Monday, September 13, 2010

Praying for Rain?

12 Sept: Small things count and water saving is one of them! We never use tap water for anything in the garden - we have nice clean soft rainwater from 200 litres of storage off the roof and conservatory.
   My near-neighbour is elderly and feels guilty about using tap water to water the plants with after a spell of dry weather. She has only one rainwater pipe at the rear of the house, and there is no space for a water butt. Also if a water butt was built some way away with an extension pipe, it would be below the window and too low to reach easily for watering can filling.
  Therefore, I used some of my stock aluminium (it seems to accumulate, left over from previous things) and knocked up a custom make aluminium frame - it has to be very durable and very strong. The heavy 100 kilo weight of the tank is off centre, so the base must be resistant to racking - and capable of fitting between the concrete wall and the house wall. Having discovered the joys of pop-rivetting, it is now so easy to think something up, and hours later, it is made. Drill just one hole, instead of two different ones as with self tapped screwing. The result is a nice tight joint. If you have made a mistake, you can easily drill out the rivet. You can get ones of different lengths to suit - perfect! We bought a Water Butt from B and Q, and it now fits perfectly, with a handy concrete ledge so support the watering can while it is being filled!

Riveting was easy..... Most of the labour was in cutting. Previously I have had all sizes pre-cut by the guys in stores, so to make a custom object is tiresome having only a plumber's hacksaw for cutting - quite unsuitable for thicker metal sections. Therefore I have also bought an Angle Grinder from Screwfix, that can easily cut thicker metal sections. Soon I shall feel about it how I now feel about the riveter and the portable drill - how did i ever manage without it?

It is ironic that while I was erecting the water butt, cutting into the rainwater downpipe to fit the water catcher, I could hear my near neighbour's neighbour filling a paddling pool in the back garden from tap water - hundreds of litres!

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