Saturday, June 30, 2007

Flowers again

This is the stamp I made yesterday. Two of the stamped items to show what comes out after triming and sanding a little. As I mentioned, the carved part is made from a section of an old stone chisel. There is a hint of the peacock color, but as I thought, most has gone a bluer hue, which is probably more apporopriate giving more toughness. I forgot to put anything in for scale, but it looks like it must have been a 1 inch (25.4mm) octagonal bar that the chisel was made from. That is gas welded onto the base, a short length of tool steel the right size to fit in the fly press.
Mainly welding today, adding a few grille parts to the window. This time, all TIG welding so it took most of the day to get done. The advantage of TIG is that it doesn't heat up the surrounding metal much, so there is very little distortion.
More metal work fun tomorrow.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Magnet fishing

I did a new flower stamp in a nicer piece of steel and made that up into a tool to fit in the press. I used the procedure described yesterday to harden him back up and tempered the face back down to a sort of peacock blue. I don't think it was really necessary as it gets exposed to a lot of heat jaming it into white hot blanks, but doing the last one in a piece of faulty steel made me want to do this one properly.
I made six flowers with it in the afternoon heating and pressing each blank twice and then popped them in a wire basket to cool them down in the pond. The joy of success and the fact that the tool showed no signs of deterioration made me a little stupid and as I was jiggling the basket about to shake off the water one popped out and disappeared into the gloop at the bottom of the pond sending up a few bubbles of stinky methane. The idea of slopping around in there to get it back suddenly made me very wise and I fetched the old speaker magnet I keep on the press to hold spanners and whatnot, popped it onto a steel bar and went fishing. After scaring up a lot more stinky bubbles I soon had the little poppet back in the basket. I must remember to dredge out the pond a bit sometime when there isn't too much wildlife in it.
A similar exploit to the washing machine fishing trip back on january 29th.
Artrage sketch

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Material things

Once again I find myself rather an energy free zone. My break from translation related work today was a trip back to the school again for more plaster and bits of glass and soldering up the other glass shapes the boys made. I completely forgot about taking pictures, otherwise you might have been treated to some of the kids doings.
No time to play in the shop today. It struck me yesterday after I clicked the "post it" button that there is something in the nature of playing about with different materials that makes it similar to travel. The clanger did not quite reach the bell at first, but then I thought about Gulliver and remembered how things kept getting turned on their head in that book. In travelling between the states of material properties you start to gain a sense of how all these things can be turned on their head to be used for good purposes and the little revelations of change bring ideas with them. Today I was telling the boys to watch the molten solder to try and spot the point where the surface freezes. They thought I was kidding about freezing, but they got the idea that some things are frozen at our normal room temperature and only thaw into liquids when it gets pretty warmish. It is a shame we do not have the facilities to melt and heat treat glass as well, then they might start to see windows as sheets of frozen liquid, too.
Anyway, back to the recent playtime fun. The twisty bar at the bottom here is just for reference. You heat a section of bar and twist it one way, then allow that section to cool a bit and twist it the other way a bit further along. The next bar up is a square one that has had twists applied intermittently in one direction. After that it was heated to soften it up and then knocked back to square on the anvil, leaving some of the twist marks where the hammer could not reach. Then heated and twisted in the reverse direction to the original twists to take its current jittery shape. I think this has potential for my twiggy parts, so I have made a few lengths like this. Above that is the punched hole I was talking about yesterday.
I am looking forward to getting some of the bits figured out and up together.
Click on pics to get a better view.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Same drawing, different activity over the top. I had my first go at punching a hole through hot metal today. I was still preoccupied with translation so it seemed more productive to spend the little time I had down in the shop on tool making for the future than mooning about thinking of what to do next. I was punching a hole in a cold chisel to make a slot punch with a handle to use on the press. Basically making something like the head of a hammer with a really pointy nose. Some success, it seemed like drilling a pilot hole would be a good way to get an accurate slot right through so I heated another chisel up to a nice yellow and popped that in a bucket of sand to anneal. It drilled OK later in the day. I guess it is obvious, but to state the obvious, you can't expect to drill a hole in a piece of tempered steel with a drill made of the same thing. Like trying to spread butter with a knife made of butter. You anneal (soften) steel by heating and cooling it slowly. You have to heat it beyond the point where it will attract a magnet. If you do the same and quench it you make it very hard and brittle. To get a tool of the temper you want you then reheat the steel GENTLY after polishing the area you are most interested in and watch the colors change until you get the one you want. Basically the more heat the more toughness and less brittleness. Once you get your color, quench again to fix that quality of stress in the metal. It is fun to fiddle with all these properties of materials and use them to get something that works for you. It is very hard for me to fully grasp the potential uses of materials without a bit of fiddling as the very process of working them gives rise to different ideas.
If you want to know more about this kind of stuff I heartily recommend these two books:-
Tool making for woodworkers by Ray Larsen
The Artist Blacksmith by Peter Parkinson

