Bi-Monthly Almanac: Turtle Trap, Battery Rejuvenation, and Other Home Maintenance Tips

A simple turtle trap and a method of battery rejuvenation are two of the six home maintenance tips presented here.

| May/June 1979

  • 057 almanac 4 turtle trap.jpg
    All you need to make this snapping turtle trap is a barrel, a board, and a hinge.
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 057 almanac 5 battery rejuvenation.jpg
    Method battery rejuvenation: punch two small holes in the battery walls, soak it in vinegar for an hour, and wrap in wax paper.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 057 almanac 2 chain link repair.jpg
    Two metal plates, two bolts, and two nuts are sufficient for a quick and dirty chain link repair.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 057 almanac 3 screw hole wedge.jpg
    If you have a screw that's too small for the hole it has to fill, wedge the end of a screw into the whole first.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 057 almanac 1 rake.jpg
    Placing wood spools on the ends of a rake will prevent it from digging into the sod when you're raking leaves.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 057 almanac 6 improvised flashlight.jpg
    A battery, a small light bulb, a piece of copper wire, and tape are all you need to make an improvised flashlight.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 057 almanac 4 turtle trap.jpg
  • 057 almanac 5 battery rejuvenation.jpg
  • 057 almanac 2 chain link repair.jpg
  • 057 almanac 3 screw hole wedge.jpg
  • 057 almanac 1 rake.jpg
  • 057 almanac 6 improvised flashlight.jpg

For the handyman or -woman willing to improvise, here are six simple home maintenance tips to get you through the day's projects. And for the handy-woman or man interested in significant historical events, have a look at our May/June 1979 Almanac to view a selection that occurred during those two months. 

Turtle Trap

When your pond or lake's snappin turtle population gets out of hand, it's a sure bet that the fish in that body of water—as well as any domestic waterfowl around the place—will suffer. An easily made, self-setting turtle trap will solve the problem, though, and can assure you of a reliable source of meat in both good times and bad.

Just hinge a baited board to a barrel (use small slats to make "steps" on the ramp) and weight the container just enough to allow it to rest on the bottom of a shallow area in the "water hole." Hungry snappers will "walk the plank" to get at the fish or meat scraps, tip the board, and fall into the barrel. Then, the "long" end of the ramp will automatically return to the water ready to trick another turtle.

Battery Rejuvenation

''Dead" dry-cell batteries can often be temporarily rejuvenated. Simply punch a small hole (using an icepick or knife) through each cell's wall, and soak 'em for about an hour in vinegar. After their "bath," dry off the "volt-holders" wrap 'em in rubber-band-fastened wax paper, and enjoy 8 to 10 bonus hours of power! if you need to make a little brightness with your reborn batteries, but lack a flashlight this simple improvisation could come in handy.



Chain Link Repair

A broken Chain link can be quickly and easily replaced if you carry a pair of bolts and two cut-to-size and drilled metal plates. Simply substitute your makeshift link for the faulty hoop and get on with the job!

Root-Free Rake

All too often, when an ordinary iron rake is used to gather up fallen leaves or grass cuttings from the yard, the tool's sharp tines will "dig in" a bit too much, and tear your carefully manicured lawn out by the roots.






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