ScrapHappy

ScrapHappy June 2021: One becomes Two

A pile of slightly fuzzy scrap…

One of the new things we have tried at Chez Snail as a result of lockdown is being part of a virtual audience on a radio show. In the past, we have on a couple of occasions gone to a recording of “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue” which, for the benefit of my international reader, is probably the original unscripted panel show in which the panellists are “given silly things to do”. It was a part of my childhood and is still going a hundred and fifty years later.

As part of a virtual audience, you need a ubiquitous computer with a microphone and a set of headphones, or two, if there are two of you. And therein lies the problem. Most laptops only have the one headphone socket, and won’t allow you to use, say, one set of headphones and one set of Bluetooth connected ear buds. What you need is a gizmo to make one socket into two. I feel a ScrapHappy coming on…

To create a headphone splitter, first carefully select* an old CD player which has two of the required stereo 3.5 mm sockets (usually one is labelled “Line” and the other with the headphone symbol). Then, remove the sockets from the board, plus any other components that look like they may be useful for something one day (and will come off without too much effort).

Shiny soon-to-be used socket

Shiny soon-to-be used socket

RIMG0904

Not-so-shiny soon-to-be used socket

 

Removed and ready for action!

Removed and ready for action!

Now, carefully select one wire from the tangled mess of wires that is my collection of broken headphones – the wires break in the cheap ones** all the time because they are, you know, cheap, and very unmendable. Fortunately, they tend to break in the unopenable earphone bit, or in the moulded plug bit so if you can find one that has broken in the former way, you have the right thing: a bit of wire with a plug on the end. All you need to do now is solder the wire to one of the sockets and that socket to the other socket and bingo! You may want to elicit some help…

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.

RIMG0914

JonBeastie at the ready with his soldering iron

Finally, I decided to make something to hold the sockets so that they weren’t, to use a technical phrase, “flapping about all over the place”. I started with a piece of clear plastic that I carefully removed*** from the front of the CD player but that shattered when I drilled it so I cut a piece of the casing off instead, and drilled that.

A hacked-off CD player

A hacked-off CD player

Possibly a hammerhead shark

Possibly a hammerhead shark

And almost immediately after completion, those Beasties had nicked it and were listening to their grimy hippity-hop music by some popular beat combo.

RIMG0922

Beasties chillin’ to the groove – apparently

oOo

* It was the nearest one.

** And expensive ones as well.

*** It fell off.

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, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

ScrapHappy May 2021: Candle with Care

 

Lights out!

Lights out!

I am all for the right to repair, as my reader will know. Give me a broken thing and I will try to mend it. Give me a working thing and I’ll probably break it. Give me a decent single malt, and I’ll stop breaking stuff.

Sometimes though, things can’t be fixed because the manufacturer has inadvertently, or advertently, made them unfixable. And so it was with this pair of quite funky lamps from Mother-of-Snail. These lamps, when they worked, were touch sensitive so when you brushed them with your finger they giggled like a small child. Oh, wait, that’s me. You could cycle through “light off”, “light a bit on”, “light quite a bit on”, and “Ah! My eyes! My eyes! on”, just by touching the base. Then a power glitch one day meant you could only use the “light off” setting.

I took the pair of similarly-afflicted lamps to my workshop/office/lair/scrapheap and replaced the electronic component that was most likely to have been affected (it’s a thing called a triac, but you already knew that, didn’t you?). Sadly, that didn’t do the trick because the little custom-made silicon chip that controls the whole thing had also decided that the power glitch was a perfect excuse for a permanent holiday.

Nobody's bolt but mine

Nobody’s bolt but mine

I decided to de-evolve the lamps to candle holders. The threaded bolt that held the bulb holder into the body of the lamp was removable and so I glued a screw as shown to push the candle into. I was going to use something pointed but then realised how dangerous that might be for passing spaniels/terriers/Snails.

RIMG0890

DIY candle holder

There are a few bits left over. There will be some electronic components that are still useable and the bulb holders are fine (although I have no use for them at all unless I build a lamp, which is unlikely). There are the little boxes that held the circuitry that might come in handy.

...and that's what lamps are made of.

…and that’s what lamps are made of.

I may add some extra support (possibly by melting wax) around the base of the candle at some point.

And now, by the light of two candles, I am off to finish some lovely single malt.

Another two, and we have the basis for a very funny sketch

Another two, and we have the basis for a very funny sketch

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, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

Scrum from Scrap – a quick update

How it started...

