ScrapHappy January 2021: Let there be light!

Fully working bright light

Fully working bright light

First, a ScrapHappy New Year to you all!

To start the year, here is an easy ScrapHappy mend of an LED lamp which the Snail uses for various crafty activities. In fact, we have two of these lamps and, although they weren’t cheap, they are well made and very useful. They feature a ring of LEDs as well as a magnifier in the top, and will run from batteries or a mains adapter. The Snail uses the mains adapter for both – the batteries are housed in a detachable box which I may well use for something else one day (watch this space!).

This particular lamp started to be like me – a bit dim. This is a strange thing for LEDs to do as they aren’t like incandescent bulbs that have separate parts that can fail independently (so one of several filaments might break but the others would keep on shining). It probably meant that the power supply wasn’t doing what it was supposed to, so I started there. A quick check with my rusty voltmeter told me the truth – the supply was only half decent. It was producing a little over 3 volts rather than 6 volts to be precise.

Half the supply it was

Half the supply it was

In the last 20 years, I reckon every household has probably had about a million* mains power supplies that have long since become pointless because the device they were supposed to power has broken. Many have (shamefully) been put in landfill, but many reside to this day in old boxes at the backs of cupboards/wardrobes/sheds. Mine reside in my office/workshop/studio, liberally scattered across shelves/boxes/drawers.

Could I find one that was suitable?

Could I find one that was suitable? - SPOILER ALERT!

Could I find one that was suitable? – SPOILER ALERT!

Yay! I could! This is the supply from an old set-top box, for receiving the Freeview digital signals (for my non-UK reader, Freeview is the UK’s contribution to the vast thousands of utterly unwatchable TV channels around the globe). We stopped using the box it powered about ten or so years ago but *I KNEW* it was worth keeping.

Of course, it didn’t have the right bit on the end of the wire so I had to chop the end of the defunct power supply and solder it onto the “new” supply. Once done, voila! LEDs that are properly bright. And perhaps a hint of a smile in the magnifier too? Perhaps…

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One happy lamp

oOo

*  I checked with Twitter – it is a million.

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

ScrapHappy December 2020: Platform Soul

 

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

When Bones* said “It’s a shelf Jim, but not as we know it!”, it wasn’t in the script and no one knew what the hell DeForest was going on about. But he had seen into the future (or was it back to the past?), to this very post. Probably.

As my regular reader will know, there once were some shelves in the kitchen at Chez Snail, which supported many books and cooking pots until the “many books” became “too many books” and the whole lot turned into a bit of a mess. One of those shelves became, in part, a mini-ironing board for the Snail (see here and here for further details).

But you can’t keep a good shelf down and yet another part of it has channelled its very essence, its soul if you will, to become a useful bit of, well, floor. Certainly, a platform of sorts. As you can see from the picture above, there is one of those annoying spaces in the bathroom which isn’t really useful for anything. There is a towel rack that fits over the raised carpet bit, with its fourth leg supported on an upturned pot (and usually a whole load of other “stuff” scattered on the floor):

Slightly potty

Slightly potty

So, to create the platform, I took the remains of the shelf and cut it (again). Annoyingly, the space it was to fit in was not actually an exact rectangle, so I ended up with a piece of ex-shelf that was ever-so-slightly rhomboid in nature.

Shelf (thinks): "Here we go again..."

Shelf (thinks): “Here we go again…”

I was also able to use an offcut from the bath panelling that I fitted back in the days when my DIY had a limited range of swear words at its disposal. This provided a front panel and a couple of blocky feet for the back (that, mercifully, no one can see).

3 piece jigsaw

3 piece jigsaw

Primed and then painted the lovely pelt colour we have used for other things – yes, PalletTable and PalletCart spring to mind – finally that gap can now have a towel rack and other stuff on it.

Platform 1

Platform 1

 

What’s left to do with what’s left of the shelf now? Time and ScrapHappy will tell…

oOo

* Star Trek, not David Boreanaz.

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 one or two non-fabric-based ScrapHappys in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, and Nanette

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

ScrapHappy November 2020: Board of Things

Plank stupidity - a shelf, fallen from grace (well, the wall)

Plank stupidity – a shelf, fallen from grace (well, the wall)

When the Roman Empire fell, it was replaced, after a fashion, with another one. When the Ottoman Empire fell, it was replaced by DFS*. When our kitchen shelves fell, they were replaced with a superb set of cupboards, with a built-on bookcase.

And what happened to the shelves, you ask. No, you don’t ask do you, because you already know.

I kept them.

Many years later, and the Snail is in need of a new ironing board, but a little one, to iron little things with a little iron. So, armed with an old shelf, a jigsaw** and a lexicon of new and improved swear words, I set about this allegedly very simple task. First, I sliced the shelf to the right size, then removed the bits where the brackets used to fit et voilá! After sanding down and removing both the old bracket fixings (for use as feet in the end product), it was over to the Snail for the softscrappy bit – read about that here – it involves repurposed fabric and upholstery tacks!

