... Or, How to Recycle Scrap into Cash ...
After 5 years spent converting a 50 year old fishing trawler into a live aboard, there was a lot of scrap metal left over. So we hired a massive skip and set about recycling it. This is a film about how we did it and how much money we made from it. This is our first 'feature' film made for our new Video Blog about our life spent on boats, upcycling, playing with (very) old cars and exploring hidden corners of Cornwall. We had great fun making it. Hope you enjoy it too ...
For interesting facts about what happens to scrap metal after you've traded it in ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrap
Some Credits ...
Licensed music uploaded from Artlist at https://artlist.io
'Big White Ship' by James Forest
'Enemy Toes' by Light Whales
'Tough' by Rafael Rico
Skip Hire from Simms Metal Management at http://www.simsmm.co.uk/Contact-Us/So...
Tim's Delicious Pasty courtesy of Warrens of Torpoint
Tim's Outfits by Hard Graft.com
Teabags supplied by Lisa
Ambient sounds of hammering, sanding and grinding courtesy of the inhabitants of The Boatyard ... Thanks for all the additional help lifting and carrying, guys!
Ambient sound of The Wind supplied by The Cornish Weather.
Filmed and edited entirely on an iPhone SE ... Some day we might even upgrade to some fancy new equipment ...
'What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?'
- Audrey Niffenegger, The Night Bookmobile
Doing what I like to do best ... Reading in the garden. This rare vintage street lamp has been restored and remodelled into a reading/dreaming seat and will soon be available to buy. We think it is one of the most beautiful items we've created so far, and one evening at the end of autumn we took it down into the garden at the Crafthole Cottage and lit up the night with it ... Watch this space for the story of its journey from discarded street light to enchanted reading seat and details on how to purchase (if I can bear to let it go) ...
Dismantling The Winch
One of the essential requirements to being a good Upcycler is the ability to spot an object's 'potential', regardless of its current use, state of (dis)repair and, well, its size!
I suppose I have a bit of a reputation in the boatyard for being the 'go-to' man when something needs removing and, as is often the case in these situations, if I can remove it, I get to keep it.
So it was that I first encountered this particular treasure when my good friend, artist and fellow boat dweller John Maclean asked me for help in removing an-almost-but-not-quite working Thompson Barrel Winch which was welded to the stern of his houseboat, the retired trawler MV Olympic.
All the old fishing gear had long since been removed so we could only assume that the winch had been used, or intended to be used, as an emergency back-up winch. Well, a good anchor winch it wasn't, but as far as John was concerned, a giant lump of in-the-way it was. To my eyes, it was treasure of the highest order, and so we set to removing it ...
Well, this turned out to be considerably more difficult than I might have hoped due not least to the fact that the winch was insanely heavy, but being an Upcycler with a good eye and a large reserve of determined optimism, we persevered, removing the winch piece by weighty piece. One lengthy dismantling later I had a cup of tea and the winch in its many greasy parts.
Creating The Table
My initial intention was to keep some of the original gears in situ as part of the piece but on throughly cleaning the main frames and seeing the three holes with their bearings still in place, I decided to leave it bare. I'm sure the gears will come into their own in another project.
The polished bearings where the gears used to be now make a nice feature in the 'table legs'
I liked the existing patina so carefully removed just enough paint and prepared the rust surface before coating in a few layers of my special gloss varnish.
It is always my intention to show the natural beauty of old surfaces. Here, the rust patina has been treated and varnished and is now looking good next to the brass and painted gold details of the fittings
And so to the feet ...
Well, feet were definitely needed as I didn't particularly want the table to be scratching somebody's nice floor (I seem to spend a lot of time making feet!) This took me a lot of pondering and more than the usual amount of tea, but eventually I came up with a great solution. Unfortunately for me it was also a very complicated and time consuming solution, but patience is a virtue and a whole lot of carving, cutting and angle-grinding later and I eventually had them fitting beautifully ...
The making of the (in)famous feet
The worktop needed a lot of wood (they always seem to need more than you think) and it just so happened that I had two very long roof joists that I had kept after having helped demolish an old building in the yard (yes, that is something else I got to keep if I could remove it). These two joists I thoroughly treated against rot and woodworm. They were then biscuit jointed, glued and bolted all the way through with threaded bar - incidentally also salvaged from The Olympic (is nothing safe from the hands of this Upcycler!) - sanded and finished with a few coats of Danish Oil (same as the feet).
From gnarly old roof joists to beautiful oiled worktop ... The evolution of salvaged wood
For some finishing touches I used more threaded bar the length of the table between the feet inside the decorational copper tube, and another small piece where the winch's original brake was attached. Bearings were polished and old grease nipples painted gold to match.
Overall, I was very happy with the final look of this table. By some happy coincidence, the size came out at 120x60 which is standard kitchen worktop height, so that was even better than I might have hoped for. And as with many of our pieces, the table has a wonderful history and wears that history still in the beautiful colours and textures of the finish.
The only downside, if you can call it that, is the weight. There can be no doubt as to the authenticity of its original function because Man, is this thing heavy! After completion at the workshop, I transported to our place at Crafthole ... That is to say, I and 3 other willing accomplices transported it to Crafthole on the back of the Old Rope Salvage truck. We eventually manoevered it into storage where it will undoubtedly remain now until sold, and for sale it is, in our Shop of Wonders, for £750.00 ... Please contact us to arrange a viewing.
Delivery/Collection can be discussed!
There were so many possibilities with this former outboard motor ... Should we take it apart and use the pieces individually, or should we keep the piece more or less intact and create one stunning work of art?
