Tuesday, 26 February 2013

At the bottom of the garden...

Friday was another cold day, and that morning was already in the diary to go and replace a gate, so at 7am when I looked out of the window there was snow blowing around in the wind, only a light sprinkling...but you never know

I got to the house and there was an area cleared for me to build up the gate. Tools first, my little car was full of all types of things I may need..

The next thing to do was clear a bit more space and start dismantling the old gate. The strap hinges were lovely, a fair bit of wear on them, but still more than adequate for the size of gate that they were going to support.

I got to work on removing the hinges from the old gate and was pleasantly surprised that the screws came out quite well, no chewed up slots helped and the rust from screw to hinge didn't slow it down either. In a short time the gate was off and lent against the wall.

I had already cut the timbers to length (plus 30mm), run the ledges and brace through the saw and put a few degrees on the edges to stop any water standing. I'd also cut the diagonal brace ends on my cross-cut, to save more time. So, it appeared that this gate was only going to take a few minutes, but I did give it a head start. I placed the old gate on top of the new, pencilled a line around the gate plus a couple of millimetres and cut the head shape (plus a bit)..

With the gate assembled I held it up to the wall, fixed through the strap hinges into the gate and got to see how it was looking, I had to plane a bit off either side, but on the whole it was pretty good. Some more shaping to the top to get the curved top similar shape to the brickwork and it was looking great.

The bolts were a bit of fun, an outside bolt was on, so if they went through the gate for a walk they could lock the garden behind them. A good idea I thought, so that one went on first, the inside was a bit trickier. I had to put another ledge on the gate to get the bolt to work in the old holes, so it had to fit up to the brace, and to make it look right I added the one the other side later. But the bolt wasn't too much trouble and the padlock still fitted too..

The bolts were held on with some of those bolts that we all seem to have a few of... Sometimes in an old ice cream tub or box, plenty of different sizes...and I managed to use half a dozen bolts, nuts and washers, so that felt good, and does save some money too. We did have to get some more bolts for the heavy end of the strap hinges... and guess what.. a couple more left over...

Job done..

And still there was the occasional flurry of snow in the wind...

 All the best


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Parkinsons Perfect 15 vice.. not so perfect..vices...

I've been after some more vices for the workshop benches. Last year I picked up a Parkinsons Perfect 15" vice for only £5.00, what a bargain. And with the travelling only into Worcester town, 20 minutes in the car, that's great..but there is something going on on Ebay...

You see, since then I've had a few saved searches watching out for vices, and they are not as cheap as before, looks like the second hand/used market is on the up for tools.

But where they were around £20. ... now, they are going for around £40.. is this because people are beginning to realise that sometimes the old stuff is better than the new? or is it that people are buying old ones to reuse, recycle etc...

Are we all just after a bargain, and it's driving the prices up...I'm not sure.

A couple of weeks ago I was going to start a table, and looking around for timber to build it with, no luck in my shop. I was after contrasting colours in timber, and I have plenty of Brazilian Mahogany, so wanted something pale like Maple. And then it came to me Molly, the lady I had some Ebony off last year, I called her up and went over to see what she had in the way of pale timber. And as I was looking around I noticed a couple of vices on benches, and there it was a Record 52 1/2, the industry standard bench joiners vice, fitted to one of the many benches...

I asked Molly if it was for sale and we soon agreed a price, then the fun started. It took me over an hour to remove the vice, Molly's husband had done a smashing job of fitting the vice, but with all the dust, general mess and the fact that it was really quite dark, it was challenging...I even managed to save the bolts..

I found some timber, Maple, put away a fair few years ago, and it seems pretty good. I'll be making something out of it soon.

So here's the Record 52 1/2, an old one, there's a label in an Art Deco font on the cover plate...

I cleaned it over with a wire cup brush in my old Black and Decker drill,
I then went over it with some wax polish...

And here it is attached to the student bench, note the holes in the top of the bench,
more on these later...

I fixed more timber under the bench top to take the weight and support at the correct height, this vice went on so easy, I even managed to use those old bolts from it's previous home...


So onto the Parkinsons Perfect 15 Vice

This is the one I've had to wait a while before fitting, so here we go..

The back casting was a pain, not square, so had lots of fun fitting to my bench.. and the old wooden chock will come in useful later...

It looks great doesn't it..a great casting and I love the small neat quick release lever,
and of course Made In England...It took a lot more cleaning than the other vice, due to all of the Red Lead paint and loads of oil and grease that the previous owner had put on.
I got through loads of cloth and White Spirit..

