Plastic in the cold

Welcome to a freezing start to the new year.
This weather has implications for automotive plastic ( farings, bumpers, etc,etc ). Plastic looses its elastic properties when the temperature drops making it hard and brittle but this does depend on the plastic material used.
There are two main categories of plastic hard and soft. Hard plastics like ABS  used  in motor bike farings, can become very brittle and break easily. Soft materials like Polyprop , being more flexible , will not crack so easily but will show signs of stress in the cold.
With the weather as cold as it is, it means that any damage your plastic receives will be twice as bad. So take a bit more care around that bike stored in the garage.

Unexpected visitor update.

A short rest to let my dinner go down.

A short rest to let my dinner go down.

Just recently the BTO sent us information on the Barn owl that we had to visit. For starters he is a she,  Jac felt   he was a she at time.She was very gently with us except when she court my hand with her claw. It was only a light touch but cut my finger quit badly. The man from Weirfield Hospital said  you need to be very  carefull of their feet. That is why falconer ware gloves.

She is a young bird at three years plus.  We do not know if she has been re-released back into the wild one day we may come out of the workshop,  to find her sitting on the fence looking down at us.

While on the subject of  wild life, this year so far has been quite good for spotting rare birds, I say rare because I’m not a bird watcher looking to spot fowl. On several occasions whilst walking the fat controller (our border trolley) we have seen a white heron in the small stream between the houses.  A first ever for me and the area. To add to that on two occasion in the same place we have seen a kingfisher’s sudden flash of blue as it disappears up the stream into the distance.

Fart Butter!?

fartbutterI know, I know, it is this offices nick name for peanut butter. How this happens to be I don’t know but it makes people smile and chuckle. Bringing out a number of Witticisms on the subject of wind. Things like, ‘who has seen the wind, neither I nor you, but when the leaves hang trembling, the CEO is passing through’. And – ‘Here comes windy miller!’ – even if their name is not miller. – ‘There’s a stiff breeze in here!’. You get the jest of it I’m sure!

What has prompted all this hilarity?- a jar of peanut butter has appeared and – you have guessed it – no one is owning up to this heinous crime or who is having it in there sandwiches. The investigation is a foot.

I should apologise to all those who find this sort of talk offends their sensibility’s – ‘Polite Society’ is not amused by such vulgarity. All I can say is it makes the situation worse for those who find it funny, leaving them in fits of laughter at your disapproval.

All this talk about peanut butter brings back fond memories of travelling across the States – the land of all things peanut!. At a point in that journey I was living on peanut butter, jam and cheese sandwiches for all my meals, – I don’t remember it being that windy though! Ha! Ha! Ha! Having said that, maybe that was why I was travelling by myself!!!


This is a new one on me it is extra roasted and very course cut. It is very moreish mmmmmm!

I think it is probably me who is responsible for the peanut butter and having a convenient senior moment – ha ha!. Oh! just before I go, can anyone tell us what the problem is with cold bake beans with a salad this too breaks some people up?.

Hate it or love it?


Banksy book war and piece a good read. well sort of!

To be honest I have not really been that interested in graffiti until the Tate modern had that extraordinary exhibition on the outside of the building. At well over a hundred feet high you couldn’t really miss them. Before that, like most people, I was blind to it to a certain extent as I walked the streets of towns and cities across the country. What I did notice after viewing these wonderful drawings is the proliferation of tagging which in my view is a blight on the built up environment. If you are going to do it make it interesting otherwise save the paint.

The other day I had my arm gently twisted to purchase a copy of Wall and Piece by Banksy

I think this is one of Banksy on the streets of London

I think this is one of Banksy on a street in London.

forcing my interest in graffiti to another level. His book is more a picture book than a read. One of the things I picked up from the photo’s in the book apart from his sense of humour, is that we still walk around with our eyes wide shut even though picture-taking is at epidemic proportions. On a subsequent visit to another book shop I checked out the art section to see if there were any other books on graffiti and there are a few. Leafing through some of them they also depict some wonderful public art. I know! a lot of people think it degrades the neighbourhood, but done well I think it lifts it, maybe it is time to make spaces where it is legal for anybody to post.

This is a small part of mural that stretches for about quater of a mile in Lincoln. It brightens a building that is a bit of a blot on the landscape.

This is a small part of mural that stretches for about quarter of a mile in Lincoln. It brightens a building that is a bit of a blot on the landscape.

