Posts Tagged With: DIY

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

ScrapHappy April 2019: Better late than never (possibly)

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The patient (1)

Sorry for the lateness of this ScrapHappy post but life has been wonderfully distracting. Patient 1 is the waterbutt stand I built a long time ago out of new wood but have then “improved” with distinctly old wood ever since. It has only ever collapsed twice, the first time when the pre-made deck on which the waterbutt sits, failed, sending a full butt of water (200 litres, no less) all over the path. That time, pallets provided the material for the fix.

The second collapse wasn’t quite as total, and there was no water loss. I would like to say that this happened last week and I was on the case in a flash – sadly, it actually happened three months plus ago and I have been on the sofa watching Dr Who and eating chocolate for most of the intervening time. That is very much how I roll. Mmm… chocolate rolls…

I digress (plus I’m getting chocolate roll in the keyboard). It turned out that woodlice had eaten some of one of the deck supports (clearly that is their equivalent of chocolate). Not having another chunky piece of wood, I found an offcut (that I have no idea what it is an offcut from, but I cut it off because the cut is as straight as a die in a Universe where a die is the wobbliest thing ever).

 

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That screw should be horizontal, and the bit that goes through the upright is. Oh dear.

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The culprit. It appears to be a trilobite.

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Support your local crosspiece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excitingly (for me only), I was able to use my clamp. I bought a couple ages ago but have never had the opportunity to actually use them in anger, so to speak.

Some long screws and a minimal amount of swearing later, and the job was done.

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Waterbutt standing proud

As all my tools were now outside in the Good Friday sunshine, I decided to do a quick repair on that old favourite, PalletGate. One of the nifty things that hold the slidey bit in had shrunk, or moved, or something and wasn’t doing the job anymore.

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Patient 2: Oh, slidey keepy-in thing, you had one job…

I used a piece of pallet instead of this bit of our willow (which has gone to the Kelly Kettle to be turned into boiling water for tea). Again, only minimal swearing was required to fix it up.

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It’s neither big nor clever, but it does work. For now.

Now, I can return to the sofa. There’s some important chocolate to be eaten and the Doctor is having trouble with Cybermen. Again.

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 a non-fabric-based Scraphappy in when no one was looking!

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Somebody to Cove

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Replacement Front for Darth Vader’s face mask

 

For me, coving is as necessary as allowing fish to take part in the Tour de France. So, you can imagine my delight when the piece above the fireplace decided that it really wanted to visit the carpet, via the top of the fire. Sadly, the trip was too much for it and it went to pieces. About a million of them. Some of those bits are now decomposing in a raised bed. They can be squash plants in a year or two’s time.

Surprisingly, it turned out that thesnailofhappiness’s Mum had three lengths of coving in her barn. More surprisingly still, she also had a Cove Mitre which I later learnt was a really useful thing and not a piece of headgear for a pope to wear on DIY Sunday, which is probably a festival in some sects. Papa Snail had, apparently, coved (that must be the verb) their previous house and I believe that such coving was not the reason they moved out, so he must’ve been good at it.

It took me a while to figure out how to use the Cove Mitre – actually thesnailofhappiness worked it out while I swore – but cutting the coving was quick and easy. Sticking it up would have been too, if the glue had had the quality you expect of glue, you know, stickiness – but some panel pins held the coving in place while the glue thought about what it should be doing.

Eh voila! Coving up and waiting to be painted. And I thought afterwards how not only did Papa Snail make a snailofhappiness for me to love, but also gave me a Cove Mitre and two and a half metres of coving. That’s quite a debt I owe him!

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All my Coving

oOo

 

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Plastic – Recycle Locally 3

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Lights, camera – and, thankfully, no real action

Next stop for the local recycling project – the electronics bit. This is the bit that I at least understand and can make a reasonable fist of making. First off, I raided the boxes in the attic that are invisibly marked “put aside in the attic for twenty years because they may contain something of use one day”. Here is the haul of goodies I retrieved:

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Exciting Stuff found in the Stuff Room a.k.a. the attic

I know! How exciting is that? There’s some wire, a mains switch with cable and a metal box. There’s also some other stuff that is, take my word for it, equally exciting but not useful for this project (well, not yet, anyway). It is actually extremely gratifying to finally use odd bits and pieces that have lurked, overhead and tucked away, for so long.

The metal box is actually a plastic-coated metal box that came from an old mobile ‘phone transmitter about twenty years ago. There was going to be a network of these boxes on every other corner in cities to provide the fledgling mobile ‘phones (then still quite brick-like in shape and weight) with a signal. Needless to say, this method of providing mobile telecommunications never got off the ground, whereas the method that succeeded reached high into the landscape of every town, city and area of outstanding natural beauty.

 

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Oh joy! DIY with a drill!

So, on with the build. This involved cutting two large square holes on what will be the front of the box. I have never done this before so I figured that you cut as big a round ho0le as the square allows then buy a file (because you haven’t got one) to do the rest.

To a large approximation, that method worked. Just don’t look too closely.

It also worked for the hole on what will be the back of the box, for the on/off switch. Really, don’t look closely at that one at all.

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The Insides – ew…

After wiring up the temperature controllers, the mains supply and the switch, it was time to put the lid on and power up.

There was, thankfully, no big bang, just the welcome glow of the LEDs on the front panel. AND I didn’t receive an electric shock when I touched any of the screw heads on the back.

So, now I just have to mount and wire in the two solid state relays (they turn the heaters on and off in response to the temperature controllers’ whims) and attach some leads to take the electricity out to the heaters and I will be done.

I have an idea as to how to test the whole plastic-melting theory too – more on that later… but it involves a tin of baked beans. Now I will go back to finishing my next novel, where baked beans are extinct and there is a large superhighway running over the top of West Wales, with luminous walls and one-wheeled cars.

oOo

 

 

Categories: Plastic, recycling, Sustainable Stuff, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

HatTrick – The Movie

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Rosalind and her hat

Becasue writer’s procrastination is a wonderful thing to behold, I have created a second stop/go animation featuring the delightful Vaarks and their antics. Now I really do have to go and finish my novel (although there is the controller for the plastic recycling machine to be wired up too).

Please click here to view the movie!

oOo

Categories: Films, General silliness | Tags: , | 7 Comments

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