Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Monday, June 9, 2014

High water of June

In Indiana it seems like June brings storms, rain, and wind. A few years ago a big storm came thru in early June and with it floods. My old makeshift atv bridge washed away. Last June a big wind storm rolled thru at night and blew several trees down on my property. A few of which were likely over 100 years old. With that a massive oak fell onto my newly constructed bridge causing alot of truss damage. This June came 2+ inches of rain saturday night. No damage this time, but the waters came up to give my new dam under construction a good test.

                                                       This is with the flood gate open.

                                             Water is flowing very good down the canal.

                            This is near the lower end of the canal.
                      Where I am wanting to install the water wheel.
         This temporary wood dam will be replaced with a concrete one.

  There is about 2 1/2 feet of head at this point. Not alot, but with the water flow it should work out.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hydro electric project update

Ive been working off and on with my homestead off grid power project. Here are a few photos of the progress to date.

This was after some 2 or more inches of new rain a few weeks ago. The dam worked great. But after about 4 days it had undermined the gravel and had a blow out in the center of it. So Ive had to go back and make improvements.

Ive dug the trench all the way across back to the bend in the creek downstream now.

Looking to be able to raise and lower water level in the dam quickly, I built a gate. It can be raised and lowered by turning a threaded screw. It works good but I need to add some kind of sealing strip to control leaking.

It works well enough for now. You may have noticed I lined the side of the dam with concrete. This was because of endless small leaks I was patching and filling in. The dam so far is a single log lined with plastic tarp, filled in with rocks, gravel and sand. Then covered in a layer of concrete. Its sloped to deflect the force of the water on it. Because of the success of this I am going to add the same to the down stream slope of the dam as well soon. Hopefully it will be able to survive most floods.

Heres a .gif I found on the web showing how the gate on the dam works. Pretty simple.

This is a simple water wheel I put together to get started with. Later on there will be a bigger one if this project is successful.

I dont expect to power alot with any of this. Thats just not the scale of what Im trying to do. If I can get enough power out of this to provide free 24 hour barn and stall lighting that will be great. Maybe a radio and a small water feed pump too.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mushrooms and Trenches

Hi, here is a small update on my hydroelectric project.

I now have the in feed canal dug to the water table depth by hand.
It will need widened to fit the block lining so sidewalls don't collapse.
There is quite a bit of useful sand and gravel I have gathered out from the dig so far.
Its hard to tell from the photo, but there is a gentle downward sloping as i dig the length. Hard to notice. Inches of slope over many feet. But you can tell by the water gathering to one end. It doesn't lie. 

My girls were watching me work and went looking for mushrooms and found these. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Im back!

Hello everyone. Its been quite a long time since my last post here. Life is going well again for us here. 2012 was a bad year for me and my family. I had a heart attack in July and my son Daniel was killed in an auto accident three days later. 2013 was ups and downs as well. We found the long ongoing trouble for my wife Jackie was diabetes. With medication and now a surgery, she is doing much better. So my mind hadn't really been on projects alot and reporting them even less. But things have settled down and I'm back at it again! So hold on and here we go.,,

Ive added siding to my barn, still have more to do but its getting there. Pouring concrete floor in barn too. Added a yet to be completed horse stall to rear of barn. Began a hydroelectric project making use of the now dammed up water in the creek as my energy source. Made some needed repairs to my bulldozers fuel system and tracks. Bought a new to me flatbed trailer. Got my antique cement mixer working. Cut down several storm damage trees for firewood and logging timber. My bridge had severe storm damage June of 2013 that I had to repair. My son William is now in the US Army Infantry. I got a new job too.

Here are some pics, not in any particular order. More to follow soon.

 The Allis Chalmers HD5G is having a good day digging the water canal for the powerhouse.

 This is the start of my log dam for the hydroelectric plant.
 Maybe I can set up a gold sluice and look for gold also?
Firewood and fence posts on the same day.