Fixing the shed

This blog has been quiet for the last few months as I’ve been working on a big, fairly dull, project.

We’ve got a concrete sectional shed at the bottom of the garden that was put up by the previous owners of the house. Nice building – suspended ceiling, chipboard floor, plasterboard walls, good lights and lots of electrical sockets. Only problem was damp.

There was a damp proof membrane in the concrete floor slab. One problem was the membrane was 150mm underground. One end of the slab was embedded under a retaining wall; the uphill side of the building was paved level with the slab and had no drainage other than across the top of the slab.

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Filthy device

The dirtiest electric motor I’ve ever seen

I tried to fix my other half’s electric mixer and the inside was so filthy I had to share it. This is 20+ years of flour and cocoa powder. Actually very well made – all metal mechanism and the electrics are fine. However the wormwheels are stripped after mixing heavy mixtures for all that time so not viable to fix 😦

Andersen Self Bailer Repair

As I mentioned before Custard leaks a bit – not enough to be a real problem – I just need to make sure she is bailed out every day if she’s afloat. However, this isn’t ideal.

First step was sorting out the self-bailers. These are Andersen/Elvstrom Super Medium bailers made in stainless steel. My original idea was to remove them and blank the holes; however I thought it might be easier to repair the original bailers.

Repair kits are readily available although not cheap. I got mine from Force4. They include the two gaskets I needed plus rivets and thicker gaskets.

At first glance it looks like it is necessary to drill the old rivets out to get the old gasket out. However, this isn’t the case – the old gasket can be pulled out of the recess by prising with screwdrivers and pliers.

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Tesla Model 3 Towing Dinghy

I wanted to get an idea of energy usage involved in towing Custard – a 14′ Wanderer sailing dinghy – so I could work out our range when towing the dinghy.

Update: I’ve now got the actual figures.

A Better Route Planner provides an easy way to work out how to get somewhere with charging stops along the way. You can also tweak your car’s energy usage. Their base figure is nominal usage at 65mph.

Custard’s trailer has higher drag that I would expect – in my Mazda 6 it looks like petrol consumption goes up by 25%. This doesn’t appear great for something that is fairly aerodynamic (boat shaped) and not particularly heavy (I guess around 340kg). When I used to tow a Jaguar 21 – 1100kg plus trailer – it seemed to double petrol consumption so for something much smaller 25% seems high.

Anyway, first guess was that the energy consumption in the Tesla would go up by 25 – 33%. The nominal energy consumption per mile is around 255Wh/mile at 65mph according to A Better Route Planner. This seems close to what we get on a normal local journey. So this would mean consumption of around 320 – 340 Wh/mile.

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Mounting trailer tyres with hand tools

The best way to mount 8″ trailer tyres is to take them to a tyre fitter. This method is how I did it and I’m noting it for future reference. However a lot of swearing is involved.

First look at the wheels and tyres. The ones I did years ago went on fairly easily. These laughed at me – no way were they going on.

Rim is far too big to go into the hole
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Kids longbows

My eldest daughter asked me if we could make a bow and arrow for her. She’d done some designs and wanted to make them.

We watched some videos on YouTube on how to make bows and had a go. The first attempt broke.

Broken bow. Wood wasn’t great and was too thick when I test pulled the bow.

So we tried a different approach. I’d cut down an Ash sapling in the garden a few months ago – we’ve got Ash trees at the bottom of the garden so we get saplings growing everywhere. The top of this was about the right stiffness for a bow. So we cut off a suitable length and started work.

Trimming the side branches with an axe – watch those feet!

There are some key design points to making a bow. Any wood that is weak enough to bend is likely to break, so the idea is to trim the wood in such a way that it is still strong, bendy but doesn’t break.

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