Posts Tagged With: DIY

ScrapHappy July 2022: Water way to go – bin and gone (to the shop)

Aw! A little baby dalek...

Aw! A little baby dalek…

So, my reader will remember that, last month, I built a water butt stand (read here for the gory details) and mentioned in passing that the old water butt was in need of a retirement plan. And here is that plan – it will be a new compost bin at The Snail of happiness shop!

Having removed the bottom (now the top, just soooo confusing) of the butt, I decided to add one of those plastic handles you find on boxes with computers or air fryers in, to make it easier to open.

A lid? We can handle it...

A lid? We can handle it…

I decided to attach hinges (made from cable ties found by the side of various roads) and fashion a “lid-holding-down” device (Patent Pending) from a piece of the old greenhouse, and using the broken tap on the water butt. This is what happens when I am left unsupervised.

For once, I am not unhinged...

For once, I am not unhinged…

Lid-holding device installed

Lid-holding device installed

Lid-holding device in the "not holding the lid" position...

Lid-holding device in the “not holding the lid” position…

Hello! I raise my hat to you in welcome...

Hello! I raise my hat to you in welcome…

Now it is ready to be transported to the shop, to begin its new life composting stuff!

oOo

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

ScrapHappy June 2022: Stand, by Me

 

Remains of the Day, er, water butt stand

Remains of the Day, er, water butt stand

As promised/threatened*, I have finally built a new water butt stand using yet more of the wood recovered from The Snail of Happiness shop. The old stand was built from a pallet and enhanced** with newer wood over a few years, but that familiar cry of “woodlice ate my butt stand!” rang out once more across Chez Snail causing consternation and a call to the police by the neighbours.

Worst. Table. Ever

Worst. Table. Ever

I built the stand in three parts in the stock room/teaching space in the shop, then disassembled it to carry it home. Despite having no real clue what I was doing, I was able to take the stand apart and remove it from the shop, put it in the car and relocate it in its new home. Time will tell if it is as strong as it needs to be – it could certainly handle yours truly sitting on it looking slightly aloof (which adds a kilo or two).

Once back at Chez Snail, I used yacht varnish (on the off chance that the stand turned into a yacht) to protect the wood from the Welsh elements (which are, broadly speaking, dragons, rain, seaweed-in-bread and close harmony singing).

Me: Ha! It's so good, it can support me! Also me: Please stay up, please stay up, please stay up...

Me: Ha! It’s so good, it can support me! Also me: Please stay up, please stay up, please stay up…

 

Self-assembly water butt stand

Self-assembly water butt stand

Varnishing Trick

Varnishing Trick

New stand in place

New stand in place

We will be buying a new recycled water butt as I think the old one is probably cracked (I know that feeling!) but never fear, it will be transported to the shop to be used as another compost bin!

Borg assimilated my water butt!

Borg assimilated my water butt!

oOo

* Delete as deemed wildly appropriate

** Shored up

 

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

 

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin and Viv

 
 

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Mend It Monday: Achieving Speedweaving

Holey sock, Batman!

Holey sock, Batman!

I know that I don’t treat my socks well, they have a hard life and then go to pieces or, like Cobbler Bob*, end up with a hole in their sole. The Snail tried out one of the new-fangled** Speedweve devices a while ago (see here for the gory details) and it worked very well.

With another inevitable hole or two appearing in one of my socks, it was time to see if the idea that “any fool can use it” was true.

Enter one fool…

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

Now it was my turn... gulp...

Now it was my turn… gulp…

First hole woven closed

First hole woven closed

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net...

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net…

All done!

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

So, yes, a Speedweve IS so easy, a fool can use it.

Did I just darn my first sock ever? Yes, I did!

Am I ridiculously pleased with myself for having done it? Yes. Yes, I am.

oOo

* Comedian Adam Buxton did a Lego reconstruction (and the voices) of David Bowie planning his next character after Ziggy Stardust. It’s here and it’s brilliant.

** Actually old-fangled.

Categories: repair, Sewing | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

Mend it Monday: Bog Standard

Unhinged

Unhinged

This is a short Mend it Monday about a toilet so there will be no sniggering at the back…*

A day or two ago, one of the hinges on the toilet seat broke. I believe that this is the toilet seat that the house was built with (well, I think they used the usual gamut of tools to actually build the house but you know what I mean), making it 30 years old. Although I can’t complain, I will, because it meant some DIY for me.

I wasn’t about to replace the whole seat, or toilet, or indeed house, so looked for toilet seat hinges online. Someone asked the perfectly sage question: “Are they a standard size?” The answer? “Yes, probably, unless there’re not, in which case no, not at all.”

Terrific.

Finding a set of hinges that looked like they might fit, I took the plunge (not something I would normally do in relation to a toilet, but there we are) and ordered them. A day later, I was ready for a mend that really should be straightforward, right?

This new seat is rubbish, it seems to be missing something.... actually, it is an old shelf to ensure I end up with the same number of screwdrivers as I started with

This new seat is rubbish, it seems to be missing something…. actually, it is an old shelf to ensure I end up with the same number of screwdrivers as I started with

Undo eight screws. Well, seven unscrewed. The eighth no longer seemed to have a screwhead that conformed to the normal laws of screwdrivers, or indeed physics in general. Eventually, after ten minutes of potty-mouthed poetry, I ended up prising the thing out, leaving the hole the screw used to occupy a bit larger.