Well, the result probably speaks for itself ...
Beautifully re-imagined and re-designed by Tim in our workshop, this humble outboard motor is now a stunning piece of (functional) wall art.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given our location within a Cornish Boatyard, this re-purposed outboard motor was sold even as Tim was adding the all important finishing touches to it and will, by now, be lighting up the interior of our lucky buyer's man cave!
Take a look through our photos to appreciate the vision and workmanship of this unique Object of Beauty and check out the Shop of Wonders for our other creations ...
Years ago, I had a friend who used to work on some pretty powerful cars, modifying them into insanely powerful cars. Now, I wouldn't like anyone to think that I have a habit of hanging around garages in my spare time but this friend of mine would often have some interesting parts lying around ... okay, they were mostly in the bin! (I guess I started the salvaging habit early as the exhausts on the pick-up truck were made using the stainless steel from a Mercedes SL55 he was upgrading ...)
One of the pieces I picked out of his bin was this aluminium inlet manifold from a V8 engine that was being treated to a supercharger. Designed to vary the length of the inlet tract changing the engine's torque curve (sorry, getting technical) I thought it looked like an interesting piece. I've always tried to look at things as purely architectural, noticing the design and the shape over and beyond a thing's intended purpose. It is this way of 'seeing' something which helps me to recognise if it is worth salvaging. With this particular piece, I felt that it was simply a beautiful architectural thing which deserved a second chance.
As is often the case, however, I kept the piece for a long time before deciding to turn it into a lamp. (A lot of the things I find become lamps and I sometimes wonder if it's a case of 'when your pottery goes wrong, you get another ashtray'). Just the thing on its own seemed enough, but after much cleaning and polishing I decided that a lamp it would become, so I fitted it with all new electrics, an energy saving CFL bulb and some complementary brown cotton twist flex with black inline switch and a black plug. Finally, I made a mount for it from a beautiful piece of hardwood which I waxed and polished and fitted with rubber feet ...
So. there you have it. One V8 Inlet Lamp. It may not have the sounds anymore, but it sure looks good.
The lamp is currently available to purchase from the Old Rope Salvage Store for the bargain price of £220.00.
I found this submarine depth gauge many years ago now, completely by chance, at a boat jumble in Beaulieu in The New Forest. It was in a bit of a state, buried under a lot of other stuff and I had wandered past it a few times without paying it too much attention, but by the end of the day as the crowds thinned out, I stopped for a chat with the stall holder and ended up buying this and a red emergency lighting lamp from him.
Now, everyone needs a red emergency lighting lamp, don't they? ... But this? This was probably one of the more unusual items I've picked up over the years and I really had no idea what I was going to do with it. I was fresh out of submarines and I could measure the depth of the garden pond just by putting on some wellies and standing in it. So, I put it away and forgot about it.
Fast forward a few years and the depth gauge resurfaced again (no pun intended) amidst the upcycling activity which has been the beginnings of Old Rope Salvage.
It was still in a bit of a state, but I could see that it was made of aluminium and I thought that it could probably be cleaned up into something. Also, I liked the look of it.
Usually, when I find or choose unusual items for up cycling I am drawn to the shape or the look of the thing, rather than to the actual item itself. Often, it doesn't matter what it is, or what it used to be, only what it could potentially become. This was a little bit different in that the depth gauge itself, although I didn't know anything about it at the time, was clearly an item of interest and of history, and I knew from the outset that I wanted to keep it much as it is. Its shape strongly suggested that it could become a really cool clock, and once I had that in my mind, it was really impossible to imagine it as anything else, so I cleaned it up with much care and attention, repaired the scratches and other damage, polished it and repainted the case.
Next, I removed its internal workings and cut out a small section of the back casing so I could add a clock mechanism, and finally I modified the original 24v lightbulbs with 1.5v LEDs which now give off a subtle red light around the inside rim.
It is my hope that the finished clock shows a sympathetic restoration of the depth gauge as well as an interesting up cycled clock. I deliberately left on all the old casing connections and the original maker's plate to retain its original authenticity, likewise I have not altered the face in any way. I think it's a pretty nice job.
It's currently hanging on the wall in our unofficial gallery and growing emporium in Crafthole, and is available to buy at £845.00. It is exceptionally heavy so do get in touch if you are interested so we can arrange shipping, delivery or collection, or if you would like to come and check it out.
For those of you who might be interested in a little bit of history on this unusual piece, keep reading ...
*NOW SOLD* - Thank you for all kind enquiries.
I'm no expert on submarines, so it took a little bit of detective work to find out anything about this particular depth gauge. (Whatever did we do before the internet?)
We believe it comes from an Oberon Class Submarine (e.g. HMS Otus now a museum piece in Germany) of which there appears to have been maybe 13 in the Royal Navy. Of the subs we were able to find information on, a few are now museum pieces and the rest have been scrapped. As we no longer have any diesel submarines left, it seems safe to say that all the Oberon class have long since been decommissioned.
It is impossible to say for sure exactly which of these submarines the depth gauge comes from, but there are 3 which are likely contenders: HMS Opportune, HMS Oracle and HMS Otter were all broken up at Pounds Scrapyard in Portsmouth, and considering that I found the gauge in The New Forest, it is maybe not to much of an assumption to believe it came from one of those. If anyone out there has any more info or thoughts, you are most welcome to share them in the comments.
Whatever its history though, it is indeed a very rare item and one which I was lucky to discover and have the opportunity to salvage and breathe new life into.
Old Rope Salvage