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PEP Badge: Oddball

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steward
Posts: 20950
Location: Pacific Northwest
11283
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Over the past month, I've been collecting tannic materials and turning them into ink!

I made two different types of inks: alder cone ink (which makes a golden brown) and walnut ink (which makes a dark brown ink).

You can see even more pictures and documentation in my thread: Making ink from alder cones and black walnuts

My kids and I harvested a bunch of aldercones from our wood


I simmered the aldercones on my woodstove in water


My nieces found these at a squirrel stash at my parents' house. I took them home after the kids had fun smashing them with rocks


Turning brown after just a few minutes of simmering


I simmered them overnight, and the green walnut husks all turned black! The water is very dark now


You can see the alder cone ink evaporating in the jar next to the walnut ink. I had strained the alder cone ink through a tea strainer, and then again through that tea strainer covered with an old diaper cloth to strain out all tiny debris. After the walnut ink was done simmering, I strained it, too.

I added gum arabic to thicken up the ink. To do this, you put the gum arabic (acacia sap) in water and simmer it until it dissolves into the water. I didn't have the woodstove going, because it was a warmer day. So I just heated it in a metal measuring up on the electric burner in a measuring cup. This worked well enough.

rehydrating the gum arabic


I kept adding gum arabic to the ink until it was thick enough to stop bleeding/feathering on the paper.

I taught a total of about 25 students about how ink and quills are made


I don't want to post all the of the students, for obvious privacy reasons. Most of them wrote their names, so I can't post their art work, either, for the same reason. But there's two of them without any identifying info. I taught the lesson 4 times, for a total of 4 hours of instruction.
Filename: Medieval-Ink-Quill.pptx
Description: The slide-show I made to show the kids about how ink is made.
File size: 22 megabytes
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified for 1.5 oddball points!

 
Posts: 29
Location: Florence, AZ
15
2
kids pig solar
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Hello PEP world,
I did not see another PEP entry for the near-inescapable chore of doing brakes on a truck, so I am making an entry here.

The truck is an '06 F350 work rig, it is a heavy critter. A couple trips ago, I noted an odd scuffing sound on my rear driver wheel, so I figured I'd get to the brakes soon. Thank God I did. The two M8 bolts which retain the caliper on that wheel had fallen out (or, less likely, been removed in an act of sabotage). Egads! The back of the caliper had been rubbing the inside of the wheel. Thankfully, no great harm was done, the caliper is a bit scuffed on a thick aluminum region, and the wheel is fine. I had to get two new (grade 10.9) M8 bolts. Ford of course uses a 22mm bolt there, which you can buy for $ome money. So a 25mm with two washers from the Ace serves fine.

Enough drama, though; the brakes and tire rotation part went fine. Having used manual lug wrenches for years, I can't adequately express how nice the heavy Milwaukee impact tool is. The only other gotcha on these brakes is that they are dual-piston calipers, since it's a heavy truck, which means you have to go back and forth with the caliper tool to press them open on each side prior to installing the new pads, and do the same with the clamp (at top and bottom of the caliper) to force them open enough to get them off the old pads. The little clips are straightforward once you get the knack. This generation of truck has an after-release updated extra clip on the bottom edge of the front outside pads, so I had to look that up. It is never comforting to find more parts in the box than you find on the truck... but easy enough once a Ford forum clarified.

All told, about 2.5hrs for all 4 wheels, 8 pads changed, rotate the tires (the rears were wearing faster than the fronts, should get more life out of the set now). 12ton bottle jacks are great friends. Back on the road with the rig.

Happy homesteading!
Mark
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Great job, certified for 2.5 points

 
Mark Miner
Posts: 29
Location: Florence, AZ
15
2
kids pig solar
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Hi PEP-folks,
Again with the oddball entry. Otis might have a brick building, who knows? And it might get hit by a drunk in a truck, who knows?

This project was done by myself with a helper, but the planning, shoring, and bricklaying were my head and hands. Total time to completion was 5 days for the masonry, because the courses per day were limited by the mortar. Final trim, pointing and plastering efforts were another 2 days. All brick was original from the building, the owners had saved the damaged brick and had also harvested recycled brick from an interior partition wall demolished many years ago. This was one of the coolest projects I have done - the building is 100+ years old, and was made with area-native soft clay brick and area-native sand in the mortar. You can't use Portland-cementitious mortars on soft brick, they are too aggressive, and do not move with the brick. Limeworks in PA makes Ecologic lime mortar https://www.limeworks.us/product/ecologic-mortar/#Ecoligc-lime-mortar-product-description-and-application, of which I ordered a pallet for the job. The brick wall is a triple-wythe affair, laid in English bond, which means that every 6th layer, you lay two inner wythes perpendicular to the wall, and then every 7th layer you lay two outer wythes perpendicular to the wall. All other wythes are parallel with the wall line. This is sketched in the post-it image below.

