Sunday, April 24, 2016

Outdoor Shower 3

Burlap-crete shower finally completed.

Concrete stepping stones & river rock.

Showing solar water heater.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My $100 Rust-Oleum Paint Job


My Rust-Oleum paint job -- Flat Black and Safety Red.
Because if you're going to paint your car with Rust-Oleum and a paint roller in your dirt driveway in the middle of South Carolina's pollen season, you might as well go two-toned.
This process involves several thin coats of Rust-Oleum diluted (50/50) with mineral spirits and applied with a high density foam roller. I primed after sanding with Rust-Oleum metal and plastic primer diluted the same way (this car is, I swear, 50% plastic). Light and wet sanding with steel wool, a scouring pad, and very fine sandpaper between coats took care of much of the debris and the poor little bugs that could not resist a taste of wet paint. Rust-Oleum requires some drying time, so I generally applied one coat a day over several days -- five coats of red, six of black. Touted as the $50 Rust-Oleum Paint Job on some sites, it probably cost more like $100.
I had damaged this car's paint job with a polish kit that reacted with the clear coat. It took two or three years for most of the shine to flake off, exposing the paint to oxidation. This vehicle looked pitiful, and I had little to lose by experimenting. 
After a little touching up with a foam brush, I'm pleased with the result.
Next Rust-Oleum project will involve the hood of my beautiful 1994 Ford Ranger. I promise a step by step of that one.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Low Rent Mortar Sprayer #2

My very simple and inexpensive home made mortar sprayer has served me well until lately, when it started clogging every few minutes. I thinned my mortar mix a little and hosed my sprayer out, but every few minutes I'd have to stop. My theory is that sand has scarred the soft PVC plastic or copper nozzle enough to catch a little mortar and make it accumulate there. Or maybe it was the latex cement I sprayed that makes the mortar stick. Regardless, I had to replace my sprayer, and wanted to do it in a way I could duplicate easily.

As before, I started with a 1-1/4" male threaded cap and a 1-1/2 to 1-1/4 female threaded bushing, I also used a gnarled adapter for my air gun, and a small copper nozzle.

The nozzle and spray hole in the cap need to line up, which can be a little tricky on a rounded piece. I drilled just above the ridge at the bottom of the cap, using the small bit (9/32) first, and drilled all the way through the fitting so I had a hole front and back. Then I enlarged one hole, the spray hole, with a bigger bit (7/16).

I used a Dremel tool to cut the tip off the nozzle, which was too long and didn't allow for enough space between the nozzle tip and the spray hole. I thought I might have cut it too short, but the sprayer works fine.  I sanded the rough nozzle tip and buffed it smooth with the Dremel.

I used the Dremel to cut the ridge off just below the nozzle hole so the gnarled adapter, air gun, etc, will fit and turn freely to tighten. Then I sanded and buffed the area clean

The PVC fitting is too thick. the threads of the nozzle barely go through to the other side, and the gnarled adapter can't grab them. I sanded the inside of the fitting with the Dremel tool a little just around the nozzle hole to thin the plastic a bit, and buffed it smooth.

Here is the fitting with the nozzle and gnarled adapter attached.

The bushing screws onto the cap tight against the gnarled adapter to help hold it in place. The hopper is a gallon jug with the bottom cut out.  The cap threads of the jug don't exactly match those of the bushing.  I've used a large Clorox bottle successfully. A little electrical tape around the cap threads helps hold it tight. I've not had any trouble with the hopper coming loose. Inevitably mortar seeps in and holds everything tight.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Outdoor Shower 2 -- Under Construction

Shower structure, still under construction, with solar hot water heater.
Armature for rounded shower structure showing eight foot treated fence posts, 1/2" conduit to help hold shape, and fence wire. The short walls around the shower head are latex cement, the rest are burlapcrete. I originally planned to make the entire structure latex cement, but some of the paint I'd stored was not usable.

Sorry, no decent photos of the construction process.The short walls are made of latex cement (paintcrete) over nylon window screen. The long walls that reach the ground are made of  burlapcrete. I investigated the makings of a french drain, but was able to run the drain into an existing septic tank.

Me, using home made mortar sprayer.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Outdoor Shower -- Solar Hot Water Heater

 This hot water heater is made almost entirely of re-purposed and recycled materials. The tank is from a discarded electric water heater (pin holes were patched for now with a product called JB Weld). Most of the wood is from a demolished fence, The windows, sheet metal roof and door, and much of the hardware (screws, hinges, etc) came from the mobile home we disassembled a few years back. The shower hardware came from the same old mobile home.  Basically the tank, painted black, is in an insulated box with a glass front. The water gets very hot. Photos of paintcrete/burlapcrete shower structure are to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shuttered wall from recycled decking

A friend tore down an old deck and offered me the wood, which was deteriorated. Serves as a wall with a shutter/awning on my old shed.  It looks as though it's been there a hundred years. Hopefully some shelves on the inside will help me organize a little. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Moons, faces, totem pole

 Experiments using various 3:1 mixtures of cellulose insulation (paper), peat moss, and sand with Portland cement -- three parts aggregate to one part cement -- with sundry ingredients added (builder's lime, joint compound, asphalt emulsion). Trying for a more malleable, clay-like "concrete" formula.