Upcycled Crafts: Solar Reflector
Happy Friday, y’all! A few weeks back we showed you one way to melt vinyl records–with a solar reflector! We asked the creator of said reflector, Paul, to guest post for us while Laura is still away on maternity leave. Paul works at the Austin Public Library and spends time at Recycled Reads making our Media section look snazzy. One reason we love Paul so much is that he always looks at recycled materials as the building blocks to something different and better.
Here’s how he made the 100.00% Upcycled Solar Reflector!
- 1 square meter section of metal wire fence
- 2.5 meters of thin PVC pipe, and 2 L joints
- 2 meters of Ethernet or phone cable
- 50-100 unwanted CDs or DVDs (highly reflective ones, so not CDRs)
Form a curved surface with the fencing. BONUS: If the piece of fence was stored in a roll, this is already done. The PVC will support your reflector. Cut the pipe into 3 pieces, one ½-meter and two 1-meter. Connect these to form a rectangle minus one side. Attach the parallel (1m) pipes to the back (convex) side of the curved fencing, with the 1/2m pipe bisecting the curve to form a handle at the top. I used telephone wire to attach PVC to fencing along the vertical 1m pipes. Choose about 50 of the most reflective discs. DVDs tend to have more reflective surface toward the middle of the disc, so these are best. Slice open your Ethernet or phone cable and rip out the smaller wires form their plastic sleeve. Cut these into
12cm segments. Use these bits of wire as twist-ties to attach the discs, shiny side facing out from the concave side. (EDIT: Metric system goof-up! When making your upcycled twisty-ties (that’s a technical term), cut them closer to 30cm segments). I used a pair of pliers to twist the wire easily and hold the discs firmly to the fencing. Extra CDs can be stacked and tied together to form weights attached to the bottom of the reflector to keep it upright in the wind.
We’re really excited to show you what else Paul has made with the Solar Reflector. Stay tuned to next week’s Craft Blog!
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