Dale Hodgins

garden master
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since Jul 28, 2011
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I've worked in demolition and salvage, construction, real estate, ... Currently developing bus business and expanding my knowledge on a wide array of subjects related to land development and ecologically sound energy and food production. I'm a hard core skeptic and strong believer in science. Athiest, idealist, pragmatist, inventor, thinker, learner. Developing a grand plan for turning my property into a model of energy and resource efficiency.
Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Recent posts by Dale Hodgins

I wonder if you've considered lilac. It has the hardness you want, it produces high-quality fuel, it can be grown very densely, with young branches that can be woven and it is probably one of the heavier nectar producers that could grow in your environment. It might end up being more of a hedgerow than a fence, but a very useful hedgerow.

I have seen lilac covered in wild grapes. The combination was difficult for me to climb through, when I was a little kid. I don't imagine that deer would want to enter such confined quarters.
20 hours ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:When I first saw this, I immediately thought of using one for mash separation, grains on inside, set it a second tub then lift once the wash is ready.
I love all the other ideas too.

Bryant's idea makes 20.

I've seen juicers that have a perforated tub that uses a finely perforated vinyl sheet, to prevent solids from passing, as the material is spun. I wonder if a similar mesh could be used, to better filter your material.

21. Giant blender or juicer. Get some large juicer blades, and blend commercial quantities of applesauce or what have you. A stainless steel lawn mower blade, would seem about right. Not to be operated by children, or most adults.

22. Lawn roller. Fill it with concrete, to create a lawn roller. Be sure to get the axle assembly centered, before you pour in the concrete. Or, something could be bolted on while the concrete is green hard. Two or more good be joined.

23. Lawn aerator. Pretty much the same idea as a roller, except that the number of the holes would be enlarged, to allow bolts to protrude. As the thing is dragged along, the bolts that dig into the ground, causing a little holes to be pressed.

24. Gabion basket. This would make a good gabion  basket for placing a fence post or gate post. Sometimes, you don't want to put in a fence post or can't, because of near surface bedrock. Center your post in the tub, and fill it up with rubble rock or any other heavy material. Fill it beyond full, for maximum holding capacity. Put one of these on each side of your entry to the driveway, so that the space is clearly defined at night. That will keep some people out of the ditch. It should make it easy to give directions. "Watch for the two shiny wash tubs, that hold up the black and white reflector poles."

The gabion baskets in the photo, are very utilitarian. I much prefer the shiny tubs.
22 hours ago
18. Vegetable and Herb dryer - Paint It Black, and run a number of hanging wires through the holes, so that herbs can be hung. A flat plate could be set on the bottom , for things that don't want to hang. Another large plate could be sad over the top hole, as a lid. Load it up with things that are okay to be in the Sun, or cover them lately with a towel.

Plug up any big holes, so that we don't get too much sun on the material being dried. Set it on hot asphalt, or place it in any other warm and sunny location.

The number of holes, just about guarantees even drying. If laid on hot asphalt, or the dark bed of a truck, it will really cook, since the stainless will conduct heat from whatever surface it's sitting on.

They are small enough, to be carried inside, once full. They could also be brought outside during the day, and inside at night. Leave it in front of the picture window on a rainy day. Stackable as well, as illustrated in one of the earlier pictures.

19. Fish washer dishwasher.  Some of you may recall my fish washer dishwasher. I expect it to go mainstream anytime now. For those unfamiliar, it involves lowering a vessel full of dirty dishes, into pond water so that the critters can eat it up. My experiment went quite well.
Because of the many holes, the fish washer dishwasher will readily sink and when it is retrieved, it will the drain out as the basket is lifted. Put a post near the pond, that allows a pole to be saddled on top. Use your body weight to raise the dishwasher basket, then swivel so that it rests over the pond. Gently lower the device. Let me know tomorrow morning how it worked. :-)
2 days ago

Craig Dobbson wrote:Dale, you just made my day!

Ever since my family started line drying our laundry exclusively, I've been looking for a way to manage the old gas (propane) dryer.  I turned my old one's housing into a cold smoke chamber for smoking hams.  I like the idea of using the drum for a fire pit or garden center piece.  Nice find

Thanks Craig.
If you like that, you may find something in this thread to like. We are brainstorming various uses for washer and dryer tubs. There are 17 ideas, so far.
2 days ago
The video shows a guy cutting bottles. He is using a wet saw, which usually prevents glass particles from becoming airborne. I have been on many job sites, where this sort of saw is used. Sometimes, the material does become airborne. That's because people are foolish in disposing of the sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the water bath. If it's just dumped out on the ground, it will dry out, and be whipped around by the wind. The safest place to get rid of this, is in the footing or mixed with concrete.

