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Friday, September 30, 2011

Preparing for Winter

Daffodils - Plant in Fall for a Spring Treat

Today I wandered by the hardware store and bought various things for upcoming projects. The daffodils were a splurge, but something I knew my daughter would enjoy.

I've got two projects in the works - the greenhouse-style shed, so I can show you how to finish off the greenhouse at the ends, and a solar heater, to keep things toasty in the greenhouse as it gets cold outside.

I posted the Cansolair video yesterday, but I'm doing a DIY version, our of pop cans. A particularly good set of instructions can be found online at Though I'm still at the beginning of the process, I've figured out a couple of improvements.
  • Use an empty soup can to brace the aluminum cans as you start cutting. The closer it is in size to the aluminum cans, the better. The point is that your aluminum can will not buckle (twist, tear, shred, undergo other plastic deformation) as you work, because the soup can will stabilize the perimeter. This is good.
  • Having a massive nail/spike and tin snips is nice, but all you really need is a 1-1/4 inch spade drill bit. I put the bit in my power drill, not because I want to use the power tool, but because the tool gives me leverage and control. The idea is to push the bit into the ends of the soda can - it slices through like a hot knife through cold butter.

Some argue that you don't actually have to punch holes in the cans, but wanted to post these tips for those who want to do the "classic" soda can solar heater construction technique.

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