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Saving the wet stuff for when you need it


I am very much in waiting mode at present mainly for the new water-tank that we have ordered for Chez Hall. You see if you were to be building a new house in our shire you would be obliged to have  at least 10,000 gallons of storage but because this place was built before such requirements came into force we have had to get by with much less than that, in fact our main house has just a 3000 gallon tank. and it has proved to be not enough on few  occasions which has meant that we have had to buy water and at $160 a load it is not cheap (especially when that load of water is too much to put in our tank). To make sure that we don’t have to buy  water so frequently (if at all) again We are buying a new plastic tank that will  hold 5000 gallons its not cheap though its going to cost us nearly $2700 but that will be a very worthwhile investment.

The site for it is to be the same spot that I had a metal tank previously. That metal tank was one I got for free some years ago and it just needed a few patches and a dab or two of silicone however those repairs did not make it last. It took a poor broken me a long time and quite a few cutting discs on the angle grinder to break it up in to manageable pieces for removal. Anyway the new  tank arrives Monday or Tuesday next week and you know what we are experiencing the first rain that we have had for ages right now just before it arrives, so does anyone want to give me odds that having installed the new tank the Gods will ensure that we have a sustained period of dry weather?

Its what I am expecting to be honest.

Cheers Comrades

A nice shipping container house

Regular readers  may recall just how fond I am of the re-purposing of shipping containers to create low  cost housing so when I came across this vid I thought that it would be good to share it with the Sandpit’s dedicated readers.

Cheers Comrades


Putting prisoners into big steel boxes

Regular readers may recall that this blog is quite a fan of creative uses for shipping containers. I have written previously about their potential for housing that is both strong and relatively quick to build. Well now it seems that they are looking to use converted shipping containers to ease the capacity problems in Victoria’s prison system.

click for source

click for source

While there is part of me that thinks that these new cells are rather more luxurious than many miscreants deserve (air conditioning? 🙄 )if they do the job for a reasonable cost per prisoner bed then it will be a good way to quickly fix the lack of capacity. Frankly there is no reason why more purpose built Spartan fit outs of the containers could not be designed, more in keeping with prisoner accommodation instead of the off the shelf miners set-up in the current units. That said its another very good use for those ubiquitous steel boxes.

Now if only I could figure out a way of getting one behind my studio to give me some much needed extra workshop space all would be extra jolly here at Chez Hall…

Cheers Comrades


Well, I have a bigger hammer so I won’t be forcing anything

The first day back at school after the holidays is rather tough. Firstly you have to remember to get up early enough to get your charges out of their slumbers in time to perform their morning ablutions , to eat their breakfasts and dress then you have to get them to the bus on time and after the laid back holiday its hard to get them to fare well their pillows.Well as I write child number one has gone already and child number to is still saying his fond farewells to his pillow and I know that I will have to go back down to his room and wake him up again in about five minutes. not to worry because I have his school uniform and his breakfast waiting.

Once I have the boy off to his lessons for the day I have a demolition job waiting here at Chez Hall and to be frank I’m not really very keen to do it, the subject for destruction is our couch, now this is no ordinary couch but a huge thing that I made about 20 years ago from half inch plywood (eight full sheets) and it is so big , even though its in two sections that to get it into the house I had to take out the sliding door to the living room . My beautiful wife has finally given up waiting for me to re-upholster  the cushions and bought a lounge suite instead.  In theory I could recycle the materials But to be frank I can’t be bothered and instead I think that a  big bonfire will be in order.

All of this destruction is on a time limit as well (something that is tough for me ) because the new lounge suite is arriving tomorrow which means that we need a the old lounge gone before it arrives….

I can feel the pain already but what choice do I have ?

Cheers  Comrades


A most apt photo op and the fun at Chez Hall

There are times when a photo has a rather different message to the one intended by its publisher take this image published on Julia Gillard’s twitter account:

JG1To my mind this picture is a strong reminder that it is unlikely that there will be another Labor PM before these school children are old enough to vote its also worth noting that Gillard has once again changed her Twitter avatar, finally I can’t help thinking that being seen with chooks is politically silly because it brings this creative animation to mind.

kookaburra-log-periodic-vhf-uhf-digital-ready-tv-antenna-aerial_2_I know its not much but I have been trying to commit a neatness around here and doing a few little jobs like replacing the TV antenna which has been most fruitful as we now get all of the free to air channels which means that  I will be able to  watch so much more crap should I choose to do so, hmm I think I will pass on most of that. None the less my son is delighted to be able to watch ABC 3. Of course I can’t do much at a time but I approach it like eating an elephant, one bite at a time!

$(KGrHqEOKo4FF)7KYl3PBRgZ(m256!~~60_12Another thing that has been taking up some of my time is tinkering with my car I have recently fixed a transmission leak caused by loose bolts on the Oil pan , I have also ordered a lovely set of stainless steel headers, which are not as you might expect custom made they are in fact intended for a FWD Sentra which uses the same family of engine as the Pulsar that I got my donor motor from. The will work because I already have my exhaust running under the engine to exit on the driver’s side so I expect to be able to get away with just modifying the intermediate pipe that currently connects to the stock cast iron manifold should only take an hour so to change these over, They promise a 10% increase in performance but I will be happy if they just sound nice.    I was going to wait until my brother had paid me for a ride on mower I am selling him but Once I saw the Aussie dollar in decline against the Green-back I felt compelled to buy sooner rather than later. You guessed it I’m buying from the USA and its amazing how cheap the headers are, a measly $105 USD plus $125USD for shipping, The cheapest Aussie made system is $240 plus shipping($35)  and that is for mild steel with a crappy painted finish. Is it any wonder that Australian manufacturing can’t compete?

