Sponsorship

Thursday 15 February 2024

Gluing Bits Of Wood Together.

I've heard this over and over and over and over. And it's always so controversial; "This works!" vs "It'll never work!" My experience has been the latter.

It's the old argument about gluing endgrain wood. There aren't many that say that gluing endgrain to endgrain is actually a solid way to join, nor that gluing endgrain into a longitudinal grain is all that much better. 

But for better or for worse, the whole topic has just had a mini revival with the video by Wood If I Could. She feels strongly that gluing endgrain onto anything else needs mechanical help, from wiggle nails, dowels, biscuits, tenons, or screws. I have to agree.

It all stems from a video two years earlier when someone else proved that it doesn't matter because glue is stronger than wood fibres. And - sort of - that make sense until I try an experiment or three. But people tried to interpret that video as saying that endgrain joints are as good as longitudinal grain joints - because glue. Yeah. So ya!

Stumpy Nubs also picked the actual point of the OG video - that glue is way stronger than wood. Because glue. But he also seemed to miss the point. I could glue a square centimetre of steel to the end of a block of wood, and another square cm to the side. I can tell you the the steel will hold, the glue will hold - but the piece on the endgrain will come off much more easily than the piece on the longitudinal grain.

Errrhem!

It's one of the tyhings I do - in my opinion, badly - but still something I'm working on improving in. So I dunno about great carpentry and woodwork. In fact, I don't even do mediocre carpentry and woodwork. But I've also been around the traps and this gluing issue has happened to me at times:

"WTFSM is going on with this *&%$!##* join? Why will it not stay glued? AARRGGHH!!!!"

The Flying Spaghetti Monster never answers me. 

Over the years I've come up with an inkling of why it happens that when I glue two planks side by side after carefully straightening and dressing the edges, they stay glued to the point that I can often split one of the boards before the glue joint will let go.

And conversely, no matter how well I dress the ends of two boards and glue them up, they tend to fall apart when I put just a little bit of pressure on them...

It helps to imagine what goes into trees  when they're making treewood. ("Treewood "- hat's a technical term from my old man right there, if I pointed at a tree and asked what it was, he'd say, in all seriousness, "why that, that's bird-sitting-tree-wood." But he really could tell lumber apart by the look and smell of it, dozens of different types. Made me feel a bit uneducated about woodworking, and determined to do more until I became a bit educated. Anyway - back to treewood.)

As WIIC says, trees need to get water and nutrients up their wood, or they woodn't (hehehehe yes pun intended) survive. So the fibres in a tree trunk run lengthways, from the roots to the crown. The tree has capillaries running the length of them. Capillaries, you can picture as thin long straws.

When we saw a log up, we split it lengthways as that's the way you get long planks. The planks have all these little straws running the length of them. This also makes planks strong in one direction, and carpenters and woodworkers spend all their time dressing the wood to show off the grain of those capillaries, and plan their projects to use the wood in the optimal orientation so that the project will be strong and look good.

But sometimes you have to join the end of a plank to something else and that's when the fights start. If you're in one of those fights right now, use this analogy:

The Bundles Of Straws

Imagine a piece of wood as a bundle of straws. In fact, take a bundle of straws, and glue them together side by side until you have a shape like a plank that's 10 straws wide and 3 straws high. Just one length will do. It was relatively easy to glue the straws together side by side like that because there's so much surface area along the length of each straw for the glue to stick to.

Now make a second, identical plank and let them both dry for a few days side by side. Now try to glue them together end to end... 

And that's it. The whole lesson. Gluing two straws together end to end is a damn sight harder to do, and has a damn sight less strenght, than gluing two very short bits of straw together side to side. Even if the glue IS stronger, it doesn't matter because you can break the tips off capillaries easier than you can separate capillaries glued side by side.


Thursday 8 February 2024

Solution to one flockintech at least

Before you read this, please scroll down to the bottom of this article and take action. Thank you.

I've mentioned on my other blogs about "Lock-in Technology," which I refer to as flockintech. I've also posted about "bottlenecks" which get between us and technology, and suggest that maybe technology needs to become less intrusive and more ubiquitous, and that AI is still a long way from being fully and advantageously used for our betterment.

And this article details one piece of flockintech, and one CEO's precise impression of the people his company aims to serve. Totally treats each one of us as a minuscule annoyance he has to put up with for that extra half a cent in his annual salary... 

My Brilliant Take: 

USE AI! USE AI! USE AI! USE AI! USE AI! USE AI! USE AI!

The stupid "protection" on some basically really stupid ink cartridges must be fairly easy to reverse-engineer. Using AI to poke and prod at various cartridges and printers should give us an easy way to make any and all 3rd party cartridges work just fine.

We have this technology, let's stop using it to make fap-worthy faerie warrior maidens and start a war against lock-in technology! We have some rwally really REALLY clever people out there who are looking for challenges that'll make a difference. This is one such. Go for it!

Before you ask, I don't really write programs. I write some basic code to accomplish simple tasks and my brain even rebelled at anything more than BASIC and some batchfile commands. Doinmg what it takes to teach "AI" to be "Any Kind Of I" is way beyond my pay grade. But you may know someone. Pass this post on!

It took hackers to fix Polish trains that were locked-in by their manufacturers - we need hackers now that will forego the huge FOSS projects and concentrate on these smaller, but oh so much more impactful projects. To me, teaching an AI to hack printer cartridges is black arcane magic. To someone out there, this may just be a trivial exercise. Posts like this one need to be passed on - please be one of the passers-on!

And that's it, really, you're right, this could have been a toot - but some messaging services still have a ridiculous character limit. 

Before you go, life here has become immeasurably harder due to a long-term health issue in the family, and I am hoping I can rely on you to do that - pass this post and others like it on via your social networks, pass the link to Ted's News Stand on so people get to read some of my other recent posts, and if you at all can, please donate. Links in the graphic:

 

Wednesday 27 December 2023

You Try And Support Local And This Happens

You try to support local businesses. You have a problem with a product. You ask - not even for a replacement, just some explanation. You get - Well, I'll post a sterilised version of the email exchange:

The Email Exchange:

=====================================================
Tue, 24 Oct, (9 days ago)
to Sales@FilamentCo
About two years ago I bought three rolls of  FilamentCo PLA in colours I needed for an order , then . . . (recently) . . . the filament just snapped while printing . . . 
. . .(Omitted: Full explanation.) . . .
. . .(TL;DR: Three rolls of filament only two years old are crumbling and snapping like very thin uncooked spaghetti ) . . . 
And I'm not complaining, just very curious to learn . . . hope you can solve this mystery for me
=====================================================
Oct 30, 2023 
to Sales@FilamentCo
. . . (They aim to respond to emails within three days) . . .
Almost a week. Has this been an unusually difficult question? I really would like to learn what's happening with the filament, and how to avoid it happening again. Please can you give me some kind of response?
=====================================================
Sales@FilamentCo
31 Oct 2023 
to me
Your request (35260) has been updated. To add additional comments, reply to this email.
FilamentCo Team (FilamentCo)
Oct 31, 2023, 07:02 GMT+11
Hi *******,
The filament is really old and all sorts of stuff might be hapenning.
Try to put it in the oven for few hours at around 65C and that should help
Kind regards,
FilamentCo Team
=====================================================

The Background:

Okay - I bought a few rolls of filament from an Aussie filament maker/supplier two years ago, and when I opened it way back then, it seemed a tad brittle compared to my other filaments - but it was also in great colours that I wanted for some ornaments, so I dealt with it. It was all ornamental items anyway...

The remnants of those spools stayed in my filament cabinet. Along with several remnants of even older filament. These details will become important as the story goes on. The filament cabinet has a solid state dehumidifier that keeps the inside at 30C and 30% pretty much rock steady. Got all that? Okay.

Okay a week before the first email I got those FilamentCo brand spools out and printed a few more luckily non-critical models that wer. . . Oh hang on. The filament snapped between the spool and the top of the extruder? Cleared the nozzle, put the filament back into the extru . . . and . . . WTH? Damn stuff snapped again as I was feeding it in.  

Fed it in again and left it ready to restart the prints next morning, only when I checked next morning, the filament had snapped again - in mid-air. With everything turned off overnight, cabinet door closed, not even a stray breeze to disturb things.

So - I also had some XingTongZhiLian filament I'd bought a year before the FilamentCo filament and - it printed fine. Hence, the exchange with FilamentCo. That lot above. Had I not gently prodded the people at FilamentCo, I imagine they'd not even have bothered to respond.

