Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tips, Hints, and Ideas

Tips, Hints and Ideas......
I have decided that it was time to start a running list of helpful hints, tips and ideas that people have sent to me or that I have encountered! All of these may not work for you or your situation, but they are here to give you something to start with and branch out from on your own. Remember, these are GUIDELINES, study them out to see if they will work for YOU! I will be trying to add one every week, but don't hold me to it! If you have any tips or ideas, feel free to e-mail them to me and I will try to include them. If you have a question about any of the tips, e-mail me and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible! Thanks!

April 2007
Transmission oil (ATF) works well as a waterproof wood protectant. You can "emulsify" it into water and spray it on with an ordinary garden sprayer. Just mix in a bit of liquid laundry detergent, or dish saop (such as Dawn), and it will help suspend the oil in the water while you spray it on. The red ATF will turn a "pinkish" hue, though. Light weight engine oils (SAE 20 or less) work also. Spray it on, let it dry a few days and repeat. It works best if you do it on a warm day.

An empty 1 or 2 liter pop bottle works great for storing stringline. Cut the bottom off (leave a 2" to 3" lip on it). Tail the end of the string through the top of the bottle from the inside. Place the ball in the up-side-down bottle and insert the bottom back into the bottom as far as it will go.

You can use old window sashes to make new shed windows. A lot of times, people just throw away windows when they replace them. Just the sashes (the parts with glass in them) can be used to make a new window - either fixed or operational.

I have a dirt floor in my barn. After I pull off most of the bedding straw with a pitch fork, I use a leaf rake to get the small "Jelly Beans" that the goats leave. I can clean the floor pretty bare in just a few minutes.

Pile up any bedding straw and manure to be composted. It makes great fertilizer for the garden. Be sure to "stir" it every once-in-awhile.

March 2007
Empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls make great cord organizers. You can even use them to store extension cords when not in use. Those black foam insulated rolls that slide over water pipes work for this, too!

For those of you who buy Ground Beef or Sausage in the "Chub" package: Freeze the meat and slice it while still mostly frozen. You can cut right through the wrapping and all! I take the chub out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave for about 45 seconds (make sure it is on DEFROST). When I take it out it is stiff enough to slice easily! Expertiment and figure out what works best for you. Doing it this way helps get the patties the same size, too!

An old steel bed spring makes a wonderful "levelizer" for a driveway. Tow it behind a pickup or tractor and it will smooth out the rock.

Keep any small pieces of "hog" or "cattle" panels for use in other projects. You can use the pieces for anything from covering a small window in the chicken coop (to keep preditors out), to hanging on gates, to putting them in concrete. You can also hammer small sections cut from them into the poles in your shop or barn to use as hangers.

Twine from hay bales can be re-used for numerous things. You can even braid it to make a nice "rope" or other items.

February 2007
Bee's Wax on wooden drawer glides will help them run quietly and smoothly.

You can use a can of Condensed Milk to help seal small punctures in tires. Just "inject" it into the valve stem with a Veteranary Syringe (without a needle), and air the tire back up!

Old CD's (like those you get in the mail from time-to-time) can be used as a "scarecrow" of sorts! The flashes of light from the CDs moving in the breeze help chase unwanted birds away.

Wooden pallets make great stall dividers in your barn.

January 2007
Old cabinet doors make good light duty shelves in the shop, shed or barn. You can use store-bought support braces, or make your own from wood. If you have some hinges and chain, you can even make a "fold up work station"!

Old metal bread baking pans make perfect storage drawers for nuts, buts, washers, etc! It is simple to make a rack or cabinet to hold them using salvaged materials. Find them at garage sales and auctions.

If you have egg shells, don't just throw them away! Crush them up and spread them on your garden! You can also add them to any compost you have.

A five gallon bucket is useful even when cracked! Use if for a nest for a hen, a planter , storage, or even a feed bin!

Place old golf balls in nesting boxes to help convince hens to lay.

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