Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

a simple bird-feeder

Tony made some bird feeders for his back garden out of a few pieces of wood and some wire mesh.

Tony kindly supplied me with the details:

Materials for constructing a simple bird-feeder:

3-x 17mm x 17mm x 135 mm wood

2-x 125mm x 165mm galvanized 10mm square mesh

2-x 40mm galvanised jolt head nails

8-x 20mm staples

2-x 500mm x 6mm rope

1–x 120mm x 8mm doweling

Sunday, 21 June 2015

shared food

The boys at the Shed shared some food with me on Saturday -  Ben brought in a bootload of puha, Robin gave me a slice of his home-made fruit cake, and William gave me some curry and rice - courtesy of the Hare Krishnas next door to him.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Fun ideas for old tyres

Old car tyres can be put to fun, creative and colourful use with some simple cutting (use a sharp knife with water as lubricant) and a splash of paint.
Some of these designs may require the use of tyres without steel inserts.
See more clever ideas at:


new video

A couple of years ago I was down Taranaki way camping in the van, doing a bit of work here and there, fishing and hunting where I could, enjoying the occasional feast on roadkill - turkey, pheasant, and even a goat found recently hit on a narrow winding gravel road.

In the backblocks near the Wanganui River I got talking with a local bloke in a pub, who introduced me to another bloke who sized me up, bought me a beer and asked me if I wanted ten days work.
“Nothing much to it, mate. The missus’ sister is having a baby in Wellington, and she wants to be there with the family. We live on a family-owned sheep farm. Jude and I live in part of the old woolshed and run bees - pretty good manuka honey around here...I just need someone to keep an eye on the hives while we’re away, and feed the dogs....you can stay in our place...there’s a wood stove, a freezer full of goat, venison and pig...and a vege garden...bring your own beer though.
“Jude’s dad lives in the old farmhouse..he’s a decent character, and I mean character! Bruce his name is. Retired now, gun shearer in his day. Lots of good walks - marine fossils in the hills: shells, crays, Bruce reckons he’s found a fossilized croc. He’s always good for a yarn... talk your leg off....quotes the Bible a bit - nothing too serious....”

It turned out to be a pretty good gig. Everything was as he described, and the old boy was great company. Every afternoon he came over with his dogs, sheared a few sheep, and fell asleep for a while in an old armchair. When he awoke we sat in the open door of the shearing shed, cracked a few beers and looked out at the tea-trees, the bee hives, the hills, rolling clouds, the rusting bulldozer, thistles, gorse, and broken fences. In our silences the river rolled past behind the trees, the dogs snapped at flies, the smell of lanolin oozed from the wooden floor, while the tin walls cracked at intervals in the heat.

Here's a video of Bruce doing what Bruce does best: shearing a sheep:


Sunday, 7 June 2015

steam power at motat

MSNS member Roger Curl recently took a crate of our wood off-cuts to MOTAT where they were used to fire-up some of the steam engines.
Roger says: "MOTAT uses a large amount of firewood when lighting up the steam engines and boilers from cold. The boilers have to be brought up to temperature slowly so they are not stressed and damaged. Coal is added once the boiler has warmed up and starts producing steam.
"We have a running day on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Visitors can have free train and military rides at the MOTAT 2 site in Meola Rd."
See some video of steam engines in action:

Roger takes a break
See the MOTAT site for more information on their factuality and events www.motat.org.nz

Thursday, 4 June 2015

portable picnic wine table

The images of John's with his "around-to-it" created a lot of interest on the MSNS facebook page, and several people requested a copy of the plan. So here we go.....

(John’s top is about 50mm thick)
As below in Picture 1:
A (diameter of the table) = 340mm
B (diameter of the glass holders) = 50mm
C (distance from the rim of the table to the hole) = 25mm
D (diameter of the bottle holder) = 75-80mm - check the size of the bottles you will use
E (length of the handle slot) = 115mm
F (width of the handle slot) = 25mm

picture 1

Picture 2:
G (from the bottom of the table to the of of the bottle support) = 140mm
H (the length of the hinge-block) = 80mm (30mm high & 20mm wide)
I (distance of the hinge screw from the bottle end) =  35mm
picture 2
The dimensions for the leg are:
Length = 50cm
Width = 30mm
The upper end of the leg behind the scres at "I" will have to be rounded off to allow the leg to swing upwards.

Picture 3
J (distance of the screw from the bottom of the table) = 20mm

picture 3

Picture 4
K (length of the metal rod) = 160mm or more
L (length of hole for the rod) = 80mm

 Further images of another version of this table cane be found at