The building had been damaged ~5years ago, and the owners hadn't been able to find anyone to repair it. The unique brick + mortar, the impact to a doorway+window+column, I guess scared off anyone else. But hey, you do the math for the weight of the wall, you size the shoring, and you work carefully. I did the work about a year ago, but thought it might be of interest as an oddball entry.


Day 1 - Open up wall, assess damage, shore the top with 4x4 posts and 4x6 beams, move trim and interior elements to clear workspace, remove loose bricks, gather usable brick from their back lot storeyard
Day 2 - Work down to the wall base (concrete footer), clear and vacuum dust, wet everything down, and start laying
Day 3 - Work up another 3ft, dipping each brick in water before laying - they are like sponges, so porous, and they eat the moisture out of the mortar without dipping
Day 4 - Work up another 3ft, get to window sill, adjust shoring to allow work, managed to not remove window and brick it in securely
Day 5 - Work up column between window and door, pulling out the loose brick, remove shoring, finish column and repointing the damaged mortar lines above the window & door lintel

Other days - plaster base of wall to match, plaster windowsill, put everything back together around interior door & window frame, trimming on interior, final little bits here and there.

As I said, one of the coolest jobs I have done, and resulted in excellent relationships with the local hardware store people, which is always a plus.
Happy homesteading,
Mark
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Nice job!!  Certified for 36 oddball points

 
gardener
Posts: 962
Location: Zone 8b North Texas
188
3
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I used a backhoe and bucket to dig up a pole then move it to a stack of poles.
I'm adding Pond installation (I have a Pond Mentor) to our company services
but am inexperienced with the backhoe.  My other Mentor, Max, guided my
practice and had me dig up this pole and move it.  I only dug up the pole then
moved it.


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Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified for 1/2 point

 
gardener
Posts: 1496
Location: Washington State
937
6
forest garden trees rabbit earthworks composting toilet fiber arts sheep wood heat woodworking rocket stoves homestead
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Here is my submission for Oddball Aspect points.  

With two shipping containers spaced 20 feet apart, greenhouse bows and metal roofing were installed (by a group in 2008) to protect and insulate the shipping containers while providing a protected outdoor space for firewood storage and winter project work.  

With the rains starting this fall, I decided to tackle an improvement that would prevent the rain from collecting in an unintentional gap between the wood securing the greenhouse plastic and the metal roofing.  I installed scrap outdoor plywood in the gap/gutter between the metal roof and the wood.  I also tightened up the plastic so that water does not pool on the roof.  This project took me just over 2 hours and I'm rather skilled in working with wood, table saw, chop saw, power drill, and wiggle wire (which holds the greenhouse plastic to the wood).

Here is a photo from winter 2008 with a significant snow load.


Outcome: we've had several significant rainfalls since I did this and my tools and entry steps are dry!  YEAH!

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looking up with rain gap highlighted in yellow
looking up with rain gap highlighted in yellow
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looking from the top - showing how loose the plastic has become
looking from the top - showing how loose the plastic has become
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looking down - the gap between metal roof and wood
looking down - the gap between metal roof and wood
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tools and parts - getting started
tools and parts - getting started
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installing first transition piece
installing first transition piece
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about 10' finished
about 10' finished
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tightening up the plastic
tightening up the plastic
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wood installed to close the gap - 40'
wood installed to close the gap - 40'
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finished
finished
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looking up - the gap is closed
looking up - the gap is closed
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close up - finished
close up - finished
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified for 1.5 oddball points

 
pollinator
Posts: 186
Location: In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
105
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I crocheted a hat for one of my coworkers for our Christmas party the other day. I couldn't find a Nest BB for a hat so I am posting it here.

I used a variation on an unnamed stitch that I found online and used a size 7 hook.
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Staff note (gir bot) :

John Pachall approved this submission.
Note: Well done. you have received 1.5 oddball points.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: There is a BB for knit/crochet a hat in Textiles that this may be a better fit for.  Not that this is the case here, but when/if projects don't quite align with an existing BB, posting them to oddball usually doesn't earn many points.

