after that quote. Hope that helps otherwise sorry for sticking my oar in. Ernie.


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