Friday, June 29, 2012


Detroit Harbor, Washington Island -

"Richard, can you help me create something that I can mount some shoes on - old wooden clogs - in front of my shop windows?"

The idea shopowner Ruth Gunnerson had was to provide pockets for plants: petunias, periwinkles and such.  (I have no idea what I'm talking about in flower-speak.)

I procrastinated on this project for several weeks until one afternoon, while shopping the metal pile at the Island Exchange, I  came across a thing that had been welded up from old hay rake tines.  These were tines that are about 3/8" diameter rod, hardened, and are bent with a loop in them for spring action in the event of striking a large stone in the field.

There were five such tines goobered together with weld, as if the outcome had been intended for use as an outdoor table base.

These I disassembled, having to cut them in half with a torch as I did so.  Then I rewelded the pieces into approximately 40-inch standards with loops on the top end , and with small washers welded to the loops.  Then, selecting from an ample supply of old wooden clogs saved by Ruth, I chose several with brighter colors to fasten with screws to the washers.  I pushed each finished planter into the ground the other morning and waited for Ruth to do the rest.

Fortunately, the idea seemed to work, and more importantly, Ruth seemed pleased.   Well, that's a cheap birthday gift in advance.  (Our birthdays are nearly the same day in September, as is Mary Dawn, Ruth's sister, and son Hoyt.)   Old shoes, old metal, new use.

Stop by the Kaupstadur to admire her flowers-in-clogs when you are out shopping.

- Dick Purinton

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