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John Adams |
Tuesday, 26th October 2010
The Solar Mate 1 consist of a 5W rigid solar panel, a 9W 12volt long life bulb, bulb holder, wall switch, cables fuses, etc. Everything you need to set up a mini off grid lighting system in a stable, shed or polytunnel, except a 35-70Ah, 12volt leisure battery (I got mine from www.alpha-batteries.co.uk). The system is easy to rig up, though I... more
 
John Adams |
Tuesday, 3rd August 2010
Burgon and Ball have introduced a range of very useful hand tools to help with the harvesting of fruit, vegetables and herbs. If you have just read the article in PM65, ‘Useful Trees in Public Spaces’ and feel inspired to try public fruit picking, or you have fruit trees of your own, you might be interested in a Burgon and Ball Apple Picker. It... more
 
John Adams |
Thursday, 29th April 2010
The first power tool I ever bought was a B&D electric drill which came with a free rotary sanding disk attachment. I struggled on for years with this and its successors because it seemed easier than sanding by hand. I suppose it was if you could stand the wrist strain and didn’t mind the swirl marks and occasional gouge in the work piece. Over... more
 
John Adams |
Monday, 1st February 2010
Most of us that own woodworking tools have at some time or another bought a carbide bench grinder, while knowing full well that what we should have bought was a wetstone grinder - but they were too expensive and difficult to source. Scheppach, who supply professional wetstone systems have released the Tiger 2000s Grinder which is made affordable... more
 
John Adams |
Monday, 1st February 2010
Back in PM51 I reviewed the Owl Monitor. I still have it, and it has proved to be the best energy saving device I have tried. In the meantime energy monitors have evolved and Owl have responded by updating their product with the addition of a memory function. So now it displays (current and historical): electricity (kW), greenhouse gas (CO2), cost... more
 
John Adams |
Tuesday, 29th September 2009
I've always hankered after a woodturning lathe but until now lack of space has prohibited it.However the Scheppach DMT450 stands on a tabletop rather than the floor and is therefore much easier to find room for. As with all Scheppach products it is solidly made and well thought out. The lathe has four speeds and comes with centres and a drilled... more
 
John Adams |
Monday, 3rd August 2009
Q is always coming up with high-tech gadgets for 007, and I rather like some of the clever devices that cross my desk, but sometimes it's the really simple things that turn out to be the most impressive. One such item is the Serbian Kotlich & Tripod that we used for our summer solstice supper here at the Sustainability Centre. It consists of... more
 
John Adams |
Wednesday, 1st March 2006
I first encountered peg loomed woollen rugs when I slept on one in Ben Law's old caravan. It made for a surprisingly warm and comfortable night's sleep. I was struck by its simplicity, decorative qualities and obvious durability and wished I had one of my own. I asked Ben how they were made and he showed me a simple peg loom in his workshop and... more
 
John Adams |
Sunday, 15th August 2004
A flood of products having suddenly come my way, I haven't been able to fully review all of them, but they are all fully researched and recommended. I'll start with a review for the Scheppach Lonus 3 garden shredder. I only have a small garden but it manages to produce substantial quantities of prunings and clippings every year, most of which I... more
 

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