But their answer really floored me. 

Why?

This: ". . . filament is really old and all sorts of stuff might be hapenning . . ."

Whut? So filament they sold two years ago is already - old? Do they expect me to print with it and set a timer to let me know when the damn models made with it will crumble? Or are they saying that they had it in their warehouse for a few more years before I bought it? Plastic is one of those things that last for hundreds of years, which is why we're drowning in plastic waste right now. Exactly how old is this FilamentCo filament anyway? 

Are the decorations I printed originally for family and friends going to start cracking and shedding microplastics? (I know - it was heated in printing and re-formed but then again - the filament was heated and re-formed as part of the extruding process, and it seems that only kept it somewhat supple for maybe three years. ) Can you see what I'm getting at? Just how long after melting it will it once again turn to fragile toxic waste? Assuming they don't keep stock for more than a few years, the things I printed two years ago - *tick tick tick tick* may start to degrade in less than a year. 

On second thought, maybe it wasn't all that old, just stored without any kind of moisture protection. Because, come to think of it, two out of three of the spool packages had lost their vacuum. There's every possibility this stuff has been improperly stored. Nothing would surprise me at this stage. Which still leaves the same sort of situation - how long stored in non-humidity-controlled environments before the models start shedding?

And as well as that, I print models that have to work. Handles for tools, parts for mechanisms, casings and housings. Imagine that handle on my plunge router in another year or two letting go during a cut in hardwood, I could lose fingers. It's not on.

BTW that XingTongZhiLian filament I mentioned really has been a pleasant surprise. They are not paying me for saying that, it's just been a lucky find. You can search for them on Amazon, which is where I came across their product. I found them, did a double-take at how inexpensive it was, and now always keep a few rolls of their filament on tap. 

I'll not buy FilamentCo's products again, nor FilamentCo#2's products. Honestly - I got support out of Creality when I first got my Ender3 Pro, worked with them so closely that I got sent a heated bed and print surface, six POM rollers, and a new front panel. Ask your 3D printing network - how many people ever got that level of TS from the company? And yet when approached in a friendly and detailed conversation, they were downright courteous to a fault.

It took me two months to get a result and was delicate - but it proves I can collaborate even with the not-so-cooperative tech support Creality had, back at the beginning of its success story. I still have my old, bowed print bed in the box that the new one came in as a trophy, as proof that I am a reasonable negotiator. But both Aussie FilamentCos I dealt with are just poor experiences and poor negotiators.

Homily?

Don't piss off customers, don't sell unstable rubbish, and answer enquiries properly. Or don't, and get a few more articles like this one, remember that while I won't name and shame because I'd like to see local businesses prosper and become good local businesses, there are other customers out there who won't be similarly restrained. 

Hey - help me out so I can afford a few spools of reasonable plastic. Also, please share this post and others like it with your social network. 

Thursday 7 December 2023

How To Tell A Project Is Cr*p

Here's a technology idea that's bound to fail, along the way wasting resources, researchers' time, and a lot of time. THIS is why we can't have nice things.

Why am I so against this idea? Name me ONE reason I should agree with it. Just one. 

What's This Project? Why Cr*p?

The project is a discovered resource under every high-rise building - that parking garages underneath them. These parking garages are heated up by the vehicles parked there, and the heat transfers to the underground soil and water. It's a great resource if it can be tapped, providing enough energy to heat well over 14,000 houses' heating requirements in a city the size of Berlin. 

It's a huge bonanza, because extracting that heat from there stops it getting into underground waterways and changing the ecosystems around the buildings, and saves some energy from other sources needing to be generated to heat those 14.6k houses. Well worth spending Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg's time and expertise on.

Except it isn't. 

It's fossil-fueled cars that generate the heat. Unless there's something Mr Noethen knows that we don't, and in case he hasn't gotten the memo: WE'RE TRYING TO TAKE ICEVs OFF THE ROADS AND OUT OF THE PARKING GARAGES. THERE'S A TIME LIMIT ON THIS. 

What precisely is the point of this project in light of that? They may be able to extract heat energy for another five - ten years but then - either way - the heat stops. Either replaced by EVs, or replaced by a dead silence... 

