Posts Tagged With: reuse

ScrapHappy January 2021: Let there be light!

Fully working bright light

Fully working bright light

First, a ScrapHappy New Year to you all!

To start the year, here is an easy ScrapHappy mend of an LED lamp which the Snail uses for various crafty activities. In fact, we have two of these lamps and, although they weren’t cheap, they are well made and very useful. They feature a ring of LEDs as well as a magnifier in the top, and will run from batteries or a mains adapter. The Snail uses the mains adapter for both – the batteries are housed in a detachable box which I may well use for something else one day (watch this space!).

This particular lamp started to be like me – a bit dim. This is a strange thing for LEDs to do as they aren’t like incandescent bulbs that have separate parts that can fail independently (so one of several filaments might break but the others would keep on shining). It probably meant that the power supply wasn’t doing what it was supposed to, so I started there. A quick check with my rusty voltmeter told me the truth – the supply was only half decent. It was producing a little over 3 volts rather than 6 volts to be precise.

Half the supply it was

Half the supply it was

In the last 20 years, I reckon every household has probably had about a million* mains power supplies that have long since become pointless because the device they were supposed to power has broken. Many have (shamefully) been put in landfill, but many reside to this day in old boxes at the backs of cupboards/wardrobes/sheds. Mine reside in my office/workshop/studio, liberally scattered across shelves/boxes/drawers.

Could I find one that was suitable?

Could I find one that was suitable? - SPOILER ALERT!

Could I find one that was suitable? – SPOILER ALERT!

Yay! I could! This is the supply from an old set-top box, for receiving the Freeview digital signals (for my non-UK reader, Freeview is the UK’s contribution to the vast thousands of utterly unwatchable TV channels around the globe). We stopped using the box it powered about ten or so years ago but *I KNEW* it was worth keeping.

Of course, it didn’t have the right bit on the end of the wire so I had to chop the end of the defunct power supply and solder it onto the “new” supply. Once done, voila! LEDs that are properly bright. And perhaps a hint of a smile in the magnifier too? Perhaps…

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One happy lamp

oOo

*  I checked with Twitter – it is a million.

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2020: Face Time

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Optimistically, it says “Man” on the pattern…

Ah, another “soft” ScrapHappy – I promise I’ll be all power tools and hammers next time*! The Snail found an “easy” pattern for face masks on t’interweb and, like the fool I am, I said I would have a go at making my own. AND there were scraps of material left from my first sewing exploit (see here for, frankly, way too many details), making it a perfect subject for a ScrapHappy post…

Hover over the pictures for the captions, by the way (like you didn’t already know that). I cut things out, only one of them incorrectly. There are three layers – an outer, an inner (both regular material) and a middle bit made of vilene, which is ironed onto one of the other layers and acts as a filter. Now for the sewing bit… I fired up the trusty Singer and, with huge amounts of guidance from The Snail, managed to make a face mask (well two in fact)!

It wasn’t easy easy, but it wasn’t too bad either. The top stitching was difficult as it was really hard to see the seam and therefore the path of the stitches, but I managed that with minimal swearing. I found using the Singer much easier than before, so I guess I am becoming used to it!

You can read The Snail’s take on this project here.

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A distinct improvement to my face!

oOo

* Depends, but next month’s might be a bit electronicky…

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!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

ScrapHappy September 2019

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Not a very inspiring post this month, but where I work throws out these empty coffee containers rather than clean them out and let people come up with uses for them.

Me? These tins have lids that close tightly making them perfect to be reused as a food waste* bin for the kitchen – as the one I liberated a week ago is currently used for. I collect food waste in the flat I live in during the week and then take it home to the garden compost heap at the weekend. AND this replaces my old food waste bin whose lid decided to stop closing properly, with predictable results.

Scrap and Happy!

oOo

* Not actually food waste, more food-to-be-repurposed

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!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

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

ScrapHappy June 2019: Love Triangle

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You can keep your Bermuda, your isosceles and your musical varieties – my warning triangle is the best. Unfortunately, like a lovelorn triangular heart, it broke. I think it lurked around in the boot of the car and was squished by either some luggage, a dog or a person. What it needed was some scrap – chiefly, three bits of old computer.

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I just happened to have this old PC lying around…

The metal braces were once the covers to be found on the back of desktop-flavoured PCs, to stop small fingers and the wet noses of dogs intruding whilst allowing for extra gizmos to be added. Removable, handy pieces of metal once the PC has reached the end of its life – in this case, due to a combination of software obsolescence and reluctance of the power supply to start up first thing in the day (that I can relate to!).

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Some strong glue, tins of coconut milk for a bit of pressure on the braces while the glue was drying et voila! One triangle as opposed to six straight lines. Add an old knitting needle in the case to stop the whole thing bending quite so readily when sat on, and the job was done!

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Hopefully, I’ll never need to use it!

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!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

 

Categories: computers, recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

ScrapHappy June 2018: Got a couple of minutes?

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Start…

A few weeks ago, the Chez Snail toothbrush gave up the ghost. Actually, it needed its internal rechargeable battery replacing but Braun, who make the thing, don’t want you to do that. So I did. And it didn’t work. I have no idea why, I just replaced the battery.

Anyway, we bought a new, less sophisticated toothbrush which didn’t have a built-in two-minute timer, so I thought I would build one out of old bits I had lying around. Yes, these are the things I have lying around – the Snailofhappiness has all the wool and fabric.

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The box contained something (I forget what) and I have had it since about 1990. The metal to make the front panel is off the cover of a hard disk drive, from about 2011. The timer circuit was one I made earlier (2005 or so) for a project that clearly never made it past the “hmm” stage.

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The LEDs are from an old mobile phone system that Motorola tried to introduce in the UK (I think it was called Rabbit or something). It never caught on. I and a friend bought an old roadside box and split the electronics within, in about 1994. These LEDs were a part of my haul.

The on/off switch comes from ever further back. In 1984/5, as part of my university degree, I worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in the UK. It was like going to work in a Sci-fi film everyday – I loved it! During my time there, the old temporary hut (temporary = built in World War II) where I worked was decommissioned (i.e. pulled down) and we all mucked in to fill the skip with old junk – much of which we then fished out when no one was looking to salvage. There were pieces of computing history in that skip, and if I had had a car back then… Anyway, the switch for this scrappy project came from that skip (along with about 100 of its friends that i am still working through today).

The battery clip came from a broken toy.

The buzzer was going to be from an old ultrasonic parking radar thing but that buzzer was rubbish so I bought this one from a company as it was going bust (so bought it half price).

A bit of finagling later and it all works! Flick the switch as you start to clean your teeth, the green LED shines encouragingly, then after two minutes, on comes the red LED accompanied by a buzzer. Unfortunately, the new buzzer is, like the one it replaced, also a bit rubbish and you can’t actually hear it above the sound of the toothbrush. It isn’t a problem but I may try to improve it one day (in the very far future).

Throughout the whole build, I kept singing “Three minute hero” by The Selecter but with the words “Two Minute Timer”. Try it for yourself!

The Selecter – Two Minute Timer (well, OK, nearly)

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!

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…and Stop

oOo

 

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

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