If You Had Just One Room

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Gayle in KY, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    If you had just one room with no electricity, and you wanted to keep it that way for times when your power was out, or for whatever reason, what would you put in it? How would you furnish it, what accessories do you think would be necessary, how would you heat and cool it, etc.?
     
  2. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    Great question! We have a room that we pretty much live in (but with electricity and seperate bedrooms and a bathroom), so I think I would want it to be a bit like that. It is a 12 x 24 foot room. At one end is the kitchen, and the other is the dining/family room. They are separated only by an eating counter and a large pantry. If I were to keep it as an electric free area, I would replace the electric stove with a wood cookstove (with hot water reservoir), which would also serve as a heat source. I would replace the regular couch with a sleeper couch, and would have to add another couch, maybe a futon, for my son which would require doing away with the china cabinet. There is a small round table in the middle of the room. A chest with blankets and extra clothes would be handy, and the candle sconces and ceiling fan would have to be repaced with oil lamps. I suppose we would have to have an outhouse, and the sink in the kitchen would have to have a pump handle (my aunts house had a pump handle indoors, and it was fairly handy). An old fashioned ice box or propane fridge and a root cellar would help too. I never understand all of the new, ultra big houses going up. Seems like everyone uses only a couple of rooms in their house anyway!
     

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Well Gayle,

    You've just described our cabin. We don't have electricity in it. We have a propane heater. We'd use wood but the cabin is only 12x16 and in that cramped a space a wood burner would be a hazard. We are planning on adding an addition that will have a woodburner. Thinking 20-24 foot wide and about 16-20 deep. Still wavering back and forth on exact size.

    The cabin generally stays fairly cool as it sits within a grove of large black walnuts and maples. Today it was 92 degrees outside but in the cabin the thermometer showed 79 degrees. Having lots of windows is also useful for cooling. Get a nice cross ventilation going.

    For lighting we use candles in sconces on the walls and in candelabras.

    Mike
     
  4. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    Our livingroom is outfitted for no electric and we have managed quite a few days w/o electric. Our wood stove is in there, we have a fold out couch, our sons makes a pallet on the floor. We have one good Aladdin and a few reg. oil lamps. My treddle is in that room. We have 3 large water bath kettles so we can heat water for a bath. More than that can fit on the stove. We always keep a stash of batteries for radio, boom box, flashlights. The other cool thing we use is a one burner butane stove...it is great...I think we paid $20 for it. It makes coffee FAST!
     
  5. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We like our Alladdin lamp when the power goes out -- hardly ever happens anymore around here. I don't know what size of the room has to do with it: our cabin is 20'-4" x 28', two floors, and decks.

    From a post of mine October 27, 2004:

    Alex
     
  6. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    We wired the livingroom area of our house for DC, and have alot of the same in appliances to use when the power goes out. Tile floors so cleaning is non electric with a broom, and much cooler to sleep on in the summer than carpet. Woodstove that can also be used for cooking, winter only, our regular stove runs off propane, pre-electric ignition. We also have a fan on the woodstove to circulate the heat tht runs on a sterling engine. Our good kerosene and oil lamps are part of our decor also. We also have inverters and can run them off any of our vehicles or the tractor, will run the TV and the fridge and a freezer with no problem. Will not run a window AC :)

    The last outage in the 8 counties surrounding Houston, my sis came over because she knew we would have lights and fans, we were watching the news when she came in...her comment "Are they running the news program just for you two? Who else is even watching it???" It was pretty funny knowing that few to no others in Houston or surrounding counties were watching the news cast of why the power was even out :)

    Also keeping at least one phone in the house that doesn't need electricity to run is important also. Vicki
     
  7. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for veering from the subject, but Alex, if you don't mind me asking, are the Alladin lamps terribly expensive? The one you pictured is beautiful! We are planning on driving down to Lehman's in two weeks, and if they aren't too much, I would like to set aside some money for one. Thanks!
     
  8. Debbie at Bount

    Debbie at Bount Well-Known Member

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    Alex tell me about that wood burning cook stove you have in that room.
    Debbie
     
  9. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a little bitty wood cookstove in my 10*30 sunroom(which doesnt necessarily need heat in winter).Sears and Roebuck "Ranger" circa 1940. The floor is tiled so it is cool in summer. We have several oil lamps but I dislike the fumes they give off, I prefer candles....I actually have several candle lamps from Partylite. We have a large woodstove that heats the rest of the house in our split living room 16*28.

    We actually were 10 days without power during the ice storm of Jan '98 here in MAine. It was enjoyable! We actually bought a generator(10hp) to wash laundry and take showers that we back fed into the electric panel via the clothes dryer receptacle. We had to switch from furnace, water pump, to washing machine but in two hrs I had laundry done, hung to dry, 4 kids bathed and two adult showers. The woodstove kept the house a fairly constant 75 degrees.

    Our camp was one room with a loft until we added on....it also had two woodstoves...a heater and a cookstove and kerosene lanterns, wash tubs etc.
     
  10. COUNTRY WISHES

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

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    Not only is that lamp handy it is quite beautiful. We have a room that will eventually be our dining room that has no overhead electricity I will consider one of these when the time comes to outfit that room.
     
