Archive for July 26, 2011

Heat your home with irish timber instead of imported oil


With heating oil heading beyond 90 cent a litre. Irish home owners should give serious consideration to heating their homes with solid fuel stoves with back boilers. The fuel can be sourced from Irish timber growers such as ash thinnings and is not subject to the same price fluctuations. The stanley reginald stove pictured above produces 15.8kw maximum boiler output and 4kw maximum output to the room.

In order to utilise boiler stoves effectively home owners should first reduce the heat demand for their home by incorporating insulation, heating controls and if possible address any air leakage issues which can be revealed using a pressure and infra-red assessment of the home. We are in the process of addressing air leakage through the implementation of an air tightness system which should reduce the heat demand by addressing the heat loss issues due to unnecessary air movement in our dormer home.

As the cost of oil increases the payback time for implementing these solutions is rapidly decreasing. There is over 1000 acres in our parish under forestry so switching to solid fuel seems like the right decision for our home. I believe that in the next 5 years many Irish home owners will make the same decision,

Eircom should invest in rural exchanges before they invest in fibre roll out

I welcome Eircom’s announcement that they are going to invest in fibre with a 100 million euro rollout. But I wish they would spend the money on enabling all exchanges in Ireland for broadband. We live in Upperchurch in the Tipperary Hills and it looks like we will never see the exchange at Rossoulty being enabled for broadband.

This means using slower connection speed technology such as wifi (if you live in the right area) or satellite. The 3G broadband products do not offer sufficient bandwidth. So while the towns and cities in Ireland prosper, rural communities will continue to suffer.

Retrofitting- an air tightness solution

image a pressure and infrared assessment revealed significant convection loops and heat loss due to air movement in our dormer house.

We have decided to implement an isover vario air tightness solution. Which means constructing a warm roof. The insulation under the rafters is 150mm rockwool flexi which was in place but there were gaps. It is important to keep a 50 mm gap between the rockwool flexi and the roofing felt as its non breathable. The key to air tightness is attention to detail which means that it a slow job. So far I would calculate that 2 sqm is taking me 1 hour to complete.

A big issue I have is restricting air flow from the soffit to the floor joists as its open. I am using a swiss roll insulation approach to prevent this air flow and allow the air to pass up the roof behind the rocckwool flexi.

I would recommend a powered respirator as shown in the picture above. I purchased a trend air ace which weighs nearly 1 kg and has an 8 hour lithium ion battery. It means I have filtered air passing over my face and the filters take out all the insulation dust that is floating in the area. The hard hat aspect helps when you are crawling around a dormer crawlspace. If the respirator was half the weight it would be perfect but I am happy enough with it. I am also using a 60 Watt LED light wand which lasts 4 hours on a charge and a staple gun with 10mm staples.

An airtightness system has a variety of tapes and I use double sided protape, KB1 and multitape SL1. These take getting used to and I would recommend attaching the protape to the membrane before you bring it into the attic area as it sticks to everything !!

This job will take several weeks as warm weather usually restricts me to 1 – 2 hours in the morning before things get to warm. As I stated earlier it is slow and steady work and I will get there eventually. There is no pointing doing a half assed job as it is a waste of time and money.

The new J Mascis guitar – it has arrived and its a squier!

j mascis squier guitar courtesy of Thomann

There are numerous discussions on the internet about the new J Mascis signature squier jazzmaster. The most informed discussions are taking place on offset guitar forum. Some interviews conducted earlier in the year especially  hinted at the squier version which J hopes will encourage people to take up the electric guitar

A squier version of Js fender jazzmaster eould be less than half the price of the signature fender jazzmaster.

As of today have a product entry for a new mascis jazzmaster which will retail at 394 euros. There is no mention if its a squier or not but more than likely it is at that price. There is no image yet.  Thomann have removed the entry for the guitar but have left behind the image

Fender J.Mascis Jazzmaster e-guitar, artist model, basswood body, maple neck, C-shape, rosewood fretboard, 21 jumbo frets, nut width thomann 42,5mm, scale 648mm, 2x jazzmaster single coil pickups, adjusto-matic bridge with vintage style floating tremolo, toggle switch, gold anodized aluminium pickguard, finish vintage white

The original Fender Jazzmaster signature lis quiet different in its looks and probably its quality. The squier is an attractive price point and will suit people on a low budget or those who wish to mod/modify their guitar.

Fender Jazzmaster J Mascis Signature series

The colour scheme for the squier version does distinguish it from the purple fender jazzmaster, Fans would point out that J does not stick to anyone particular jazzmaster colour as the photo below shows, it also gives you an idea why the squier was designed this way.

Photo of J Mascis with a white jazzmaster courtesy of wikiedia/wikimedia


Wexford the cultural capital of the south east


We spent the weekend in wexford. It is great to see how the old and the new exist side by side. The opera house is fantastic and there is plenty to see and do. I can recommend the bookcentre for coffee only 1.40 for an espresso.

What was missing from my kindle


Dear amazon.

Please include a power adapter with the kindle. We use them so as to avoid switching on pcs.



We have moved! to wordpress


I have been meaning to move irishsilicon to wordpress for a while. I plan to use my android phone to do some of the publishing as this will allow for more updates