Introduction: Dog Food Bag Insulation Protector +Plus

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UPDATE 3/5/19 - It worked. Chickens Deterred! Insulation Intact!

There is so much ‘packaging’ to dispose of and so little of it is Biodegradable. As a consequence, any uses that keep these things ‘out of the landfill’ seem worth sharing. To that end I offer three uses I’ve found for the plastic dog food bags in my work shop.

Insulation Protector First is the project that got me looking for a solution to a fowl problem (I think) few folks will ever experience. My chickens are pecking away the insulation I added to the shop door! The other two ideas are uses I’ve put other dog food bags to in the past that are likely to be of use to many people.

Now much of my shop was built using recycled materials including the doors at the South end. The nine by seven foot ‘Kick Out’ garage door once served the main house and became ‘extra’ when I installed a door that could be (and was) opened automatically. However, it was not insulated and had not been designed to be insulated. In fact, the door’s design argued against attempting to insulate the thing – I insulated it regardless.

Then, the chickens literally ate the white expanded foam insulation. I replaced it with 4 x 8’ Green insulation boards from Lowes. The chickens, it turns out, were color blind and pecked quite a bit away before I noticed.

I could cover the foam with thin plywood, I know, but worried that the added weight would make the door more difficult to open. (Not to mention I would have to buy the plywood!)

Step 1: Getting Started . . .

The tools included a tape measure and a razor-knife as well as a couple of clamps and a magic marker.

Materials included the replacement insulation pieces and the Spray Can of Contact Cement as well as two empty (40# & 50#) dog food bags.

Deconstructing the bags is not difficult. The top stitching is probably explained somewhere on the bag itself - I never looked!

The top of these bags are designed to be ‘undone’ (marvelous bit of stitching that is removed with a tug!) while the bottoms – not so much. Of course they can often be undone by starting where the stitching ended and undoing the last stitch or two, then simply pulling the thread as you did topside to empty the bag. If you run into difficulty (as I have more than once) simply take a scissor or a razor knife and cut the threads all along the opening - that works!

Then, look for the seam where two layers of the bag overlap.
Start at one end and peel the seam apart and inch or so, then simply pull the two pieces apart all the way down the bag resulting in a single strong and resilient sheet of water proof Dog Food Bag. The seam is about 2’wide - you can simply cut the bag along one edge or the other losing two inches or cut along both sides and lose 4”.

Measure the bags because you need to know how much area you can cover to plan and mark accordingly

Step 2: Attaching the Fowl Deterrent DFB to the Insulation

Easiest way to do attach the bag material would be to have the door laying flat on the work bench. Getting the door in that position, would be a project in itself.

Next idea.

The door is either closed and in a vertical orientation with the area to be protected nearest the floor, or open and suspended overhead with the area to be protected facing down. As I was the only one available, the idea of spraying Contact Adhesive on the flexible bag and, then on the door above 'needed work.' Or more hands!

So I clamped one edge of the bag to the edge of the Garage door suspending it vertically in an ideal position to be sprayed with Contact Cement. As well, the insulation it was to cover was in a relatively decent position for spraying the contact adhesive. So, I clamped the bag in place, sprayed the back of the bag and the insulation and let the adhesive 'set up' per instructions .

Once the adhesive had set, I press it in place from the clamped edge inward smoothing it out as I went – though there were a few‘wrinkles’ I was unable to avoid.

The edge that had been clamped was trimmed and tucked under the metal framework where possible and glued elsewhere as necessary. I repeated the process with the right side of the door as I had just refilled the dog food bin and had a bright shiny red bag all ready to go. There remains a bit of insulation to cover in these pics and that was taken care of a bit later.

Step 3: DFB Photography Seamless Back Drop

Lights, Camera, Inaction!

Every so often I’ve something to sell on the Ebay or on Craig’s list. If it is small enough, I will set it on a table or other flat surface and take a few pictures to show the details and condition, etc.

As often as not doing so results in pictures containing ‘things in the background’ that can be a distraction. Professional photographers employ large ‘seamless’ backgrounds – 8 ft (or wider) roles of plain paper they hang behind and run under the subject to give the impression (when properly lighted) the object is ‘floating.’

As the inside of these bags are bright white and reflective, they can serve as a photo background as long as the subject is neither too tall (nor too wide)! In the example, I placed the bag on the floor and leaned it against a nearby table.

What do you think?

Step 4: DFB Impromptu Spray Booth

No More Overspray

If you’ve something small to paint – think dog food bag!

Protect your work bench, table saw or other convenient flat surface!

Here I show the DFB fastened to a small stand that allows me to spray paint an object setting on my table saw – not finish work by any means!

Nary a drop on the table saw.

Note, too, how the DFB Overspray Booth might become a randomly colored photo back drop after a few years of use.

Who needs Flour Sacks?