Parts Bin DIY for the Motoring Enthusiast, by Martin Port
I am equal parts proud, but also ashamed, to admit that I have always been a bit of a hoarder. I was brought up to save every scrap of wood, metal, old fixing, etc., safe in the knowledge that one day it might have another use.
The initial stages of the UK’s lockdown introduced new challenges: I was fortunate enough to still have work to keep me busy (thanks to Porter Press!), but it also freed up some time to finally address some of the unfinished… or in some cases, yet to start, jobs around the house.
As we all know, it also coincided with good weather. Yet, with DiY outlets suddenly being closed or restricted to selling just essential items, my yearning for a small fire pit for our modest garden would have to go unsatisfied… or at least it did, until I spied the old Land Rover wheel rim laying in the corner.
Ideally, I needed to raise it off the floor – I found four large valves bought for a past project (absolutely no clue what for!), and an old brake disc from a Peugeot that I sold five years ago. Thank goodness I didn’t throw THAT away.
I consider myself pretty poor at welding, but I can at least make things stick together and, within half an hour, I had a raised fire pit made from old car parts. Perfect.
With my new found spare time, I also had no further excuses not to carry out the kitchen renovations. Fortunately I’d bought all the materials before the announcement of lockdown. However, with cupboard doors painted, new ones made where needed and the tiling done, I was left thinking that a modest wine rack might be a good addition.
The answer lay, once again, in the parts bin: it turned out that old Land Rover leaf spring U-bolts are the perfect size to hold a bottle of wine. A bit of cleaning up, 10 minutes with the welder attaching them to some steel plates and they could be neatly suspended from below the cupboard.
So, what next? Well, I found some more U-bolts from an Austin or similar - perfect for holding small bottles of dessert wine.
I’m still wondering if I can manage to construct a sundial, or maybe a weather vane, from the old prop-shafts, wheel cylinders and starter motors I have just discovered in the garage…
[Editorial note: Porter Press has arranged virtual counselling for Martin and the early signs are, we’re very pleased to say, that he’s responding well.]
Books by Martin Port
Other articles by Martin Port