  11. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Sounds like our one-room cabin, too (complete with Aladdin lamps and a PetroMAx lantern--HA!):

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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  13. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Melissa - They are expensive but Lehman's has a special right now with a bunch of ones they have left over from Y2K for about $100 including the shade. I say it's a good deal! But now I wish I bought a hanging one instead of a table one. I have to see if they have a stand for it.
     
  14. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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  15. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I hope they have the sale lamps in the store! It is an easy drive from our house, and it's nice to actually be able to see and touch things before buying them. They are expensive, but I imagine they last a lifetime. Thank you!

    By the way, Cabin Fever, your cabin is really beautiful!
     
  16. Morriagiolla

    Morriagiolla Well-Known Member

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    well....I would do it alot like the room I live in now....extept I would have something to cook with. (use the family kitchen)

    a bunk-bed
    ceder chest (doubles as place to sit)
    old fashioned wardrobe
    woven rugs
    haning oil and candle lamps
    an old piano bench for a table
    floor pillows for sitting
    treadle sewer (soon)
     
  17. backwoods

    backwoods Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh, Cabin Fever whatta great place!!!!
    Well, to all the things you guys listed I'd add a solar powered fan, a crank radio, a couple of large metal washtubs for bathing, heating water, doing dishes, laundry, collecting rainwater, etc.
    Great thread! Good food for thought.
     
  18. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Wow those are pretty pictures! Makes my place look like a dirty cardboard box, LOL. .....someday, someday, all the bills will be paid off...

    a wood stove is the center of our lives in winter, great insulation is so importaint, in summer or winter. I think even penney spent on insulation pays back 10 fold on comfort level. A water supply is needed, even if just gallon jugs, but a water barrels or a good sized tank is great to have, prices have gone up I'm sure, but our 1500 gal tank was about $500, it will last most of the winter once filled, but in summer it might last a week. In winter I can cook on the wood stove or on a propane one, in summer I try to cook outside.

    Beds with storage under them are nice, oil lamps, or LED's, I have 2 LED head lamps that I really like and use every night. We have a 12V solar powered battery system, and now I have good color tv's to watch weather reports and such and power for the inverter and computer. Home power mag has plans for building small portable units that are safe indoors useing sealed batteries.
    A well stocked food supply. something to do with my hands, cards, other games, sewing to do.
    ....and a window....
     
  19. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    125 bucks for a tilt shade Aladdin? Eureka, I'm rich! I'm soo glad we never threw those old things in the yard sale piles.

    I lived with Aladdins for many years, sorta a love/hate relationship. If I recall, we paid about 25 bucks apiece. Touchy dang things compared to regular old kerosene lamps. Alex has it right, you can ONLY burn real kerosene in them, not diesel or any of the other stuff we put in the regular lamps. The mantles are a frustrating experience with a learning curve that will have you pulling your hair out. Never get more than 5' away from an operating Aladdin. They'll run away from you in a heartbeat and can take upwards from an hour to get up to operating temperature to be fairly trouble free.

    After you have lived with candle light or regular kerosene lamps for a time, you really come to appreciate the amount of light thrown off by an Aladdin.
     
  20. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Bare: I can only speak about my experience with my Aladdin lamps. Some of them are bad, others are good. I'd avoid model C's and some 21C's. There were some steel burners made in Brazil once; do not bother with those. If it doesn't burn as bright as it could on the top part of the mantle, raise the flame spreader a tiny bit (when the lamp is cool of course) and repeat until you find the ideal height, after raising/lowering it some. Okay, once you find the right spot, lightly scratch a line with a fine knife on the side so you know exactly how high to put it after you remove it next. Not too hard on the line though, just enough to see it.

    If it soots, clean your wick. If there are high spots on the wick, use the wick cleaner to take those down. The wick must also be cleaned often to remove carbon build up which will prevent it from working well. Then, if playing with the wick does not help, try the gallery/chimney/mantle assembly on the burner in various locations. I have my lamps memorized where to put the gallery, if I do not put it on the right way in the right spot, it will not burn well. Also, I turn it counterclockwise to tighten it. Most do it the other way, but, I have better experiences when tightening the gallery counter-clockwise for some reason. Maybe your lamp will be different though.


    When lighting, light the wick, put on the gallery in correct position, then raise the wick until the mantle begins to glow. Leave it that way for ten minutes. Slowly, after that ten minutes, raise it to about 2/3 brightness or so. Watch for the next half hour for it to get brighter, it will as the draft in the chimney increases. As it does, it may burn too high and soot your mantle. Lower it to burn off any black spots and then raise until it is bright again but not as high as when it sooted up.


    Yep, this sounds all complicated, but, with practice, it becomes easy to do. I myself prefer most old ones to a new one....model B burners are the best according to most collectors, and I have a model 12 I'm working on getting working now. But, a warning on the model 12: the wick rising mechanism has a tendancy to wear out and stop working. If gears are stripped, it's dead. Get another model 12 burner. Unless you want to spend over ten dollars for a mantle, do NOT get anything earlier than a model 11. Model 12, models A, B, etc. use cheap parts. Model 11's use expensive mantles.