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About Gimlet

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    Senior Member

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  • Interests
    Motorcycles, shooting and hedges
  • Occupation
    Commercial hedge layer
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  1. Stihl or Husky battery saws are both good but not cheap options. And you need at least two batteries, a fast charger and an inverter to charge them from your vehicle. But they are very useful if you can't drive right up to the hedge you're working on and have to carry gear on foot for any distance. Much lighter and no fuel to carry. Also good for any hedge with large heals to cut off because you're reaching for the saw every few minutes with those and it's all too easy to leave a petrol saw sitting on the ground ticking over for hours on end which doesn't do them any good. I've burned out many plugs that way. If you go cordless Makita are very good value for money and well made but they don't have the run time or the power of the Huskys and Stihls. Ideally you'd have a couple of petrol saws - a small 13" general purpose or top handle, and a bigger 18" for big stuff, crown lifting etc, and a cordless as well. Depends how much work you're doing. If you're just starting out, I'd get a good pro quality 13" petrol to begin with. I prefer Husky for bigger saws, but I think Stihl offer a better choice of small ones.
  2. Following last year's washout winter I've decided I need an enclosed ATV for the next hedge laying season. I spent two months on a waterlogged farm where the ground was too wet to drive over with regular vehicles so all I had was a quad bike and no shelter from the rain. It was miserable. I'm back there next season so I thought I'd invest in an enclosed ATV of the Gator/Kubota/Polaris persuasion. It'll be ideal for hedge laying and will also come in really handy for shooting and extracting coppice products. It'll earn its keep. Only trouble is, I can't afford a brand new John Deere. I'm on a budget, ideally under six grand if that's possible. So bearing in mind I'll be looking at something with a few hours under its belt, what would people recommend. What's good, what's reliable and what's not. Only proviso is it needs to be a pick-up style machine with a cargo deck for tools etc and it must have doors and a roof.
  3. I don't know. But a Hetas engineer can inspect and certify an existing liner. I'd get it checked, get a certificate and crack on.
  4. A HETAS engineer will probably sign the existing flue off with a camera inspection.
  5. I reckon a lot of builders/roofers who are asked to replace cowls when they're up there round a chimney stack anyway doing something else, use cheap and nasty ones from Screwfix or whatever they can find in Travis Perkins. I fitted a Screwfix one once as a subbie that the contractor had supplied and it was utter crap. Think it lasted about 12 months. The spot welds that attach the anchor straps to the cowl let go and the cowl ended up in the garden with the straps and the jubilee band still round the chimney pot. The mesh had already rusted out as well.
  6. The log burner in my mother's house has vitreous enamel pipe which runs through a poured in-situ pumice liner all the way up to the top of the stack. It has been been fitted with the sockets upside down because that's how the pipe they used happened to fit onto the spigot on top of the stove, so whoever fitted it continued with female-down all the way to the top. They should have started with male end down inside the spigot, and if that didn't fit use a double-ended female fitting to restore the flow to female-up before they got through the register plate (which they could easily have done because the stove sits in a huge inglenook and there's over six feet of stovepipe below the register plate). Leaks occur during heavy rain in summer when the fire is not lit. Some rain water inevitably blows in under the cowl, runs down the pipe and leeches out of the joints and puddles on top of the stove. I think the problem is made worse because vitreous enamel liners have a smooth surface which water can run down readily in a straight line. With flexi-liners rain water has to track around the helical ridges which slow the descent so much it would probably never reaches the bottom anyway.
  7. Error in my last post. If the OP is able to fit a 6" flexi liner inside his existing flue, he won't need a clay to metal adaptor. He can just go from stovepipe to flexi in the usual way.
  8. I was getting there. Had a sale lined up. Viewed a few properties in the Dalston area of Cumbria, and a couple in Dumfries, and then our buyer pulled out at the last minute and left me in the lurch so back to square one. Resolve is undiminished though. I will be heading there at some point in the near future.
