Archive for the 'Projects' Category

Reconditioned, runs like new

Posted by on April 13th 2009 in Making stuff, Projects

Our old knackered hut had given good service but was suffering from a tad (well, more like thirteen years) of neglect, as you can see in the following pic taken last autumn:


The offending shed, dwarfed by our Salix babylonica and by the bonfire-fuel.


The roof was, er, partial, and had let in so much rain that the floor and bearers had rotted, but the T&G shiplap sides were mostly sound. The choice was simple - repair or replace. Well, I'm not one for wasting £400 of cash, so we went off to B&Q, discount card in hand, and raided their timber and board stocks. A week later, after a jet-wash and much sawing and screwing, the thing now lives a bit closer to the house and looks like this:



It's shrunk a bit - we had to trim 5" of rot off the bottom edge, and we shortened the length by 5" so that we could use 2400mm timbers and boards instead of having to buy and trim 10-footers. Now the floor and roof are better than they ever were when it was new, and it's been fully double-proofed inside and out.

Not bad, eh? And there's enough change from the budget to buy a few beers, which are well-deserved.

I reckon I'm getting the hang of this recycling malarkey :mrgreen:

Comments plotted

Posted by on December 18th 2007 in Just for fun, Projects, Rambling on...

Just for the hell of it, I decided to follow up on my idle threat to delve deeper into the comments to see what I could find.

Here are a few graphs, deduce from them whatever you want.

The total number of comments was 183, left by 37 readers.






Posted by on November 21st 2007 in Great Escapes, Photo hosting, Projects

Anna had just one piece of homework during the recent junior-school half-term holiday... find some pictures of Autumn. What a great excuse for getting the kids outside in the fresh air, we thought, so off we went to the local woods for a "let's see who can take the best photo" competition. I took my Nikon D50, Ella took her Vivitar compact and I gave Anna my old Olympus C730-UZ.

Anna got used to the camera very quickly, this was the first time she had used one "for real", as she put it (she's taken the odd holiday snap with mine, that's all).

Well, we were in and out of the trees, crawling through the undergrowth, trudging through the mud, it was a great time. Anna rattled off shots here, there and everywhere, she really enjoyed herself.

Back at base, we took stock and prepared to send her pics to school, and that's when the experience started to turn sour...

First, we tried to send them by email to the address that had been given to us for this exercise, but they bounced back.

Next, we sent them on the smartmedia card that was in the camera when she took the pics. This was returned with the message that the school "couldn't use that type of card".

Next, we transferred them to an SD card, this was returned with the message that the school "can't read the pictures".

Getting a bit bothered by all the unnecessary hassle, I burned the pics onto a CD, that was returned this week with the message that the school "still couldn't read the pictures".

Now, I'm no expert, but I've yet to find a modern computer that won't read JPG files and finding one without a CD-ROM or better is practically unheard-of these days. It seems to me that the school is more digitally-challenged than I thought.

As you would expect, Anna is now completely disillusioned by the situation, she feels that it was a waste of time, and I can appreciate that feeling. It's not much of a morale-booster, is it?

So, to make up for the shortcomings of the school, I've put her pics in an album of their own. Who knows, maybe the school might figure out how to get to see them too!

Here's a taster of what's on offer...





Not bad for a first-timer, eh?

A composite map

Posted by on November 15th 2007 in Maps, Projects

Right, here's another map, built from the seven KML channels that are used in the individual Wainwright area maps posted in the "Been there, done that" sub-pages. Each channel can be toggled on or off by using the controls in the map's tools sidebar.

Hopefully, Mad Jim will get this to load! 😉

EDIT: I've moved this map to a new page, so that it doesn't delay the loading of the blog.

Making stuff

Posted by on September 4th 2007 in Camera kit, Making stuff, Projects

At last I got some time between DIY jobs to make a few of the things that I can't be arsed to buy, or which just can't be had at the shops.

First up - I made a footprint for the Vango Spectre tent. Same plan as usual - get a cheap green woven plastic tarp from the Pound Shop (cost 50p, no, I can't figure that either), cut to shape, fold over the cut edges and iron them down to make them stick. The addition of three plastic eyelets (10p each) is the only other cost. Making a few X-shaped cuts in the fabric (for drainage) finishes the job.

Next up - a reflector for the Nikon remote unit. The D50's IR sensor is on the front of the body, so it doesn't detect a signal from behind. There are a few proper gadgets available for dealing with this situation, all of them involve an unwieldy fixed-attitude plastic reflecting plate that's attached to the lens with a bit of bungee cord, like this:



I made a more compact hinged version by cutting down a redundant sd-card case and attaching a rubber band. Using this, the remote works a treat from behind and from the side, and the whole thing is a better fit into my camera case.

Finally - pull-loops for the latest batch of Alpkit Tikes. These pegs come with a length of heavy-duty red cord attached, it's fine for most applications but I find that a) the bulk takes up room in the pack which I could use for something else, and b) the red colour is difficult to see at night. Said cords have been replaced with off-cut lengths of fluoro-yellow dyneema which is much easier to see in the dark and which has very little bulk. You can just about see them in the following picture of the "big red slug":


Houston, we have cleared the tower…

Posted by on July 24th 2007 in Blog on Blog, Projects

Welcome to the new blog.

I'll start with an apology to all you folk that have been following my old blog ( using RSS feed readers - I know it'll be a hassle to change the settings to follow this one, sorry about that!

And then there all those hyperlinks to change on all those blogrolls...

Why the move? Well, Windows Live Spaces was fine as a starter blog, being a simple one-page format, but as my plans developed it was becoming clear that WLS would not be able to accommodate all that I want to achieve. This free WordPress blog is a step closer, I'll give it a try-out for a few months and then decide whether to stick with it or go for a full hosted WP jobbie and all the customisation potential that comes with it.

As (or should that be "if"?) you trawl around the site, please bear in mind that some bits are still in the construction phase, and others are experimental and liable to change. If you find any glaring errors, or just want to make your mark, sling me some feedback on the appropriate page, and I'll attend to matters ASAP.

Have fun!


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