The small particles of glass are very destructive to clothing. Sometimes the person doing the cutting, will continue to wear those clothes after they are dried out, so that that person is now shedding little particles of glass, wherever they go.

I have taken a similar bottle, and scored the cut line deeply. This usually allows the glass to snap in the right spot. The process is faster, once you get good at it, it doesn't require any power tools, and it doesn't create millions of little pieces of glass, to contaminate our lungs.
3 days ago
I suspect that the material is not strong enough on its own, for cider pressing, but with wooden staves attached to the outside, with steel banding, it just might be. It would be like a barrel, with a stainless steel interior. It would sure spin a lot of salad.
We need to examine what can be done with them when they are cut up. The material from dryers has many little holes in it. Some washers have large areas with no holes, that have a dimple design. I think this is to make them like a washboard.

17. Let's cut out rectangular pieces and build real washboards, for the totally off-grid crowd. If further dimpling is required, it can be accomplished by using a very smooth punch, from the back side. Hit it just enough to cause a dimple, we don't want to tear the material, since that would result in torn clothing.

Side note. I have a washboard stomach. It is different than most, in that I keep it under an inch of fat, to keep it warm. :-)
3 days ago
Thanks Wayne and Greg. Here's another one.

11. Winnowing trommel. Set it up to rotate, so that seeds can bounce around and lose chaff. It would have to be for a larger seeds, since the small ones would fall out of the holes.

12. Trundle peeler. Large restaurants have machines that bounce potatoes and carrots around, in the presence of water, to peel them. They don't come out completely peeled, but they do come out super clean, and ready to chop up. If the bottom were placed in a tub of water and a tub were rotated, tough things like potatoes could be cleaned up quite a bit. You would never do this before putting them into storage, since they would decay quickly. This is a treatment that greatly reduces the labor, when preparing meals for a crowd. The drum could be pricked with a nail and hundreds of spots, to make it rough like a cheese grater.

This guy has the right idea, but he could produce a lot more doing it in a giant stainless drum.

3 days ago
A series of these recycled stainless steel laundry drums, could be used in different parts of the farm. They are strong enough to allow other stuff to be piled on top. With a tray placed beneath, you could capture rich juices.
3 days ago
They are perfectly designed for mounting and we know they can bear the weight.

10.  Worm bin . Put a tray beneath, to capture liquid. The worms will never have to swim in their own ooze.
3 days ago
Uses for stainless steel washing machine drums.

When old washers and dryers are scrapped, the stainless steel is usually in perfectly good shape. It is one of the most durable products made.

I've seen several of these used as planters and for fire pits. One was used for storing firewood.

Let's think of some other uses.
1. Storage of root vegetables - Because these drain so well, they seem like a good addition to the root cellar. Carrots and beets and other things that are packed in sand, could be enclosed in these tubs. Make a good lid, and these would be impervious to vermin. Rats and mice will sometimes chew right through chicken wire and of course any plastic or wooden container. They can't chew through stainless steel.

2. Pond filtration - Tubs like this could be filled with suitable aggregate, to allow the filtration of greywater. They could also serve as a pre-filter, for water that is being pumped.

3. Aquatic flower pot -  If a pot like this were set in such a way that just a couple inches protrudes from the water surface, those plants would be able to access nutrient from the water, but fish would not be able to attack the plants.

4. French drain - One of these could be placed in the ground, in areas where you want to dump water on the grass and have it drain to somewhere. My soil is so porous, that I wouldn't need anything more than the drum, but some might want to surround it with gravel or rubble. It works as a great filter to keep sticks and leaves from clogging up the system.

5. Irrigation - I want to try one of these on a hugelkultur mound. With one of these sunk into the ground at the top of the mound, the water could seep into the soil slowly, instead of running down the face, which causes erosion. The bottom could be filled with clay, so that water must run out the sides. I envision leaving only a 1 inch rim above the soil surface. They could also be used on level ground. This would allow the watering of the root zone of larger plants, without wetting the surface.

6. Miniature compost bin - This has the advantage of being quite breathable while also impervious to vermin, if it has a good lid.

7. Compost tea strainer - Load it up with compost and run some water through it.

8. Strainer for just about everything else - Slowly run the garden hose into this, as you wash vegetables. Smaller vegetables won't go down the drain, as happens sometimes.

9. Dryer for corn, beans and other seeds - After seeds are pretty much dry, they could be placed inside one of these, with a good lid. Air could still circulate, to dry them further, but mice and rats would be out of luck.
3 days ago