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November 3, 2008

pumpkin protection agency

by sven at 7:00 am

pumpkin shelf

Every year since we've lived here, meanies have smashed our pumpkins. Ah, but NOT THIS YEAR, thank you very much!

As a preventative measure, I devised this shelf which clamps onto the house above the front porch area.

front porch

The horizontal board has a 1/2" overhang at the back. The trim of the house creates a lip that it can sit on. This point of contact then acts as a fulcrum. The force of the pumpkins' weight wants to make the horizontal board swing downward -- but the vertical brace prevents this motion from occurring. The two struts keep the horizontal board from breaking off of the vertical.

Consequently, the extra large clamps don't actually do much of the work of holding the shelf up. (I've learned over time that it's vital with projects like this to think in terms of vectors of force.)

10 foot ladder

I'm thrilled with this solution... It does take a 10 foot ladder to get up to the pumpkins for lighting, though. ;)


Unfortunately, we have some neighbors who weren't so lucky: their pumpkins got smashed. On one of our regular walks we saw two cute little jack-o'-lanterns. The next day, they were gone and an angry note was posted on the garage.

replacement pumpkins

Now, we've never actually met these neighbors... But it was so sad -- we're pretty sure that it was a young kid whose work got demolished. So we decided to right the wrong. If nasty strangers had smashed the pumpkins, we'd be the kindly strangers who replaced them.

note from the Pumpkin Fairies

I went out and got two pumpkins and put them in a plain brown box (so meanies wouldn't suspect). I wrote a note, and left the package on the neighbors' porch:

"We liked your pumpkins! It was sad to see that someone smashed them. That's no good! Here are replacements.
--The Pumpkin Fairies"

thank you sign

Later that evening we went for another walk... And we saw that a note drawn in magic markers had gone up on the neighbors' porch:

"Thank You Pumpkin Fairies"

...You're welcome! :D

posted by sven | November 3, 2008 7:00 AM | categories: miscellany