  9. I saw a piece about hedge laying once on the Antiques Roadtrip when they were up in the Scottish Borders. Philip Serrill had a bash at it with a local Scottish hedge layer. It was interesting to note that the style used appeared to be identical to South of England. Whatever style is used, the problem, I suspect, as it is in so many parts of the country, will be convincing landowners to let their hedges grow out so they're tall enough to be laid and to wean them off their habit of flailing hedges within an inch of their lives into brutally geometric square shapes all the time.
  10. Yep, looks like a solid flue cast-in-situ around an inflatable former. In which case it should be relatively easy to fit a clay to metal adaptor. It looks a simple job. regarding the cowl, if you've got to get up to the stack anyway to drop down a liner, I'd fit a new one as a matter of course. Usually they're cheap painted mild steel and the paint gets corroded by exposure to soot and tar and they rust away. If the chimney is very high and tricky to access I'd fit a 6" stainless suspended cowl. They cost more but they don't disintegrate and get blown off the pot in the middle of winter.
  11. I built chimney stacks that incorporated sectional pumice liners. Nowadays they are bonded with fireproof resin, not mortar, and the joint should be rubbed clean as you go, so there should be no mortar snots to snag on. Your post has remonded me, I should have said that if the OP has got clay or pumice, and he can get the flexi up inside it like you have, the clay/pumice will act as an insulation jacket. I'd still want to be filling any gap between the liner and the pot with insulation or fire foam or something, so that smuts and embers can't fall back down the void.
  12. What is your existing flue? You say you have a 7" flue "pipe" but if the house was built with an open fire it presumably hasn't got a flexi-liner, so is yours a vitreous enamel steel liner or built in-situ sectional concrete rings? If it's the latter, the problem you have in going from 6" to 7" that openspaceman refers to, is that you will have a 1" void on top of the register plate between the 6" stove pipe and the 7" flue which can't be swept and in which combustible deposits will build up creating a fire hazard. That void somehow has to be eliminated. If you have a 7" vitreous liner, firstly has it been fitted with poured back-fill insulation, such as vermiculite, lime putty, ceramic beads etc? if it has, replacing it will be a PITA and I'd live with it and try and source, or even have made, a reducer fitting that takes you from 6" to 7" without leaving a length of 6" sticking up inside the 7" creating a debris trap that can't be swept. If it's an uninsulated stand-alone steel line inside the brick flue, I'd bite the bullet and replace it with a fully insulated 6" flexi. But you won't be doing it for £600. More like three times that. Bear in mind that vitreous enamel pipes (and sectional concrete rings come to that) and any adapter fitting attached to them must be installed with the female end uppermost and the male down, otherwise hot tar and dirty rain water will leach out of the joint and dribble down the outside of the liner onto the top of the stove. If fitted female up/male down, flue effluent will stay within the liner and get burned away cleanly by the stove. If you have an enamel liner and it has been fitted upside down, and I've seen a few that have, that's another reason to replace it.
  13. That flashing is going to leak. It's clearly a bodge. You need an independent HETAS inspection of the work. If it's condemned forward the report to Building Control.and keep a file of everything you do and every cost you incur. If the installer is not HETAS registered but told you he was, he has basically committed fraud. There is comeback from this and you should pursue it. If the installer is, or claimed he is, HETAS registered you should get in touch with HETAS themselves in the first instance. If he was not registered, they will be able to advise you on what to do next. https://www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/complaints-policy/
  14. Gimlet

    Uses for pasture

    It's all academic now. Our buyers pulled out yesterday...
  15. Gimlet

    Uses for pasture

    Don't think it's level enough for camping and there is no sanitation. My brother said you couldn't round bale hay on that ground because it's too small for the tractor to get up to speed and your bales would be loose, so you need small bale machinery or someone local who has it to make hay. If the landlord owns the farm, why not just take down the fence and incorporate the field into the surrounding fields which are all pasture as well? Makes me wonder whether someone's bought the house with a scrap of ground off the farm and it's got an agricultural covenant on it which could be quite restrictive. I'll find out tomorrow.


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