Posts Tagged ‘scrounged materials’

Camping Boxes

January 31, 2011

These boxes were designed last Easter when we went camping at Wee Jasper, near Canberra. They didn’t get made until this holiday season, just in time for our next trip to Wee Jasper.

camping boxes

My carpentry skills are limited, so I went for simple butt joint screw and glue construction.

construction is simple, like my carpentary skills!

I was pretty pleased with being able to cut all pieces from a single sheet of 12mm and single sheet of 9mm ply. I now have a full sheet of 9mm left over for another project. Or more boxes!

I used the left over varnish from the lounge room floor, to make them look nice and shiny. The fronts of the draws got three coats. Probably overkill?

Handles were a problem. I tried the local hardware to no avail. Eventually I decided to make my own from 12mm ply, heavy fencing wire and reo offcuts, drilled each end to take the wire. The result is effective and nice to look at, but a but of a knuckle buster to use. They need a limiter to stop them folding up completely when lifting and squashing your fingers.

home made handles

In practical use the boxes were a success. They can fit into the back of the Kombi in several configurations, the favourite being with all draws accessible from the rear door. Handy when traveling and in need of something. (I forgot to take a pic of them in place.) At the camp site they keep everything in place and make a handy kitchen bench and draw set. No, I didn’t consider a sink for the top! (again, forgot a pic)

room for lots of stuff!

I may make up another box for food storage? With space for the gas cooker on top. This would put everything in wooden boxes, except personal items, tent and tarp.

Next camping trip? Wee Jasper again I think.


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How many gates are enough?

December 29, 2010

I counted the gates on our block today. How many would be enough? Well. I guess you need one for each hole in a fence you don’t want chickens or dogs to go through, but you need to go through yourself at some time. The current count is 15.

Some are commercial gates, unaltered since we moved in. Some are commercial gates fitted, or modified to suit our needs. Some are manufactured on site from scrounged materials. Others are “bush gates”, made in existing fences from the fence itself.

Here’s the tour;

How many gates is enough? 15, until we need another one!


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Espalier olives

April 25, 2010

Something a little more organic this time, to relieve the technology based posts of late.

After seeing some espalier olives in the local nursery the other week I decided that the north wall of our sunroom would be a good place for some of our own. There’s something I like about trained bushes and trees, like Bonsai for example. The application of this to a fruit tree seemed like a good idea here. The space is very narrow and would normally not be suitable for any plants really, unless they were very small, so the espalier should work well.

I love olives too of course, but I’m not holding out for a harvest. I have read up a little on pickling olives and it is clearly a long and tricky process. If we get a good harvest in few years time I may give it a go. I’ll make a post or two here if i do.

The soil was added to with our latest compost mix from pile number 1 (of 6, watch for a post on the compost system!) and mounded up to give the new trees a good chance of getting going. It’s been a warm, wet autumn but it is getting a bit late to be planting new trees. The mound was covered over with chicken wire to keep it together, and, I thought, to keep the chooks off. However, Sheryl recommended that I put up another fence to keep them out as they would get in there despite the cover wire.

olives behind the chook proof fence

The frame for the espalier is just a couple of star pickets and old wire strung at close intervals between.

Materials here show off our scrounging skills well. Long star pickets @ $1 each from the local dump shop, tie wire left over from other jobs, dog fence wire and short picket picked up off the side of the road, having been dumped illegally by someone just past the nursery where we bought the olive trees. We couldn’t make use of the old couch, so had to leave that for someone else to clean up!

espalier frame for olives

The frame reaches reasonably high, but may need extending if the trees grow to my planned 6 foot height, just below the sunroom windows. It’s sort of like living art to fill a blank canvas. Hope they last the hot summers.

sunroom wall for olive espalier