Cheers Comrades


Well lets look at the real middle class welfare of domestic solar power…

Its a rip off and its the poor and those who rent who are being slugged every time they turn on a light or boil their kettles for a cuppa, Yes I’m talking about those roof top Solar installations that are so beloved by those of the Latte sipping persuasion,  While these minions of the left may  complain bitterly about “middle class welfare” they are happily dreaming  photo-electric dreams of their roofs covered with money making appliances.

Costly: Householders face additional burdens to cover the cost of solar electricity feed-in tariffs. Picture: Luke Marsden Source: The Courier-Mail

HOUSEHOLDS will soon be slugged $240 annually to pay for the power produced by rooftop solar systems.

New modelling has revealed that by 2015-16, almost 15 per cent of the total household power price will fund the solar feed-in tariff.

The Newman Government has already cut the tariff for home-produced power to 8 per kilowatt hour for all solar systems bought after July 9.

However, the new figures exposing the huge burden being carried by all consumers to pay those who produce solar power may prompt the Government to also reduce the 44/kWh tariff paid to those who previously installed photovoltaic systems.

The Government is investigating ways to reduce network costs – the price of moving electricity from the power generators to people’s homes – which account for about 50 per cent of all electricity prices.

The modelling by the Queensland Competition Authority estimates the costs caused by solar for consumers will fall to just under $100 annually, or 6 per cent of power bills, by 2019/20.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the Government’s decision to cap the scheme had already produced significant savings.

Mr McArdle said the solar feed-in tariff would have cost $1.8 billion by 2028 but this had been reduced by $300 million.

“This cost is passed through to all households in the form of higher network charges, which just adds to the burden of this scheme,” he said.

“What we have here is Labor, and its Green partners, hiding its head in the sand and continuing to claim that renewable energy schemes are decreasing the cost of electricity. This is blatantly untrue and the modelling by the QCA should finally end this.”


This is the real middle class welfare comrades and its clear to me that this is the sort of thing that will be killing our economic position far more that things like the baby bonus but of course its the inner city demographic who love the idea of “renewable energy” so the Labor governments who are so indebted  to them have to keep them sweet. Sadly its we ordinary electricity consumers who have declined to sup at the solar trough who are paying through the nose each quarter so that these green parasites can feel good about the planet. Could any of you guess that my $500 electric bill is due in a couple of days?

Cheers Comrades

Nudge nudge, wink wink, Say no more!

I have a busy day ahead today firstly I have to make eight hinge plates for the cupboard doors that I have been building for our kitchen and secondly I have to finish fixing the plywood to the inside of said doors and finally I hope to install them while my beautiful wife is away on a bicycle  ride with her mother, hopefully I can get all of this done before she gets home this afternoon.

  When they are done I will post some pictures but until then dear readers lets just keep it a secret between us , OK?

Cheers Comrades

The key to kitchen happiness

The thing that I like about living in Queensland is that our winters are generally very mild and relatively short, well the last few days have been cold wet and rather miserable which is something of a change from the rather pleasant time that we have been experiencing up until now. None the less I have been trying to be productive around here by working on making some doors for our kitchen cupboards. Now most people would make said doors out of wood but I’m not most people and I  want something that covers the at present exposed clutter and that looks unique. So I’m going for total overkill by making them out of steel, well the frames for the doors at least are made of RHS square tubing and I plan to fit a combination of shade cloth and Plywood to the inside of the frames to make them solid.

  Its an industrial aesthetic I’m aiming for here one which makes a virtue out of the structure and form in the Bauhaus tradition. I am  trying to make them out of recycled materials that I have managed to acquire at almost zero cost. My brother has a pile of super-magnets recovered form old computer hard drives that will work as latches, for handles I have some steel eyelets     The only things that I have had to pay hard cash for is some screws, shade cloth, paint  and some strip steel to attach the shade cloth  to the frames. The plywood comes from some Ducati motorcycle packing crates the RHS steel comes from the afore mentioned mower pallets. I’m even making the hinges myself rather than buying them. The only difficulty with this little project is that I’m trying very hard to keep its progress secret form my beautiful wife so that she gets a very pleasant surprise when I fit the doors in the kitchen. After all its only been six or seven years since I made the cabinets in the kitchen  and she has totally given up all hope that I would ever make the doors. She is off out to day so I can do some all important fitting preparation work heck the sun is even making an appearance this morning so that I can contemplate painting the frames that I have already made. Followers of any sort of reality show will certainly understand that its all about the surprise reveal at the end so I’m trying to build up the tension here and no you won’t find any pictures in this post today of this little project I will post those when I have fitted the doors in a few days time.

Cheers Comrades

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