Monthly Archives: September 2012

Solar panels

Everyone seems to be buying solar panels at the moment. In fact take a look on Google or Bing’s up-to-date satallite imagery and see how many there are by you ..this is near me:

Click the picture and count the panels ..I made it 282.
While fitting these is generally a job for a specialist and not in the realm of the average handyman it is worth considering this basic fact before you invest:
Spend £1 on insulation to save a Kilowatt or spend £10 on solar panels to generate a Kilowatt (figures are approximate but the ratio is basically correct)

Well hung

I recently had to rehang a pair of garden driveway gates which had become unhinged. Effort had been made to fasten upright timber posts to a pair of RSJs (rolled steel joists ie girders) concreted into the ground with the gates then hinged onto these posts. Because the RSJ’s leaned forwards, blocks had been used to ensure the timber posts themselves were vertical but the blocks made it easy for the timber posts to become loosened from the RSJs if say wind caught the gates.
In repairing I chose to bolt the timber posts tightly against the RSJs making them much more secure but this meant that the gates would not be vertically hinged because the posts, like the RSJs, now sloped forwards slightly.
So what’s the problem? Answer: None.
Because the gates now effectively opened slightly uphill, the gates had a strong self-closing action which was good. Also because the driveway inclined slightly where the gates opened it also meant the gates now cleared the drive as they opened instead of scraping the ground as they had in the past.
The same effect can be created on normal internal doors by setting the lower hinge slightly further outward from the door jamb. Even two or three millimetres can be enough on a well hung door to give it a tendency to self close.