Most of my Friends don’t know I Blog

This blog made me think. Some of my friend know I blog but take no notice of what I write or for that matter comment in any way. I write this blog for two reasons the first is simply to get the name known unadulterated advertising and the other is to allow me to get things off my chest if I need to.

Electric superbike.

An electric superbike beats Ducati 1198 and KTM RC8 in a race in the states, with a top speed of 158 mph. Here’s the video. I said electric bikes are getting more popular. I didn’t realise they were pocket rockets already.

A pink week!

While out on my travels chasing down parts etc, I have  noticed an up surge in electric Push bikes. They are starting to look like mopeds and motorbikes! It took me aback to see this pink one speeding down a bike lane with an older woman on it! Way to go!! It looked like a vesper in the way it was styled, the give away being the pedals sticking out the side.

Electro Glide.

The world of two-wheel transport is further ahead in the alternative fuel category.  The reason is its a  lighter vehicle to propel than its four-wheel counter part.

 But what I do not understand is the obsession that electric transport has to rely on battery’s that can only be charged with a plug, there by limiting its useability and distance it can travel before recharge. I know this maybe a simple view but why do none of these transport types have the latest solar electric panels as part of their build, to help keep the battery’s topped up. 

A typical drive to work means that you have to sit in standing traffic,  wouldn’t  it be great to think your little electic car is recharging itself  while your waiting in a que!  By doing this you have already extended the distance it can travel and with traffic volumes set to increase we are going to spend more and more time standing still.

Privacy policy?

What a joke!

It is only when you set up  a web site for yourself that privacy becomes an important  issue. I am probably right in thinking that some of you never look at the small print and those that do must think ” what am I letting myself  in for?”

 I’m talking about when you come to a privacy policy  that runs to more than a page you know your in trouble with that company. Basically they say we will protect your data but send it all round the world for other companies to look after but if your identity gets cloned, it’s not their fault! Where do these companies get the moral right to tell everybody your information? They don’t, but they think they do! because you have used their product/web site etc. It is time these companies started offering their customers a proper service and not lip service to your data with long-winded policies. They should all say we do not share your info and honour that!

The rise of plastic welding.

Free_hand_weldingGas welding for plastic has been around for decades.  The Swiss company’s introduction of  a hot air gun  that had a very exact temperature control made it possible to use this method  for fabrication and  plastic  repair.

It was not until the release of Ford Escort MK4, Austin’s Maestro, Montego and the Rover 800 series ( These sites have pictures and histories and for the Rover ) and other makes along these lines, that a good reliable way of repairing flexible materials  needed to be  found. The traditional method of  the  fiberglass patches behind the damaged area as support  had to change.

It did not take long for the Insurance companies to realize that they could not sustain the replacement costs of all these bumpers. The type of plastic used in the Austin and Rover ranges would not take much of a knock before it shattered. The insurance lab’s at Thatchem ( ) had to find a way to cut costs.

Two pack urathane repair material.

Two pack urathane repair material.

It did not take long for two systems to come to the fore; two pack polyurethane and plastic welding. The two pack procedure still required with some repairs, a patch behind it, this limits it to the smaller repair. As to the welding, it can cope with the full gamut of damage from a small crack to broken pieces. It became clear that this was the way to go.

At this point I must point out that flexible materials  fall into two categories:- thermoplastic the injection molded type that  repair by gas welding and the other is thermo-set; this is where two chemicals added together  form a solid like two pack polyurethane and glass reinforced plastic (GRP).

Badly broken nose cone  Plastic welding can rebuild this nose cone where glue cannot

Badly broken nose cone Plastic welding can rebuild this nose cone where glue cannot

Plastic welding has come a long way since the early days. The Institute of  the Motor Industry recognise it as a valid repair for plastic parts and has become part of the body repair apprenticeship. It  only takes a few hours to learn the basics of plastic welding but it is a skill that takes some time to perfect, more so when it comes to broken and missing pieces.

The motor industry is introducing more and more plastic into its products, part of the reason is to cut costs, another to make vehicles lighter meaning they will go further on a tank of fuel and in the current climate of higher energy costs this is a good thing. But where will it stop? In the future the plan is to have the vehicle made of plastic right down to the wheel rims.  I know we already have GRP cars like TVR ( ) but I’m talking about thermoplastic cars that go beyond the Renault Espace ( ). It is possible that in the future, the engines that propel these cars could be made of plastic but that will depend on fossil fuels still being used.