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?
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.
Using a workbench as a vice because using the vice as a vice didn’t work
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
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.
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…
Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!
Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynda,
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