Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Minds Think Alike

In the comments section of my last Sunday's post about getting in wood, Claire left a comment saying she had always thought having an outside opening (on the exterior wall) to an inside wood box would be a smart idea. That way you would be able to fill the box from the outside without hand carrying the wood in to the wood box traversing the whole length of the porch (as we have to do in our particular layout), This would obviously eliminate the mess made on the porch floor from debris dropping off the wood and mud and/or snow from the tromp, tromp, tromping of boots.

I was way ahead of you, m'dear! Your idea was something that always appealed to me so I specifically designed just such a door located on the exterior wall in the back of our wood box on the porch.

We even made an inner cover to further insulate the back of the box and insure no little mousies would seek refuge in our wood box.

The above is an open view of the filled wood box.

Unfortunately, this idea (like so many designed by architects but not tested out in reality) didn't work.

I struggled filling the box from the outside for probably more than a year before I decided it was akin to banging my head on a brick wall because it felt so good when I stopped.

Can you see the problem? In order to fill the box, I had to be down on my knees bent over in a less than comfortable position. The pieces of wood needed to be stacked in going the other direction (north to south rather than east to west) to keep them from falling out but that was no big deal. But having to be on my knees and reaching up into the wheelbarrow next to me for every piece of wood was.

Basically, it really is a good idea. But the inside wood box needs to be designed in a different configuration. Instead of being in the shape of a chest or bench (that we frequently sit on in the porch to put on/take off boots, etc.), it would have to be designed in a more tall, slender shape . . . sort of like a closet. That way you could stand outside and stack the wood in there from a much more comfortable position.

Just shows to go ya, we live and learn. And what looks so good on paper doesn't always pan out in day to day reality. So, Claire, our common idea was good; we just need to retrofit it a smidge!


Jane said...

Nifty door, but I see your point. Being in coal country, all the homes around here have a door just like that to shoot coal into your basement to be burned in your furnace. I think a coal burner designed your wood door.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Would it work to put a hinge on the bottom of the door so you could kind of ramp it in? I'll bet if you showed it to your carpenter friend she could find any easy fix for you :)

Fiona said...

Thanks for this, Mama Pea. I've been thinking about installing/building one of these myself, but I hadn't thought through all the logistics. This is a big help!

Jane said...

That was my thought when I looked at your box,just too much bending. A good idea but needs some tweaking. Blessings jane

Susan said...

A chute is what you need! Of course, then you would have a big pile of wood on your porch. Hmmm. I try not to do much ground work if I can get away with it. It always takes so darn long to get back up.

Erin said...

I can't believe I had to catch up on 3 of your posts, I have really been getting sucked into stuff here, either that or I'm just really not multi-tasking well anymore LOL - I'm all caught up now!

Mama Pea said...

Jane - I grew up with a coal chute going down into the coal room in the basement. That must have been what I was thinking of when I designed the wood box door!

Jen - No, sad to say the door opening is just too small for that.

Fiona - Nuthin' like practical experience to point things in the right direction. Glad you can possibly benefit from my snafu!

Jane2 - Yup. Why couldn't I see that in the original design??

Susan - Believe you me, I tweaked some muscles in my back more than once while down in that position! (At least we can still get DOWN without too much trouble!)

Erin - Methinks you are trying to multi too many tasks!!

Sue said...

Hi Mama Pea!!
What is that WHITE CRAP on the porch floor??????????????????????? It better not be snow! We are heading back toward home- I see the temps have been rising back in Michigan and it's time to start my seeds. But ACK! Say there isn't SNOW still hanging around!!!!!!

Anyways-sorry I've been "absent". I've missed your blog oodles. Congrats on the continued success in the quest for a perfect butt. You've inspired me-once I get home and off the restaurant food, I WILL be watching what I eat. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

That really is a super idea! A closet door would probably make it a lot easier on the knees for sure!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I evidently didn't do a very good job of illustrating with my photos! That shot with the snow is the wood box door (that didn't work) on the OUTSIDE of the house! Don't know what you will find at home, but we still have lots and lots (and lots) of snow on the ground here. Yesterday we had a mixture of snow and rain in the county.

"Quest for the perfect butt" . . . ha! That dream ended when I was about 22, I think! Thanks for calling me an inspiration though. (I'm going to go eat some chocolate ice cream with potato chips on top now.) ;o)

Rain - Unfortunately, our present porch has windows half way up the wall on the outer side. So to restructure our wood box, we'd have to give up some windows and I think that would really mess up the looks of the porch. Oh well . . . maybe in my dream house!

Claire said...

Ah, I do see the problem! Hadn't thought of that. I wonder if it would work at our cabin, where it would be hear hip height? Sometimes you just don't know how these things are going to work (or not work) until you try, that's for sure!