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Improvising and Recycling

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Homesteading and self sufficiency can be a strain on the budget even though we get better wages and access to ready made cheap goods than our earlier generations. Our early settlers had a true knack for improvising and recycling (discussed in the primitive and traditional) for their needs, manly due to supplies and money. Still today many who live rurally or in cities trying homesteading or self sufficiency believe in recycling to make ends meet or keep costs down.
So I thought I would start a list of recycling materials that are used to improvise for specific made items all materials are found today.

55 gal drums:
can be used for storing grains and fluids
converted to compost tumblers
converted into trays for aquaponics trays
can be cut for animal feeders
used to create charcoal
used with a smaller drum you can make molasses troughs
Smaller drums and buckets with lids can be used to household bulk foods
many other uses I am sure you all know some, they can even be used to make a rocking horse and veranda chairs and tables.

Old Bath tubes:
used for water and feed troughs for livestock.
to make worm farms.
used as veg gardens

Old tin water tanks:
turned into dog houses
storage sheds
cut for chook pens
cut and lined for water troughs or even feed .
cut for raised garden beds.
cut for fire rings for regular burns.
cut for shelter in stockyards.

old Star pickets:
Cut and used as short stakes
welded together to make a raised fire platform (BBQ)

Old chook wire:
made into ring to protect young plants from rabbits.
used for quick repairs to fencing.

1 1/2 poly pipe:
quick and easy green house or similar shelter.

And old roofing:
if you can't find a use for this you probably shouldn't be homesteading:)

The list will grow I can assure you and please jump in and offer other suggestions. but this will do for now to get you thinking
 

pap11y

Richard Proenneke
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Its also interesting to see how builders are using recycled gear for houses.

- plastic bottles
- tyres
- glass bottles

Theres a guy in the U.S. maybe mexico who is doing great things with them...

The 55 gallon drum can also be a smoker, bbq or stove..

I have seen a water tank on the back of a ute as a sleeping quarters. It was my aunties boyfriend and my cousin was mortified that he had to get dropped off to school in it :D

I see this (recycling in building) becoming huge over the next 10-15 years.

Also shipping containers are getting a lot of use in the UK and US for ready made shelters/storage...
 
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Jacko

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Last bit of recycling I did was to convert an old timber BBQ Trolley into a Bullet Casting Table. It could serve equally well as a Potting Table, Washing Trolley etc.

I'm not to proud to scavenge and Kerbside Clean Up's are an invaluable source of goods and materials that can be recycled. Next one in my neck of the woods I will keep an eye out for an old Washing Machine or Dryer so I can salvage the Stainless Steel Drum, makes for a great fireplace.

People throw out those plastic coated wire Pot Stands, as required I pick them up, strip the hard plastic coating, a coat of Kill Rust and they are serviceable again. Some years back I used to scrounge old Bicycles and build good Bicycles from the buggered ones then sell or give them away.

regards Jacko
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Last bit of recycling I did was to convert an old timber BBQ Trolley into a Bullet Casting Table. It could serve equally well as a Potting Table, Washing Trolley etc.

I'm not to proud to scavenge and Kerbside Clean Up's are an invaluable source of goods and materials that can be recycled. Next one in my neck of the woods I will keep an eye out for an old Washing Machine or Dryer so I can salvage the Stainless Steel Drum, makes for a great fireplace.

People throw out those plastic coated wire Pot Stands, as required I pick them up, strip the hard plastic coating, a coat of Kill Rust and they are serviceable again. Some years back I used to scrounge old Bicycles and build good Bicycles from the buggered ones then sell or give them away.

regards Jacko

Great work. I'm after a SS washer drum too ....
 

Bloffy13

Jon Muir
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Old, degassed etc fridges can be used as vege beds, apparently they make good smokers, aquaponics, storage cabinets, mail boxes, eskies, chook layer boxes etc.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Dusty Miller

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Nice one Bloffy. I use a few old fridges for keeping seeds, so the mice can't get them. The insulation help keeps the temperatures more moderate inside too, in a hot shed. I keep opened packs of welding rods in another one to keep them from absorbing too much moisture. The foam insulation does burn well though, its blown with hydrocarbons now.
 

Bloffy13

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ahhh, but did the light go off when the door was shut??????Hmmmm??? Answer me that?????
Psst, then can you tell me about the trees in the forest? That one drives me nuts....
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Ticklebellly

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A recycling idea from here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C91rreR1cgA Search for recycling PET bottles for a few other ideas.

I have made lots now, and given most of them away, from all sizes of the fluted side Coke bottles. Less successful with the straight sided bottles but most work out in that they stay closed when the leaves are folded down. I reckon the secret with the Coke bottles is to cut down to just before the curve at the bottom starts: too far and they won't stay folded. Wife has lots in her sewing stuff and I have made about a 100 for the kids at play group. Easy to see what is inside, cost nothing, slip down into a pack pocket, and take about one minute to whip one up. I'll leave it up to others to think of how you might use these things in your bushcrafting activities.

Tb
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Fly traps

Here is a quick easy and mess free fly trap AND all recycled and more effective than commercial stuff MHO.

Here is a commercially available item about $26 and quality in my experience is well less than 1 season and messy to empty and forever fiddling with the pic shows less than 4days in use.
View attachment 13968

next is the recycled and IMHO far more useful, effective and cleaner in disposing.
View attachment 13969
As you can see this is nothing more than recycled 20lt drum and two coke bottles. You will also find most the caps on these drums have a centre thread in lid that just needs the hole cut out and thread matches the coke bottles. all materials found at tip and keep spare lids, depending how many traps you set you only need to make funnelled caps for the quantity you set then just change caps to dispose of the dead FLIES. I use about 5 litre of water and a can of cheap dog food as the bait and stand back for a day in the sun have a peg handy to block nose:).
Now another little thing I like about this trap is the size not only for the amount it collects, but as it relatively stable I use it as a bait station to set foothold traps for dogs,cats, foxes. that's right I use the power(scent) of the dog food and the rotting flies as a scent post to trap, multi use trap.
 
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