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hammer and torch

Today went almost wholey to translation work, however I did pop downstairs for a quick session on the torch and hammer tapering and twisting more parts. As mentioned previously I have this gas saver thing that you rest the torch on when you are not using it and that shuts it off. There is a pilot flame, so when you need heat again, you pick it up and wave it past the pilot to light it up. I don't have a permanent forge set up, but this works OK for small stuff. Taking breaks from hammering to heat up is a reasonable rythm for the arms as well. You can't just keep hammering on indefinitely.
A bit of a work in progress, but nice to get back to scribbling again. If you look at the bottom photo from yesterday, you can pretty much paste me into the top right corner working at the bench.

Charcoal on cartridge 37x53cm

Monday, June 25, 2007

All change

I must get back into the habit of saving some steam for drawing. This morning I brushed off the door bits a little more and put everything back together to stand for a while longer. I then shifted over to metal work again with the bench freed up. I had a little go at iron twiggy shapes. I think I have the method for them worked out. So I was drawing out lengths of square bar into tapers for that and experimenting with twisting, flatening and then untwisting. As a sort of intermission job I used a few clamps and whatnot to straighten out the frame from wednesday last. It had developed a twist in welding, so I clamped the diagonally opposite corners down to overhang the edge of a block of steel and applied heat to the other two corners. I left it for an hour and it seems to have settled into a flat plane properly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Brush up

I decided to put the whole machine into mothballs for the day for the sake of the little eye problem, which is feeling a lot better. I still haven't lost the little sucker in there, so I am not happy yet. I will keep an eye on it, ha, ha.
My daughter had a free day from college so I asked her to cook up the door for me. She is just brushing off the cinders here. This gives a nice tough surface to the wood and a uniformity that I like. It brings out the texture of the wood grain as well. I will apply finish to the panels and do one more trial fit before glue up. The scorching work is best done with the door assembled to keep the flames off of the joints, which show up whiter here on the edge of one of the main stiles. Then everything is taken apart to make the brushing work easier. It is a very dusty job, but it is interesting to see the grain pop out as you brush off the cinders from the surface. As I have mentioned before, you should scorch in small patches widely spaced to avoid a flow of warpage building up by just scorching along the length. Fingers crossed, there doesn't seem to be any dramatic warping in this one.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Leaf test

I am not up to sketching much today either. It looks like I have a tiny bit of firescale in the eye, so I am giving the thing a rest to see if it will shift itself. So far the mote is doing a good limpit impression. I think it must have got in there off my hair or something as I had my safety glasses on for work.
These were the first try out with the pattern stamp. It worked better on a flat base than with the negative pattern underneath. So I think I can use that for something else. I will refine these a bit and then bend them into more leaf like form. Making twiggy shapes next I suppose.
If I make more it seems like it is best to leave the leaf shape less definite and then shape it after stamping as it is troublesome to match up the stamp with the leaf with any precision.

Friday, June 22, 2007

PC back

The PC is back from the hospital. It is a good job too, because I don't have the energy to get the sketchbook out. I was making up more tools for the press today, hopefully they will make leaf patterns on blank pieces to add to the window design. I ground shapes into two pieces of tool steel and then fixed a blank piece under the press and made a negative by heating that and driving my shape into it. The evening was drawing in when I finished, so I will have a go at making something with them tomorrow. The last step was heating up the face of the pieces to a nice orange and then dropping them in water to harden them up. I may not even bother to draw a temper, we'll see how they do.
It looks like we are in for a drought this year, but today there was rain, so I had to watch out for the little baby toads out seeking their fortune as I walked to and fro.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Not even a doodle

