The Scrounge Chronicles: 3 Tips for 8_22_2018

The Scrounge Chronicles: for those times that your money informs you it has a previous engagement.

Here are 3 tips from recent projects. The first one was in a page I made about restoring an old garden hoe; but it’s here with more detail. What’s neat about this is that I like it better than the store bought striking tool handle wedges. The rasp teeth really help the wedge stay in place. I use an old farrier’s rasp. Those guys discard them when they’re the slightest bit dull. If you’ve seen them struggling with an uncooperative horse, you’ll know why. The first picture shows the rasp being ground at a taper, on the side with smaller teeth. You simply keep grinding the taper until it cuts through. The second picture shows the wedge just after it was cut, and cut again, to make it narrower. The third picture is a drawing to clarify what I mean.

The next tip can be dangerous, if you don’t have experience with a circular saw, be careful with this one. It’s simply a fast way I found to cut out the top of a plastic drum. You could just cut around the drum, removing the top and flange altogether, but this makes a stronger drum. If you look at the right side of the drum, you can see where I made a series of short straight cuts that join each other. This is faster than a reciprocating saw. the danger is when the blade grabs the plastic rim and tries to climb out suddenly, while spinning. Watch out for it.The last tip is seeing and knowing what to grab and take home. In a previous Scrounge article, I mentioned a salvage run to a friend’s place to get some metal. I got various metal building supports, all new, but left over from jobs. I also got the two pieces of roof tin I used on the produce stand. While I was there, I saw a pile of brand new fasteners that were being thrown out.

There are some free things that aren’t worth getting if you spend too long dealing with them. This could have been one of them, but I sorted them in a little over 15 minutes. The cost of these new fasteners is worth it. First, the picture, then more info:

The trick is to sort them into types of fasteners, not every size within that type. So at the front of the plastic tote lid, left to right, nuts and bolts, washers, and some old time hot rivets. At the back of the plastic is a pile of sheet metal screws. On the right edge is a pile of miscellaneous things like hasps, hinges, and even a spark plug gap tool. Off the plastic are two sizes of wood screws, many of which are already used, and another pile of miscellaneous stuff.

I get soup cans which were rinsed and saved in the kitchen, then put each pile in a can. Looking through a specific type of fastener for a certain size is tolerable, whereas looking for the same thing mixed in with all the rest is a waste of time.  I think there’s at least 20 or 30 dollars worth of fasteners here. Another thing it saves is a trip to the store. That’s like an hour plus gasoline.