ScrapHappy July 2018: Pal-let it Be

imgp5828.jpg

Daisy checking PalletCart for Regalness

For me, “Hard” scrapping (as opposed to “soft scrapping which is what all you wonderful knitters and crocheters do) tends to be either things that start and are completed quite quickly or projects that languish forever in the corner of a workshop or under a workbench. Over the next few months, I hope to share with you examples of both.

This month, I would like to show you a completed project that used that most versatile of re-usable material: pallets. They are usually free, should never be wasted (but often are) and have spawned a whole new Scrappy field, mostly converting this wonderful resource into furniture of all descriptions and uses.

So here’s a useful cart (what I did earlier to misquote Ernie Wise)  for moving things around on, built out of a scrap pallet, scrap wheels and axles and a bit of rope. This was designed for moving small weighty items through the gap between our backdoor step and the raised beds, a space that is too narrow for our smart cart (not so smart now, eh?).

PalletCart 1: It begins

PalletCart 2: It continues

PalletCart 3: When will it end?

PalletCart 4: Paint my wagon

PalletCart 5: That’s a load off, er, on

PalletCart 6: What the Romans did for us

 

RIMG3227

PalletCart at rest after a hard day’s carting

Next month: Rescuing a table…

oOo

Advertisements
Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Top of the Pop(pies)

Here is a time lapse film of some poppies in the Chez Snail garden doing their thing, and blooming for a day. I was surprised at how early in the morning the flowers started to bloom, and also how high the temperature recorded by the camera reached (it was in full sunshine, but in free air).

For anyone even vaguely interested, I used a Crenova RD1000 Trail Camera, recording a 12 megapixel picture every minute for about 45 hours or so. I used Windows Movie Maker (the one that comes with Windows 10) to turn the 2700 stills into a movie – each picture is displayed for 0.03 seconds.

Enjoy!

oOo

Categories: camera, gardening, wildlife | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Shaving the Planet

RIMG9707

A Razor and a tool to take it apart… guess what’s going to happen!

There are many things that irritate me in life. Rather than list them all here, I would just say check out Wikipedia, that covers most of them. One thing that not only gets my goat, but then slaughters it in some satanic ritual after which it claims supernatural powers, is the way electronic devices have non-replaceable rechargeable batteries.

I’ve banged on about this before – Chez Snail’s radio is a prime example (here it is, look). I suppose the issue stems from the fact that, these days, rechargeable batteries last a long time by which point I am supposed to be a good consumer and buy a new whatever-it-is.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen…

I have had my electric razor many, many years now. It has a winter break then is eased back into service as I go from full beard (winter plumage), through a goatee thing (Spring plumage), to no beard at all (Summer plumage), Autumn, much like life, is like spring but in reverse. So, I always knew that one day the internal battery in my razor would stop working properly.

That day arrived.

I psyched myself up to have a battle to get into the thing, let alone sort out the problem. There are two screws on the back that I had to enlarge to see what kind of screws they were – those security star-shaped things, as it turned out. My trusty £1 bargain bin tool was the one to use here. After the screws were removed, the whole case came off very easily so well done Philips for making that bit easy.

RIMG9702

Joy! Easy to get into and nothing complicated to get in the way!

The battery was soldered to the board, which I expected.

The only problem I had was prising the battery off the sticky pad it was on – quite why it was attached like this, I don’t know since the back casing was moulded around the battery anyway. Never mind…

RIMG9705

Old Battery Out…

Thirty minutes later and the job was done. I think the last battery lasted about ten years. I should get another decade out of this one!

RIMG9706

…New Battery In

So, have a look at taking that device apart and replacing the rechargeable battery the next time – your nearest repair cafe/geeky me-type person/teenager will probably be able to help you save the planet, one battery at a time!

oOo

Categories: recycling, repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

ScrapHappy June 2018: Got a couple of minutes?

RIMG9657

Start…

A few weeks ago, the Chez Snail toothbrush gave up the ghost. Actually, it needed its internal rechargeable battery replacing but Braun, who make the thing, don’t want you to do that. So I did. And it didn’t work. I have no idea why, I just replaced the battery.

Anyway, we bought a new, less sophisticated toothbrush which didn’t have a built-in two-minute timer, so I thought I would build one out of old bits I had lying around. Yes, these are the things I have lying around – the Snailofhappiness has all the wool and fabric.

RIMG9302RIMG9303

The box contained something (I forget what) and I have had it since about 1990. The metal to make the front panel is off the cover of a hard disk drive, from about 2011. The timer circuit was one I made earlier (2005 or so) for a project that clearly never made it past the “hmm” stage.

RIMG9301

The LEDs are from an old mobile phone system that Motorola tried to introduce in the UK (I think it was called Rabbit or something). It never caught on. I and a friend bought an old roadside box and split the electronics within, in about 1994. These LEDs were a part of my haul.

The on/off switch comes from ever further back. In 1984/5, as part of my university degree, I worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in the UK. It was like going to work in a Sci-fi film everyday – I loved it! During my time there, the old temporary hut (temporary = built in World War II) where I worked was decommissioned (i.e. pulled down) and we all mucked in to fill the skip with old junk – much of which we then fished out when no one was looking to salvage. There were pieces of computing history in that skip, and if I had had a car back then… Anyway, the switch for this scrappy project came from that skip (along with about 100 of its friends that i am still working through today).

The battery clip came from a broken toy.

The buzzer was going to be from an old ultrasonic parking radar thing but that buzzer was rubbish so I bought this one from a company as it was going bust (so bought it half price).

A bit of finagling later and it all works! Flick the switch as you start to clean your teeth, the green LED shines encouragingly, then after two minutes, on comes the red LED accompanied by a buzzer. Unfortunately, the new buzzer is, like the one it replaced, also a bit rubbish and you can’t actually hear it above the sound of the toothbrush. It isn’t a problem but I may try to improve it one day (in the very far future).

Throughout the whole build, I kept singing “Three minute hero” by The Selecter but with the words “Two Minute Timer”. Try it for yourself!

The Selecter – Two Minute Timer (well, OK, nearly)

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based Scraphappy in when no one was looking!

RIMG9658

…and Stop

oOo

 

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Why I walked 21 miles for Wildlife

A week ago (28th April), I completed a 21 mile walk to raise money for Denmark Farm Conservation Centre. Surprisingly, I suffered few ill-effects and was able to drink beer and eat chocolate again some thirty seconds after finishing. Last Wednesday, I strolled around Denmark Farm and tried to capture a little of why I want others to support the place as I do….

RIMG9269

Denmark Farm is a haven for wildlife whose habitats are being destroyed by Human activity…

RIMG9270

… even common not-very-pretty wildlife…

RIMG9283

…. as well as the classic stuff.

RIMG9271

Preservation of these habitats needs some Human intervention, and that costs money, even the dull stuff like fencing

RIMG9297

We also monitor wildlife as best we can to see the difference we are making

RIMG9300

And I have a wonderful place to come and write when there’s time!

If you would like to support Denmark Farm, we have volunteer days, a wide variety of courses, and holiday accommodation (Eco-lodge, glamping, camping). And if none of that appeals, you can always bung us a couple of quid on our donations page. THANK YOU!

oOo

Categories: bees, birds, Sustainable Stuff, volunteering, wildlife, Writing | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.