How it started…

Back in June 2020, I wrote about creating food from old credit card bills and cardboard, because that is the sort of nonsense I write about sometimes. By way of perpetuating such blatant misuse of the time given to me on this Earth, I thought you, my ever-faithful and amazingly tolerant reader, would like a picture of what that rubbish (the actual rubbish, not this blog) is up to.

Mmm... Green things

Mmm… Green things

Actual rubbish into actual soil in less than a year! The creation of compost is still something that fills my heart with joy and, eventually, my belly with food.

RIMG0842

… how it’s going

Planted by the Snail herself, these plants would not dare do anything but grow. Yumminess awaits!

RIMG0846

I remember when all this was credit card bills and cardboard

oOo

Categories: gardening, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2021: Reel and Raspberries

The reel thing

The reel thing

The Snail and I walk the dogs every day, provided the weather isn’t so miserable that even the dogs are begging us not to drag them out. This has meant that, over the last year, we have been out twice almost every day. On our walks, we talk about pretty much anything and everything and also encounter some ‘useful’ items lying around.

One such conversation went pretty much along the lines of:

Snail: The raspberry canes need supporting with tree stakes and wires of some kind.

Me: Mmm… steaks…

Snail: We’ll get some tree stakes from the garden centre when they are allowed to open. Do you have anything in that pile of junk you laughingly call your office we could use for the wires?

Me (noticing a reel of old telecoms wire by the road, and then failing to pick it up): I’ll have a think about it. Can we have chips with the steak?

One such item was a reel of copper wire, left by OpenReach (the telephone maintenance people, for my non-UK reader). They had been upgrading the telephone cables to fibre, and this rejected reel had been left, unloved and unwanted, and finally abandoned against a wall awaiting further anthropomorphism. It was left longer than was necessary as I kept forgetting to pick it up on the way past.

Eventually, I did remember to pick it up and recognise that its wiry heart was perfect for the Snail’s task. Easy! Just remove the outer sheathing and extract the wires. What could be simpler?

040921_1559_ScrapHappyA2.jpg

Attempt #103 to strip the cable quickly (it didn’t)

Turns out, almost everything. It took me around eight hours to strip back the sheathing and pull out the wires. I used the workbench as a vice and then cut the sheathing every 10 cm or so (being careful not to nick the wires inside). After every three or so cuts, I pulled the sheathing off and started on the next section. It took quite a few attempts using a variety of tools before I came up with this method.

040921_1559_ScrapHappyA3.jpg

Using a workbench as a vice because using the vice as a vice didn’t work

040921_1559_ScrapHappyA4.jpg

Just when you thought my office couldn’t be any more messy…

Once all the wires were removed (some broke in the process), I wound the long pieces onto whatever was available – thread reels, and toilet roll middles.

A wired and weary face

A wired and weary face

There was a lot of waste – unfortunately, the cable sheathing is unusable. I might be able to melt it down but I don’t think it is very nice stuff, chemically speaking, so reluctantly it’s off to landfill. Boo.

040921_1559_ScrapHappyA6.jpg

Wasted

Happily, there was more than sufficient wire for the raspberry canes and quite a bit left over for electronics projects or more plant restraint. Now I’m looking forward to fresh raspberries in my Kir Royale for breakfast, er, evening cocktails I mean…

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, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon (that’s me!), HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

Categories: gardening, recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

ScrapHappy March 2021: I just can’t stand it…

Many, many years ago, I built a water butt stand that steadfastly refused to do what any decent DIY project undertaken by an incompetent should do – completely collapse after five minutes. I know, that is decidedly NOT playing the game. I think I built the stand nearly twenty years ago when we installed our Window Operating Cistern *† (a hosepipe that you can open a window and pull in to fill the toilet cistern). The stand has had one or two minor repairs and this one is no exception, except it has an element of happy scrappiness to it.

You see the two bits of fresh wood that will be the new support on one side, replacing the rotten timber?

They were part of the packing around our new oven.

Some jiggery-pokery later and ta dah! Fixed. I even managed to reuse one or two of the screws. I guess when the other side goes, I’ll just order a new oven!

030321_1011_ScrapHappyM4.jpg

Reunited – water butt reconnected and looking a little like Borg‡

oOo

* Patent applied for

† Patent refused with the message “Stop sending us rubbish like this!”

‡ Alien assimilators rather than Swedish tennis players

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 19 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.