Saturday, 11 May 2013

He's off his trolley!


It has been said.

Many a time and oft.........

Particularly when I have just dragged some seemingly irredeemable piece of scrap off the tip at Milton.

Engineer Mark once, rather kindly I thought, ascribed this sort of behaviour to my innate ability to see 'the glass half full', by which I presume he meant a boundlessly optimistic view of what others see, quite rightly, as a load of useless old grot.

I feel it is a definite gift, though, this being able to see beyond the dirt, corrosion and neglect, to the thing possessed of both beauty and utility beneath......

So here's what I've been tinkering with in the odd unsequestered hour up at Emmaus over the last few weeks:

Yes, the titular trolley, which, no doubt, The Engineer would have described me as being 'off' for parting with £10 for it.

The tyres were all flat, the turning plate was rusted up and the tyres looked knackered.

Anyone else (anyone sensible?) would have left it at the tip......

But bear with me on this one.......

Once it was safely hidden up at Emmaus, (well, I wasn't going to bring it home to risk all sorts of satirical banter from The Engineer and The Dreaded Eye-roll of Death from Jackie, now was I?), I got to work.

First, I pumped up the tyres. Not in any expectation that they might actually hold air, but, astonishingly, all but one of them did. This was soon fixed with a new valve core and a puncture repair to the inner tube.

Then out came The Angle Grinder of Salvation. (Perhaps, then, that should actually be Angel Grinder....?)

Sparks flew, rust and dirt were removed, parts were stripped down, cleaned, un-seized, greased and reassembled.

I then used up some of that primer I so carefully salvaged a while back.

This had the job looking like this:

It was then treated to two coats of Satin Black, by which time, it was starting to look jolly smart.

I then had a think about how to build the load bed. There is always plenty of timber going spare up at Emmaus. I had a rootle through the scrap wood and found a dismantled futon and a bunk bed frame. The planks that were the bunk bed sides were clamped to the trolley chassis. The futon mattress supports were then cut to width and screwed to these side timbers. I am rather proud of the fact that the futon base's original screws were used for this.... (well, waste not, want not!)

So that was the load bed sorted.

I then decided that if the trolley was going to be used in the Emmaus garden, then it had better have some sides to it.

Some tubing was donated by our landlord, Martin, and more bed frames were procured from the woodpile at Emmaus.

A couple of trips to Mackays in Cambridge later, I had all the fixings I needed to bolt it all together.

Much sawing and drilling, the occasional bit of hammering (oh, for sound effects!) and some swearing (then again, perhaps not) later, and it looked like this:

This is Steve, who works in the garden at Emmaus, taking delivery of his new trolley. He was so pleased with it, he gave me some fresh eggs from his hens, which was very kind of him.

So, there you go, another item, as James from Severner Willow would say, 'Thoroughly "Johnned" '.

Not for the first time, I can only thank my sainted parents for not christening me "Roger"..........


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