I’ve been saving plastic bags to send to Lou’s Upcycles, and I’ve become more concientious about washing and reusing my own bags, so I decided I needed a bag dryer. But before shelling out the $20 + shipping for any of the less-than-ideal commercial dryers I could find, I sniffed around for ideas online. I found several DIY ideas that were okay but not perfect. Then I (literally–the were in my Fibber Magee and Molly-style storage closet) stumbled across some vintage Tinkertoys Ron gave me the Christmas before last. Et voila!
Even if you don’t have any Tinkertoys already, you can pick up a new set for around $20 (the same price as a wooden bag dryer)–or, better yet, snag a used set for WAY less on ebay!
I anchored mine with a few wheels crammed into a mole jar, then filled with salt to weight it. Next time I use concrete, I’ll probably grab a bit to weight it into a soup can or somesuch instead–heavier and more stable.
The cool thing about a tinkertoy dryer is that you can add way more arms, and space them out more widely than the purchased dryers. But the best part is that you can add little wheels and spikes to the ends to hold your bags open while they dry. If you reuse bags at all, you know how hard it is to get them to dry properly even with a bag dryer, because of their tendency to lay flat and trap the moisture in.
Once you’re satisfied with the configuration, you can glue it all together with wood glue to make it sturdier.
BTW, if you take your lunch to work, lots of snacks and especially cheeses–and even frozen vegetables–now come in those very sturdy ziplock bags (see cheese & raisin bags, above). They’re perfect for sandwiches and chips.
But for every dozen little DIY projects, there’s always some huge-ticket item I desparately want (and in this case, actually need). But it’s scary to make a big, expensive purchase when we’ve just taken on a new car payment, and the economy’s so iffy. What is this painfully expensive object of my deep desire? A flat screen TV? A new laptop? No, something way less fun and way more expensive.
It’s a commercial dishwasher. The new undercounter ones take the same space as a regular household dishwasher, but work as fast as those awesome giant machines you know if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant. I don’t know whether I’d get the high-temp model (power hog) or the chemical sanitizer model (beholden to a lifetime of chemicals–not dangerous chemicals, I don’t think–but it’s like buying a vacuum cleaner that takes bags). I should probably make a spreadsheet and try to figure out the diff over 5 years, though not sure what to base power consumption on. The thing is: they do a load of dishes in 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. Which means that we could switch to china, even for big events. Right now, I stay away from china when we have more than a dozen guests. But even the allegedly-compostable paper plates seem virtually indestructible–plus, disposables are expensive.
Anyway, I thought: why don’t I forgo any personal expenses for a month as proof that I’m financially responsible and deserve a major purchase?
And then 15 minutes later, I bought this:
Because it’s been a long time, and it’s an historic freaking donkey mug, and every time I hear any new administration stories, I get all teary, and even cynical Ron came home last night and said for the first time since he can remember, he suddenly felt optimistic! And Frankoma has mostly stopped making my favorite glazes and molds, and the doneky mugs are the about the only Frankoma I really really love.
So, anyway, the month of privation officially begins…. now!
I’ve got my fingers crossed Amazon doesn’t have any irresistable Deals of the Day until March.