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Bricolage projects

 
steward & bricolagier
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Bricolage is a word that means "made of this and that."  I call myself a bricolagier, because I make a LOT of things out of whatever is at hand on any given day. It always makes it hard to tell someone how to make themselves one, as the parts are not something you take a list go to the store and buy.

Today's example is the Leaf Picker Upper. Made from cheap rolled sheet metal, some #10 cans, a stovepipe elbow joint, black gorilla tape, a fair amount of wire, a Velcro strap, a Christmas tree bag, a tarp, a rope, a chain shackle, a stabilizing handle from an angle grinder, a few bolts and screws, and a hot dog roasting fork, it's working pretty well to pick up leaves from the graveyards behind our rental.

I looked at real leaf catchers for that mower. $700.00. Not gonna happen. BUT I want a lot of leaves, and the graveyard has lots and I was told I could have all I wanted. So I got creative.

The tube blows into the Christmas tree bag (that's held on by the Velcro strap) and when the bag is full, it gets dumped into the tarp with a rope woven in it for dragging it (I call it my drag chute. "Deploy the drag chute!!" I make myself laugh out there alone.) When it clogs up (which it does more often than I want) the hog dog roasting fork is the exact length to unclog it. When the tarp is full (3 or 4 bags dumped in it) I fill the bag one more time, then drag it all back to my gardens.  

The Leaf Picker Upper!


View from the seat of the inflated bag, that is getting leaves blown into it


Dragged back to get dumped


Deploy the drag chute!


That's my random bricolage project for the week.
What's yours?
:D
 
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That’s awesome, Pearl!  Love it!  

Am imagining you yelling “deploy the chute!” Using the voice of Dr Evil’s henchwoman, Frau Farbissina, who we all know as the founder of the militant wing of the Salvation Army.

We need to see more of Pearl’s MacGyver solutions!
 
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Nice list of ingredients but where's the duct tape? Around this neck of the woods there would be duct tape involved.

Something to consider for v2.0. Try using a C130. Serious drag chute abilities with that.



 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Barkley wrote:Nice list of ingredients but where's the duct tape? Around this neck of the woods there would be duct tape involved.


Black gorilla tape is stronger :D

I think if I used a C130, they'd quit letting me play in the graveyard!  :D
Edit: Although!! The C130, run that low, could be used to blow the leaves where I want them! A helicopter might do even better. Got one you can loan me?
 
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Hi Ms Pearl;
Sorry no helicopter  to loan out , but that's what you need!
So you'll need to Macgyver one up from your junk drawer!
Or maybe do some dumpster diving at the Sikorsky plant...
I think there might be  a non running tractor someplace nearby that could be a donor...  
yes-u-can-build-ur-own-helicopte.jpg
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pollinator
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That is one clever creation, Pearl!
My bricolage project from the other day was a spot to stash all the paper leaf bags we collect. We want them to stay dry so they can be used later in our future chicken run. A piece of old fencing, some random boards, a couple of plastic pallets, a handful of screws and two recently hacked back bush honeysuckle are the components. The various boards and fence panel forming the sidewalls are screwed into the honeysuckle "posts". Eventually will throw a tarp overtop. Might need to put a back wall on it, time will tell. It doesn't look pretty and isn't near as crafty, but it feels good to have made something useful out of random stuff we had!
While it obviously wouldn't be durable enough, I can't help imagining the leaf picker upper collecting the leaves into one of those inflatable lawn decorations of some sort. What can I say? I'm easily amused.
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Pearl Sutton
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Heather Olivia wrote:
My bricolage project from the other day was a spot to stash all the paper leaf bags we collect. We want them to stay dry so they can be used later in our future chicken run. A piece of old fencing, some random boards, a couple of plastic pallets, a handful of screws and two recently hacked back bush honeysuckle are the components. The various boards and fence panel forming the sidewalls are screwed into the honeysuckle "posts". Eventually will throw a tarp overtop. Might need to put a back wall on it, time will tell. It doesn't look pretty and isn't near as crafty, but it feels good to have made something useful out of random stuff we had!


