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Questions

Postby calsur » Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:37 am

Hi All,

Preamble: I have been reading a lot of the posts but I have some BASIC questions that I have not found answers to yet. As these questions deal with really basic crap, literally, the weak hearted should not read on.

OK, So the first one is about crap. If I bring a little port-a-pottie (5 gallon), will I be able to empty it into the pottie on site? Basically consolidate the crap? The only thing in the little one is human waste, single ply TP from Camping World and water.

Second, Is plywood an accepted burnable item? I think some people might have a problem with the glue used to make plywood. I want to know about this because I want to make an extension to lay into the bed of my Subaru Forester (micro SUV) so I can have a level area off of the playa for my mattress. And I do not want to take it home so I want to burn it.

Which leads to question 3. Where do I burn something like a 3 foot by 7 foot piece of plywood and the 2 two foot long 4"x4" posts?

Onto question 4. I am an experienced Mohave Desert camper. My current system is to take a 24 foot reserve parachute and tie 2 riser lines to the front tow points and stake the 12 to 15 other riser lines with 24 inch forming stakes. Note - FORMING STAKES - 2 feet long, 4" by 1/2" wide, normally used to hold concrete forms in place. I then brace up the interior with 2 to 4 standard Army camo spreaders. If the wind gets too nasty, I drop the spreaders and pull the chute in as much as possible. Will this system work on the Playa?

Any comments or suggestions will be graciously received.

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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:26 am

1--You can work out a deal with Jonny on the Spot (the porta-pottie vendor, also called JotS) to have yours cleaned for a fee. Some people on the board will curse your memory forever. You can also arrange to use the communal potties most of the time and not have the build up.

2-Plywood has formaldehyde--nasty gasses when burned. Unpainted wood only.

3--There are burn platforms that can handle large pieces--maybe they're 10'x20'?

4--No help from me.

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dos centavos

Postby robotland » Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:35 am

re:1) Is it only a meal if you put the sandwich on a plate before you eat it? If the crap's gonna end up in the JOTS, who cares if it lives in a bucket for a while first?
re:2) Nasty Chemicals or not, seems like PLENTY of plywood gets burned. Definately avoid where possible, esp. painted, and avoid pressure-treated wood. (Don't worry- it won't rot out there!)
re:3) Ditto Bluebird....
re:4) Sounds like you've got this one handled....it gets windy in the Mojave, right? Wind and dust are the big bugaboos in BRC.....Sounds like a LOT of form-stakes, though....familiar with rebar? Half as heavy.....
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Personal potties

Postby robbidobbs » Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:46 am

Hi, I'm the Chief Poopervisor of the Pottie Project. You asked...
>OK, So the first one is about crap. If I bring a little port-a-pottie (5 gallon), will I be able to empty it into the pottie on site? Basically consolidate the crap? The only thing in the little one is human waste, single ply TP from Camping World and water.

You are welcome to bring your little personal pottie, it's a terrific idea for those midnight piddle sessions. I personally use a 5 gallon industrial bucket w/ a snap-on toilet seat.

BTW: there is a great deal of discussion on this subject on other threads, but here's the short version: You may not throw water down the public potties. Here's why: we do NOT want to encourage folks to throw any grey water in there. A few years ago there was so much grey water (dish water really) going in the public crappers that it was the equivalent of an extra 10,000 piddlers, and JotS got pissed off. Not that you have a lot of water to dispose of, but JUST DON'T DO IT please, and we'll all be happier.

I recommend that you use your personal pottie for #1 only, and toss it in w/o any adulteration. For #2, just hike to the public Temples of Excremeditation, meet people, feel like a part of a community, and you won't have to worry about how to store your shit for any amount of time/effort.

The rest of the questions aren't my issue. I remember people burning couches fercryingoutloud. Glue on fire isn't nice downwind.

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Re: dos centavos

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:53 am

robotland wrote:re:2) Nasty Chemicals or not, seems like PLENTY of plywood gets burned. Definately avoid where possible, esp. painted, and avoid pressure-treated wood. (Don't worry- it won't rot out there!)
.


Thanks robotland--he's not even on playa yet, and you're already corrupting him.

