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I'm a re-user...  RSS feed

 
Gwen Lynn
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...and so is my husband. He's a commercial HVAC installer. Used to do more residential, but that was with a different company. The "trash" from residential home construction is unthinkable! Over the years, he's built 2 structures (a shed & a music studio) on our property using as much reclaimed construction "trash" as possible. Boards, decking, roofing, etc. Also got some drawers from a motel that was remodeling. They have worked out well in the studio.

Last year, a strong wind totally demolished new construction of a hotel; Flat as a pancake! Of course they wouldn't let anybody on the site & we have never stopped wondering what became of all the usable wood & materials that was left. It disturbs me to think it ended up as garbage, but that's probably what happened. They've rebuilt & my husband is working on it again.

Wanted to share these pix of 2 things that have gotten new lives due to reuse. The mower "cart" is from our 1st mower. It was all we could afford in a mower at the time, but it has paid for itself twice! I can't take credit for this idea. I saw it in a gardening magazine, long before it was trendy to "go green", reuse, recycle, etc. My husband took the motor off & we've used it as a cart to haul almost all the rocks we've used in pond construction & rock paths. We've also used it to move potted plants & other heavy things. You could even cover the hole from the motor, but it really hasn't been necessary.

Milk crates are great for all kinds of things. The one in this pic was recycled from a local riding stable. It was used as a 5 gal. water bucket holder. This one developed a crack & it became too weak. I brought it home, attached a cushion & used it for years as a weeding stool in the garden. I have a koi pond & recently found some "iY" directions for a pond filter. They used a plastic filing crate where I've used a milk crate instead. The milk crate is far sturdier, and I already had it! The white "egg crate" (used in ceilings) was also reused. I'm very pleased with the results & have been using this filter for months now. (A submersible pump goes inside the filter.) This link is where I got the original idea: http://www.mvwgs.org/filter.htm
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Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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I had a neighbor that used an old mower platform like that, but he had built a box from 1x4 scraps.  It was just short box that had an X attached to the bottom, so the X would drop right into that hole and keep it steady.  He also moved rocks, bricks, and other heavy things with it.  Clever!

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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darn. I stole the wheels off my old push mower to use on my chicken tractor. I wonder if i can put 'em back right?

milk crates have endless possibilities don't they? pallets are a super re-use item also as well as buckets of any sort.

even if the materials used aren't so enviro freindly it is enviro freindly to use up what we have instead of make more 'stuff' even stuff that in the long run may end up being not so great, like plastic. but, its here. its not going away. it takes energy and enviro cost to recycle it or get something else that will work. use it! when it has truly reached the end of its useful life dispose of it in the most responsible way possible.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Yep, gotta love milk crates! LOL! How about this: "Got milk...crates?" heh heh!
Wood pallets buckets have many re-uses, that's for sure!

even if the materials used aren't so enviro freindly it is enviro freindly to use up what we have instead of make more 'stuff' even stuff that in the long run may end up being not so great, like plastic. but, its here. its not going away. it takes energy and enviro cost to recycle it or get something else that will work. use it! when it has truly reached the end of its useful life dispose of it in the most responsible way possible.


I completely agree with you, Leah. I try to use what's here whenever possible.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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The more we reuse, the fewer have to be made new.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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after I get moved I plan to find some old cedar privacy fence to 'harvest' to make a worm bin and compost pile. already have a pile of used t-posts waiting to be hauled down there for fence.

anyone got some ideas for canning jar rings? you only need as many as you are canning but every time I bought a package of jars they all come with rings. so far I can only think of decorative things which i try to avoid.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Look around more, I've bought canning jar lids just stacked in a box that is about an inch tall, no rings.  My faulty memory says the regular size are around $1.75 and the wide-mouth are $2.50.  Or so. 

They are the smaller boxes in this photo: http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=441&itemType=PRODUCT&RS=1&keyword=jar+lid

You could use all the extra rings as barn decor, but the darn things rust so badly.  Freecycle?

Sue
 
Gwen Lynn
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Since the place you are moving to has fruit trees, maybe they could help keep birds away from your fruit. Supposedly if you hang shiny, noisy things in fruit trees it discourages birds. In the past I've seen aluminum pie pans hanging in trees. More recently, I read where people hang used, scratched cds, dvd's up in trees for the same reason. Dunno if it works though.
 
Leah Sattler
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thats an awesome idea wenvan! the owner told me that the birds really seem to like one of the plum trees and its the only one that they didn't get much off of. (course that tree might be what is saving the rest..?)

sue- i can buy just the lids but if I buy more jars they all come with rings. which means I have a ring for every jar I have plus a few from when I had to buy lids and they were out of stock on the 'just lids' packages. I actually threw some away not to long ago. freecycle no one is interested, probably because any one who cans is in the same boat as me! I got tired of moving around a big jingle bells box of rings. still kept quite a few though.

aha! I get to go bid on a cleaning a 'trash out' house at 10:30am. bet there is lots of goodies that I will get paid to haul off! I'll let you know if there are any good finds. just to make ya'll jealous actually wenvan, I might be calling your dh to see if he wants to make some extra bucks depending on how big a project it is......
 
