I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My re-use projects--- and yours as well  RSS feed

 
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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This is a variant on the sprinkler stand I previously made and which I illustrated above. But this time I didn't have an existing steel-rod base to add weight onto, so I made a base that would have an adequate footprint and also enough weight (by virtue of its materials) to be stable.

I had some square tubing that I'd salvaged from our local public dump - before they put in the surveillance cameras to deter people from grabbing useful bits! Anyhow, these were not long pieces, so I wound up using two that had a 2-inch cross section, and two that were just 11/2 inch. In addition, I'd found a piece of quarter-inch by 2-inch strap steel. All were extremely rusted. Since I was going to weld pieces together, I used an angle grinder with wire-brush head to clean off the rust.

I cut tubing pieces to about 13 inches. My design was to weld them together in such a way that the ends are left open. My idea was that if I needed to add more weight, I could stuff the tubes with mason's mortar. By itself, the tubing base weighs about 15 lbs. I calculated that enough cement/mortar to fill the tubing would weigh about nine lbs when cured.

I brazed the bottom plumbing component onto the strap. Above that I used fittings to connect to a four-foot long threaded pipe. With a "butterfly-type" twirling sprinkler mounted on this sprinkler stand, it doesn't need to withstand much reaction, as would be the case with an impulse type head. So the extra weight from cement/mortar in the base proved not to be necessary for this one.




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pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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- O.K., I'm late to the party on this one but any medium to large re/up-cycled water tub can be a major source of duck weed, that and Black Soldier Fly Grubs

will supply 80% to 90% of all food stuffs for chickens, with much of the rest Self-harvested from various 'weed species' if free ranged ! Big AL

 
Posts: 51
Location: Acadia Region, Maine.
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What counts as re-use? There's a lot of stuff out there, available. Never come home with an empty truck.

Let me tell you: I'm in my new residence, which is the apartment over my garage. I call it The Treehouse, which is a term we use at work for a building where air flows freely underneath. I've been working on this for 2 1/2 years, but decided to move in here after my Ex said she was leaving about 9 months ago. My girlfriend likes it.

First of all, I used new lumber for the joists or anything really critically structural, but an awful lot of other lumber. like wall framing 2x4s and bits of bracing here and there, came from the demolition pile at the transfer station. That includes the studs I added under my new ledger that supports my new I-joists on both sides of the building, and the 2x12 stair treads. The stringers were previously floor joists before I replaced the floor, framing and all. The t&g OSB flooring is the dance floor from the last time I got married. It's been waiting patiently in the barn...

Now. looking around...

The two skillets came from the metal pile at the transfer station. So did the stew pot I use for a dish pan, and my 4 gallon stainless pot, and my 5 gallon stainless pot which gets used as a water heater on the wood stove. And the plates, and most of the glasses, and the flatware, and my long carving knife, and my big butcher block cutting board, sauce pans, pressure cooker, bread box, dish drainer, several cookbooks, the microwave, most of my mixing bowls and glass baking pans, and my light fixtures, and a bunch of the wiring, and the big windows (former 4' sliding doors), and five out of six chairs, and the kitchen table, and the two big rugs, and the broom and dustpan and vacuum cleaner, and the mirrors, and the twin bed frame, and the spare twin mattress (gotta use the ozone machine on that still, but it's not bad), and the collection of down comforters, and the metalbestos chimney, and the 1.5 gallon kettle, and the 3 quart whistling kettle, and the coffee pots and melitta cones, and the classroom desk I use as a side table, and the treadle table that's another side table, and the fish tank I've got house plants in, and my radio and speakers, and my box fan and exhaust fans (gotta install them yet...), and my bathroom sink (ditto), and my bathroom medicine cabinet, and my bathroom doctor's scale, , all came from the transfer station.

My kitchen cupboards came from a couple of different friends. One was remodeling her kitchen, and the other was dismanteling her (deceased) mother's single-wide trailer. The old lady's trailer was the source for my kitchen sink, counter, base cupboards, stove, and fridge. There's another matching cupboard I'm using for clothes storage on the other side of the treehouse. Between the fridge and the stove, I have a 4'8" slate counter, which came from a friend who'd gotten it virtually free as someone else's renovation take-out, and then decided that it wasn't going to fit his new kitchen as the giant L shape it came as, so we cut it up with a masonry blade and a garden hose and I got some big pieces. Another of those pieces is the top of my plinth under the wood stove. The wood stove is a Scandia 920 coal stove, which I got from another friend from her mother's barn when it got cleaned out.