The Crux Of It

People seem to have huge blindspots. Noethen seems to ignore the fact that in a few years the rising number of EVs will reduce all that waste heat, and instead may even require heating those same garages. ICEVs (Internal Combustion Engined Vehicle(s)) produce a lot of waste heat - it's one of the reasons that fossil fuels should have been left in the ground, the sheer amount of waste involved at every stage. 

EV's on the other hand don't generate much "waste heat" so a parking garage full of EVs won't produce enough heat to make the project worthwhile. And given that the other push is to have less private vehicle ownership and more public transport, there might be only a quarter of the number of cars in those spaces, anyway. 

So why are we contemplating wasting research and development efforts on this when it'll be obsolete before it's perfected? A more cynical person than myself might mention job security but I'm just mentioning that this project is a POS. Anyone working on it will be working in a bullshit job. 

Last Thoughts

Mr Noethen would be better off studying ways to make public transport more efficient and clean. It's the way things are going - have to go - will be forced to go - whether we want it or not. The FFC (Fossil Fuel Cartel as I refer to them as) will continue to raise prices as demand for FF dwindles, making driving an increasingly unaffordable option for many. Us, for example. We've already cut down to the bare minimum travel we can justify, rare shopping trips, even fewer medical trips, and staying at home for more than at any time before. It's not going to get cheaper to drive our car, nor easier to justify driving more. That era is behind us. 

People who ignore the Big Picture in pursuit of trivial and short-lived projects like this are wasting the resources of the entire planet for a brainfart. It should almost be criminalised.

And for people like my wife and myself, public transport is pretty much out because no one wears masks any more and we're both extremely at risk as proven by our one experience with the virus. We've both always masked up when out, but even that is only useful if using N95 respirators and we can't afford that, or else simple surgical masks but only if everyone's wearing them, and so we've, as mentioned, cut right down. We combine shopping at specialist stores with medical trips, visits to opp shops with the normal shopping trip, and otherwise, we just stay home and live from the pantry and freezer. 

Don't worry, pretty soon the world situation will bring most people to the same pass and with us or without us the world'll heal from fossil fuel, lead, PFAS, and warming climate. 

Last Last Thought

Lastly, as the article points out, heat pump technology is already well established. Why reinvent the wheel? Why muck around with this at all? Will the heat pumps be re-usable? And if so, will they be re-used once their (hopefully short)  period they will be of use before the ICEV extinction? 



As always, please share, use the graphic to see my other posts and sign up to the newsletter, and donate to help me keep these blogs and projects alive! 

Thursday 30 November 2023

Keeping Records The 21st Century Way

(And how some of us did it in the 20th.)

When Did We Buy It, What Did It Cost?

The other day I couldn't remember when I'd gone to the garden centre last to get some bark chip mulch. I've become pretty reliant on the "little plastic brain in my pocket" and so I guess I've outsourced some memory to that device. It's inevitable. 

The Industrial Revolution ushered in an era during which mechanical devices eased mechanical workloads on workers and so (for a completely random thing that just occurred to me) workers at abattoirs needed less muscle mass once machines took over the transport of carcasses along the line. Clank-clank-clank took over from yo!-heave!-ho!

But due to circumstances I've had to move three raised garden beds (okay okay okay, the Shire has required the landlord to move our front fence back by a metre because they're upgrading the footpath outside) and that means also the spaces between the beds will need new mulch. That mulch came from the garden centre almost two years ago, but I can't remember the date so I'll try to work out what cost we'll need to be dealing with. I'll be looking at Google Photos to see the earliest photos I have of the mulch down, then work backwards from there on Google Maps Timeline until I find a trip to the garden centre, and that'll pinpoint a date and time to look at the bank statement. Five minute job. 

Records Are Records

Since I live at this fortuitous time when the above heading doesn't make most of you think about my vinyl LP collection anymore, we know that I mean Records, not records. We may not like that so many companies track us online and physically, but instead of flat-out hating on it, use it. As I said just before, it'll be less than five minutes I'll know the exact day and time - and so the garden centre can also look at their dockets for that day and we can work out what it was that we bought so we can (hopefully) re-buy it again. 

