Monday, February 23, 2015

Questions About Recycling, Reusing In the Midst of the Big Clean

As I was cleaning off my old mono-tube lathe and its base, I of course came across my old oil tray. This is just a cookie sheet with a stand off to hold a wire tray. When I turn things like tops, mushrooms, spatulas and the like I dip them into a mix of vegetable and mineral oil and leave them in the tray to drip dry. These oils are not harmful to the environment, edible, an supposed non drying. They get absorbed into the wood and can be renewed easily. People with wooden cutting boards and spatulas or spoons in the kitchen are supposed to re-oil them once a month. It may not happen, but we should.
So now those non-hardening oils have hardened to a solid mass around the wire mesh and congealed to a disgusting slop with wood dust and shavings in the tray.

The only way to salvage this is to take it in the house and wash it in the auxiliary sink. There is no way my wife is going to let it in with the dishes and I do not blame her. I had to first scrape out the tray and use a wire scrub brush on the tray. Lots of cleanser later, it looks pretty good.

It must have taken a good hour or more, lots of elbow grease and too much cleanser down the drain. I am a recycle nut. The wood I use is mostly firewood and landfill with a bit of farm grown exotic thrown in for pens. The shavings are used for mulch and compost, mostly compost. Any leftover pieces of wood are kindling and firewood and the ashes go in the compost pile. We recycle plastics and paper and anything else we can. On the other hand, two minutes and two bucks in the dollar store would have replaced this setup easily. Sometimes doing what is right takes time and effort. Looks good though and kind of satisfying. 

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