A peaceful day spent in chaos, so no work related thoughts.
This year I tried growing some Calla lilies, they were on special offer as they had dried out a bit in the shop like bits of old root ginger. This is the first out and they seem to like it in the garden. I had the school councilor meeting this evening. We are supposed to give our take on how the school is doing. I give them a tiny percentage of my real thoughts. I have a feeling there is a lot of human knowledge that just isn't taught in school or better yet discussed.
What is the reason behind all these wars. How do you stop getting back ache. How do you invest the money you have earnt so that it grows a little instead of shrinking. Why is it so important that nothing lasts forever.
There was a sense today of the teachers feeling something similar in that they felt the basic human stuff that should be commonly understood is rather fading out among their young charges. It's a big subject.
Returning to the scrape of land outside the shop I have some lily of the valley, which were my mother's favorite flowers, I remember her saying that her brother Ernest liked Callas, so I may be on my way to some kind of memorial collection. I shall try and gather more data and continue the series.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Door window 2

Quite a hot day here and I was rather adding to it with several hours of welding on those frame parts. I tacked it up and did the corners with the TIG machine, which is the red box in the background. Then went round with the gas torch you can see at center left. As usual everything got out of kilter as the metal adjusted itself with the heat, but I should be able to persuade it back with some more heat and a few clamps. There is usually a way, given a little thought. I'm getting low on oxygen, so the gas man is due tomorrow to top me up. I must also look out or acquire some more bar for the center sections and a couple of other bits.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Door window 1

Making slow headway with the door window. Today I did a first try out of the basic frame having welded up the central block yesterday. There will be a sort of bar pattern inside that and then some flowery stuff also. The door looks like it has been in the wars as I went round and scorched all those little cove cuts yesterday. I like to split up the roasting sessions as much as possible so that the wood has time to settle down in between.
Work with iron is the most recent of the skills I have attempted to get a grip on, so I am still learning a lot. I usually make rather more organic shapes that are more forgiving for my level of work ability, but this being a very square design it is more of a challenge to get everything trued up properly, or at least close to it.
I am looking forward to the fiddly bits in the middle and the finishing, which makes a lot of difference.
I always forget to mention that if you click on the pictures they should zoom in a bit.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Heating up

Just charcoal again, I'm probably lucky some of my important bits aren't cooked. Breaking all the safety rules in the book I suspect in my shorts and sandals. Heating up the edges of square bits of metal and whacking them with the hammer to bend them in a little. Sat on a block of wood in front of the press shown in the picture the other day with the Oxy-propane torch. I must figure out a better seat, the billowy portions complained vigorously after that all day session. It is not so bad just sitting, but all that rocking about moving the press wheel is what causes the post bag to fill with gripey postcards from the nervous system.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Door trim

The door seems to be OK having stood for a few days , so I had it back out on the bench today to prepare for the last bit of shaping with the router. I do a little stopped cove cut on each edge of the frame around the panels in these more formal doors. I worry about the end of the cut tearing out, so I put that end in first with a little gouge on all the edges. Some of the angles are a bit awkward, but the basic mode of operation with the tool is the same. I use the ball of my left thumb as a fulcrum and pivot the the tool handle up with my right hand. This was one of the things it took the teachers at that thing back on wednesday a few minutes to get into. Once they had figured it out, it didn't take them long to get some skill at it.
I was also up the trees again today after a long while away from that sort of activity. Taking the tops off of three little conifers, all different, two types of cypress and one cedar. Only about twenty five or thirty foot up at most I think, but a bit of jiggery pokery on the first of them as it was growing up in between electric cables. I just had to take it down in three stages poping each one down in between the wires. I am not a fan of ladders, but the chap had a couple of wooden ones he had made up, so I placed them flat against the trunks and tied them on tight in two spots as I was going up and that got me to where the branches started OK.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Not very satisfactory, but better than nothing. I particularly like the bit of press work where there is only a tiny bit of metal gripped between the tools and it gets squidged into a new shape with a tweak on the handle. The other favorite part is gradually bending delicate curves that just wouldn't be doable with normal human strength levels. You do have to be careful not to have any body bits where they will get squidged directly, or hit if the part happens to fly out sideways or something. Here I am flattening out the edges of some tiny circular bits to make more flowers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Press monkey

Most of the day spent doing this sort of malarky. The press is a lot more fun to use now that I have put in a couple of stops so that it can't skid round on its pillow blocks when I give it a good pull. If you are into the metal work, look in to getting one of these fly presses, big or small, they are very powerful. I was mainly texturing the lengths of bar I want to use for the window in my current door project. I guess I should really have the thing up on a stand, but it is safe enough down on the floor except for that slight risk of getting a knock on the head from one of the four handles not in use. That is probably why I look like I am trying to stick my head in there. The only real problem is that it is one sided excercise like so many other things.
Whenever you do something to the material like texturing it with marks it bends all over the place, and that is where the press has a big advantage as it allows you to bend things back into shape with a lot of sensitivity and a great deal of power, so you only need to do a bit of taping with a hammer to finish it off true again.
Charcoal on cartridge 37x53cm

