Monday, October 7, 2013

Cheap DIY Fly or wasp trap and bait

Homemade insect trap
fly, wasp or hornet.

First we start with a soda bottle.The one in the photo is a 1 L bottle but a 2 L bottle will also work. 
Cut the top off has shown.
Invert the top and shown.
At this point you can glue or tape the inverted top in place. You can also add a couple holes at the top edge for a wire or string hanger,as in the following photo.
The bait I use depends on the type of insect that I wish to trap.

houseflies: one egg in 1 cup water blended. (If you use a 2 L bottle you may wish to use 2 cups of water instead of one.) This bait will work immediately and does not need to sit and ferment for it to work. 

wasp or hornets: use 1 to 2 cups of Coke soda (not diet) 

Place trap away from your house, as after a few days it is going to smell real bad. This will also draw the insects away from your home. Egg wash bait will also attract animals, so be sure to place trap out of reach of dogs, cats, skunks and other animals.

When all of your insects have drowned in the trap and it is full, simply throw away entire trap.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DIY remote camera trigger for non-remote cameras

DIY remote camera trigger for non-remote cameras
The remote trigger uses a sandwich box, two hypodermic syringes( which can be found at any veterinary supply) 60 mL syringe and a small 3 mL syringe, connected by 25 feet of vinyl tubing. A pencil head eraser is glued to the small syringe plunger. The small syringe is mounted through a whole in half-inch white PVC pipe and is held in place with O-rings (the PVC pipe is for added stability to the small syringe). A rope can be threaded through the PVC pipe so it can be hung in a tree. The camera is mounted inside the box by threading a tripod mount through a hole drilled in the bottom of the sandwich box. Simply cut a hole in the lid for the lens of the camera. To operate the camera trigger simply move the large syringe back-and-forth to move the small syringe up and down. You could also use a tripod like this one with the sandwich box and mount the camera just about anywhere.

Photos of humming birds taken with rig.

The one nice thing about the rig is that humming birds don't hid from you. Normally humming birds will feed on opposite side of feeder, making it hard to get photos close-up. Original photos were taken with 14 megapixel camera and would be poster size. Re-sizing was done for web publishing and copyright protection. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY solar lighted stepping stones

How to make solar lighted stepping stones.

[note:  The glass used in this project is not safety glass and can break under certain conditions. If rocks or other objects strike the glass with sufficient force it is possible for the glass to break creating sharp edges and unsafe conditions. The author of this blog is not responsible for misuse or persons not taking do care and it's information is intended for conceptual purposes only.]
To make your mold  cut off the bottom of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. (note: do not throw away the upper half as it can be used to be used to protect plants and other things, but that is for another blog.) Using a ruler or tri-square cut 3 inches off the bottom of the bucket. This should give you a mold that is 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches deep. Steppingstones need to be at least 2 inches thick in order to support your weight. Be sure and spray a mold release such as vegetable oil on the inside of your mold.(note; do not spray the glass jar as you want the cement stick to the jar. you may even want to sand the outside edges to make the cement stick better, but do not sand the bottom.) Be sure and select jars that are wide-mouth and large enough and deep enough to fit your solar light inside of before you pour the cement.
 Once your cement is poured be sure and tap the edges to remove air bubbles. Wipe any cement sticking to the edges of the lid, as you'll want to remove the lid later. Let your cement set overnight to cure and your stones should be easily removed from the mold. Be sure and take care as the cement will not be completely cured as yet and the stones are still fragile. If it does not easily remove from the mold, then allow the cement to cure a little longer. Set in a tub of water or keep damp inside a plastic bag for at least 5 to 6 days to finish curing. The slower cement cures, the stronger the cement.

I used these glass ball solar lights. The LED is mounted on top of the solar cell, which makes them perfect for this project. using gloves, safety glasses and a screwdriver I carefully pry off the glass ball. Work the screwdriver down the edges loosening any glue and then twisting the screwdriver to pry the glass ball loose. Discard or save for another project the glass ball and tube stand.
                                         Remove your lid from the glass jar. Using a Styrofoam ball I cut off the bottom of the ball to create a flat surface and cut a hole in the center of the ball to mount the solar light in. (Any piece of Styrofoam will work as long as it holds the solar light up right.) I used a low temp hot glue gun as I wanted to be able to remove the solar light if I needed to make repairs. I glue the flat bottom to the inside of the jar lid and tack the solar light to the Styrofoam ball to hold it in place while it is being assembled.            
Once you have your stone assembled, you are ready to set the stone in the ground. Select a site that is free of rocks and other debris. Rocks and other debris could score the glass causing it to break or cause uneven pressure on the stone itself and break the steppingstone. Digg a depression large enough for the stone itself (about a 1/2 inch deep) and a small depression slightly smaller than the diameter of the jar and slightly deeper than the depth of your jar in the center to accommodate the glass jar. Be sure and do not set the stone too deep as you do not want the stone to become buried. Move the stone around slightly and tamp the soil firmly making sure the stone is set firmly and does not rock back and forth. Uneven pressure on the stone could cause it to break, so it is very important that the stone is set firmly before you put your full weight on the stone.
So there you have it, solar lighted steppingstones to light your path or just add accent to your garden or landscaping.
If solar lights are not your thing or you just want to add color to your stones then a low voltage system may be what you want. The diagram below shows how you might use wine bottles cut in half to make your lighted stepping stones.

You could also use a light set like this and clear bottles to get colored lights. ( note: make sure lights are rated for being buried or exposed to moisture )

Adding marbles or tile or other colorful items is simple. Just lay them in the bottom of the mold and pour cement carefully on top. Keys, tile, marbles and even broken dishes can be used in a mosaic pattern. After it semi_sets use a toothbrush or nylon pot scrubber to clear off cement and reveal mosaic.If I was to use marble or other items again I would try to keep them away from the edges. I did not do so in the one shown above and I got too close to the edges which created weak spots and ruff edges. After it has fully cured I will coat with a clear seal, which will give it a polished look.

Be sure and check out our other blogs and website

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DIY rubber stamps from wine corks

Home made rubber stamps made from rubber wine corks.

Simply draw your design and then cut out what you don't want with dremel tool or X-Acto knife.
Once you have your design you can use an ink pen, marker or better yet stamp pad.