Over fifteen years ago, I was already advocating for using it rather than being archaic and antiquated. This blog article I wrote points it out. I'd read some article like "7 ways to recognise opportunity" and I sort of remember the OP suggesting you keep a camera on you to take pictures, a notebook and pencils to record stuff, and half a dozen other "things to focus you" or some such. And as I wrote in my article, keeping in contact with people, carting half a backpack's worth of paraphernalia and a spare kitchen sink with me at all times just seemed outdated even back then.

You're reading this article now, written by the guy that a mere three years earlier (2004) tried to interest several companies in developing a phone app that used the inbuilt GPS, camera(s), and other capabilities of your phone, as well as using a global database of photographs taken by others, which could then compare a photo you took (and your phone's GPS and attitude sensor data) to work out which object, building, or natural feature was in the shot you were taking and then provide you with a list of information about it. 

True story - at that time several companies were using public images, lots of code, and image manipulation software to create accurate 3D models of famous (or at least, often-photographed) objects from the various images available online, and of course there was already heaps of text and audio data tagged to many of those objects, meaning a point and shootfully asutomatic  Atlas Obscura was possible, so why not be among the first to bring it to market? 

And nope - I'm not an obscenely wealthy techbro now so you can guess how those pitches went. I still think back to those things and just have to wonder at how bad at pitching I must have been.,

Horses For Courses

But back to the point. Even back then my basic Nokia had a phone, a notepad, a camera, and a voice recorder. I was able to move all that data between my phone and my PC/laptop using a USB cable, and had my list of contacts and a basic calendar as well. It had reasonable battery life. It answered most of the points raised by the OP.

With the advent of so many connected devices - like your phone, a tablet, a laptop, or PC - and the fact that most of that data can live on the cloud and so be accessible from all those devices - it's easier than ever to combine things. Google Docs / Google Drive gives me documents I can access on my phone anywhere. 

The Calendar has a shared calendar with my wife where we note down important appointments so we don't double-book ourselves. Contacts has numbers, email addresses, bios, photos, notes - and I can link to a document or folder of documents so that before I call the handyman I can see what jobs may need to be done. I can't see the point of carrying a large notebook with me when all of that's available.

Once upon a time I'd have taken a decent camera with me to get an opportunistic reportage photo but my A23 has cameras that beat the pixels off my old old OLD Epson (I think!) digital and my Samsung point'n'shoot I carried around for years. But there are times . . .

Sorry, I had only a few minutes to throw together this overlay of an AI generated steampunk horse with a jet age silver horse, I may replace this image if I can find a bit more time to add my own art to it.

Yep. My bad impression of a "horses for courses" image.

Because chatting with my twin soul spouse just before, I realised that I do use technology as a way to take pressure off myself. I couldn't tell you off hand when we ordered and got that mulch without referring to Google. And I know that even Alphabet may not be around one day to keep it going. But for the moment it's what we have and it works and is far less intrusive than pulling out an A4 bullet journal in a howling gale at the beach and trying to hold it down to record my thoughts. Just take a damn video already Ted.

And yet I do have a small notepad and pencil stump in my everyday carry, and a notepad and pencil in the kitchen where I don't necessarily want to spread cooking oil or gravy on my phone just to note down that I need soy sauce, garlic, tinned red beans, and dried mushrooms. Sometimes, that's a more appropriate tool for the job.

The Big PS:

PS: Using my patented record searching technique, it took me about 2 minutes to find the earliest picture I had of the bark mulch laid down in the garden (1 Feb 2021) and then under a minute to find 20 Jan 2021 13:23hrs and just enough time to get a trailer load of bark mulch on the Maps timeline and another minute to find the right bank statement to show me that it cost $43. 

That has to be worth a share, link, subscription, or donation... 

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Why I don't Have A Patreon

I know that most makers, bloggers, and creators use Patreon. I also knew after creating two test accounts on there several years ago that I couldn't bring myself to like it. 

I did try to like it. Back then it was pretty much the only game in town, any other similar sites had quite low profiles. But on closer inspection, there weren't many things I could actually *do* with the big P to win over patrons. (Yep, no "e" patrons.

There's also really not anything tangible I can offer in return for patronage. What I do the most of is blogging. About sustainability, recycling, the state of the planet, and my slow progress towards being able to develop machines and methods for recycling plastics, cardboard, textiles, food, and thin metals using inexpensive gear. Almost all my favourite activities are included in that - making small machines or adapting existing ones using metal and wood working and 3D printing, making useful products, and gardening and cooking.

