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MrE

Member since Apr 2012 • Last active Aug 2019
  • 1 conversations
  • 672 comments

10 years coal mining, 25 years teaching, 10 years Head of Faculty, now retired...

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    I'd try the auger - Shropshire clay is heavy enough to bend a cheap (i.e. my) post hole spade (blades not hefty enough for the leverage afforded by long handles) but an auger can be used to take a smaller amount at a time, remove and clean as soon as it gets hard work. Just remember clay is not like wood or loose soil - the 'shavings' will re-form behind the bit!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Prime numbers?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    We've had much the same - some guy apparently arrived in the middle of the working day without notice, and left a similar card at every address he couldn't access and inspect. Crappy phone pic shows what he was looking for. FWIW we've assumed ours is ok and ignored the card - the chap that does our gas appliance servicing has since said it's acceptable.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    The bolt / screw thing used to be (back in the 70s when I was an apprentice) heads that were hex (spanner) or slot (screwdriver) respectively, with machine screws often being threaded full length and bolts having a plain shank, but this was never a hard and fast distinction.
    Google image search for 'm6 30mm socket cap' gives more full length threads than not - I guess it depends on your supplier as much as anything?

  • in Rides & Races
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    Was there last summer - the hotel does quite a good lunch compared with last time (about 30 years ago, pre Hinterland)
    Vale of Rheidol Railway is fun if you can avoid the school holidays.

  • in Mechanics & Fixin'
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    I think acrylics can be challenging if you're dry sanding - heat builds up quickly, the polymer softens and this leads to clogging - wet sanding works better but takes longer and can introduce other issues such as contamination and adequate drying before the next coat.

    I suspect for TV they're looking for a quick surface prep before overpainting - just enough paint to look good. Some years ago I saw a program presented by Suggs, restoring a 1930s steam crane at Blists Hill (local to me) - it looked good on the telly, but was quite poor in real life and had major corrosion issues within a few months.

    Paragon Paints look ok - their painting advice page makes sense to me. Personally I'd be brushing rather than spraying, but I'd be looking for a decent thickness of paint and I've spent too much time cleaning air brushes and spray guns after students have abused them, so maybe I'm biased. Zinc primers are generally a good thing...

  • in Mechanics & Fixin'
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    I suspect the car 'restoration' presenters are concerned about paint incompatibility - either making an irretrievable mess on TV, or if they are serious about the restoration, generating a possible problem for any future owner.

    It used to be easy with old metal things in need of restoration - most paint was either cellulose based (old) or oil based (probably older still) and even if you mistakenly used one type on top of the other there was a 50-50 chance it would still be ok.

    Paint made in this century is a different game completely - you probably need to have a detailed conversation with your mate to be sure you don't use anything incompatible with his preferred materials if he's going to re-paint it later. Even then, if you leave it too long there could be changes in formulation that cause problems, as with Finnigans Smoothrite - it used to need a specific solvent (trichloroethylene if memory serves), but now it is environmentally friendly and doesn't work.

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    Not entirely: the hedgehogs are nocturnal and I'm finding slugs during daylight hours, hence the non-chemical and highly selective approach. To be fair, I see more hedgehog crap in the garden than actual hedgehogs. I choose to believe they're eating the half slugs I leave for them in addition to crapping on the lawn.

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    We also have hedgehogs in the garden, so chemicals are out of the question since the remains are usually eaten.
    Not by me in case there's any doubt.

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    Scissors.
    Must be a pair reserved for just slugs.
    Be prepared for odd looks from the neighbours.

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