Leah Sattler
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I guess I  didn't get the project. I bid it off the top of my head adn when I got home and used my bid sheet I was about $400 too high. oh well. got a printer in the box while I was there, its from '01 but maybe I can get it to work my printer died months ago. my kiddo got a double baby doll stroller so she was thrilled. I wanted to go back for more! there was a whole box of old playboys that had to be collectable, all the ones on top were from the '60's. cots, an emergency inflateable boat, tons of books, aquarium stuff, antiquey stuff, gun rack and rifle bags it was endless.

check out my score thread on homesteading section to see my latest aquisition!
 
Gwen Lynn
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Too bad...that's a bummer! 
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Leah, do you ever buy canning jars from thrift shops?  They tend to come without rings.

The last I looked at Goodwill, they were 25 cents each, which means $4/dozen, compared to $10+ for new.  I'm talking quart wide mouth.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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I haven't found any at goodwill or thrift shops, i think they are snatched up really quick. I know if I saw them they wouldn't be sitting there for long! last year our local walmart  was selling regular mouth quart jars for 5$ even per dozen! everytime I was there I bought another dozen. until they were all gone and they haven't replaced the stock. maybe this year when spring rolls around they'll be back.

I want to look into the re-usable lids that I have heard of but just haven't found much info on them...or even found any for sale.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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over the years i've been teased that i reused so much of other people "junk"..when we had the old farmhouse i needed storage, so i used salvaged cabinet doors and built cabinets in our back porch floor to ceiling, some were old shutters, some different shapes some with glass knobs..etc..but it was beautiful, my SIL brought me (500 miles) wood cabinet doors with glass inserts for my cobbled cupboards..but that was in the old house.

this house, as i said Michigan, cold, winter. I built a roof over a large back deck..to keep snow off the deck in the winter, it is a low roof, don't know why just is..anyway, when i tore out doors at MIL's house i put a set of damage sliders in for walls in the back porch roof over..then son called and said a neighbor had a set of sliding doors with a free sign out in front of his house..so we went and got them and installed them in the east wall (by our new boiler building) we had two pieces 4x8 of left over plexiglass from when we plexiglassed in our front porch and we put those on the east side too and a scrap of plexi between the two salvaged doors from MIL's house so we have all the east and west walls "glassed" in, which keeps out a lot of wind and snow..we put plastic on one N wall temporarily until we find some salvaged windows or doors to put there and then we have another n wall we left open that will require a door..and then we'll have the entire back porch "glassed in"..with screens on the slider.

we reuse all the time, but it would take pages to tell you about it all
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Leah, about the reusable canning jar lids...

There is apparently only one reusable lid, the Tattler brand, which is only for sale on eBay.  One homesteading site said "They are made by Stieg MFG in Traverse City, MI... I decided to try to find the maker of tattler lids so I got on the phone and found him. His name is lorren Stieg and they have not manufactured the lids for about 25 years. He has many cases and is only selling on ebay for now. He is trying to see if there is a market for them because advertising originally was to expensive to make his product well known. He said he is thinking about manufacturing them again. For now ebay is the only place to purchase them."

Another canning jar/lid company representative entered the same discussion, and asked a user about them:  "o these Tattler lids work with standard bands? Any concerns over dry rot on the rubber gaskets? If these are 25 years old, still seal, and are re-usable, I would think there's a good market for these. How do you know you have a good vacuum with this type of cap?"

The response from the user:  "Yes they work with regular bands. When I can with the ball lids I tap the lid with my nail and listen for a tinny, rather than a dull, sound to tell whether the seal is good. It's just something I learned to do. You can get the same effect with the Tattler lids. Also you can pick up the jar buy its lid and a good seal will hold. This is true for Ball lids also. The Tattler lids will be concave also, like the ball lids."

The same poster said, "I bought a boat load of the Tattler lids a week or so ago off ebay. I got a very good deal from Mr. Steig - 4 doz. for $6.50 and another offer of 4 doz. for $7.00. I have seen his auctions go as high as $42.00 for 4 doz. He also had extra rubber gaskets and I bought 5 doz. of each size (just in case). I canned 8 qts. of chicken stock in the pressure canner using the regular-mouth lids last week end and I am impressed!

One note: if you get these lids, check the edge of the lids for a burr that should have been removed. It is a little pointy burr that I found on a few that would interfere with the band screwing on properly. I filed it off with a metal file and smoothed with sandpaper. When these come out of the mold, there is a piece called a "ribbon" that connects the lids to each other when they manufacture them. They break the lids off the ribbon and quality control people are supposed to make sure there are no burrs and apparently some got missed."

Sue
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i'm 40 mi from Traverse City wrote down the info
 
What could go wrong in a swell place like "The Evil Eye"? Or with this tiny ad?
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