My kitchen window and exterior door and bathroom door all came from a contractor who was giving away unused house parts in preparation for a move from a pigeon infested warehouse.

I've got 51 bales of cellulose that I paid for, that I need to blow into my floor cavity this weekend. But every time I run into a scrap of foam insulation board at the transfer station, I bring it home. I'll be throwing all that stuff into the cavities before blowing in the cellulose. Cellulose costs about 80¢ per cubic foot (price on the store shelf, volume once blown in loose), and that means that 5 cubic feet of random foam scrap is worth $4 to me, or more, since it has a higher R-value.

Two out of three of my best garden carts, plus the wheelbarrow and the other hand cart I use for totes of firewood all came from the transfer station. So did my cross country ski boots, new, with the tags still on them. I've gotten a few bikes there, some of which are perfectly ridable, and some of which I've cut up and welded back together to make my wheel-hoe, and my lay-down weeding cart, which is operated in a prone position. My favorite hard-hat, an old plastic Civil Defense helmet, came from the swap room at the transfer station.

I've got a few spare bathtubs, all from the dump. Some are animal water troughs now. One got used to scald the pigs at slaughter time a month ago. The "turkey fryer" burners came off them metal pile too. I suspended it on some big pipes (from the metal pile) stretcher style, with the pipes on sawhorses. I've got a big perforated drum from a commercial clothes dryer that I want to turn into a rotary compost sifter.

My chicken coop is built from scrap wood from the dump, and the door is a plexi door from an old cigarette retail cabinet. My bunny cages are from the metal pile, but I'm switching to using old dog kennels from the same place , as they're better made. When we scraped the pigs, we did it on an old chain link fence gate, set up on sawhorses. I've gotten a few of those gates off the metal pile.

I've got a supply of greenhouse plastic from when the snow took down some local metal round arch greenhouses a few years back, and I got more plastic, in somewhat rougher shape, from a local garden center. They were about to toss it in the transfer station hopper. But it's good enough to lay on the ground in the spring to jump start early seeds. I also have a lot of storm window sash that can be used over hills of seeds the same way. No need for a cloche; just plant the seeds in a well within a mound and put the flat glass over the top.

I got 1 1/2 square of new architectural shingles off the demo pile a couple weeks ago. I put them in my stash for when I need to re-shingle one of the sheds. I look for clean scrap wood there too, which I cut up and burn in the wood stove if I don't need it for other projects. There's a lumber yard where I scout their burn pile for damaged lumber and scrap pallets for the same reason. Sometimes I get 10' pallets that I uses as fence panels.

The sheds house, among other things, my collection of chain and cable, used for rigging and hauling things, much of which is from the transfer station. I've given some of that stash away now and again. A few years ago we got skirted by a tropical storm that came up the coast, and all the boat owners were trying to reinforce their moorings. I've got a good collection of barbell weights for similar uses. Same source.

It's true that I've gotten more than I use. I try to keep it organized. That's why below me in the garage I have supermarket shelves off the metal pile. I think I got 6 vertical standards that the shelves attach to, like upside down Ts, and forty two shelves, each 24"x48", holding various tools and materials.

The wall clock in the treehouse is a $5 garage sale purchase. It's got a 30 day movement, completely non-electric. I also got the "new" 100 amp breaker panel (with breakers, that serves as a garage sub panel and supplies the treehouse) second hand for $75. The 100 amp cable that connects it to the house panel came off the metal pile. The shower pan was a garage sale purchase too and cost me $5.

I use #10 cans and plastic buckets (usually from peanut butter, etc) as kitchen compost containers, feeding containers, and nail bins. These come from the recycling bins at the Co-op. I also get waxed cardboard there, which I cut into strips to use as fire starters in the wood stove.

I got the cat used at the SPCA, barely broken in.

 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Dan, great post. Any chance you could post some pictures of how you're re-using and re-purposing stuff?
 
gardener
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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I used an old ironing board and some scrap wood to make a nice project table for the garage. It has old castors on one side so it could be easily moved. All the screws used were salvaged from discarded fence pieces.
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Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Interesting, Zach & good pix. Clearly necessary to reinforce that position where you've got the vise, using that stout wooden leg. I'm curious, was there something about the shape of the ironing board surface that makes it particularly useful for some of the things you do? Anyhow, thanks for posting.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 778
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Yeah while the table is metal, it is quite thin so I've added even more wood under the table top. My original thinking was a rectangular table with a metal top, but as I was organizing the garage I saw those holes in the top of the ironing board. Immediately I could see it being used to make guides and jigs for assembling things. Then I was thinking I could make different table tops of wood or metal that could be bolted onto the ironing board. So it wasn't the shape per se, just availability, the fact that it's metal, and the holes in the top. next step is cutting a piece of 1/8 inch steel to bolt on top, then I think it'll be good for many projects.
 