Getting jiggysawry with it

Getting jiggysawry with it

Clamping up the action

Clamping up the action

One made-to-measure mini-ironing board kit, ready for the attention of the Snail

One made-to-measure mini-ironing board kit, ready for the attention of the Snail

And (I know this will come as a shock) but there was pretty much no swearing! Crikey…

oOo

* Furniture-related joke, but if I have to explain…

** Two pieces only, one of which is quite sharp.

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 one or two non-fabric-based ScrapHappys in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, and Nanette

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

ScrapHappy October 2020: On the Rack

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Does what it says on the box

Of an evening at Chez Snail, there are a variety of entertainments to be enjoyed, with some coming out of a box rather than a bottle. One such amusement is Qwirkle, which in stark contrast to our other favoured game of Scrabble, has no interest in correct spelling whatsoever. It’s a great game, simple to understand and uses different parts of the brain compared to Scrabble. You have to match up coloured tiles for points. And points mean, er, very little really.

Unlike Scrabble, the game does not come with any type of tile holder (not a long-lost cousin of the lead singer of Slade) and it is this deficiency I address in this post.

I think it was a pen holder or something originally

I think it was a pen holder or something originally

It was one of those ScrapHappy coincidences, in fact. A few days before, the Snail had been clearing through her office/sewing room/SnailCave and had come across a piece of an old easel she used to use when teaching. Most of the rest of said easel was propping up the pipe feeding rainwater to one of our water butts. “Can you think of anything that this bit of metal might be useful for?” she asked, and I, in my customary way, had shrugged and put it in my office/workshop/studio/unholy-mess-of-a-room for safekeeping.

If this were a radio programme, there would be “time passing” music now.

Days pass and we are playing Qwirkle in the Limery, tiles balanced end-on, occasionally falling over (the tiles, not us. We sit down to play, it means the wine has less far to travel.). The Snail mentions about having tile racks and a lightbulb goes on over my head – well, it’s dark and the Snail has put the lights on. I head to my writing space/junk pile/guitar store and emerge with the piece from the old easel.

By chance, the tiles fit perfectly. A ScrapHappy post is born!

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About to get the chop


Figuring out some support

Figuring out some support

I cut the metal into two racks and used the rest to provide angled supports. As the tiles fitted exactly into the racks, there was no space for a nut and bolt to hold the supports on so I used superglue.

Unbelievably, there was almost no swearing during this phase of the project. No, really.

Two days later, one of the supports fell off, to absolutely no one’s surprise. There may have been a little swearing then. I used sugru to reattach it. Oddly, the other rack has remained in one piece.

After all that, time for a game of Qwirkle and a long drink!

oOo

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 one or two non-fabric-based ScrapHappys in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, and Nanette

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

Mend it Monday: The Shed’s too wet without Roof

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Can’t Stand Losing You – well, any more of you…

Chez Snail’s shed was looking somewhat tatty in the roof department (a description that can equally be applied to me) and had, for the last year, been wetter and wetter inside after every drop of rain (which in Wales amounts to a fair few drops). It was time to put a new covering on before the next forecast monsoon was upon us…

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So Lousy – this side isn’t much better

The last time the Snails fixed the shed roof, it was with the felt stuff, and it basically covered the bits of the roof where the original felt was either peeling or missing, presumed in a garden about ten miles away. The Snail did some research on t’interweb and found this material called Coraline, which I thought meant it was made from a blend of snow globes and Neil Gaiman books, but in fact turned out to be corrugated bitumen sheets.

The stuff arrived and I sawed it into pieces of appropriate size. There are no pictures of this as the language filter on my camera deleted them. It turned out that if you cut bitumen sheeting with a saw, the blade becomes coated in the stuff. It also turned out that, following bitter complaining, the Snail arrived with a can of WD40 with which to clean the saw. There was less swearing after that. The following day, we both set about putting the sheets in place. You will notice that I was not the one on the roof. This is because, in an inclusive world, there is no earthly reason why anyone, regardless of age, sexuality or belief, should not be able to climb on a roof and hit it with a hammer.

Unless, like me, you’re a wuss when it comes to heights.

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Knocks Hand – actually, The Snail didn’t, keeping all her fingers safely out of harm’s way

It only took a sunny Sunday morning (about 3 hours, we started at 10a.m. so as not to completely destroy the lie-in of anyone in the vicinity) and a million nails with special waterproof caps to fit the eight sheets and four ridges in place.

Two days later, it started to pour with rain. We had nearly an inch of rain in 24 hours.

Inside the shed, it was drier than Jack Dee standing in the Sahara on a pile of silica gel.

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Invisible Pun (couldn’t think of any more)

oOo

Categories: gardening, repair | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

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