Posts Tagged With: ScrapHappy

ScrapHappy January 2022: Talkin’ ‘bout scrap generation

A worried Snail and a slightly distressed wall

A worried Snail and a slightly distressed wall

First, a Happy New Year to my reader or Blywddyn Newydd Dda as we say around here!

As some of you may know, the Snail and I are opening a shop to sell preloved craft stuff, so all those stashes of fabric, craft materials and crafting tools that are laying around, never to be used. The shop itself is in pretty good condition but, of course, there are things we want to change. The first structural one is to remove the two inside walls that someone put up so we can have a big teaching space so we can show people how to make and mend using all the preloved stuff!

The two walls were made with nice chunky bits of wood for the framework and hardboard rather than plasterboard which means we can use that for something too. It was a relief to discover this (by kicking it to see if it would come off, very technical) as plasterboard is messy and difficult to reuse.

Shelves... but it's the stuff underneath that I want

Shelves… but it’s the stuff underneath that I want

There is also a largish quantity of thick MDF shelves which will work very well as work surfaces.

So, the first project? A breakfast bar to act as a divider betwixt the kitchen and the teaching area. Watch this space!

oOo

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

ScrapHappy December 2021: Repair, Reuse, REVIEW

As we approach the shortest day and the turning of the year, I thought I would write a quick review of my ScrapHappy activities (and not just because, here at Chez Snail, we are more than halfway through our Solstice calendar which has a small but perfectly drinkable bottle of wine behind every door and therefore means I may not be as creative as normal).

As my regular reader will know, I am not skilled enough to start ScrapHappying with fabrics and other soft scrap, so I go for the hard ScrapHappying. Occasionally, the two overlap as they did in October and November

There was a definite lamp theme by the time I used a bit of one in October. I had already repurposed an old set-top box in January to ensure the Snail’s craft light kept shining, and converted a pair of electrickery-powered lights back to good old candle power in May

Of course, the hugest news in the ScrapHappy Universe, and by that I mean in my head, was the rebirth of Palletgate in July…

There was ScrapHappy component creation going on in June and August

There was a ScrapHappy makeover for the water butt stand in March

Some scrapped telecom cable (retrieved from the side of the road) was used to keep the raspberries off the ground in April

And there was an old scythe to restore in September

oOo

Eh voila! Another ScrapHappy year done with! I hope you all have a very ScrapHappy 2022 and, indeed, a very Happy 2022 in general! See you next year for more ScrapHappiness and maybe even a new ScrapHappy top-of-the-blog post image (maybe)!

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: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sewing, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

ScrapHappy October 2021: Exorcising a Ghost in the Machine with a Light Bulb

What lies beneath this ancient plate that no one has looked inside for nearly a million, well 40, years?

What lies beneath this ancient plate that no one has looked inside for nearly a million, well 40, years?

A while ago, the Snail bought a 1970s’ vintage Bernina sewing machine, which is way too scary for me to use but that she drives without a care in the world, not knowing that it is clearly haunted by the ghost of a, well, suffice it to say, a ghost. The other morning, just as the sun was rising*, that ghost manifested itself.

The sewing machine just started sewing. On its own. No one around.

For one such as I, who is terrified of these electric sewing machines (or crazy-electron-using-thread-knotting hell-machines as I call them), it was only after more than the usual number of tots of rum for breakfast that I was told the awful truth: this is a known fault and it really is simple to fix.

Calling the issue a “fault” is unfair. Bernina machines are built to last forever, presumably so that when they inevitably acquire the machine equivalent of a soul at some point, they can take over the Universe. Anyway, brushing away the image of a walking foot being chancellor of the exchequer for a moment, there is a capacitor (I’ll explain in a bit) in the foot pedal controller thingy** which is manufactured such that it has a lifetime of around just 30 to 40 years. Imagine that! Imagine a mobile phone built to last more than a quarter of a century! Nope, me neither (<goes off for a quiet internal monologue-type rant>).

OK, what in blogging hell is a capacitor, I hear you cry (or is that my internal monologue too?). Well, it is a thing that stores electricity for a bit and then discharges it, so it effectively smooths out ripples in the water-like flow of electricity (if electricity flowed like water. Which it doesn’t.). Here, I think it just makes the speed of the motor smoother as you use the pedal. This type of capacitor uses a layer of paper and a layer of metal to produce the desired effect. After 40 years, the paper has broken down (much as I did when I was 40), so the two ends are essentially connected and the whole thing passes electricity all the time, irrespective of where the pedal is and whether there is actually a human operator present. This machine is a whisker away from ticking that box that says “I am not a robot” and getting away with it.

Fixing the capacitor is, in theory easy, provided you have the right replacement capacitor. Now, you can buy ones specifically for such pedals OR you can use a light bulb, obvs.

As I have ranted on about before explained before (here), modern energy efficient light bulbs (the compact fluorescent and LED kinds) have some electronics in to make them work. When the light-making bit stops making light, all the electronic components are destined to be, at best, melted down, at worst, left in landfill. Whether energy efficient bulbs (CFs or LEDs) are better overall for the environment is a whole other rant for another day. For this day, such a circuit board was recovered and a suitable capacitor – right capacitance value, size and voltage rating – was rescued from a melty/landfill future to live its life in the volume***, I mean, speed pedal of a sewing machine. I bet its what that capacitor grew up wanting to do.

After 40+ years of loyal service, this capacitor has gone all gooey on us

After 40+ years of loyal service, this capacitor has gone all gooey on us


473K400? But you don't look a day over 25...

473K400? But you don’t look a day over 25…

I assumed that it would take me ages to scavenge a new component, but a bit of an old CF bulb was lying on my workbench, actually on top of the junk, er, useful things that live there. And you know what? That brown sweet-looking thing marked 473K400 was perfect – being, as it is, a 0.047 microfarad 400 volt capacitor and not a piece of gone-off strawberry chewing gum. The original capacitor was also not a piece of gone-off strawberry chewing gum but was, in fact, a 0.05 microfarad 250 volt capacitor. Happy days, if you are a nerdy electronics geek like me.

New capacitor, ready for 30 years' service

New capacitor, ready for 30 years’ service

As you can see, the new capacitor is much smaller than the old one and rated at 400 volts rather than 250, which means it should be even better! Whether it will last longer, I wouldn’t like to say. Ask me in 30 years…

Help! There's a bee using the sewing machine!

Help! There’s a bee using the sewing machine!

oOo

* Apart from the implicit plagiarism of song lyrics, the sun did not so much rise as hide behind the rain the whole day.

** Sorry, being technical again.

*** Oops, I play electric guitar and am way more used to volume pedals.

 

 

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

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

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

ScrapHappy September 2021: Scythe o’ the times – Again

RIMG0981

Too good to scrap

Before the once upon a time started, there was a scythe that was used and hung up after each day’s toil in a slightly-too-big-to-be-called-a-shed shed. This happened a lot until one day, it stopped happening at all, and the scythe hung there, quietly awaiting the day it would be taken down, to feel once more the yielding of the blades of grass to its blade of steel…

Once upon a time, some Snail friends moved into a house next to which was an old barn-like building. In this building-of-indeterminant-status, there was a very old scythe, hanging from a rafter. This was a happy scythe – it had done its work and was resting and rusting in peace, while the world outside went on its way, presumably growing very tall grass and cutting it down again with very sharp, much newer blades.

Time passed, about 12 years to be vaguely precise although in scythe years, that’s about three weeks (they can live an extremely long time). One day, Mr Snail appeared and then things happened…

I mean, you can’t let a scythe rust to nothing without an attempt to rescue it, right?

This piece of scrap really was quite a challenge. I use a scythe reasonably regularly (see here) but I am still learning, particularly when it comes to the black magic that is peening. This is where you repeatedly whack the edge of a blade to make it better at being sharp, which it certainly isn’t immediately after having been whacked with a hammer. I have peened one of my own blades a couple of times but, because I don’t scythe rocky fields and so start to damage the edge, any difference I have thought was there before and after peening might be down to wishful thinking.

This old scythe was an opportunity to see if my peening technique was actually doing something since, when I tried to cut grass with it, it mostly folded the grass over, without actually doing any cutting. The snath (shaft and handles) seemed OK (it’s metal) although the wooden grips could do with a coat of varnish.

This blade was so blunt I nearly called it Emily. Or Anthony.

This blade was so blunt I nearly called it Emily. Or Anthony.

 

Peening jig (not a dance)

Peening jig (not a dance)

 

RIMG0992

Other bit of peening jig (still not a dance)

After peening, the blade was definitely sharper, but the set-up was clearly wrong. A couple more hours of playing and now it will cut reasonably well – ultimately, I think a new blade will be the answer but until then… scraphappiness abounds!

RIMG0994

Proof that the scythe can now do what it claims

One man went to mow etc. etc. Sorry you can't see his legs, his wearing camouflage...

One man went to mow etc. etc. Sorry you can’t see his legs, he’s wearing camouflage…

oOo

P.S. A warm welcome to Jule, the newest Scraphappy member!

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, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

ScrapHappy August 2021: Late to the Party

The New Toy

Sorry everyone! I had hoped to write a post about the new hot air gun/soldering rework gizmo I bought a while ago to help me retrieve workable electronic components from scrap but the time has gotten away from me this month – I’ll try harder next month!

In the meanwhile, have a look at everyone else’s posts, people who were clearly better at managing their time in the last month than I was…

The first LEDs removed…
Minus LEDs , a push button and a few bits and pieces…

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: ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: | 23 Comments

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