May 21, 2013 - Personal    5 Comments

The Start of My MacGyver Pile

When I had my house, I frequently scavenged for goodies to add to it, using what I found as inspiration rather than letting inspiration dictate what I’d use. I’ve done the same thing with my renos in Miranda, for example making good use of the Campbell River Home Depot’s dumpster.

This afternoon, I went treasure hunting in Hiram’s back yard. As a reminder, he’s the guy who thought he owns my property. He has piles and piles and piles of junk in his backyard and I was given permission to take absolutely anything I want.

Now, most of the stuff in the yard is absolute junk and not worth the trouble it would take to do anything with it, but I still found quite a few diamonds.


The first item in this photo is some chicken coop-type wiring. Not sure yet what I’ll do with it, but it could come in handy to protect a garden from the resident bunny. Next to that are a few bricks. I’m going to keep my eyes out for bricks to use as edging and paths. Finally, the battered rusty round metal ring is a fire pit! I need to check what the rules are for fire pits here, but everyone seems to have one, so I’m hoping I’ll get to use it. I also found a bucket of good coals to go with it.


Next to the fire pit are a few sheets of tin roofing material. Not much there, but could be useful to cover my future compost bin.


Next to the roofing is my big pile o’ leaves. I am not making progress, believe it or not.


Next up is the start of my pallet pile. If anything, they will be good kindling for the fire pit! Most of the other pallets are too heavy to carry, so I’ll have to borrow a dolly.


I plan to use some pallets to make a porch. This piece of plywood is in great shape and will make a good topping for the pallets so that I don’t risk going through the slats. An outdoor carpet will be in order as well. Behind that is the bucket of coals.


Finally, I found a ground plane for my high gain antenna! Just need to find some tin snips to cut it to size, then bang it flat and glue it to my roof.

There is tons of lumber to go through on that lot. All of it has been outside for eons, so it’s in dubious shape, but I think I could build some rough temporary structures with quite a bit of it. For example, I’m thinking of combining some pallets with fencing panels,  2x4s, and the tin roofing to make a temporary shed.

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  • Hi Rae,
    You are soo good at this stuff 🙂

  • As usual, I enjoy your blog and your interesting work on the property. Just a quick idea from another old homesteader — when I built my fire pit in the yard I went to a local welder to find a heavy metal fire ring, but he said he would give me something for free that he thought would work better, and it did! It is a 25 inch semi truck wheel that I sunk on top of some gravel and with sand in the bottom. It has worked perfectly for 15 years, especially after I put angled concrete blocks around the perimeter for people to put their feet up on Free stuff is great.
    Kristin in Alaska

  • Your pallets will last a lot longer if you don’t have them in contact with the ground. Gravel or concrete blocks would help a lot.

  • Mary, I had the same though, but I don’t really have anything to put them on. I just use the ones that are starting to rot on the bottom and am putting the better ones on top.

    Plus, they’ve been piled right on the ground for what appears to be years anyway.

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