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Animal club

The thing with the kids went OK, we got the plaster poured, but there wasn't time for it to set before we had to finish. I expect they will turn out the shapes tomorrow. The class ended up splitting along gender lines, the girls tried the plaster and the boys in the class wanted to try the foil wrapping approach, but they will have to wait till next time to solder the shapes together. I took some photos so that they can see where they were with all the bits when they come back to it next time. This little chap was on some kind of safari spree by the look of it. Thinking about a green fish when he ran out of time.
The glass scraps are from a local stained glass shop that is happy to get rid of them in my direction. I tip a couple of bags out into a big metal tray and the kids poke about looking for something they like. They also learn to cut the glass, but most only manage straight cuts to match up edges. Soldering is the next step, so another new process to try out.
I am still out of the furrow of routine with the computer off to the hospital tomorrow and medical bills on the horizon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Another strange day on the planet. The "volunteer" thing went fine this afternoon, all the teachers seemed to enjoy their time fiddling with sticks and whatnot. Apparently it is customary to recieve a bit of a payoff for that type of session, so I was given some book tokens. It takes a bit of the volunteerism away.
I remembered I had a different kind of meeting in the evening where I was initially half listening to the conversation and doing a little doodle of one of the chaps there on the itinerary. He is now retired, but leads an active volunteer life in the community. In the end the drawing took on more meaning.
There is a commemorative event each year in the community here as a memorial to those men (basically prisoners of war) who died in the building of the local dam. For the past six years or so I have been involved in the building of a sort of stage decoration for that. It has been hard some years to go along with the harsh rules of the venue where the thing is held. The people who run it seem to be of the opinion that the place would be a lot easier to run if the public wouldn't keep coming in and using it. My fellow colaborator in this stage production let slip a little too much of his frustration at this and upset the chap above by suggesting that the volunteers who come along to help weren't much use. One careless word can have some nasty results. I hope the mood was smoothed out in the end, or rather I hope the chap appologised after I left as I had done my best to smooth out the issue and make it clear that for myself the two attractions of participating are the novelty of the decoration only being up there for a day unlike the work I usually make and that there is some sense of collaboration to produce something. Over the years there has been a sense of the volunteers becoming more involved in the creative process, let's hope that little slip of ettiquette hasn't set us back to zero.
Hey ho.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New kids, new project

I have a couple of volunteer activities this week. Tomorrow teaching teachers how to make things out of natural materials, or that is what I have been told I am to do. Thursday I have a class with a group of kids making stuff. Today I did a slap sash run through of what some of them will try. I prefer to avoid telling them what to make, but if I make some kind of sample it becomes a lot easier for them to see what they might aim for. And generally they take it as a starting point, picking the parts of it they like. All kids in Japanese primary school have their own little box of plasticine, so we are going to use that to make a little photo frame type item by casting some plaster. Pics from the top:-
A moat made with bits of stained glass pushed gently on to the surface in a pattern.
A flat slab added to give a rebate all round the inner edge of the frame.
Plaster poured in.
The frame pulled out still face down.
The frame face up after a bit of trimming.
Anyway, it is a little idea that they might like to try out. I also did a load of material gathering today, buying iron bits and bobs and some tools off of a friend. Made some more iron bits for work and cut my first ever 3/4 inch pipe thread with one of those tools gathered in. Some of the other tools were pipe clamps (Pony clamps) that fit on to 3/4 inch pipe, so the thread cutter should let me make up some more varied sections of pipe for clamps to suit different work. One of my bits of textured bar is also in the pictures by chance on the left. Too many things on the boil, so a certain amount of overflow between them.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Flower press

Still without personal computing, but using our desk top, which is my wife's territory. Despite depression at the loss of my couch computing life I managed to get some work done. I slammed the flower stamp into a disk of hot tool steel and made a negative of it, then housed both in a little hinged device to slam them together in the press and sandwich a work piece.
Above, the press is at the center, my oxypropane torch at right hooked on a gas saver with the little lick of flame as a pilot light. Many other assorted odds and ends, and four little flower pieces on the swage block in front of the press. There is also a bloody great snake coiled up off to the left, but you can't see that here. He siddled off after a while. Something like a grass snake in habits, but with much more handsome markings red and black zig zags. Venomous, but only if you get a really deep bite, the fangs are only very tiny.
The close up on the left shows a bit more detail. I put the blank on the diamond shaped firebrick, heat up, pop it under the sandwich maker (out of position here) and postion it, heat it up in situ while I unhook the rope on the press handle, hook up the torch (which turns off automatically once on the hook) and spin that wheel.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


