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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

Solar Oven 2.0

The solar oven works great, but I thought it would work even better if it could preheat a little faster.  My mom gave me some flat, black paint which is nontoxic once dried.  Today, I painted the interior of the oven completely black so now it should heat up even quicker than before. I cannot wait to make the beer bread, dump cake, and other delicious baked foods.  Once again, thanks mom!




We had a peephole installed the other day…

If we get night intruders, we can look through the peephole to see who has come for a visit.

Yeah, the view is nice, eh?


Creation of the day.

All of our condiment packages we received were kept in a bulky plastic container, so I decided to utilize mini Chinese takeout containers, rope, and clothes pins to create this condiment holder.


manly garden

I did a lot of island work today.  First thing is i picked up a completed batch of message capsules from the fiberglass place in town.  We are putting fiberglass on 15 of the containers to keep them strong and sturdy.  We gave George 6 last week and he’s got them ready.  I dropped of the other 9 and they  should be ready by opening.  The other 15 will be available for opening day taking care of the increased traffic.  They will not be as sturdy but will only be for special occasions.  Above there is a picture of 2 containers next to each other that shows the difference in texture. It’s not that noticeable in the picture but they feel so strong and look really good.

I took our new friends to the lake and through them in the water.  They float! That’s a relief.  The wind was blowing toward the east so they all gathered on the beach but they look good.  Then I spent some time putting bolts and straps and buckles on the floating garden.  My idea is that it will make it easier to attach and re-arrange the gardens.  Before today they were just tied to each other.  I hate untying knots and worrying if the knots i have tied are strong enough so this will be a good thing.  Each garden unit has 4 straps that dangle.  I was going to trim those off but they have proven very usefull in towing and securing the units that i’m going to leave them on.  To attach the gardens i move one unit (strap side) parallel to the next unit.  The straps from the new unit loop around the frame of the first.  Then i pull the strap back across the second unit to the other side where there is an O bolt.  The strap is secured by a buckle tied to the end that latches onto the bolt.  Easy.

It took a while to get this all done but i’m enjoying taking my time on the lake.  However, today was supposed to be the first day in two weeks that it was sunny, that wasn’t the case.  Another day of rain in my favorite city.

As I was getting ready to pack up and head out the carpenters from the IMA came to install the new window.  Someone snuck on the island and kicked it out last winter when it was docked on the shore.  It’s not a big deal because it leaked anyway, now we have a new plexiglass one.  Watching them install it was fun, but scary.  There is nothing to hold onto up ontop of the island so he was holding himself up with his big toe as he reached over, despite his better judgement, to put some screws in the window. Thanks guys.


garden trouble

I hate it when my nervousness is reinforced by unfortunate events.  I was nervous about leaving the gardens out there unattended but i thought i was just being an overprotective parent.  The first night they were out there was a storm which highlighted some flaws in my design.  The fact that the bins are hanging suspended from straps which are not rigid gives them a swing effect.  The slightest rock of the gardens shifts the bins, everything over corrects and they just build momentum.  it didn’t take long for the bins to reach a tipping point.  I tied the garden close to the dock to try to eliminate the problem.  But it didn’t work.  I came back the next day to a horrific sight.  One garden contraption holds 3 bins; the contraption was on it’s side and 2 of the 3  bins were gone.  When i got out there i saw that one of the cradle straps had broken letting the two bins it was supporting fall to the bottom of the lake.  R.I.P. melons and sunflowers.

After a short period of cursing and morning i replaced the whole unit with a new one, slightly less weight and i tied some extra straps to bins so that if the cradle straps broke at least i could salvage the bins.  Everything good?

No, I come back the next day to see that the barrels are taking on water.  The bungs are not air tight and over the course of a day water is slowly leaking in.  The whole contraption is half submerged and the bins are hanging on for dear life.  To fix this problem I’m removing all the bungs and spreading waterproof caulk on the threads before screwing them back in.  Also i’m being more careful about arranging the two bungs so that they are parallel with the surface of the water.  Before some of the barrels had one submerged and one above water which really helped them suck in water.  Also, to correct the rocking i’m putting thin steel wire as braces connecting the handles on the bin to the frame.  Not only are the wires rigid enough to limit the swing they will act as an emergency catch if another strap breaks.  So, now we get to see what other problem arise.  I think we are good for a while.


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