Posts: 93
Location: Lancaster, UK
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Exciting stuff! Here are a couple of pictures of my efforts - please don't laugh, i am VERY new to this, but have really got the bug
a log store made of cot sides, old compost bags 2 pallets and a welly. This has proved too small and I hate the look of the plastic compost bags. It's second incarnation will have a slated roof.
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log store
 
Linda Secker
Posts: 93
Location: Lancaster, UK
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I kitted out the whole of the inside of my old, corrugated shed with materials scavenged from skips. i even re-used screws Here it is part done!

Then I made a clothes drier from 2 cot sides and a length of webbing - can't find a picture and it's currently covered in wet washing but I am very proud of it!
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Posts: 29
Location: Southeast Arizona, USDA zone 8b, 4200 ft elevation, 12-16 in. rain annually
3
chicken greening the desert urban
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Thanks to the daily-ish emails I found this thread and I am *STOKED* You folks are my heroes! My dream has always been to live off The Waste-stream of America! And now, to see people doing it... (swoon!!) This is heaven!
 
Posts: 44
Location: 48°N in Normandie, France. USDA 8-9 Koppen Cfb
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bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur solar
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John Polk wrote:Speaking of futons; don't forget, most futon mattresses can be thrown on the compost pile.

We used our futon 'mattresses for our rocket mass heater. They are wool/cotton mix and insulate the mass really well, whilst allowing some heat to percolate up to the bums on the bench! We originally used old caravan cushions but they were made of foam and not as good/comfortable/safe.

Was given some old bed posts, which languished forever outside, have repurposed them for the RMH and the wood rack (made from two chopped down Ikea pine shelf units

We also reused the concrete slabs from a set of French rabbit hutches, for the base and back of the rocket.

I love turning old stuff into new-to-us stuff!
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Bedpost
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Bedpost for wood rack
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Futon mattress
 
gardener
Posts: 6911
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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That's a fantastic score, Dale.  I'd have to remark that there are some clear benefits to being in your line of work!  (Benefit to your friend, too, obviously.)

Thanks for posting.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Compost auger from a tent anchor.  I make hot compost that eventually spontaneously turns into vermi-compost.  My experience is that compost, if it’s going to finish well in a fairly brief amount of time, needs aeration. I wanted a way to do some of that between major “turnings” with a pitchfork.  I had some heavy-duty steel tent anchors (I've seen them locally selling for $4 each).  I cut off the loop at the top, did a little pounding on my makeshift anvil to straighten an extremely slight bow in the 5/16-inch shaft, and used an angle grinder to finish the end of the shaft I’d removed the loop from.

My idea from the start was to put the auger into the chuck of my D-handled 1/2-inch electric drill. I snugged it into the chuck, gave it some test spins, and was pleased that it doesn’t vibrate the drill at slower or full speeds.  The various maneuvers involved with modifying the anchor to function as a compost auger probably took me no more than 12 minutes.

I can use this auger to aerate even fairly clumpy or damp masses of unfinished compost, as I gradually layer them up over the weeks & months. The reach of the auger is a shade over a foot. After the pile builds up, for aerating deeper layers of it—if/when needed—I'll go back to using a long steel punch bar.  I'll note that if your compost bin has slats on the side, the auger can be pushed in horizontally (in addition to from above) so long as the space between slats is more than the diameter of the "bit" portion of the auger.
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The tent anchor
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Loop end cut off
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"Auger" in the drill chuck
 
Posts: 84
Location: 6A
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holly wood bed frame as solar panel holder/sunchaser
old boat trailer as my new mobile power station
garage sale "picker" welded on to the poobican

I love this thread! I'm a total reclaimer. My wife calls me a freegan, I think we heard that on some documentary we were watching. I love to see what other people have transformed into something useful.

I also saved the jeep "poobican" from the weeds for 500 bucks. the handles on the trailer are old handle bars and the wood is left from a deck i removed.
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Joel Bercardin
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Hey Jim!  Thanks for making the post... great ideas & good pics.  I hit the like button 👍

care to contribute to this thread?  (Obviously, you make & modify things, Jim... doesn't really matter whether or not you consider that you live on "a homestead")  https://permies.com/t/62659/homestead-workshop-shed-situation#549144
 
Posts: 1558
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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jim hughes
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Thank Joel, I'll look at your link and see if anything I have is worthy.
William, shity Rubican = Poobican. It was a mess when we got it. I did the research cuz I was lusting after a side by side but we aint got that kind of money. The wheel base is similar, the parts are cheep and plentiful and it has more room. Main thing it was 500 bucks + 350 junk yard tranny and 250 new carb. I now use it more than the four wheeler. I love  it!
 
jim hughes
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Hey Joel, Good thread! When I get minute I'll make a short video of my various working areas and how I heat the shop etc.
 
