Posts Tagged With: recycling

ScrapHappy February 2022: Extra – the Counter wait is over

This build had a tendency to drag on a bit

This build had a tendency to drag on a bit

Well, there we are, one counter and a dragon eager to serve you! I even reused some of the panel pins studiously removed (by our lovely volunteers last week) from the partitions.

Actually, there are still a few things left to do. I would like to tidy up the corners (that is, hide them) and the one of the pieces of countertop needs another couple of screws. Then, there is the matter of painting and decorating it, but that will likely be a task for some more lovely volunteers!

Our eager member of staff

Our eager member of staff

I think I will rest my carpentry “skills” for a bit!


Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 9 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?


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

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!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith, and Debbierose


Categories: gardening, recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 33 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…


* Star Trek, not David Boreanaz.

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

ScrapHappy August 2020: #BeKindle

ds RIMG0500

Kindling (noun): bits of Kindles

Earlier this week, the Snail decided to pick up her Kindle, after about two years of not picking it up. Needless to say, it didn’t want to work (can you imagine if a book didn’t work after a couple of years on the shelf?). The battery stubbornly refused to charge, as if it were sulking about being ignored for so long.

Three-ish years ago, my Kindle also gave up the ghost, for reasons that never became apparent. I bought a new battery (which did not fix the issue) and then an old Kindle off eBay whose screen had been damaged but that was, according to the description, OK otherwise. Sadly, fitting the screen off my stricken Kindle (which did appear to work) to the eBay Kindle did not improve my supply of working Kindles. My old Kindle, the new battery and the eBay Kindle all went in the “nice” scrap box, reserved for things that I cannot bring myself to completely strip for parts or throw out (so, pretty much everything then). I then acquired another working one, that I have to this day.*

Never be afraid to open these sorts of things up. The Kindle of old is easy, I used a plastic plectrum to slide along the edge to undo the plastic clips (you can use a thin-bladed screwdriver, but this tends to break some or all the clips in the process). There are invariably YouTube videos to show what to do. It’s possible that the newer Kindle (Fire and the like) are glued together to stop you doing this in which case – emoji of someone blowing a raspberry here!

Turns out, the new battery I bought all those years ago was also a “I’m going to sulk now” types, and didn’t want to charge up. I was beginning to wonder if the charging circuitry in the Snail’s Kindle might not be in a deep funk too, but lo and behold! The old battery from the eBay kindle charged and saved the day. I don’t know why that battery might work where the others failed, or indeed how long it may last now but it means that the Snail can Kindle away again so I’m happy!

ds RIMG0499

In the Pink – one working Kindle


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 would be me), HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

* How I came by my replacement Kindle is mentioned here

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , | 13 Comments

ScrapHappy June 2020: Scrum from Scrap

When cardboard and old credit card bills are on the menu:


Take some old cardboard and paper shreddings…



…add the shreddings to the bed…



…tuck the shreddings in with a blanket of cardboard to keep it warm (and in the bed!)…



..throw away the bits that won’t help…



…plant up and wait for things to grow. Then eat. Yum!


The lovely Kate Chiconi and Gun created this idea and the people listed below have embraced it, as well as turning a blind eye to my nonsense:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

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

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