Beautiful work!! My compliments!! That's why I started this thread, I want to see the things others are making :) Thank you!! :D
Looks like it will work well, or be easy to modify if it doesn't. That's the best part of projects like this, you aren't committed to a certain  design, it can always be upgraded.

While it obviously wouldn't be durable enough, I can't help imagining the leaf picker upper collecting the leaves into one of those inflatable lawn decorations of some sort. What can I say? I'm easily amused.


OMG, I'm laughing like a loon, that's wonderful! I have a thread here that involves Marguerite, from down the street, I know where she lives... Hmmm... That's hilarious! Visualizing dragging her full of leaves behind the mower...

Marguerite wants to be part of the leaf picker upper!
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

The silliness about Marguerite from down the street
https://permies.com/t/130851/Pearl-invent-wasn-invented#1027551
Sparkly poop in your compost!

 
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No current bricolage projects to show at the moment but it did remind me of a product that any modern day MacGyver would want to have instead of duct tape.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Gerry Parent wrote:No current bricolage projects to show at the moment but it did remind me of a product that any modern day MacGyver would want to have instead of duct tape.


Oh my. Pricing it... thank you! And I laughed at the video. I'm a manly man type broad, so I think I qualify.  :D
 
Pearl Sutton
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Took pics of the Leaf Picker Upper results today.
One swath cut through the leaves



That same area after it had been run



 
gardener
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Pearl I love it.  I hope you don't mind I plan to copy your idea.  Kind of sort of.  I need a bag for my push mower.  I will use what I have on hand.  If it works I will post a picture.  Thanks.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:Pearl I love it.  I hope you don't mind I plan to copy your idea.  Kind of sort of.  I need a bag for my push mower.  I will use what I have on hand.  If it works I will post a picture.  Thanks.


Ideas want to go places, and be shared all over the world. The more good ideas that infect the minds of people, the better the world is. I didn't make up the conecpt here, only what parts I had to work with.
And please DO post a pic here! That's what I want this thread to be, all the cool things people are making!

:D
 
pollinator
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So my kids have been bricolaging too. I showed them your photos, now they have better reason to play with whatever not supposed to be toys.
P1100162-(2).JPG
[Thumbnail for P1100162-(2).JPG]
 
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All these years I have been confusing/conflating the words bricolage and decoupage.  Needless to say, this thread what not what I expected...
 
pollinator
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Gerry Parent wrote: ...instead of duct tape.



Oh, Gerry.  Thank you for that!  All these years, I never knew I  was a "tape racist".  And now I have to go get my testosterone levels check.  I may be over limit.  

Pearl,

Great respect to your skills.  I have known a few with your talents.  We call them Fabricators in industry, and are indispensable.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Unfortunately I am not allowed to weld, I am capable of it, I have done it, but my ambition is always more than my body will handle. I sew, but i can move fabric. When I say "I'll just move this metal 2 inches..." I get hurt. Again. Not allowed to weld. :(
 