 
Opalyn Rose
gardener
Posts: 1496
Location: Washington State
937
6
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Here is my submission for Oddball Aspect points.  

While at WL for the 2023 Permaculture Technology Jamboree, my projects included rag rug twining and a Textile Repair Cafe.  During the cafe, I helped several people with repairs to their clothes and I worked on repairing a rug that has been in the Fisher Price House for several years.  Unfortunately, rugs with exposed warp tend to get damaged, the warp fibers tear and the weaving comes undone.  That happened to this rug and I took on the task of repairing it.  I'm quite familiar with several types of weaving so I understood the warped-faced weave with large weft and was able to easily re-establish the woven structure.  However, this is my first repair so I did some experimenting with how to finish the rug edge and in the end decided to tie off the warp ends.

No matter how experienced a person is in rug repair, it takes time as you have to re-weave the entire section strand by strand.
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"Before" - damaged rug creating a tripping hazard
"Before" - damaged rug creating a tripping hazard
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closeup
closeup
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reweaving the warp through the weft (yes that is backwards of typical wevaing)
reweaving the warp through the weft (yes that is backwards of typical wevaing)
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partially complete repair with needle I used
partially complete repair with needle I used
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experimenting with weaving in the ends
experimenting with weaving in the ends
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closeup of method - I didn't like it so I took it out and...
closeup of method - I didn't like it so I took it out and...
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started tieing knots
started tieing knots
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knotting the warp ends
knotting the warp ends
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close-up of ends tied off
close-up of ends tied off
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ready to cut extra warp off
ready to cut extra warp off
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cutting
cutting
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back in business - rug is back in the Fischer Price House
back in business - rug is back in the Fischer Price House
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Done :)
Done :)
Staff note (Paul Fookes) :

How long did it take to do Opalyn?  I note the changes of clothes so you did it over days, I guess.

Staff note (Opalyn Rose) :

I probably spent six hours working on this project not including the experimentation.  The textile cafe was open for 12 hours over three days.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Paul Fookes approved this submission.
Note: I certify for 4 Oddball Points plus an Otis = 5 BB points. Great example for repair rather than refuse.

 
Mark Miner
Posts: 29
Location: Florence, AZ
15
2
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Hi PEP-folks,
I looked through Tool Care, checked Homesteading, and Metal Working, and couldn't find anything for "repair the fender of your trailer where it got banged and a weld or three cracked". So here we are. This is my 16ft tilt-bed which moves my tractor, it's been a good tool, and it was driving me nuts (cue old bad pirate joke) when the aft end of the passenger-side fender chattered on washboard roads (most of them here).

So, back in October, I got out the wire wheel on the grinder, the welder, the protective equipment, and the gumption, and went to work. End-to-end, it was about 3.5 hours, from hauling the welding supplies out of their jobox to packing them away. This does not count the time it took to get the trailer up on cinderblocks supporting the rear corners and the tongue in a nice stable triangle, which got the thing high enough to work more comfortably inside the fender (with all 4 wheels off).

The known issue was cracked welds at the rear of the passenger fender, but upon inspection, there was a missing angle brace which should have supported the fender outside edge, between the wheels. This brace was present on the opposite side, but the top weld had cracked loose (into the outside corner of the sheet metal fender). So I had to weld that back in also. I also took time to deal with the driver rear light mount, which had either been backed into with the backhoe or hard-turned into an object by one of my construction guys. Sigh.

Couple of caveats, first, my photos are all yellow recently because I smashed the camera glass on my phone while crawling under a mobile home late in the summer. The mechanism survived, but needed a front plane. Kapton tape (two layers) has been remarkably successful in preventing my phone from being e-waste, with a bit of a hue change. Second, I am a super rudimentary welder. I'm really glad of projects like this, that let me practice with pretty minimal risk of it mattering much. The ESAB Rebel welder I have way outclasses me, because I bought it for a job on which I had a real welder working (building a really solid carport-height solar panel support system for a client, came out really nice). So, glad to work with decent gear, but I guarantee that I don't use it anywhere near its potential. I will hereinafter assume the reader knows a) my welds are ugly and b) I know it.

