Archive for July, 2013

Pizza oven whitewash



Had a chance to put on a couple of layers of lime white wash over the dome.  I’m really very surprised it came out so white as the first application was pretty much see-through.  The 2nd application was less of a surprise (Even though it too was see-through) but I was pleased at quite how white it’s come out.  Now just waiting for a free weekend for Tiff to come back and paint him!

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Poundland grapes



Several years ago when I worked in Chelmsford and had ready access to poundland I used to buy their fruit trees.  One such purchase was this grapevine.  I’ve never actually had a grape off it.  The first couple of years it pretty much did nothing, then in its final year at the allotment it went mad and climbed the entirety of the shed and had lots of grapes on it.

Of course that was the year I had to move it.  I did my best to lay it flat in the car after digging it up, but it was very upset and immediately seemed to die.  I stuck it in to the ground alongside the mancave, but it’s done very little, dying back more each year.  This year it seems to be climbing, so I decided to give it something to climb onto as the old wooden trellis had rotted away.  The otherone I got from blackmoor nurseries has already got grapes on it, so I’ve got more hope for that one!

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Pig roaster #5



I did ask my cousin in law to pick me up a barrel, that done I promptly forgot all about it!  In a cold sweat I remembered last week and had a look on eBay.  I could get them for £5 each, but it needed an hour and a half trip to Bury St Edmunds which I didn’t relish.  The other option was an hour and twenty trip to Kent for £8, having to brave the Dartford tunnel/bridge on a hot saturday and pay £1.50 each way.  I went to Bury.  Likely enough there was probably barrels closer to home, but I didn’t have time to search for them and these were from a perfume factory, so not so difficult to wash out.  I got several – mostly because I felt I’d probably have need of two (I didn’t, one was fine) and the scouts regularly use them as firepits and we go through them often with little chance of easily replacing them.



We finished off the welding – it was a good few hours of work.  We even put on a chain tensioner to remove the risk of it jumping if everything wasn’t exactly square/level.



Then disaster – the prongs for the mouth I’d ordered weren’t 25mm, they were 23mm! Complete screw up on my part.  I’ve ordered another 25mm one, but no luck as yet even though I’ve paid for next day delivery.



Just in case I decided to modify the 23mm to make it fit.  The welding is terrible, but it’ll do if the other doesn’t turn up.



The first test did not go successfully.  I used a rucksack loaded up with weights to simulate the 30kg weight of a dead pig.  It didn’t go well.  I sacrificed another collar and the 50cm stainless offcut from the main pipe.  I welded the collar onto it, used an old dumbell set to make up a large counterweight.  Fingers crossed this’ll do the job on the day if I can’t get it balanced properly!

Only two jobs left to do – grind a point onto the stainless bar and drill a small hole to enable the spit to be turned manually!

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Welcome all hackaday people visiting the site today (

Click here: to see the rest of the related posts

And why not look at a cob oven if you like cooking stuff?

Anyway, enjoy your stay and I hope the site can stand up to it all…

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Lime render


Tiff came over to do the artwork on the lime render. It was a shame we lost so much with the lime render covering the mud render, but I think it looks just as good if not better! Now chunks of the egg rise out of the dome.

I also got a chance to render the base. It’ll look a lot better when white washed and painted!

The lime render should keep the water off and allow the water vapour inside to permeate and escape minimising the risk of the dome collapsing.

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Siamese courgettes?

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Last year along with the greenhouse my grandfather gave me his old irrigation system. It came with a massive amount of parts and bits and bobs. Most I didn’t even know what they did.

It took about 5 hours to do, but I can now turn on the tap and the raised beds are watered! It’ll even link up the IBC if they ever fill again! May/June was surprising dry and cold!


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Allotment update


Thought I’d share some progress updates! The runner beans are running and the marigolds are really plentiful!

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Pig roaster #4

Welcome all hackaday people visiting the site today (

Click here: to see the rest of the related posts

And why not after look at a cob oven if you like cooking stuff?

Anyway, enjoy your stay and I hope the site can stand up to it all…


One of the main objectives of making my own pig roaster is making it mechanised. With the cogs and a few bits from eBay this is how I did it! (More pics and a video, click read the rest of this entry below)

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Strawberries are in full swing – we’re getting several twice a day. Slugs, ants and other creepie crawlers are definitely taking their share.

Couple of cooking apples on the Bramley apple tree! May leave them and see what happens!

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