pollinator
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That is really ingenious, Pearl, and I'm envious of your talent. This is really a beautiful way to harvest the leaves, and because they get picked up behind a mower, they are already partially broken down, which speeds up the decomp. I love making new things out of old, so I'm always rummaging at the dump and I wish I could give you a whole bushel of Permies apples for this one.
I don't know if this fits quite right in this thread but... But there is more than one way to skin a cat:
I'm past the age of raking leaves, and my Cub Cadet zero turn mower is a mulcher, anyway. So I could not MacGyver this great system even if I were this good. [In case folks don't know, the deck and blades of a mulching mower make it impossible to bag the leaves: You could if you wanted to spring for a new deck and set of blades, but at what cost!]
Instead, I go pick up my neighbors' leaves in town: They have them bagged and the bags are waiting along the curb to be picked up. I make sure those folks never had a super green lawn, which is a tale tell of pesticides. If they do, I flag their address in my Excel program.
To insure cooperation, I always ask first if they will give me permission to take them. [I have never been refused]. In exchange, I give them as many new bags as I take.
Those paper sacks are very ecological, but once the morning dew settles, you won't be able to reuse them, sorry. Another idea that starts from a good concept but gets messed up in practical life, like ethanol and CFL bulbs. I use the paper sacks in the alleys to suppress weeds, and I ask folks to make sure they don't puncture the plastic bags I give them so they can reuse *those*. [I give them good quality Force Flex, so they can put in their 'recyclables' and other trash in them and reuse those].
Some advantages?
* I don't spend the time or the money to rake leaves: I mulch the leaves in situ and that
* enriches my lawn, which has never seen fertilizer.
* I help my neighbor by 'get rid of' their leaves. In town they have to bag and get rid of them because they would clog the storm sewers, so I also help the town, indirectly.
* I get 'free' leaves, already packaged and ready to use. [It costs me the price of the bags and the gas to go to town and back, and the time to pick up about 50 bagsful. I have a big garden]
* I help my local dump by preventing masses of leaf bags to be processed. [The *only* things that should ever go to the dump are things that really cannot be reused]
* I help my garden by enriching the soil with leaves, which are relatively weed free, so
* I save on 'conventional' fertilizers and weeding time next season. Probably saves the quality of my groundwater too.
* I make it easier for my raspberries, asparagus, garlic etc. to survive the winter in my zone 4.
* Those crops will re-emerge relatively weed-free next spring because the leaves mat tight around these crops.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Cecile: Thank you for your kind words! This mower kind of claims it mulches, but it doesn't really. If my blades were sharper the leaves would shred more, they break up pretty well though.

The last place I lived in NM was by several trailer parks that all had no other trees except male mulberries. Mulberry trees drop their leaves as soon as it freezes, none hold on, or come down early. When the weather is right they all come down in about 3-4 hours. Before they dropped, I'd drive through the parks, note who had grubby yards (trash etc) so I could skip them later, but none of them had fertilized yards to watch for. Some people would have their leaves raked and bagged before sundown the day they dropped, most had them done in a few days. They had to be in nice neat bags at the edge of the street, or the city wouldn't take them. I had to beat the city guys (not hard if you know their days) and I could load up all the leaves I wanted. Some years, if I had a truck or help, I'd get hundreds of bags. Years I had neither, I could get a lot home on the roof of my car, a lot of small loads. My garden loved it!

:D
 
Pearl Sutton
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I damaged the bag on the leaf picker upper. A couple of the damages were a while back, and I half-ass sewed them, they blew again, and other places ripped too. I decided I really like that bag, it's working well, so I repaired it nicely today. All the purple is new! And for those who sew, I'm smug, due to the bulk of that slippery material, it was not easy to sew on, and worse if I turned it. I did a lot of that (including zig zag stitching) in reverse. Just adds to the charm. Inside has the exact same pieces, so it won't get all leafy on the seams.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Gerry Parent wrote:No current bricolage projects to show at the moment but it did remind me of a product that any modern day MacGyver would want to have instead of duct tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haPvuhznuyI



Product report: Fiber Fix seems to ROCK so far! I used it on some tools that for weird reasons are always taped, OH MY! I don't think I'll ever need to tape them again. Wish it was cheaper, I'd love to have a case of the stuff!!
Thank you for showing it to me!
 
Pearl Sutton
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And Leaf Picker upper report: That was SO worth my time, even with int clogging more than I like, I got a LOT of leaves before the window of opportunity closed. The ones it picked up were shredded fine, and I'm using them differently than the ones I brought home whole. I feel wealthy with so many leaves to do what I want with! WHOO!! Well worth my time!
I want one of the big commercial ones...

:D
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Gerry Parent wrote:No current bricolage projects to show at the moment but it did remind me of a product that any modern day MacGyver would want to have instead of duct tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haPvuhznuyI



Product report: Fiber Fix seems to ROCK so far! I used it on some tools that for weird reasons are always taped, OH MY! I don't think I'll ever need to tape them again. Wish it was cheaper, I'd love to have a case of the stuff!!
Thank you for showing it to me!



Perfect timing! We have need of a welder, to put the new the blower on John's forge!
 
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