The Playa is in a basin, so bad air can get trapped there in the mountains. The couch and other non-burnables burned is an issue with BLM. It's supposed to affect our permit as well. Be prepared to have an angry volenteer or free-lance do gooder stop you and make you eat the plywood/couch/big plastic bag of trash if they catch you in time.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:15 am

I suggest your stakes are an over kill. They will be a bitch to pull. I used some garden fence post one year. They twisted off at the top. I ended up digging them out. Then comes the fun of tampping the hole back in. If you don't take care and tamp the dirt. The wind will dig the lose fill out. You will end up wth a hole. The BLM don't like holes.
/
p.s. Has anyone seen the movie "Hole?
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Re: dos centavos

Postby robotland » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:43 am

BlueBirdPoof wrote:
robotland wrote:re:2) Nasty Chemicals or not, seems like PLENTY of plywood gets burned. Definately avoid where possible, esp. painted, and avoid pressure-treated wood. (Don't worry- it won't rot out there!)
.


Thanks robotland--he's not even on playa yet, and you're already corrupting him.

The Playa is in a basin, so bad air can get trapped there in the mountains. The couch and other non-burnables burned is an issue with BLM. It's supposed to affect our permit as well. Be prepared to have an angry volenteer or free-lance do gooder stop you and make you eat the plywood/couch/big plastic bag of trash if they catch you in time.


BBP, I would NEVER endorse the burning of chemically treated wood OR trash, especially something as nasty as a couch....I'm merely stating what I saw with mine own eyes. And I expect everyone to be properly corrupt BEFORE reaching the Playa.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:54 am

Thread drift..

robotland, You must be about 6ft. under the snow by now. It's 57w/a lite rain here [:).
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Postby robotland » Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:20 pm

Yeah, we're getting "1 to3 inches overnight"-ed to death....2 to 4 feet on the ground in most places, a foot on the dome....lukewarm rain sounds LOVELY. You're west of here- send it on over! Remember to send extra weather to account for what gets lost over the lake....
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sleeping platform

Postby Lujak » Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:20 pm

Hey calsur,
Try building a platform out of 2x4 and 1x12 (shelves) pine not much more expensive and totally burnable. Also if you just stack them you won't have to find the screws after you burn it!
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test

Postby Patience » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:16 pm

just a test
It's not that I hate you. It's just that I'm a much better person than you.
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Gee, Patience

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:21 pm

Try living up to your name instead of being testy.



btw--did I fail yet?
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Postby Patience » Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:57 pm

yer mama



oh lord i almost used an emoticon for a second there.

for the record, it would have been a winking one.
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untreated plywood?

Postby zoeyburn » Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:33 am

Okay - so we don't want to burn painted or treated wood. Is there such a thing as "untreated", unglued, un messed with wood? Plywood? etc.

If so - where would one find such wood? I've always wanted to burn something... hehe
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Postby robotland » Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:02 pm

Californians are only allowed to burn certified cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, freerange recycled wood, while we here in Michigan can burn anything we wish as long as 25% of it is Canadian.

Presumably there is no such thing as "untreated" wood, depending on definition- Good 'ol 2x4's, as long as they're not pressure treated, are acceptable as are plain boards and any organic, cellular material that's not chemically "funky" either by nature (poison ivy) or artificially (plywood). Remember to include MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) factor- Cardboard lets off "flyaways" as it burns, as do leafy branches. Fabricated structures with hardware and fasteners must be cleaned up after, as must ash and clinkers. (there's lotsa good info about this on the site.)
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Re: untreated plywood?

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:58 am

zoeyburn wrote:Okay - so we don't want to burn painted or treated wood. Is there such a thing as "untreated", unglued, un messed with wood? Plywood? etc.


Plywood is inherently treated. They laminate/glue/attached the layers together with a combination of formaldahyde and some other nasty chemical. (Name forgotten, possibly urea--or maybe that's in the formaldahyde.) Even without the burning, it outgasses something nasty, producing possible (probable?) health hazards. My basic take on anything like that is that burning will be even nastier.

I;m not a great source of this info, and my guess is that since most construction isn't meant to be burned, that there isn't a really great source on those things. I'd try checking out what some of the sustainable builder types have to say about wood products that don't outgass, and therefore won't make as nasty by-products. Do you have a good, honest lumberyard available that won't mind questions? Manufacturers will put out "Material Data Safety Sheets" that might provide some insights. Probably there's some information that could be gleaned from fire fighting information--not that they don't carry oxygen routinely, but still they have to deal with it. And if other burners have worked with these problems before, don't reinvent the wheel--at least see what they have to say.

