Tortilla Press with Homemade Tortillas

Wooden Tortilla Press

Tortilla Press with Homemade Tortillas

I used 2 x 4 scraps and some oak for the handle. The only thing I had to buy were the hinges. Total cost: $3.57

Today’s Edition of Brian Makes Crap out of Slightly Lesser Crap: A tortilla press made out of 2 x 4 scrap!t

I adapted instructions from another person’s video so I won’t bother to rewrite them here. If you want to make one, just check out his video and follow along.  All you really need to make one of these is some thick lumber and a table saw.  However I used my planer (to square up the 2×4 prior to glue-up), a router with a roundover bit to smooth the corners, a sander with 80, 120, 220, and 300 grit paper, and a band saw to curve the handle. The additional power tools certainly aren’t necessary, but they make the finished product a little nicer.

I made mine out of 2×4 scrap that I planed down to 1 1/4″ thickness and edge-glued the pieces together into 12″ wide squares.

I made the handle out of oak for extra strength, but that was made from scrap.  The only part of the project that cost me any money were the hinges, for a total cost of $3.57.

You can check out Steve Ramsey’s tortilla press video here.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Product Review: Earth-Rated Poop Bags

Some might say I take my recycling to a ridiculous extreme.  If you followed me around with a camera for a few days, you’d eventually catch me moving stuff my roommates threw away to the recycling bin or compost pile. Some may think that’s gross.  Well to them I say go suck eggs! Then compost the aforementioned eggs, because I hate to see them go to waste, you asshole.

For those of you looking to eliminate that last 5 or 6% of trash you still find yourself leaving for the garbage man, Earth Rated Poop Bags can help you get there.  They’re sturdy, environmentally friendly, and a great alternative to composting your actual dog.

The Material

Earth Rated Poop Bags are made from the same corn-based material that Coca-cola is using in their PlantBottles, but unlike PlantBottles Earth Rated Poop Bags are biodegradable and meet the ANSI standard for biodegradable plastics (ASTM D6400). The bags are thin but durable.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve put a regular plastic bag in my pocket, only to pull it back out torn up by my car keys. The Earth Rated Poop Bags feel thin but have an elasticity to them that a regular plastic bag doesn’t.

The Smell

Earth Rated Poop Bags come in scented or unscented varieties.  I bought the unscented bags because their website was unclear as to whether or not the lavender scented type are biodegradable. The unscented bags have a similar odor to regular plastic bags.  But what do you want?  If you’re carrying around a bag of pooh you’re not doing it hoping to find your soul mate.

The Price

Earth Rated Poop Bags are definitely a little more expensive.  Last I checked regular poop bags were about $0.02 cents per bag, and Earth Rated Poop Bags were about $0.04 cents per bag.  Do they cost more? Absolutely.  But unless your dingo is dropping a dozen dookies a day, the difference is hardly going to break the bank.

Do Earth-Rated Poop Bags Really Compost?

The short answer is yes. The manufacturer says they should break down in 40 days and in my experience (so long as your compost pile stays healthy) I’d say that’s very true.  In the accompanying video I dissect my compost heap, which contains several bags deposited over the last few months.  I found a piece of one bag but the rest seem to have broken down completely.

Is it safe to compost dog poop?  The Department of Agriculture says it depends, because a dog’s stomach (and thus a dog’s dookie) can contain bacteria that’s not so good for his owner. If you don’t use the compost to grow food it’s perfectly fine.  If you do plan to use the compost to grow your garden, either don’t include your dog poop in that compost or use a red worms composting method.