William Bronson
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Jim, I get it now!
Resurrecting a junker can be truly rewarding.
 
pollinator
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I guess our biggest reuse item here is buildings. A lot of people think buildings are stationary, bust so far we have moved (5) and are working on moving 3 more. It is simple economics; what little bit is spent on making the building ready to move, is nothing compared to building a building from scratch.

The current building I am moving actually was moved by my Grandfather back in the 1950's from about 1/2 mile away. This time it is only 400 feet, but I love moving buildings because it gives them another lease on life. Moved into position, fixed up, they will last another 50 years!

 
Joel Bercardin
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Jim, Dale, Travis, everybody...  I've always wanted to find a site either devoted to, or giving a lot of space to, DIY and repurposing that relates to homesteading and self-reliant living.  Yes, prepper sites usually have that sort of content, but a) tend to anticipate disaster, confrontation, or social-breakdown scenarios; b) hence, emphasize an awful lot of guns, knives, and other self-defense gear.  I don't object to that sort of thing, but I believe many of us will be living in situations where, in normal & relatively stable or peaceful circumstances, we just want to be generally skilled, operate a hands-on home place, raise some food, live fairly frugally & simply.  A time-honored tradition that new concepts, techniques, and tools can enhance.  (Isn't that what Permaculture is about?)

And maybe too, many of us feel that it's a shame that so much in the way of discarded things and materials are bulldozed, buried, burned, or just junked & forgotten.  I haven't found any sites yet that, on a routine basis, get deeply into the concerns I'm describing.  So, back in 2012, I started this thread on another site:  https://www.sufficientself.com/threads/upcycled-repurposed-projects-many.11661/

Occasionally, links may not be functional, since even many of the newest are a year or more old now.  But you just might enjoy looking through things people showed or linked to. So thought I'd post the link.

 
Posts: 531
Location: ontario, canada
fungi tiny house transportation
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I was asked to share one of my projects to this thread.  Specifically my DIY VAWT.  I re-use and repurpose stuff all the time, but this one turns a couple of old bicycle wheels and some scrap pvc into a wind turbine, plus some steel for the frame. 

Here's a link to the project, I don't think I have any new photos onnmy new device, but I should do an update on this project soon anyway. 

https://permies.com/t/59633/Home-DIY-Vertical-Axis-VAWT

 
Dale Hodgins
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My biggest reuse projects have all been buildings. I moved one really good house that was lived in by my family for 14 years, and I've been involved in somewhere around 75 house moves, where I do all of the preparation, for a building that is being moved to a new location. Every job is a treasure hunt. As the first guy on the scene, I have found my share of stuff. I may have found your share as well, sorry about that.
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I had to chop the roof off of this one, and rebuild a temporary, flat roof.
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This beautiful Oceanfront home, was in near-perfect condition.
 
John McDoodle
Posts: 531
Location: ontario, canada
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I'm currently working on making/fabricating an ATV/UTV 5ft snow plow, made from the curved bottom side of an old furnace oil tank.  I have made several things from these tanks which have to be replaced every 10 or so Years here legally in Ontario, so they are relatively easy to find for cheap or free or at the scrap yard.  I will post some pics soon, I'm still working on the the project but I'm also documenting the process. 
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here in British Columbia people pay a minimum of $100 to get rid of one of those tanks. If you ever need several of them for a project, it might be wise to dodge the middleman and get into removing them. I like to cut them in half, right where they sit, so that residual petroleum and sludge can be cleaned up without risk of spillage. It's a great source of flat and curved metal. Perfect thickness for making metal bits to reinforce the joinery in post and beam construction.

For more than a decade, I got most of the oil used in heating my ex-wife's house, from my demolition projects, where these tanks had to be disposed of clean. If you get one that contains lots of oil, the companies that deliver it will suck it up and deliver it to another location, usually for only about 30% of the value of that oil. I'm sure that that figure varies from place to place. But no need to haul large quantities yourself. There are legalities, once you get large quantities of heating oil into containers on a vehicle that is not designed for that.
 
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
Video of all the PDC and ATC (~177 hours) - HD instant view
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