I'm all about saving money whenever possible.
We're a very small scale operation here at The Wits' End. We make all of our screens and presses by hand. I screen the items that people order on the island by the kitchen sink. I hope to eventually move everything out to the garage, but the plumbing is not there and getting it installed is very expensive. Being on a fixed income, I have to conserve money as much as possible (the sales are not yet really happening for the store). One of the ways that I do that is to use fifty pound bags of water softener salt pellets for use when I need to hand dye items. Dyeing requires a lot of salt. I can get a fifty pound bag for something in the range of $4.00 US.
Those things are hard!
The problem with using the pellets is that they are incredibly hard. I've tried hammering them, I've tried using a mortar and pestle, I've tried putting them in a burlap bag and slamming them against concrete. None of those worked. I've gone through a number of blenders. They work, but they don't last very long. I get the blenders cheaply when they are on sale, or through thrift stores, but it irks me to be continually spending money on something when I'm trying to save money.
A Ninja to the rescue.
After the last blender died, I decided to look at other options. I have a Ninja Express Chop that I picked up for less than $20.00 a year or so ago and don't use for food any more. Knowing how hard the pellets are, I knew that the plastic wouldn't hold up to being knocked around by the blades for very long. I took some Duck tape and put a couple of layers around it. That way, it keeps the plastic from shattering, and if it does develop a crack it won't leak. That's important, since I now make a slurry by adding water, instead of just grinding the pellets up while they're dry. It's not quite as convenient since I can't really do any up in advance, but it doesn't take long to do two or three cups of salt as needed, so it's not that bad. I've been doing this for a while now, and the Ninja isn't showing any signs of dying.