Events at the Barn

Groopstock Report – Day 2

Day 2 was a bit more traumatic for me as I started the day as I almost always do, going to check the status of the power system. My heart was immediately in my throat as I saw that it was stone cold dead, and would not re-boot.


Notwithstanding my battery upgrade last year, when I replaced the four original oversized deep-cycle truck batteries with four OVERSIZED deep cycle batteries, which at 192 pounds apiece were the largest 12-volt batteries available in the US and quadrupled my storage capacity, the system was not operating.


Frantically I consulted with BillR, who has been instrumental in the conception and installation of the system, and he made a “Kentucky windage” guess that the system needed to charge up its reservoir to restart, so all we had to do was wait for the sun and the creek to do their magic.

In the mean time I had four generators ready at the gate, and I fired up my sweet little 3.5kW Suburu generator and made a quick gas run. Unfortunately I missed the beginning of Martin O’Brien’s presentation on color theory and inpainting techniques.


I was checking the system every half hour or so, and at 11:15 it started up. After a lot of head scratching we got it figured out. Apparently during the night someone had started up (or left on) the mondo exhaust fan on the fourth floor and eventually the system shut itself down when the batteries got too low. The fan consumes about 800 watts of juice, and the water turbine output is about 500 watts. Adding the fan juice to the wattage consumed by just the system itself being powered up (200 watts) and the multitude of phones and computers plugged in to recharge, we had no chance in getting through the night unscathed.


After lunch I was on stage presenting Insect Eradication, covering the low-ish-tech methods available to craftsmen facing the problem of powder post beetles or termites in the wood, carpet beetles of other creepy crawlies in the upholstery, or similar troublesome critters.


Covering both aqueous borate salt treatments and anoxic suffocation treatments, the attendees were equipped with the knowledge needed to address this problem.  I will be blogging about this topic in late July or August, and will compile those postings into a PDF that you can download as a reference.



Closing out the afternoon were Bob Judd speaking on the topic of dealing with the mass media on a local scale for obtaining free publicity, and Dan Carlson commenting on a variety of rust-suppressive coatings for metals.


For our evening meal we held our traditional dinner at the Highland Inn’s Black Sheep Tavern, where a grand time was had by all. Heartfelt histories were recited, and many gifts and mementos were presented.  More about that later.


Back at the barn at 9PM Joe Amaral began a fascinating presentation first on the repair of a damaged polyester coating, followed by an absolutely captivating discussion of his explorations of oriental lacquer techniques. His own sample boards were a sight to behold, and the crowd stayed strong and attentive until the very end.

After a quick scolding from me regarding the power consumption, I went to bed.

Special thanks again to Joshua Klein for his permission to use many of his photos for this posting.