Chimney Maintenance, Bird Feeder Plans, Styrofoam Epoxy and More Country Lore

Readers submit their favorite tips on how to make epoxy out of Styrofoam, follow simple bird feeder plans and more while Mother Earth News gives advice of our own regarding chimney maintenance and cleaning

| February/March 1998

Recycling Styrofoam to Make Epoxy Sealant

I'm an American wildlife biologist working in the country of Surinam, South America. Sea turtle conservation is an important part of my work here. As such, I spend a good amount of time on remote nesting beaches, where I often meet fishermen. Through them, I became acquainted with an interesting use of Styrofoam that I want to pass on to you and your readers.

The fishermen collect all kinds of chunks of Styrofoam they find on the beach and make it into a substitute for two-component epoxy to repair their canoes. It works great, and here is how to do it.

Crumble the Styrofoam into dice-size or peanut-size pieces, drop them a few at a time into a container holding a small quantity of gasoline, and watch them dissolve, stirring occasionally. You need very little gasoline, but a lot of Styrofoam. You will have to experiment with it. Start with maybe a 1/16 inch layer of gasoline in a tuna-can sized container. You will be amazed how much Styrofoam you are going to need before the mixture starts to thicken. When it is about the consistency of what you would normally get when mixing two-component epoxy, the mixture is ready for use.

Use it like you would epoxy. It will harden in a couple of hours, and you can work it like wood or metal. You can also melt the Styrofoam in paint thinner, but then it may take 24 to 48 hours to harden; this may be useful for some applications. At any rate, the fishermen in Surinam use it to repair their boats: fill seams, close cracks, repair holes, you name it. — Paramaribo, Surinam 

Low-Cost Fly Trap

Here is a low-cost trap for whiteflies that enjoy my tomato plants indoors and outside. To make it, clean bright yellow bottles then fill them with water or sand to prevent tipping by wind. Cover them with auto grease or petroleum jelly and then smear on oil. Paul W. Cover, Hilliard, Ohio

Bird Feeder Plans Using A Two-Liter Pop Bottle

You can recycle an empty, clean, two-liter plastic pop bottle into a transparent bird restaurant. Here's how.

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