There's always one

There’s always one

Now remove the two bolts that hold the hinges onto the toilet itself. Ah, well, there’s only one as the other became brittle and shattered about six months ago. I could not find a sensible way of obtaining another bolt of the same size (without buying a whole set of hinges) and so improvised: I used sugru (pink, no less!) to hold the fixing on. Now, I had to gouge away at the self-same sugru to remove it. It felt like the god of toilet hinge bolts was laughing hard at me.

Finally, after all that, I could attach new hinges. Guess what?

THEY FITTED.

Ooh! Shiny new hinges!

Ooh! Shiny new hinges!

The screw going into the enlarged hole went in at an angle but seems to be holding OK.

I’ve even ended up with a replacement bolt thing in case one of the replacements shatters (in about 30 years’ time).

You could say I’m flus… but you’re not going to.

Even the Ducktor seems happy with the leftovers (well, there's always something with DIY, isn't there?)

Even the Ducktor seems happy with the leftovers (well, there’s always something with DIY, isn’t there?)

oOo

* Yeah, there will be, I just know it. It’ll be me.

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 11 Comments

ScrapHappy July 2021: Palletgate V2.0 Update

Everything Put Together Falls Apart (well, it does when I'm involved)

Everything Put Together Falls Apart (well, it does when I’m involved)

You’d forgotten, hadn’t you? Well, that makes two of us. In March 2020, when so much happened and then nothing happened at all for months and months, I wrote a little ScrapHappy post entitled ScrapHappy March 2020: Palletgate V2.0. There was a suggestion that, in the near future, Palletgate would be rebuilt, stronger, tougher and more pallety than ever before. Well…

Welcome to the near future. In it, pallets have given way (not literally, at least not in this project) to something altogether shinier (when polished): aluminium (or aluminum, if you prefer). The problem with Palletgate Version 1 (apart from the obvious one of being built by an idiot hammer-wielding optimist) was that without further treatment of the wood, it was bound to rot as it isn’t good quality. In Wales, well, we have our fair share (and also that of England’s) of rain, so the idea of building a new one just for it to rot (even if I were to finally prime and paint it) seemed a bit silly**.

Then I wondered if I could repurpose the old bits of staging from the long now-replaced-with-the-Limery greenhouse to make a shiny new gate to keep our currently non-existent chickens* away from the raised beds. Made of lightweight non-rusting aluminium, these bits seemed ideal, so I investigated the pile of potential material further. The original leg sections could be bolted together, in ways that wouldn’t make sense if you were making staging but made PERFECT sense if you’re making the frame for a gate. I reckoned I could probably use some of the old struts as supports for the mesh (recycled from Palletgate version 1), and maybe use them for hinge supports too. Time would tell…

All the World's a stage and all the stage is a new gate. Maybe.

All the World’s a stage and all the stage is a new gate. Maybe.

We did indeed appear to have the technology. We COULD rebuild Palletgate. It WOULD cost 64 pence, with change for a small beer.***

Extra bits and pieces

Extra bits and pieces

There were also some (potentially) handy extras too. I also used nuts, washers and screws from a set I bought about twenty years ago, one which has already outlived its original case (which was the subject of this ScrapHappy).

You know what? This might just work...

You know what? This might just work…

I tested to see if two bits of the staging could form half the gate – they could, so I set about bolting them together, using the pre-existing holes and new bolts, since the originals had all snapped (I know that feeling!) when I removed them.

You know what? This just might work, vertically this time...

You know what? This just might work, vertically this time…

Having created the framework, I figured out a way to attach the hinges. The gate is so light that the existing hinges, that had bent a little under the weight of the old pallet, were perfect for this incarnation. Now to attach the mesh, a remnant from PalletGate version 1.

A Complete Mesh

A Complete Mesh

The mesh fitted on easily but needed some support as it was, to use the technical term, “a bit flappy”. This had been a problem with the first gate, with various extra supports being added over its life. I tried to find the focal points of the flappiness and clamp them with some of the original support struts from the staging.

Strutting its stuff - trying to stop the mesh flapping about

Strutting its stuff – trying to stop the mesh flapping about

I also added one of the tops of the staging to dampen any movement at the top of the mesh.

A piece of staging worktop acting as further mesh support

A piece of staging worktop acting as further mesh support

Finally (oh, how you have longed to see those words in this post), I cut a couple of grooves and constructed a gate latch from other leftover staging bits.

Groovy!

Groovy!

I’m not sure if this will be the final design of latch but it works for now. I do have an idea to improve it, but that is possibly for a later ScrapHappy!

It's Gatier than you Think

It actually looks like a real gate!

But, what should this new gate be called? StagingGate? AluGate? Well, it is Partly Aluminium, Lightweight and has the usual DIY vibe of LET‘s-see-how-long-this-lasts Gate, so perhaps we can abbreviate this to:

PALLETGATE

What else could it be called? Palletgate (version 1) is dead. Long live Palletgate (version 2)!

oOo

* So much easier to look after than extant chickens and produce almost as many eggs as ours did in the last year of their lives.

** Problem is, I do silly really well.

*** Small, bordering on non-existent at today’s prices.

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

 

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin and Viv

 
 

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

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