This was my old York plain screw vice guide, I bought it from Axminster,
and it will be put away until I have another use for it..no rush

I've removed the old vice, and had to remove some of the fascia to get the Parkinsons vice to fit to it, I left the old bolts in the bench under the two disc shapes on the top, and just got a grinder to the studs beneath the bench... But getting this vice to sit right was a right old pain, the castings were not really as good as the old Record 52 1/2 and it took a while to get it right...

How to fill the bolt holes up..I was given a Bay tree trunk by a friend, and thought that it would make fantastic oyster plugs. I turned part of the trunk on the lathe and made 8 tapered plugs, just cut each one off, a bit of glue, tapped in, allowed to dry, then I ran a plane over them. That's another different timber added to my benches...

In the chipboard top of the student bench too... this bench is all re-used wood
it's great to mess around with different timbers.

So while I'm on the subject of vices, you may as well see the tail vice on my bench..

Inside the Teak, American Cherry and Maple is a York Tail Vice Screw, the jaws open to around 10"
and the Tommy bar is made from Ash (an old bakers 'peel' handle)

It could do with a clean down and probably would benefit from being trued up,
with a sharp plane, a straight edge and a bit of time..not just yet then..

All designed and hand built by myself

So there we have it, I still need to put faces inside the jaws of both vices..
The next posting is all about the table...or gate...
If you agree, like, disagree with anything I've put in here then please make a comment..

Just about all the comments get published

all the best

Saturday, 23 February 2013

February is flying along...

So, in a previous posting I had mentioned an Oak staircase with quite a few watermarks. The staircase was salvaged and reused in this home, and when you look at it carefully you can see where some jointing has taken place to make it fit.

The watermarks were made when someone had left a bucket of water on the treads whilst doing some work on the walls. There were around eight or nine of the marks, some so bad that when they were gone I noticed some more on the same tread that none of us had seen.

Here you can see the waring out of the Polyurethane on the treads, risers and strings
One of the water marks before

and after removal
Another before..
and after..
and the worst one..
you can really see the shape of the bucket, this was easily the worst watermark I've seen...
This is after, but I still hadn't finished.


 So after Staining, some waxing, oiling, rubbing down and polishing I was done, and it looks a lot warmer, I've got rid of the water marks and dry patches, and put some life back into it.
more next week.
all the best


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

More photos added to Gallery


Busy doing all sorts, a late night last night. I had my first evening class, a good night all went well, a good lesson for me. I've added some better photos to the Gallery and put sold on one of the first pieces sold from the Gallery.

I'm removing some watermarks from a very large Oak Staircase, this is quite a big job and plenty of the marks...not good. It is going well and when it's done, with the owners permission I'll put pictures on here, hope so...

Have I mentioned a surf board coffee table, well it's cramped up, early days yet, but will be on here in the next few days..

thanks for looking

all the best


Monday, 4 February 2013

The End ?

The End ?

This piece started off on the floor of the workshop, just under the crosscut saw. I had just finished the build of the student bench, the top was clean and clear. I was thinking about going home, started the usual tidy up, clearing around the saws, up the corner of the shop and was picking up these offcuts, bin or...what.. The wall space up the corner was crying out for something, it's just a plain white wall.
And these offcuts are just beautiful, there are numbers on the ends of some, these were sorted into lengths and I used a black marker pen to note the usable lengths of each piece. Grey colour, from being outside at home under the temporary workshop ( remember that? ), some of the pieces still had evidence of the glue and plywood left from when it was staging, building platforms between the boats. A rusty old nail sticking out of one, a screw head in another and the timber yards red painted sort code, evidence of plenty of different uses.

I grab some newspaper, couple of sheets on the new bench and start gluing these piece's together, then as I'm doing this I decide to stamp my mark into one on the front and one was already on the back of another, from showing someone what the 'mark' looks like in some end grain.

So I'm now making an art piece that's going on the wall  up the corner, made from timber that has been around a while. When the timber was first delivered to Sealine some twenty something years ago, it could have been part of a boat, that could have gone anywhere in the world. Used as structural floor timbers, or framing behind a cabinet, strengthening timber in the fibreglass hull, it could have been anything...

And I've used all the good stuff for work at home, benches, the student bench, the metalwork bench, and the lathe bench. Now the ends are being used. So far zero waste apart from the dust from the saw and some shavings in the extractor from planing the wood down to make it smooth enough to use on a bench, we don't want splinters...not if I can help it.

Here it is in the corner of the workshop..

The End?

In all its rough glory...

Next time, a commissioned piece, the workshop classes have started...lots going on

I welcome comments and feedback, if you've got this far, then it's easy enough...

all the best