The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Collapsible lawn and leaf bag review update

leaf bag container upright thingThe collapsible lawn and leaf bag has seen better days.

We should have known better and stored it in the barn when the season was over.

I'm afraid too much sunlight exposure has weakened the tarp material resulting in a few fatal rips that duct tape can't fix.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Looks like a trip to Joanne Fabric or whatever is there, is in your future, to sew up a new one. Looks like maybe 2 to 2 1/2 yards of ripstop ought to do the trick. Make a tube for the coil spring and baste it in place before sewing it in place. It's a thought at least.

I'd offer my sewing machine but you could sew it by hand by the time I could travel that far, sorry.

Comment by Vester Sun Oct 10 21:24:54 2010

It's the ultraviolet component of the sunlight that has done it in. Thermoplastics don't like UV very much. And once the added stabilizers have been used up, damage progresses much more rapidly.

Generally, the thinner and more flexible a thermoplastic is, the shorter the expected lifespan in outside conditions.

Thermosetting resins can usually withstand it much better because they are cross-linked.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Oct 11 05:14:15 2010

Vester --- Great idea! I actually tend to have big hunks of fabric around, and I could see replacing the plastic with fabric.

Roland --- That's a lot of good information. I'll have to remember that thin, flexible plastic needs more protection.

Comment by anna Mon Oct 11 08:05:56 2010

I'd suggest a canvas as a suitable material. But if you don't like cotton, you could go with hemp, if you can get it. (I'm not sure linen is suitable, it's fiber can break when creased and it absorbs a lot of water)

And maybe paint it with linseed oil to make it water repellent? Be careful though, the drying reaction of linseed oil is exothermic, and can cause a fire if you leave rags soaked in linseed oil in a pile.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Oct 12 03:58:48 2010
Those sound like good options. I can't decide if they'd last longer or less long than tarp material --- the cloth would rot in our wet climate while the tarp would deteriorate unless I remembered to store it indoors. Maybe your oil-impregnated fabric would be the solution.
Comment by anna Tue Oct 12 14:26:56 2010
What about fiberglass cloth? It doesn't rot when wet nor does it decay under UV. And a twill weave or a relatively coarse plain weave can be quite flexible. Not a clue as to how it would sew, though. I only use it to make composites. :-)
Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Oct 12 16:44:58 2010
I've never heard of fiberglass cloth. I'll have to keep my eyes open for it --- it sounds extremely useful.
Comment by anna Tue Oct 12 19:19:00 2010

You can even order it online. Don't bother with the more expensive s-glass yarns. Stick to the cheaper e-glass. A satin or twill weave will be more pliable than a plain weave.

If you impregnate glass fiber cloth with epoxy or polyester resin, it makes very strong and light products. If you stiched a bag out of glass fiber and painted the edge of the bag with polyester and kept it open while the resin cured, that edge it would keep its shape after the polyester hardened.

You can do interesting things with fibers and resins. See e.g. the knotted chair.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Oct 13 18:00:59 2010

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