What I Did This Weekend - In Pictures!

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
Tried to decorate, could have gone better!

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Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
About thirty years ago, one of the shops 'in' the old Odeon, the one next to where Narvana is now, was a very interesting tool shop and I bought many things there, including a couple of Spintiller manual cultivators. One of only two manufactured items that I have ever seen with Made in New Zealand stamped on it.

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It;s a well-made thing and works remarkably well - for a garden gadget.

The plots below are fallow for this year and grass clippings, plus hedge trimmings, etc, are scattered thinly, left for a couple of weeks and then the top three inches is fluffed up to incorporate them.

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The plot on the left was turned over in about three minutes.
@BobClay's mention, elsewhere, of the tool shop by the Odeon, prompted me to try to get a picture of the Spintiller in action, having bought it there.

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Some hedge clippings, scuffed in in a few seconds.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
Ran by Kev Reynolds, ex Monks & Crane. It probably opened mid to late 80’s. He could get you just about anything if he didn’t have it in stock.
I’m pretty sure the shop was called Toolbox (or similar). He ran a mobile disco in the 70’s/80’s called Bandbox & the names were linked.
He was an interesting character, who really knew his subject.

He used to do the market at Bishop's Castle. I always intended to make the trip, but never did.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
I got some LED strips ages ago, on the basis that they looked handy, but I've never used them, other than illuminating the glass-doored cupboards last year.

They're about six feet long, when fully assembled, so I've mounted one right up in the eight feet long apex of the 'glass shed' greenhouse.

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They're completely out-of-the-way and give enough light to see what you're doing, whilst only consuming three or four watts.

And I still have one left for when I sort out the other greenhouse.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I got some LED strips ages ago, on the basis that they looked handy, but I've never used them, other than illuminating the glass-doored cupboards last year.

They're about six feet long, when fully assembled, so I've mounted one right up in the eight feet long apex of the 'glass shed' greenhouse.

View attachment 12386

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They're completely out-of-the-way and give enough light to see what you're doing, whilst only consuming three or four watts.

And I still have one left for when I sort out the other greenhouse.
I have rolls of these lying around somewhere, at least 30m I reckon.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
An old boy I meet in the second nearest acceptable pub is becoming a bit more stick-dependent these days, so I gave him a spare adjustable aluminium one, which would be a little stronger than the rather delicate stick he's been using lately. However, the wet day recently resulted in the rubber foot being lost in some soft ground somewhere, as he went to see how his cows were coping.

I have an identical stick that's still here, so I have secured the foot on that with six stainless steel self-tapping screws that I got in Lidl last week - that should make it fairly adequate for off-road use now. We'll swap the lower parts in the pub tonight (as the weather does look distinctly plausible) and then recalibrate the length with some test runs.

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Then, I can also modify the part that I bring back here.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
I've moved my remaining stock of wood from one greenhouse into the other. It's now stashed under the benches that I built into this one last year.

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There's enough fuel there for a lot of next winter.

I can now set about demolishing the failing wooden benches in the other greenhouse, to be replaced in the same manner.
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This may be a slightly more complicated job - the white box at the far end, under the pile of fleece and bubble-wrap, is an electric propagator that I bodged up about twenty years ago. It is a 6'x2'x1' high expanded polystyrene box, with an inch of sand in the bottom, covering a few yards of 10W/metre heating cable, controlled by a central heating thermostat. It worked very well and it would be nice to have it available for future occasional use. The idea is to (re)build it under the end bench top, so it can be uncovered when needed, and still be a bench when the propagator is dormant.

The solar drying of the wood has been a huge success, greatly improving the efficiency of the Shed heating.

Also today, I managed some highly ecologically-sound washing. I had a load of plant pot saucers that needed a good cleaning. I achieved this with harvested rainwater, heated by the Sun and in a container that has been recycled/reused many times. No detergent was necessary, either. Greta would approve, I'm sure.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
So, I decided to start the demolition today and I managed to do it without any collateral damage to myself, the greenhouse or anything that I intend to reuse.

