Sunday, 31 March 2013

a simple repair

I found this flax kete by the side of the road in the annual inorganic rubbish collection last year. The handles were worn out, but the rest was in perfect condition. I repaired the handles by cutting them off, and replacing them with a bicycle inner-tube (found in the inorganic the year before last).
As you can see - I didn't even have to cut the inner-tube!
It makes a great shopping-bag when I go across the road to the Sunday market in Browns Bay.

recycled art

Making things from other things is nothing new. Today it is called "recycling', a few years ago it was just plain good old common-sense - "waste not want not" my Grandmother used to say.
Kiwis are great at innovation and ingenuity - points the detractors of Number 8 wire technology miss completely.  #8-style action is always a simple solution to a problem with the materials at hand - it is never intended to be a method of inventing cutting-edge digital technology.
I like to collect junk from the trash & am frequently trash-trawling in my local neighbourhood - it's amazing what you can find!
Here are a couple of clocks and a trashion necklace I have made:
(trashion" = "fashion from trash")

 See more at my website

quote of the week

"Computers are stupid - they only give you answers"
- Pablo Picasso


 Use a rubber band over a paint tin to stop mess.
 No room under the tap for the bucket? Use the dust-pan as a funnel!
Repair that worn hole in a jandal with a bread clip!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

the shed magazine

New Zealand has its own magazine devoted to blokes, sheds, and shed-related stories.
Published bi-monthly in Auckland by Cadenza Publishing
The Feb-March 2013 issue includes articles on beer brewing, water safety, Houses for Humanity project, weaving willows, installing a rangehood, 3D printers, and Arduino 101.
A jolly good read for $10.50

a shed project

The other week I bought these clippers at the local market. The metal part is in good condition and cuts well, however, as you can see the wooden handles are riddled with borer.
This will make a good shed project - I plan to drill out the wooden handles and replace them with steel pipes, which I shall weld on.
Somehow I never learned to weld, though many of my friends did, and went on to be metal-fabricators, engineers, and steel-boat builders. So this will be a good chance for me to learn some welding. I have spoken with Gwyn ( the "metal man") at my local Men's Shed North Shore, and he suggested that TIG welding would be the easiest for me to learn, and offered to teach me! Tyanks mate.
So watch this space for my progress.....

sunday news article on sheds

On Sunday March 24 there was an article on Men's Sheds in NZ  by John McCrone, in which Martin Cox (chair of Menz Shed Aotearoa - our umbrella organization) spoke about some of the positive aspects of the international Men's Shed movement.
Read the full article HERE

Alan, Dave, Steve, Bill and Maurice in the Aldred Men's Shed in Christchurch.

Monday, 25 March 2013

a "plug" for men's sheds

Red Heke productions are in the process of releasing an independently-produced movie on sustainability in New Zealand. Emma Heke travelled around the country with her son Conner for over a year, meeting with and interviewing over 70 "greenies" for the movie "Our Green Roadie".
I am privileged to be included in this production, and you can see my clip from the movie on youtube by clicking on the image below -

Sunday, 24 March 2013

shed action

Last week members came in and worked on some projects......

white vinegar as rust remover

White vinegar is a mild acid and makes a cheap and remarkably efficient rust-remover - just soak the item/tool in pure vinegar overnight, then remove with a wire brush or steel wool.

make a wrist-warmer

Got cold wrists in winter?
Got old socks with worn-out heels?
Make some wrist-warmers and beat the cold!

Just cut the socks off above the heel...and pull the open pieces onto your wrists.

I was introduced to these wrist-warmers in a cold winter in Switzerland in 1982 - where they are called "bandlies".
As the veins are close to the skin at the wrist a lot of body-heat is lost in this area.
A hat, scarf, thick socks, thick-soled shoes, and a good covering over the small of the back/kidney area all help to retain heat even on the coldest day in the wind.

Friday, 22 March 2013

sheds in australia

There are said to be over 600 Men's Sheds in Australia. I had a look on the website of the Australian Men's Shed Association for sheds within 200km of Melbourne (my old stamping ground) -
From a look through the websites of some of these sheds it is clear that many of them are backed by city councils and government entities whose activities are concerned with the well-being of people and their communities. Also quite a significant amount of research is being conducted by Australian tertiary students into the health and social benefits of Men's Sheds.
There is even a mobile Men's Shed! 

Mobile Memories say:
Our Mobile Men’s Shed is a “passive” shed: 
•          Tools from the 1900’s – 1960’s era are on display
 •          Combination of fixed tool displays and tools to hold and handle
 •          Encourages reminiscing and discussion through touch, feel and smell
 •          Aid in the fostering of enhanced family relationships which is often lacking is later years
 •          Construction / assembly of simple models will be available
 •          A good old fashioned BBQ can be made available to round out the experience•          An outing that comes to them
In addition to the tools, the program also brings a variety of memorabilia from the early part of the century to engage and stimulate those residents who are “not in the mood” for tools on that day.  These includes include old coins, magazines, leather school satchels, storage tins etc – all items that stimulate memories and an array of interesting conversations
Aged Care facilities have a wide variety of Lifestyle & Leisure activities that service and address the needs of women, but there is a distinct shortage of male focussed initiatives. Our Mobile Men’s Shed helps to address this gap.
The Mobile Men’s Shed leverages the principals of the Community Men’s Shed program to create of sense of being, belonging, mateship and a place to be valued all in an environment where they feel familiar and comfortable.
Incorporating the Mobile Men’s Shed into Lifestyle and Leisure programs aides and assists the health, well being of these residents and provides mental and physical stimulation into their lives.

making home brew - easy!

With vast improvements in brewing yeasts and a wide range of sophisticated brew kits available, home brewing has lost its "bathtub beer' reputation of last century. Today one can make excellent largers, ales, stouts and more from around $15 upwards.

 Watch my brewing demonstration on youtube

 Here on the North Shore I get my brewing supplies from the Hauraki Home Brew Company:

Thursday, 21 March 2013

  Ross and John discuss the design of a new set of shelving....

The pyramids were probably designed on the back of an envelope!