My question: In a case like this, where the structure doesn't have to stand up for very long (days as opposed to years) is using low-grade (cheaper) lumber the way to go? Or am I missing some factor?
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Postby stuart » Mon Feb 09, 2004 11:28 am

an apple outgasses more formaldahyde than decent grade MDF.
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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:50 pm

There is a PHYSICAL problem with lowgrade lumber in addition to any CHEMICAL issues- cheap boards often have knots, checks or splits that compromise their integrity in loadbearing situations, and on the hot, dry Playa these flaws can be accelerated. The reasonable-quality 2x6" sections that I decked my dome with last year had begun to split along flaws by the end of the week, hastened probably by direct sun exposure most of the time. It ALWAYS pays to inspect your lumber for flaws, especially in the case of crucial joints and supports, and consider where they'll be exposed to the elements.
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Postby Bob » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:00 pm

Refs for proper burning at Burning Man would include the Guidelines section for art installations, linked from
http://www.burningman.com/themecamps_installations/installations/index.html

Per last year's guidelines...
http://www.burningman.com/themecamps_installations/installations/creating_dangerous_art.html
...major art installations intended for burning typically are reviewed by the art dept WRT safety concerns, timing, emergency plans and equipment for fire suppression, crowd control, proper measures to avoid burn scars on the playa surface, responsible use of fuel, pyrotechnics and flammables, and suchlike. The only context in which MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets) are relevant is for hazardous materials.

There's also
http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/protecting_the_environment.html
which states
The burning of any toxic materials is prohibited by law, that means stuffed furniture, rugs, or anything that contains synthetic and plastic materials which will release toxic fumes into the air.


I wrote most of the section on burn scars linked from the first ref, for the art dept.

I had some input on the second, which was prepared by Earth Guardian types. Regretfully, on a close reading, I'd say it needs a bit of editing for clarity on such terms as "toxic".

The conventional approach -- whether for a large installation burned in place, or pieces of your camp hauled out and burned on the public burn platforms, burning of any common wood product, paper, cardboard, papier mache, cotton canvas and other natural fabrics, including wire, nails, screws, etc., painted or otherwise, is all okay. If synthetic fabrics, plastic pipe, and suchlike were part of the construction, remove them first and haul them off with your garbage. For art installations, the understanding is that everything must be cleaned up by the artists; use of the public burn platforms is less clear, and a matter of personal responsibility. A few shreds of plastic burned is no big deal, IMO, but it's just common sense to avoid burning whole couches, vinyl tarps, carpets, etc. If you toss a construction with a lot of metal attached on the public burn platforms, the responsible thing would be to fish out as much as you can it after it burns and haul it home. The ashes in the burn platforms are dealt with by Burning Man's DPW.

Some people have objections to burning any quantity of paint, glue, zinc-coated steel, etc. Some people have objections to burning anything, just as some people might tend to burn just about anything at an event other than Burning Man. In my experience, the objections are weighted much more heavily to opinion and folklore than to reliable science, and relying on what is conventional at Burning Man is probably more useful. To avoid all the hair-splitting about environmental or health effects, you'd probably want to avoid buying a ticket at all.

Re: recycled wood -- In a hair-splitting sense, I see no implicit bill of environmental health and goodness compared to new wood, as you never know what kind of materials might have been in contact with it in the past.

Re: form stakes and such -- I prefer 3/4 in. dia. steel stakes, which drive in and knock out fairly easily on the playa. Keep in mind the top 6+ in. of the playa is unstable due to desiccation cracks, wrt guying off anything bigger than a pop tent. Not sure if the OP is talking about corrugated stakes or what, but they'd probably work. Because of the way the wind whips around a floppy covering like a parachute, I might be tempted to use two stakes at each guy point driven crosswise to each other to avoid pullout, with guy ropes wrapped around them, and maybe run some rope around the perimeter if I wanted to clip the material off in between the parachute ribs with spring clamps.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:49 pm

robotland wrote:- cheap boards often have knots, checks or splits that compromise their integrity in loadbearing situations, and on the hot, dry Playa these flaws can be accelerated.


Dang. I knew my hypothesis would prove flawed.
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Postby robotland » Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:07 am

Praise Be To Bob for the definitive lowdown. Next Topic, Please.
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