That's a lot of topics, and so I have a lot of blogs to keep each topic (sort of...) separate. No point inflicting someone with sustainable / renewable / fossil fuel free articles when all they want is a recipe for green tomato chutney. But it's also a lot of work, entailing several articles a week, each of which can be hours or days to conceive, research, prepare, and do some artwork for. (Yeah I don't make good art, it's just a way to fill up white space on the blog while fitting in with the topic, but I find the processes relaxing.)

So there are a lot of costs involved in these things, and I'm not well off. So as I said above, I began to look for some way to cover some of those costs, and I'm glad I didn't use Patreon now. I do have my donations/patronage account on Ko-Fi though.

And there are quite a few dollar costs. Even my best way to keep people up to date on what I'm writing, my newsletter, is going to start costing. ("Starting February 1, 2024, Free Plans will no longer be supported on the MailerLite Classic platform.") And yes there's a way to stay free - but it involves moving everything to a different server. With no guarantee that the whole cycle won't repeat in a year, or six months, or six weeks...

I used a whole complicated structure of online apps to automate the posting of links to the articles on social media but once again if one link breaks, no link gets posted on any of half a dozen social sites so I do this manually too because I can't afford to upgrade to a scheduling site. 

But you can help with that. Share the hell out of my posts, make a one-time or monthly donation, chat with me on Mastodon or comment here.

As Tom points out on his article, Patreon over-reached with their funding rounds and are now losing the race to stay fundable. Their efforts are going into how to make money off the creators and the supporters, and when that starts to happen it's a short race to the bottom from there. Yes it was a good platform in its heyday but by the time I took an interest the "enshittification" was already well advanced.

I'm a great believer in the saying that "information wants to be free" - and also in Open Source anything - so I really didn't think about the donation patronage model. But the sheer amount of time I'm putting into this and the costs I'm already trying to bear (and more that I really need to start paying to give me back some of my time for more useful work) forced me to try monetising, to any little degree. 

I started with using affiliate links but while people read my articles about things I've made and built, they didn't seem to use the affiliate links. And since the links themselves were costing me a lot of time to gather and code (again, for a few lousy bucks I could have probably had an app that would automate the affiliate linking process) and so I stopped that experiment. 

I tried making any kind of useful monetisation with Patreon but the hoops, the regulation, the already-apparent graspiness - I just closed the tab after my 20th or 50th or 100th time trying to make something you'd enjoy and I'd be able to live with - and that was the last time I used the account. 

Anyway - please share the link to this article, maybe use the Ko-Fi or Paypal donation buttons. It would really help. 


Sunday 22 October 2023

Precious Plastic 10th Anniversary

An organisation I've been following (and wishing I could emulate, or at least start an affiliate here) for what seems like ten years - has turned ten as of yesterday. In fact, now that I look back, I was following them from nine or eight years ago. 

That organisation is Precious Plastic, and you've often heard me refer to them by that name, or PreshPlast, or PP. The reason I appear to be late in posting this is the tyranny of time zones, while it's 22 Oct to me it's just past midnight and the start of 21 Oct as our time zone is GMT+10 here normally and GMT+11 during daylight (boo! hiss!) saving which is now on for us here. 

Dave Hakkens, founder, Kat, Mattia, and a few other PreshPlasters have been around from the beginning. Dave conceived it as a graduation project I think. Look - I'll link the video they made here. Just promise to come back to here in 26 minutes okay?

Welcome Back!

So now you have their backstory. This is their website, where you can now find all manner of recycling related, PreshPlast-related, and useful information. So you can build their machines because the plans are available. They have a Community forum on there so you can join in and chat and get involved. They have a Marketplace where you can buy ready-made machines, and their Youtube channel that you'll have already found and subscribed to if you watched. 

I'm not sure if the video mentions it but Dave's first project before PP was some kind of mobile phone which was modular and replaceable part by part. But luckily for us, he went on to do the PP thing instead. 

I definitely wanted to do this but you still need money to make the big V3 and V4 machines. You need physical mobility. And you need sponsors. I had none of those things because I was pensioned with disability almost a decade before PP was even a glint in Dave's eye. 

The Corner

For me, I turned the corner in 202... - 2020 or 2021 I think - when I bought Brucely the Ender3 Pro 3D printer. (See the note down the end of this article for the Story of Bruce. Since this has become a nostalgia article now...)

