Posts tagged "metal"

How can I reuse or recycle hairdressers scissors?

We’ve had an email from Tasha:

We are a hairdressing scissors company trying to find a charity we can send old hairdressing scissors too?

If you know of any could you please let me know.

I don’t know of any – does anyone else?

What about charities that collect scrap metal in general? From what I’ve read, hairdressers scissors tend to be make from steel and that’s widely recyclable – does anyone know of any charities that collect steel to raise money from recycling?

Upcycling advice: how can I reuse/recycle cans to make jewellery?

We’ve had an email from Pauline:

I would like to use steel and aluminium cans to make jewelery. Do you know how to cut the metal out? Should the can be crushed first? Do you know how to smooth the edges so they don’t cut? If you could throw any light on this or point me to a website as I am not getting much coming up in google at the moment? Thanks.

I’ve made numerous things out of drinks cans (all aluminium I think) over the years and have mostly just used scissors for the cutting – it’s not as hard to cut as you’d think. I might use a can opener to remove the lid or a knife to start a hole in the body but then scissors suffice. I typically cut down the print “seam” and around the top & bottom to remove the curve so am left with a flat rectangle of metal.

(I’ve tried using shaped hole punches on cans but only lightweight ones so not had much success. Alison Bailey Smith has talked about the heavy duty ones she uses on plastic – I wonder if they’d be good on metal.)

And if the edges are smooth, not jagged, they’re also not as sharp as you might think. I’m not saying I’d necessarily want to wear them as jewellery in their nude state but in all my making, I’ve not once cut myself. Anyone got any tips for making the edges safer though?

Finally, anyone made any interesting jewellery from cans – or seen any inspiring examples of work around the wonderful worldwide web?

How can I repair a rusted up barbeque?

After reading last week’s barbecue themed posts, Ali got in touch to ask about repairing a rusted up bbq:

The grill is rusty pretty much all over and there is a rust hole in the base too. My husband wants to throw it out and get another but I’d like to try fixing it first. Please give me some hope that the effort with a wire scrubber will be worth it!

A lot of barbecues at the cheaper end of the market have chrome-plated steel grills and once the chrome gets scratched or otherwise damaged, the exposed steel rusts really quickly. You might get all the rust off now but I’m not sure you’ll be able to keep it off in the future – anyone know any heat/food friendly way to protect it again? If it’s a cast iron grill – most expensive but not uncommon – then you should be able to de-rust it and protect it again like any cast iron pan/appliance.

As for the base, it depends on the size/location of the hole – a small one low down could be turned into a fat trap. Assuming it’s a kettle/barrel type bbq, you could strip it right back to metal (possibly worth doing all over in one go) and repaint it with a heat-proof metal paint (like stove paint) to reduce further rusting. However as someone who has spent far too long stripping metal recently, let me warn you, it’s not exactly a fun pastime.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to save this one, learn from this one’s untimely demise when you buy/care for your next one — look for one with a better grill or if it’s already a good one, protect it better in the first place, and don’t leave bbqs outside and uncovered in wet/moist weather.

Any further advice/suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle a rusty cheese grater?

(My! doesn’t that sound like a smutty euphemism? :) )

We’ve had an email from Alicia:

Because a leak caused damp, all the metal stuff in my kitchen cupboard went rusty while I was on holiday. Didn’t think that could happen but it has! There is a square grater, a colander and a seive. Can I do anything with them?

I’ve de-rusted a cast iron griddle pan and we regularly have to de-rust our less-than-perfectly-seasoned wok but I imagine it might be harder work to restore holey things like that – anyone got any advice on repairing them and protecting them so they don’t continue to rust?

I’ve seen all three used as fun light fittings (eg this Instructable uses a colander as a ceiling light shade). If you don’t want them rusty, you could sand them back to get rid of the flakiness and paint them to protect it from future rust and give it a new look.

Failing all that, they’re some sort of metal so can be recycled in the metal scrap bin at your local tip/waste collection site.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle old clock parts?

We’ve had an email from David:

I need to know how to recycle the inner brass parts of grandfather clock that no longer work?

Brass, like nearly all metals, is in high demand in the recycling world and so if there is a good weight of it, most local scrap metal dealers would willingly take it off your hands – some might even pay a little for it. We have random-but-frequent scrap collections around here (some more legitimate than others…) and there are usually metal bins at local tips.

I’d imagine the workings would also be highly desirable to other people who want to reuse rather than recycle them – someone might be able to make them work in another clock or, probably more likely, use them to make artwork. Offer them on your local Freecycle/Freegle group – or put them on eBay if you think they might be worth a few quid (if they’re heavy, you could say pick-up only if you didn’t want to organise shipping).

Any other suggestions? Any particular practical or creative ideas for things that could be done with them?