Archive for the 'In the garden' Category

Wonkumbers (now with added Prezi)

Posted by on July 9th 2017 in In the garden
Tags:

The first few were normal, so I'm fairly sure that these are not supposed to look like this:

Or like this:

Wonky cucumbers.

Cherry-picker

Posted by on June 24th 2017 in In the garden
Tags:

The long hot spell has given us the biggest and best yield yet from our cherry tree - plenty for us, and for the neighbours, and for the song-birds. I reckon we'll have picked about 50 lbs by the time we're finished.

Having two cats helps to keep most of the woodpigeons away, the air-rifle deals with the others.

 

Fur & Feather

Posted by on June 9th 2017 in In the garden
Tags:

Looks like there'll be no more electoral posts for a while.

Here, have a cat video instead:

Square deal

Posted by on May 31st 2017 in In the garden, Just for fun

So, let's suppose that I go to the tills at B&Q with 3 square metres of these slabs on my trolley. Do you think they'll have grounds for refusal if I tender One Pound Sterling and expect some change?

 

According to their pricing and my basic maths, I should get 4p change from a quid.

Stealth Moths

Posted by on May 27th 2017 in In the garden

These things always remind me of B-2 bombers:

 

 

Opinions differ - I'm told that it's either a Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi or an Eyed Hawk Moth Smerinthus ocellatus.

What say you? You can click 'em for a closer look - it's safe, they're not armed.

Torsional rigidity

Posted by on May 12th 2017 in In the garden, Making stuff

A couple of years ago a friend was dismantling his conservatory and, knowing how we like to re-purpose potentially-useful materials which are too good to chuck away, he kindly let me have a stack of unwanted used multi-wall polycarbonate roofing-panels. I duly stashed them behind the greenhouse for future use.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when it was both warm and windy. The greenhouse auto-vents were opening the windows but the wind was twisting them about because they weren't rigid enough. A few hours with a saw, some tape and a few screws soon saw them "faced" with polycarb, now they're nice and stiff and are defying the wind quite well:

 

Looking at the offcuts, and remembering that the long side of the greenhouse gets more sun now that the willow tree has gone, I decided to make some shades. They have been very effective at diffusing the sunlight, and so far we've not had any scorched plants. I might make some larger shades to deploy overhead for when the Sun's higher during summertime:

 

My over-the-road neighbour Chris helped out with the above, so as a thanks for his input he now has a nice new polycarb window in his workshop. Here are his pics of it:

 

There's plenty left for more re-purposing... I've a mind to see if it's any good for making cloches.

Cage fighter

Posted by on April 29th 2017 in In the garden, Making stuff

Finished today - a job which we started two years ago but which was interrupted by unforeseen events.

We believe it to be bird-proof, unless they arrive armed with wire-cutters.

 

Now I need to turn my attention to protecting the strawberry troughs:

 

There's no peace for the wicked, it's said.

The simple things you see are all complicated…

Posted by on April 28th 2017 in A bit of a rant, In the garden, Shiny new kit
Tags:

A "Barrow-in-a-Box"... with only one moving part, seven components and a handful of nuts & bolts, drawing up accurate assembly instructions really ought to have been a doddle.

In an episode of madness we decided to defy male instinct and years of engineering & assembly experience. Instead, we followed the instructions to the letter, just to see how things would work out. What could possibly go wrong?

You can find the instructions here in .pdf format, but to save you the hassle I'll walk you through the odd bits.

First up - tools required. It says that I'd need a flat-bladed screwdriver for the M8 bolts which are parts 7 and 9:

but that's bollocks, parts 7 and 9 are all Torx-headed:

 

And then there are the 2-off front supports  - parts 6. Whoever specced the folding of the ends of these is an idiot:

And just for good measure, whoever made those supports didn't deburr them, so they have edges like ragged razors.

Eventually we bent the supports into submission with minimal effort, tightened all of the fittings, and stood back to admire our handiwork.

It doesn't live up to the expectations I had for it being a "HEAVY DUTY BUILDERS BARROW" (yes, on the box they omitted the apostrophe). Compared to my previous barrow it's cheap and tacky even though, allowing for inflation, I paid almost twice as much for it. The old one's front support was 32mm dia 1.5mm wall powder-coated steel tube and was part of the 2-piece welded-together braced frame, this one has those 2 pressed straps which, although described as "robust", appear to have been made from compressed KitKat foil - if I can bend them easily by hand, I can't see them withstanding the rated 150kg load for very long. They are bolted to a 3-piece 30mm dia 1mm wall painted steel frame that's held together by 2 bolts and wishful thinking.

After having previously had barrows with pneumatic tyres, and after having to replace the tyres or inner-tubes every few years due to punctures or perishing, this time I opted for a puncture-proof job. I've used such barrows before and they've been fine, but this one is awful - there's no "give" or "bounce" in the tyre, it may as well have had an iron-banded wooden wheel off an old hay-cart. The axle is the shank of a long M10 low-grade steel bolt sleeved with a bit of flimsy 12mm dia steel tube, unlike the old one which had an axle of hefty galvanised 32mm dia 2mm wall tube.

The tray's pre-galv steel is a gauge or two thinner than my old one and the edges are turned but not re-turned, so there are exposed sharp and ragged edges which have already cut my hands and gloves.

And the nuts... barrows have to put up with a lot of abuse, so there's a fair chance of nuts coming loose, therefore locking-washers or nyloc nuts are what's needed, but no, here we have low-grade soft-steel flanged nuts and no washers, except for the nut on the axle-bolt which isn't even flanged.

I'm not impressed. An Eastern European migrant builder may well think it's the Bentley of barrows, but a burly Brummie brickie would probably think it's more of a Trabant.

Fog on the Barrow-downs

Posted by on April 24th 2017 in In the garden
Tags:

Or, in this case, "F*ck it, the barrow's down!"

There was a "ping" from the barrow as it lay upturned in the sun a couple of feet away waiting for action. It distracted me for a moment but it didn't register that it was the tyre-bead giving way. What really got my attention, and caused my arse to eat my trousers, was the unexpected "boom!" a few seconds later as a big chunk of the tyre-wall broke way and the inner-tube decided that it couldn't be "inner" any longer.

Looks like a visit to the barrow-wight is on the cards, to sell my soul for a new load-lugger.

Chunky

Posted by on February 4th 2017 in In the garden
Tags:

These should be hefty enough to take just about any birds that Nature shoves our way.

Condors, Bald Eagles, Albatrosses etc. should cope. Penguins might struggle with the upright bits.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...