Fig 1) Wire-clean the seams. Found out the stitching was pretty intermittent, caulk gave it the appearance of continuity.
Fig 2) The gap.
Fig 3) The inside of the fender.
Fig 4) The welder itself.
Fig 5) The fender cap sheet was free of the wall sheet, clamped and welded them back together. Rod was 7018, 1/8in. Had to tweak amperage a bit for the thinner sheets.
Figs 6 & 7) The trailer frame rail to fender welds, on the inside of the angle. Added about 12in of weld line. Rod was 7018, 3/16in. This one took a little amp-fiddling, as there is a thin sheet joined to the thick-section trailer rail. Took a few goes to make the arc track OK. Too much, and you just burn away the sheet. And the sheet wants to grow like the dickens with the local heating.
(Fig 8) Thought I had a Figure 8, but didn't.)
Fig 9) The bent-in fender bridged to the rail with weld filler. Not pretty. A difficult joint to clamp. Taken backwards with the front camera, which is not convenient.
Fig 10) New unistrut brace installed mid-fender. Had to pull off the side marker light and rewire it, while I was at it.
Fig 11) The wiring grommet I had to work around at the base of the strut.
Fig 12) Top of new strut detail. Not melting the sheet is my major problem, I mean, once the stick is unstuck...
Fig 13) The brace top on the driver side, cracked out of its fender.
Fig 14) An ugly but functional repair. I was careful not to drip slag, as I hadn't thought I needed to work on this side, so I hadn't pulled the tires. Had to rewire this marker light also.
Fig 15) The driver taillight socket had been backed into, and squozen out the light.
Fig 16) A little cutting, a little beating, a little bending, and back into shape.
Fig 17) Grease the axles while at it.

Conclusion, here it is in December, and no rattles have returned, and the taillight has stayed where it belongs. Ugly welds that properly heated and bonded to cleaned base metal will hold fine. I know enough to wire brush the dickens out of the seams before welding, and I think that is about the only good thing I'm doing, but it seems good enough so far. It was a fun afternoon.
Happy Homesteading!
Mark
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Certified for 1/2 oddball point.

 
pollinator
Posts: 257
Location: Wabash, Indiana, Zone 6a
93
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I spent a couple of hours today planning and building a floating shelf for my nascent kitchen window herb garden. It turned out wonderfully, and the plants should get so much more morning sun now than they would have on the top shelf as shown in the first picture:




I went about gathering the material that I had on hand to see what I would need from the local old-school mom-and-pop hardware store.



As you can see in photo A, I had to pick up a few feet of 1/16 "aircraft cable" type wire to suspend it from the coffee cup hooks I already had. I bought a few cable crimps, too, to keep them in place underneath the board. I had several pieces of hardwood flooring (Photo B) in the garage, and it was almost the perfect size. Since it was free, and looks pretty awesome, I used it. Who said it has to extend all the way to the edges of the window?

The board is six inches wide, as is the sill above from which it will hang (photo C) so I centered the board on the window and measured three inches back to where I would screw in the cup hooks (photo D). Then  I drilled four holes, one in each corner of the board (photo E), ran the cable through the holes and crimped them underneath the board, (photo F), installed it in the window, and zip-tied the wire snugly directly underneath the cup-hooks (photo G).

Here's the result:



Hope you like it, and hope I can get an Oddball air badge for it! Feel free to copy my design. Now to wait for the herbs to mature and then NOM NOM NOM!

EDIT: Staff wanted to see a final picture showing it suspended from the top sill. I also removed the zip ties, as they seemed unnecessary. Semper Gumby!



j
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: Approved for 1/2 oddball point

 
master gardener
Posts: 1585
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
693
6
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
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I’ve decided that we need more shelving in the garage and I’m building them in eight-foot modules. I got the first one in today. Not the most permie solution as I used plywood for the shelf surfaces, but it was quick, as cheap as could be managed, and very(!) stable. The garage wall is stacked 3/4 milled logs so I also screwed the whole unit into the wall to make it all mutually supporting.
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Raw materials
Raw materials
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Forgot to capture a “before” shot before any work was done but this is early in the build.
Forgot to capture a “before” shot before any work was done but this is early in the build.
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Two of the three shelves are in.
Two of the three shelves are in.
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And done!
And done!
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Already full and we need more.
Already full and we need more.
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Assembling one of the three shelves.
Assembling one of the three shelves.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: Due to being too close to an existing BB in Dimensional Lumber Woodworking, and using plywood, this didn't quite qualify for oddball points.

 
The only cure for that is hours of television radiation. And this tiny ad:
Our perennial nursery has sprouted!
https://permies.com/t/174246
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