Introduction: Handy Tricks From Australia
Somewhere over the rainbow is the magical land of Oz, a parallel universe where they call "ketchup" "tomato sauce". They've got their own ways of doing things, and here are some random ones I saw there.
To see more handy tricks,
try Handy Tricks from Guatemala
and Fifty Handy Tricks.
and More Handy Tricks
and Handy Tricks Volume Six!
For a bunch of things that didn't work, check out How Not To.
First Trick: "Shadow Board" Tool Organizing
Here's Ross Griffith, Saul's dad in his garage in Sydney. If you organize your tools this way your kids will turn out just as well as Saul did.
By drawing outline "shadows" around each tool, you can tell instantly where each tool is supposed to go, and which tools are missing. This trick isn't unique to Australia, but if you look carefully you'll see that everything is exactly backwards, because it's in the southern hemisphere :).
Step 1: Catch Sandworms for Bait
Sandworms are millipede-like animals that look just like the critters with the same name in the movie "Dune".
This Aussie gent is catching them for bait at Hawks Nest, New South Wales.
He's about halfway between the high and low marks of the waves. The area of sand that's being actively washed by the waves now, but is fully exposed between the waves.
He's got a mesh bag of chicken giblets or fish parts in his left hand and is holding it against the sand bottom. In his right hand is the tool for grabbing the worms. Either a trowel with a sieve attached or a gripper sort of like a large pair of needlenose pliers. I saw people using both types of objects. If you're quick I think you can use your bare hands, but the sandworms are pretty scary looking and active.
I would have gotten better pictures, but I asked him "Ok if I take some pictures?" and he said "Not at all", which means "go right ahead", but I thought he meant the opposite.
Step 2: Easy Solar Water Heater
Someone made their own water heater on the NORTH-facing side of their tile roof.
That's right, the NORTH side. They're in the southern hemisphere so during their winter the sun is up here in the north, shining us a warm summer.
To make this solar collector they just put many loops of black hose on the roof. I assume there's a waterpump somewhere in the system circulating the water into a storage tank or swimming pool.
Step 3: Moveable Curb
These portable curb modules can be arranged into any shape, and are too much trouble for impatient motorists to edit on their own. Good for experimenting with civic planning, changing traffic, parking, etc at will.
Step 4: Improvised Clothesline From Bicycle Cable Sheath
Someone took a long bicycle brake cable, pulled the inner cable out, and put eye-screws into the ends of the remaining part.
The threads of the eye screws engaged with windings of the spring sheath.
Then they stretched the springy cable and hooked the eyes of the eyescrews over hooks in the wall.
Pretty damn technical for a clothesline. Perhaps they are sold this way as a product here.
Step 5: Busking Bottles
This gent is playing musical bottles in Sydney, Australia, in April 2004.
At his left is an empty jug, presumably emptied into the bottles to tune them.
He is banging away energetically on them with wooden spoons. It sounded really good.
He appears to have arranged the suspended bottles like a piano keyboard.
If you want to make it super-easy,
you could also arrange them in groups as notes of chords (cords of chords :) )
so that there will be no wrong notes within a group.
Step 6: Folding Sailboat
16 or 18 foot folding sailing dingy. Composed of 5 body panels with canvas hinges between them and two transoms. This is the largest specimen of the type I've seen. Note the large number of bench thwarts. I believe it was intended as a lifeboat.
Step 7: Garb for Cement Work Under the UV Hole
A brim and rear sunflap are added to this hard hat to make it into a wide-brimmed hat.
Green gaiters keep gravel and sand out of the boots. Long sleeves and pants would have added to the UV protection, but this gent appears to appears to like his tan.