Monday, 17 December 2012

Chris Scholtz - Master DIY hobbyist

Tucked away in a quiet home in Cape Town lives an amazing hobbyist and firm believer in doing it yourself.
Chris Scholtz, retired engineer and his equally interesting wife Joan have sailed the oceans for many years. Diving on wrecks is his passion and he has discovered and retrieved many an artifact over several decades of adventure and has a story to tell about each item.
Some of these artifacts are priceless and have been restored meticiously by Chris, ensuring that each restoration is an exact replica of the original piece. No detail is too small and some time spent in Chris's small intimate pub is a revelation. If you are a DIY enthusiast this is an inspiring experience,

We hope to convince Chris to share some of his experiences, and the stories behind some of the pieces, with us. That is, of course, if we can catch him between projects because even now, at the age of 80 years he STILL dives whenever he gets the chance although he does admit that nowadays he prefers the easier dive sites and picks his days according to the weather.

Using "Sugru"

To date we have used it to repair a broken seat belt buckle, a sun umbrella, a round mirror that fitted too loosely in its frame and a number of other applications.See the photos.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

One more repair using Sugru.

Dear fellow hobbyists,
Here is another "hack" for you :
(This one comes from yours truly).
I accidentally slammed the buckle of my seat belt in the door of my car. It cracked the tough plastic casing and the belt was no longer safe to use and difficult to secure in its place.
I tried to repair it with various glues but the tough plastic just shrugged them off.
I then tried two part epoxy putties (such as Pratleys) but used so much of the material that the belt became unyielding and too heavy to retract. Epoxy putties are also not resistant to impact damage and it cracked again.
I was on the point of replacing the buckle at great cost  when Sugru came to the rescue. My seat belt has now been working perfectly for almost a year. Sugru is easier than epoxies to work with, it is much lighter than and the buckle also looks better.
Judge for yourself from the photos.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Hacking a cracked lampshade with SUGRU

A cracked lampshade on an overhead fan is not a lot of fun and when you can not find a replacement the only alternative is to replace the whole fan.
Not so, when you have SUGRU. Once we realised that SUGRU can be used in temperatures of up to 180 C it was a simple matter to repair the crack with it. We chose black and for an encore we used the remaining material to shape a few moons, half moons and stars.
As you can see it looks great and we saved ourselves the trouble and the cost of removing and replacing whole ceiling fan and light.
A word of caution though: This was a light plastic lampshade. Glass can be dangerous if used in an overhead situation. It should be fine on a standing lamp or base provided you ensure that there is good adhesion and that there is no risk or danger of injury.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Incredibly useful new product for hobbyists and DIY-ers

"Sugru" is an acrylic compound that is soft and pliable and extremely easy to work with.It cures to a tough and durable but still flexible material, soft to the touch. You can bend, shape and mould it to any shape you want and it comes in a range of colours.It adheres to most materials and once cured it can withstand temperatures from -60 C to 180 C.
It is not yet available locally but you can order it direct from the manufacturer on their website at This makes it a bit expensive but what is more important is the fact that it not only solves problems but also allows you to make existing things better. The product is so versatile that the only limit to a hobbyist, handyman or DIY-er is his or her imagination.
They call the use of the material "hacking" and the user a "hacker". It conjures up a picture of someone crashing your computer but with Sugru it is exactly the opposite. It helps you solve problems and save money by repairing rather than replacing.
Look at their website at and see the amazing range of applications. 
The company is extremely pro-active. They have a great monthly newsletter that every DIY-er and hobbyist will find interesting. It is full of news, tips and latest developments.

Here is an extract from their website:

Very science-y indeed

Extremely clever scientists have been working on sugru for over 5 years to give it as many great physical properties as possible, so it can be as versatile and useful as possible for you.

Makes your stuff perfect (for you)

Why are so many products just so bad? Uncomfortable tin openers, leaky trainers, they get our goat! Why should you have to spend £20 on a designer tin opener? You shouldn't! Hack the one you have instead. Power to the (handy) people!

Makes your stuff last (really long)

Sugru can help you dramatically prolong the life of your stuff. By applying in some cases even a teeny tiny bit to your things, you get to keep them for much longer and decrease your impact on our wee world. Repair with gusto!

Monday, 5 September 2011


This is our brand new blog page for all hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts. Post your stories, tips, club news and general information . Ask for advice and information. This is your page and we look forward to hearing from you!
I have come across a fantastic new product recently for both DIY and hobbies. Will tell you about it soon.