It became clear, when I started to dismantle the propagator, that the materials it was made from have 'aged' a good bit, particularly the insulation and reassembly would be a little difficult. So, I decided to remove the "necessary gubbins" and commit to building a new box for it - this will actually be easier, I think, than trying to create a framework to accommodate the existing one exactly.

The greenhouse is now 'empty' and I managed all this just before the promised rain came, although the day was really gusty here.

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I might also be able to stop the slight drip though the automatic window...

And I'll see if I can relocate the ferns somewhere more suitable (for me).


The propagator contained rather more sand than I expected, I don't think I'll put it all back in.

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The working parts of the propagator heating arrangement.

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The junction box had two neon indicators, salvaged from dead kettles - one to indicate a mains supply and one to show when the thermostat had turned the heating 'on'.

The thermostat is still working perfectly, but has suffered cosmetically from the extreme environment.

The blue cable is the heater - 10 watts per metre when energised. It's an interesting item. The blue sheath is an insulator and two wires run through it, one along each edge - they are separated by a high resistance dielectric, providing the heating effect. Connect one wire to Neutral and the other to Live and away you go. I ran both ends of each wire into the junction box, to avoid having a 'loose end'. It's intended for trace heating of pipework, inserted inside the thermal insulation, but it's ideal for this, too. There's a little limescale on the cable outer, but that should rub off.

The heater never really came on much, mostly just at night - the location in a greenhouse, with the 'extra greenhouse effect' of also having glass sheets as a cover, plus the insulation and the mass of the sand, gave it a fairly stable and reliable temperature.

The piece of insulation is one of the better bits - a lot of it is a bit 'friable', so I'll start again (at some point), i just want to get the bench framework in place for now, really.
 

littleme

250,000th poster!
So, I decided to start the demolition today and I managed to do it without any collateral damage to myself, the greenhouse or anything that I intend to reuse.

It became clear, when I started to dismantle the propagator, that the materials it was made from have 'aged' a good bit, particularly the insulation and reassembly would be a little difficult. So, I decided to remove the "necessary gubbins" and commit to building a new box for it - this will actually be easier, I think, than trying to create a framework to accommodate the existing one exactly.

The greenhouse is now 'empty' and I managed all this just before the promised rain came, although the day was really gusty here.

View attachment 12420

I might also be able to stop the slight drip though the automatic window...

And I'll see if I can relocate the ferns somewhere more suitable (for me).


The propagator contained rather more sand than I expected, I don't think I'll put it all back in.

View attachment 12421


The working parts of the propagator heating arrangement.

View attachment 12422

The junction box had two neon indicators, salvaged from dead kettles - one to indicate a mains supply and one to show when the thermostat had turned the heating 'on'.

The thermostat is still working perfectly, but has suffered cosmetically from the extreme environment.

The blue cable is the heater - 10 watts per metre when energised. It's an interesting item. The blue sheath is an insulator and two wires run through it, one along each edge - they are separated by a high resistance dielectric, providing the heating effect. Connect one wire to Neutral and the other to Live and away you go. I ran both ends of each wire into the junction box, to avoid having a 'loose end'. It's intended for trace heating of pipework, inserted inside the thermal insulation, but it's ideal for this, too. There's a little limescale on the cable outer, but that should rub off.

The heater never really came on much, mostly just at night - the location in a greenhouse, with the 'extra greenhouse effect' of also having glass sheets as a cover, plus the insulation and the mass of the sand, gave it a fairly stable and reliable temperature.

The piece of insulation is one of the better bits - a lot of it is a bit 'friable', so I'll start again (at some point), i just want to get the bench framework in place for now, really.
Yesterday, I emptied, moved, repaired & refilled 2 mini plastic greenhouses, potted on 4 red acers, and dug in a new hydrangea & an unknown plant (could be a lambs ear), thoroughly enjoyed my day but hurt my back so back on tablets for a while... Fun times
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
First rhubarb harvest of the year! View attachment 12427
Mine's growing nicely, although I think there may be a Japanese sniper in there.

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I've been leaving donations of it at neighbouring houses. Although I think they might not like it, as half comes back here in pie form - good scheme, though...

I'm sure that it appreciates having the last cut of the grass piled on top for the winter, as a mulch.
 
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