No time for a picture today, I spent my drawing time looking at possible replacements for my darling little Toshiba Tablet PC. Fate seems to have overtaken it, I can't even get the puppy to show a BIOS screen. I will try one last experiment tomorrow and swap out the hard drive for my daughters and see if that works. If so I can just get a new drive and start from scratch. No apparent reason for the death, but the hard disk light doesn't come on at all. I actually bought an external hard drive with the aim of backing up the whole system, but typical of windows it stopped the process in the middle somewhere and saved nothing. I switched to a manual save of my pictures, which is some small consolation. I certainly can't do without some kind of compy if I am to continue with this effort, and I am determined that if I am forced to get a new one it will have an English OS as I am tired of struggling through with the Japanese one. Strangely resigned to the loss, as tearing ones hair out or punching the wall are fairly childish activities when it comes down to it. Hopefully I will get more organised and post something pictorial tomorrow.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


The tiny result of today's activity. I want to have an easy way of making a flower impression or making a blank for a flower shape, so I was experimenting with carving a negative to produce that. I got this far today. It looks to be a practical reality, so I will persevere. It was unfortunate that I didn't check the piece of tool steel I chose from the box of scraps. I remembered too late that it was from a stone chisel that had a flaw running right through it, which was why I chopped it off of the tool in the first place. I will try welding and annealing, but this one will probably not be too useful for long service. Perhaps with a bit of adjusting it would work on thin copper sheet. I heated the little iron coin blank here until bright, popped it under the press and then placed the tool on and hit it a good few smacks with the press. I think a slightly more solid tool to fix in the press would work to make repeated marks on a bar as a pattern. Then I will make a partner for that by heating another length of tool steel and pounding the negative straight in to that so that I can stamp out flowers in thinner plate as well.
To make this one I started out by welding on some blobs to form the petals with a gas torch using a bit of old spring as the feed rod and then ground back to refine the shape a bit. I think the relief is too deep really, I needn't have bothered with the blobs, more design, less depth should work. This kind of stamp would be good to make from old hammers, so I must remember that next time I go to the junk shop..

Friday, June 08, 2007


Well I didn't spend too long on the drawing today either, but stopped while it was still fun and switched over to the piano once Sammy had finished his turn. Fiddling with metal work again today, but no definite results. I did have a go at silver soldering some gas fittings, which was fun. The solder was the result of a trip to the junk shop a long time back. It was lucky I still had a box of borax from back when I thought I needed flux to smelt aluminium. Without that as flux I think it would have been a slightly less satisfying experience. I must see about taking the handle off the press again and brazing in some pads to take out some of the play in the drive screw. Before that I need to fix the thing to the ground somehow. At the moment a big pull on the handle makes the whole thing rotate when the head hits home, which won't do.
Charcoal on cartridge 53x37cm

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I didn't get very far with the drawing working on from the table lift off before I had to take my turn in the bath. I think I will pursue this theme a little further if nothing better comes up and see how it changes. Most of the day went on the shopping errands and other stuff like picking up a new driving license down at the police station. There is something rather similar about nurses and police women, I suppose those in both careers see a side of society and humanity that we are not shown too much of in our media diet. The lady in uniform behind the counter remembered my face apparently and gave me a cheerful hello. It always makes me wonder how much architecture might alter things when I visit these kind of dull institutional buildings. Would it make a difference if it were a more engaging environment. Perhaps not, but those people who have that wonderful ability to interact with a stream of thoroughly bored folk in need of administration and remain cheerful certainly do make a difference. I did spend an hour or so converting an old road breaker chisel into a little tool for making impressions it steel for the door ironwork. I wanted to make marks that would have a hint of the panel structure. I didn't get as far as annealing some metal to do a proper trial on, but it looked OK with what I did try.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Panels in

Shop view south. Tunnel vision from all that work channeling out the edges of the panels. I just managed to get them all in before running out of steam. I think the mask and ear protectors take it out of me more than the work itself. I must see if there is some alternative. I suppose doing everything with hand tools would be the best option, but that isn't feasible at the moment, the house would be done before I could get the door made for it. The next job is to route out some little decorative bits around the edges of each of the holes in the frame that house panels, then I can scorch it up and move on to the iron work for the window while the door sits for a bit before glueing up. No drawing emerging, if I can't think of something tomorrow, I shall go back and rework others. There won't be much change in the work as I have some errands to run instead of churning out wood shavings.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Door panels

