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Danger, Danger, Danger !!!

Please read this whole page because all of our readers are very important to us at Dear Grandpa Pencil and we never, ever want to see you hurt.
We do not want to lecture you but you can't have fun and learn if you hurt yourself.
So, if you are going to use any tools or other possibly dangerous things, or, if you are going scrounging for junk, please ask the advice of an adult before starting.
You will probably find that your adult has been hanging out to do something that is so much fun but been afraid to ask,


Grandpa Pencil once worked in a big warehouse.
At one end of the building all of the goods were received and unpacked. The packaging material was thrown in the bin and the company paid to have it removed.
At the other end of the building the goods were dispatched to retailers and that end had to pay for almost exactly the same packaging that had just been thrown out.
Now that, as Grandpa Pencil says, is really silly.
We should never be fanatical about anything because balance and diversity are what keep the planet in some kind of order.

Storage and Stuff

Grandpa Pencil is not writing this series because he is a real muck up.
When he makes projects he always gets impatient and tries to use them before the glue and the paint is dry.
He always starts out nicely with his storage using a big junk crate to hold smaller containers with his stuff laid out neatly and safely.
Next thing we know is that he thinks he can build something nice from the smaller containers and ends up in a real mess (and his stuff breaks and gets all tangled up.)
Use a cupboard, box or crate to keep everything together and have your junk inside that in smaller containers such as shoe boxes and plastic jars.
Store light things in your crate on top of heavy things so nothing breaks.

Good and Bad Rubbish

With only a few exceptions, there is no such thing as bad rubbish. There is just bad or careless use of this resource.
For us non experts, though, we really need to be very careful.
Once something is in a garbage can or wheelie bin it is, for us, bad rubbish,
Never scrounge bottles, jars or other containers from people that you don't know. They may have been used to hold poison or other dangerous things.
Never scrounge through heaps of stuff without supervision and a sturdy pair of gardening gloves. Any cuts or scratches could be very dangerous.
Make a list of the things that you think you may need and ask your adults and friendly neighbours to put them aside for you all nicely washed and disinfected.

The Dump
(Whose rubbish is it, anyway?)

The answer to this question varies from place to place with some dumps giving scrounging rights and others putting aside any usable junk for sale to the public at a reasonable price. Then, of course, there are those who just prefer to bury everything.
You can often find foam sheets and boxes, all sorts of wooden things, bits of machinery, toys, wheels and hundreds of other neat things.
Ask your adult to check out your local dump and if it looks like a good source of material you can spend some time together checking it out.

Sources of Resources

We have spoken about family and friends as well as the local rubbish dump, all good sources, but wait - there's more !
Don't forget about your op shops and as you fall in love with the idea of craft from junk you will find that your local shops, factories and warehouses are a rich source of resources.
Call in or write to find out what they have available. This could be packing, old display units, off cuts or any number of things.
You will find the result so exciting that you will want to start your own business just collecting and selling it, and why not ?

Household Stuff
Instead of Buying
Before you rush off to buy a special tool or other thing that you may need to complete a project ask your adult if there is anything around the house that could be safely used instead.
An instance of this is the use of one of those cleaner spray bottles as a paint or sealer spray.

What to Collect

We will give you just a few ideas to start you off and, between us, we will add more to the list as we add newer projects.
You will want a small collection of clean plastic containers including some cordial, fruit juice and soft drink bottles as well as cardboard tubes from the centres of foil, cling wrap and toilet rolls, odd bits of string, wool, cotton, fabric, leaves and nuts, broken bits of toys including wheels, axles, motors and bodies of vehicles, dolls heads and/or eyes and hair, buckles, buttons and ribbons.
Don't forget some bits of wood and doweling, nails, screws, nuts and bolts, foam packaging, glossy magazine pictures and whatever else that takes your fancy.

'A World of Trivia', 'Dear Grandpa Pencil' and 'A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car'
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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment