Yesterday was a beautiful day, mild, sunny and quiet. Wadly was off visiting family and I had the peace to putter to my heart’s content.
I managed to get the dump bucket for my grow bed rebuilt. This time I added a genius gizmo for the flush counter-weight assembly. This crafty gizmo was the happy confluence of circumstance and available parts and it all started with the proximity of the flush valve to the edge of the bucket.
Because my 5 gallon buckets have a lot of ridges and raised lettering at the center I mounted the flush assembly against the side of the bucket. This gave me a smoother flatter surface for sealing the toilet flush valve to the bucket and, by mounting the toilet fill assembly next to the side of the bucket, I was able to reduce the distance between the rollers that lift the toilet flush flap and support the flush valve counter-weight. I saw the lock assembly for a sliding window sitting on the bench ready to be taken out to the aluminum pile to recycle. That started the mental wheels turning and I was able to scrounge the remaining parts to pull this gizmo together.
The new roller carrier is small, requiring one small notch in the bucket collar for installation and support.
The rollers are from the bottom of a sliding glass door.
The bolts holding the rollers are stainless. I have no idea where they came from. Whenever we disassemble something for recycling, we take any potentially interesting small hardware and stick it in one of our multiple cabinets with plastic drawers. We had this particular bolt type in two lengths. The shorter was twice the length I needed but they do a perfect job. The additional bolt sticking out is more of a design statement than a flaw.
The holes in the center of the rollers was just a bit smaller than the circumference of the bolt which allowed the bolt to be pressed into the roller assembly. A bit of judicious encouragement from my rubber mallet did the trick and the rollers are now pressed onto the bolts.
The holes in the aluminum slider window lock handle were just slightly smaller than the threads on the bolts. Because the piece to receive threads was aluminum and the bolts were stainless,I was able to force screw the bolts into the holes to create the necessary threads in the aluminum carrier. You see what I mean about a confluence of circumstance? The bolts were the right size to press into the rollers and the holes were the right size to accept threading from the bolts. Kismet.
Each bolt has a fiber or teflon washer and a stainless washer to ensure proper spacing for the roller.
The rollers aren’t stainless and aren’t designed to be out in the rain. Terry painted them for me to help keep the rust at bay. As to the bearings, an occasional squirt of WD-40 (water displacement 40th formula tested) keeps rust in check and the rollers turning smoothly. the arrangement allows the cord to be lifted off the rollers and the roller assembly to be taken away from the tank/growbed assembly for maintenance. At some point I’ll make a plastic cover for the roller assembly to keep the rollers drier.
If you’re wondering what I used to extend the overflow tube on the flush valve . . . it’s a vacuum cleaner hand wand extension pipe. We’ve got a shelf under one of the benches that gets all the plastic pipe chunks we might need for a later project. Wand extension pipe is just plastic pipe and the taper makes them perfect for fitting onto other pipe or into openings of not exactly the right size.