Up-cycling from Drier to Washer Tub Wood Burner

I’ve stored an old washing machine at the back of the house for years. Today I decided to have a look at it and see what to do with it. It got damaged in a flood and was full of gravel and mud – so basically a write-off. But thanks to to some inspiration from some surfer buddies I met this year (they had a wash drum burner), I though it would make a nice little wood burner. A couple of crow bars and some socket wrenches were all I needed.

Two hours later said machine was transformed to a pile of useful bits and a pile of junk.

The useful bits included two drums , a glass bowl ( from the front door) and some nice weights – one concrete and one cast iron.

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The inner drum was perfect – it even ended up with it’s own special base (the drive wheel)

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It is significantly smaller than its predecessor (the drier drum) and has significantly more holes in it, making it burn better, give out more heat and look prettier!

The end-effect is superb!

Link to previous burner posts – previous-burner

I’ll post a blog on the tripod separately.

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Yummie, Snails!

snails

Snails were  introduced to the British isles with the Romans, as food source. So along with paternalistic sexism, straight roads and socks we can thank them for snails. The British Isles has lovely climate for snails, wet, not cold with plenty of vegetable gardeners to annoy. They don’t eat as much slugs, and I have found I can tolerate a reasonable population in my garden, without the large loses that slugs can inflict. There is several other species of snail like the banded and sandhill which are smaller and stripy, that although relatives of which like the chocolate snails are eaten in Europe the species found here aren’t edible. We wild food to make up for the knowledge through the industrialisation of people.  I have tried eating banded snails, and they had a seriously unpleasant texture. Slugs aren’t edible either, they cook up into a mucusy goo.

Full Article here:

https://stupidlysimplelife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/how-to-cook-garden-snails.html

A Good Day’s Foraging

Walking down by Chichester Harbour – we came across a wild apple tree with some delicious, small cherry red apples – about half the size of a normal apple. This couple of kilos will make us a very nice crumble.

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And on the way home, some friends asked us if we could shift some oak from a tree that they had just cut down – yes we can!

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I couldn’t fit much more in the bus weight-wise! This must have weighed around a ton. I drove home slowly! That’s next year’s wood sorted.

Well Prepared for Winter – A Lot of Wood In-front of the House

In German, ‘A Lot of Wood Stacked In-front of the House’ can have a whole different meaning! But it is also traditionally a sign of being well prepared for winter in the Black Forest.

Old habits die hard – so I have been stacking wood in-front, behind and at the sides of the house. Two cubic metres (loose) worth.

It was a couple of hours of good solid work: I’m pleased with the results. That should keep us nice and toasted over the winter!

 

 

Japanese Wine Berries

These are delightful little berries – heavy cropping and with a sweet sour taste to them. Thoroughly recommended if you want something slightly different from raspberries or blackberries. This is the second batch this summer; the first one at the beginning of July ; this one the beginning of August.

 

Sun Canopy That Converts Into A Drive Away Awning

I have a large heavy drive-away awning that works very well and I use that when we travel with the boys and they sleep in that. But, when there are just the two of us … well, it’s a bit of a palaver. So I looked for something that I could use with our roll-out canopy and without it if I want to leave a standalone awning or if it is just too windy to risk £500 worth of aluminium and pvc canvas!

I looked at the quecha base seconds – but just couldn’t get my head around using it with my existing kit.

This arrangement gives me three configurations (numbers match picture numbers below):

  1. Sun canopy attached to side channel (on rollout awning)
  2. Sun room using sun canopy and attached as above (#1)
  3. Drive away awning using #2 above plus an attached tarp and a candor strip to de-couple the awning from the bus (the attachment clips are clip on grommets).
  4. Attach the sides and front of the sun-room to the roll-out awning using velcro tapes

I think I now have all the canopy combinations and permutations I need for travelling light – and at a price that is half the price of the specific, add-on sides and front for the roll-out awning.  I’ll report back after our next trip!

Fructaholics Anonymous – Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Thanks to a reference from Jonathan Gittos (many thanks Jonathan), I have just watched this video. It really is worth watching the whole 1.5 hours – you will NEVER look at sugar the same way again. I had heard of much of this stuff before, but the missing bit for me was just how dangerous fructose is to your health. I, for one, used to drink gallons of orange juice thinking I was doing myself a lot of good – nope  – real damage!

Incredibly enlightening – if you want to do one really meaningful thing today, this week, this month, this year – watch this video!

 

Thermal Topper for T5 Popup Roof

There’s a lot of debate on thermal screens, toppers etc. for your Cali. I chose this one because of price, convenience of fitting and simple logic; I wanted better thermal insulation up top. Works well, simple for me to fit even on my own and rolls up into a neat bag that can be easily stowed. Another big advantage that I have found is that you can put it up when you need it. i.e. if you are getting too cold and decide you want to add the screen in the middle of the night. I have even done so in a storm!

http://darenpucerscreens.co.uk/

And how it is attached at the back. It’s put on starting at the back and working around the sides and front using a long handled broom to push into place. Bungie cord secures the two ends at the back. Green mini tarp is only if it’s very wet – otherwise there is a useful breather space at the back.

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VW T5 LED Headlamps

I’ve just changed my Phillips 110% headlamps for some Dubflecta LED lamps. Results are good – very bright. Just have to sort out the warning light problem. These lights are meant to be Canbus error free – emailed Dubflecta and waiting for a response.

I thought it might be useful to add a description of how to put these lamps in. It’s not difficult but it’s not trivial either.

  1. Remove rubber sealing cap from around the back of the headlamp assembly.
  2. Locate the 3 pronged electrical connector and remove (simply it pull backwards towards the rear of  your Vdub)
  3. Locate the spring fastener and push this down and back – it will then spring off.
  4. Remove old bulb. Note thick tab is the upper, vertically oriented tab of the three locating tabs
  5. Put the new bulb in place. Best to locate the bulb connecting wire behind the spring fastener i.e. inside it towards the front of your Vdub.
  6. Then ease the spring over the bulb body and place the bulb with thickest tab vertically up. Pushing the spring back on requires a little bit of a push, and you should feel a noticeable click back into place to secure the bulb.
  7. Then attach control unit to the bulb wire (has a locating lug to assist this). Place the whole assembly inside the headlamp housing and reseal the rubber housing cap.
  8. Repeat, test.
  9. Voila!vwh4.JPG
  10. I’ll report back on bulb issues/ performance.