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Wednesday 31 July 2019

Heavy duty tie down D ring review

This is perhaps an odd thing to write a quick review on but I bought two different makes, to ensure that at least one turned up on time.

Both from Amazon:
Both with the same specification, 1200lbs (540kgs) breaking strain and 400lbs (180kgs) load.

As it happened, they arrived at the same time.

They are both more than adequate for any job that I am likely to use them for but one make was clearly much better made and finished than the other.

One had a visible weld and a more chrome like finish. The slightly raised weld made the loop stiff in the clip. The other type was a continuous loop and looked more like a solid metal finish. It ran smoothly in the clip.

They were similar prices in the quantity I purchased. If I had only seen one, I would have been happy with either but if I was buying again, I would prefer the type with the cleaner finish.


Tuesday 30 July 2019

Portable gazebo

Our friend Dean has a stand at the RHS Hyde Hall flower show. For that, he wanted a structure as both a feature and to support and show off some of his work.

That is what I have made.

From his initial sketch to a robust hut, as Shelley calls it. It can be easily taken apart and put back up just by undoing a few wing nuts.

The back wall of the gazebo supports a large screen to show off more of his work, as a slideshow of photos.

The finished stand, on site, looks amazing.


Monday 29 July 2019

Portable power

To go with the portable gazebo for use at the RHS Hyde Hall flower show, I have rigged up an inverter with a large 12V AGM leisure battery.

I calculated that a single 110Ah battery should last all day powering the 42" LED TV. It did and could have gone on longer.

The battery weighs 24kg. Not something you want to carry very far. As it needed to be brought home to charge at the end of each day, I put it in a strong wheeled tool chest.

I always knew the plastic tool chest would look unsightly on the event stand, so I planned to hide it inside a wooden trunk. As it turned out, what worked out a better idea was a 3 sided box with a lid.

That arrangement was easy to transport because it could fold up. It is also quick and easy to surround the tool chest.

I tried to age it with a bit of stain and the age old technique of bashing it with a length of heavy chain. It worked to a degree but if I had more time, I think it could have done with a little more ageing.

The end result blends in well and does its job. It also makes a good seat.


Sunday 28 July 2019

Trunk renovation

Another little project to go on Dean's blacksmith stand at the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show.

To keep the stand tidy and looking presentable, the stand needed a place to keep some of the odds and ends, out of sight. These are things like receipt books, flyers, business cards the first aid kit and even a few snacks, among other things.

To this end, Dean scrounged a very worn out luggage trunk that had been lying outside in the junk pile at his work. It was home to a few spiders, wood lice and slugs. At a guess I would say it was originally from the 1960's and had been outside in that yard for the last few years.

I gave it a good clean out and scrub whilst carefully re-homing as many of the tiny critters as I could persuade to leave.

I realigned and reshaped the metalwork, added a protective lip where the main catch had torn the outer covering, cleaned up some of the rust and filled a hole using a couple of penny washers. A little bit of WD40 was all that was needed to get the hinges and catches working smoothly.

That all done, after cleaning away the excess WD40 with Isopropyl alcohol, I gave it a couple of coats of black spray paint. Matt inside and satin on the outside.

The result was a bit cleaner looking than I intended. It will do a good job at keeping all the sundry stuff on the stand out of sight.


Trunk Dimensions
Excluding furniture
Exterior: width ~510mm x length ~905mm x height ~360mm
Lower height ~265mm, upper height ~90mm
Average thickness ~15mm