Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Another swap box at Elgin Bridgehead, another repair by RG

[Edit: added photo of hook to close swap box at end.]

Heading out from Bridgehead last night, I was thrilled to find a new one of el maks' trademark Swap Boxes on the post which formerly held this box, which helped save a life. Here 'tis:

Unfortunately, on opening it, I found it to be very empty. There was about $0.13 in change, and a gambling chip I had just put in (I always have a trinket with me In Case Of Swap Box*). While the box was large, it was shallow, making it hard for anything to stay inside. I took this photo with a ruler so I could fashion something of the right size help hold things in. I was thinking along the lines of a panel of clear plastic packaging stapled across the front.

(*title for your next book, Maks?)

Getting home, I looked at my inventory of paraphernalia and found a Ferrero Rocher box my dad gave me at Christmas (a tradition. I was very disappointed the year he gave me Toblerone instead of Ferrero Rocher for Christmas, though I would have accepted Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher). The box was exactly the right width, it just needed to be opened on one end. Here it is trimmed, taped on the sharp cut edge, with some of the cutting tools I employed to try to cut it to the right size. (The laziest, easiest way I found was scoring it with a knife and/or glass-cutting tool, then clipping it with wire clippers carefully. It will not be a clean cut on the discard side).

I had also pre-drilled some holes in the plastic for small screws to hold it in, making sure not to put the holes too close to the edge, lest my hand and the mini-screwdriver not fit in the gap. I then installed it in situ tonight, first marking the holes, then pre-screwing the screws to make the holes, undoing them, then putting them back in with the plastic piece in place. Worked like a charm (and I only measured once!). El Maks approves! See comments.

Then I populated the box with some new stuff I had brought, "swapping" out the gambling chip I had put in the night before (it had been so long since I'd seen a swap box, I had gotten used to this thing in my pocket) and most of the useless goddamn pennies. The extra benefit of this Ferrero Rocher box is that there is a bevelled edge, making it easier to pull things out of the box.

Unfortunately, maks painted the wooden box over its smooth finish, and the paint is chipping off in the cold. Nothing we can do about that.

Also, because of the way the box is attached to the post, the door doesn't close very well.

I fashioned a simple hook out of a piece of wire just now and will install it next time I'm down there, so that the box's contents will be protected from the elements. [Edit: done. See below.]

I'm grateful to Maks for making (and installing?) the box. It's been so long since we've had one in Centretown since he moved to Montreal. It's up to us to make sure it's well used and well kept!

- RG>


zoom said...

Excellent! I'm vicariously thrilled at your discovery of the new swap box. Good upgrade, too.

I'm going to try to get down to Elgin to see it, but I don't get a lot of time between bird feedings yet. Hopefully the box will still be there in a couple of weeks.

RealGrouchy said...

I hope so too! The last one on this post lasted a good long time.

- RG>

Elmaks said...

Great job on the repair there, RG. I only realized that it didn't quite close well when I got to Ottawa and I didn't have the tools to fix it.

Also, it seems like you've managed to come up with a new way of modifying the Swap Boxes to work better that I'd never thought of.

RealGrouchy said...

Thanks for the endorsement, Elmaks. I'm glad I could help. I added a photo of the new closing mechanism (two screws and a piece of wire bent into a hook--works really well, actually!).

Unfortunately, it seems people are taking things and not leaving things. :(

- RG>

Anonymous said...

Good job RG on the repair!
I'll make sure to keep supplying you with Ferrero Rocher boxes in the futurre! ;-)

RealGrouchy said...

Unfortunately, the box has been destroyed. It was too short-lived!

- RG>

Tobes said...

Just wanted to make a comment saying that our dear pal el maks has passed away. These boxes were an amazing addition to the city and Maks will be missed very much.