I realised that while I can't build a $10,000 V4 shredder or sheetpress, I can still innovate a bit. While I don't have a lathe to turn manually-recycled bottletops into fine pens, I can still do some small, inexpensive, but basically effective things. These are things you too can do right now and I'll put together an article or three in the future with the titles beginning with "PlastiHack #...:" and a description so you can find them. Please be a bit patient as I'm backlogged by real life demands that are currently hectic for a pensioner that can't even afford to hire someone to help (part of the issue is house/workshop/rental related things moving and changing and the landlord having had issues themselves, most is down to me not being able to physically keep up the sustained burn of energy this is going to require, two months with a worker, six to ten months without) and also some personal reasons. 

Dave's Corner

Dave Hakkens also turned a corner of his own. At one point the brunt of the PreshPlast expansion was going to be borne by another organisation, One Army

Dave and the PreshPlast crew spawned this to do other recycling / ecofriendly / sustainable / etc work. Rather than confining itself to PP, One Army also provided the launching of Project Kamp

That's a little plot of land in Portugal which is where you can find Dave right now, and which the Army (I think?) bought in 2020 / 2021 and started looking to find ways to live sustainably and with low footprint in smaller communities. Project Kamp has its own Youtube channel where you can see some of the downright amazing things they've done with majority recycled materials, local food, etc. 

All in all, the guy at the centre of it all has literally moved mountains. There are thousands, if not tens of thousand perhaps by now, of organisations and projects under the Precious Plastic umbrella. There are another group of thousands that don't declare themselves affiliated with PP but whose founders got their inspiration from the suite of websites. And who knopws how many millions have watched a random video from them, and then another, and another, and another...

That's A Lot To Accomplish In A Decade

Anyway - to that Note:

NOTE: Brucely Printer

Okay so I know I posted this somewhere but I can't find where. So you lucky people get the story again... 

When I wanted a 3D printer to make new devices and parts for recycling machines, I had some money saved from survey filling work, Banggood were having a birthday discounts sale, Creality had knocked a few more percent off their Ender3 series, and in the end I got Brucely for the princely sum of $240 delivered. Some things immediately caught my attention. 

Creality is a company based in China. The logo for the Ender printer series is a dragon, a creature that features large in Chinese lore. I also read that the name "Ender" came from the Ender dragon in Minecraft. My printer was named after Ender The Dragon. It was now in Australia, so by default, an Aussie. A little light began blinking annoyingly above my head. What was the name that Monty Python based an entire sketch around? And who starred in a movie called "Enter The Dragon?" 

Bruce. The Bruces sketch. Aussie. Bruce Lee. Brucely. (Which was, for a time, apparently synonymous with "manly" according to legend.)

Okay - I've infected your mind with the Brucely virus. 

Dave got where he is now due to a few volunteers and sponsors. I'm going to ask you to volunteer - by sharin' the hell outta me posts, mate! Fair crack o' the whip ay? Because every share will let others read my posts, and they'll share, and I'll start getting an audience that will raise awareness of all the stuff I write about, several articles a week, and I really hope you too think my messages are worth being seen by more people.

What "messages?" There's a newspaper in the graphic above - it'll take you to Ted's News Stand where you can always see my latest posts across all my blogs. There's also at least one link on that page that'll allow you to subscribe to my newsletter. I recommend it. Share the hell outta that link too please. I'd really appreciate it.

And lastly, the dreaded donation. The coffee mug will take you to Ko-Fi dot com where you can make a one-time donation of the price of a cuppa, or - preferably - a monthly one. I want to not have to pay the cost of the server fees, the domain name fees, the subscriptions to news resources. I'd like to not pay for research materials for the projects I'm trying to get off the ground, for someone to help with the foregone moving of the old workshop, upcoming move of that workshop and shed again, to defray the costs of moving the experimental urban worm garden that I've now had to hire people to help with twice due to circumstances beyond my control, and to make possible a bit faster development cycle because I won't have to constantly wait until I can shake a few bucks out of my pension to buy material just to develop another device or technique for recycling. 


Gluing Bits Of Wood Together.

I've heard this over and over and over and over. And it's always so controversial; "This works!" vs "It'll never ...