Not too much to say about international environment day except that it happens to coincide with my Dad's birthday, so I shall be raising a glass to both these formative influences on my existence later this evening.
I was pleased with the cutter today, and will endeavor to explain a bit about why.
The door timbers are jointed up as you can see, and I moved on to the panels today. I have the ones here in the wrong order really, left to right they are 3,1,2 in order of completion. I normally use a router to cut these kind of raised panels, but the machine doesn't really like its job and I have to take about five passes at each cut taking a little more off each time. That adds up to about 560 cuts with the router with 14 panels to do front and back and four sides each. It is still a lot of cuts with the new tool, but as I said yesterday, I can cut the groove in one pass for each side and then trim off the waste with the tenon cutter or some such. Then I only need to do a bit of sanding and I am ready to scorch up the bits ready to be popped in. I am still cutting out panels at present, but I did a few to check that this method would work OK. I shall be aiming to get the chalks out again tomorrow, but these mechanical activities throw my mind into a different train and a little tinkle on the piano is more what I need.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nothing ventured

I had one of those video transcription jobs today, so a little distracted.
It seemed to be another of those elephant bracelet days when somethying long thought of finally happens. On the way back from the table delivery I popped in to the junk shop and bought some odds and ends. I was about to leave when I remembered that I had thought about converting one of these cutters to cut a profile, so I went back and got another one to have a go at for about 4 quid. I spent an hour or so ruining the lovely straight edge on the thing, being careful not to over heat, and then went on grinding and honing until I had the one in the front here to a point where I was happy to try running it at low speed, then tried a light cut and finally cut out the groove here in one pass. This should save me a lot of time making up the panels for the door, so it was well worth the effort. I put one of the normal cutters in for reference, they cut clean square grooves or rebates.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A burden shared

We got the table shifted today, hence the picture of it in its new habitat. The hardest bit was carrying it up the stairs. We did a bit of a one two three on the base, which seemed appropriate for the drawing at the moment of lift off. I had Sammy along all the way and he drove back again.
At odd moments it stikes me just how much affection I hold in my heart for the offspring, one such was just as I was drawing him peeping up from the table here while the chap himself was tinkling away at the piano at the other end of the room. I obviously couldn't see him then as I was carrying, nor could I see him while I was drawing, but I knew he was there. As that feeling expands it gives me the realization of how blessed I am if my own dear pops feels anything like the same for me, and that train of realisation spreads out to include others and yet others until there are quite a few folk covered.

I still can't include old Tony Blair in there though, so not quite up to the mother Teressa standard.
Still covered in charcoal here, so I had better get off and wash my hands or I will be scaring off the kith and kin with black marks everywhere.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Stack collapse

Shop view west. Yesterdays stack has collapsed into itself with all the mortices and tenons cut and the center section having had its first rough fitting. I need to take that all to bits and true up each of the rail tenons one at a time and then stick it back up together for a first clamped fitting. It wasn't 28 joints after all, 32, it is a testament to my poor maths ability.
The things I was trying to explain back on may 5 and 6 might be better understood looking at this photo, the wood arm sticking out from the bench at bottom left, etc. Under the bench I have a steel map chest that is home to many tools. It is amazing how much weight those roller drawers will hold, you just have to take care never to open more than a few at once or the whole thing will tip over on you and you have a lap full of spanners and whatnot.
The machine I use to cut mortices is on the floor in the opening between the two halves of the shop (scrappy drawing back on october 29). I have some of that foam matting on the floor in this half of the shop so I usually sit on the edge of that on the floor to use that machine.
I do hope an excellent weekend is being had by all.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Door stack

Shop view south east. I have the tenons cut on all rails and all frame parts have a groove to accommodate the panels when they arrive in this world. Here we have the fruit of the last few days, with all the door bits stacked for more marking for joints. My last job of the day was marking out all the little uprights that will fit in the gaps between the rails. They will be cut from the two lengths of timber on the top of the stack here. That means another 20 tenons to cut and then all twenty eight mortices to do once I have all me bits and bobs cut, then everything will get trial fitted and adjusted to fit nicely with a bit of chiseling in the appropriate places and we will be on to the panels. Continuing further into the forecast I will leave it all to sit and start up on the metal work, handle window and hinges. somewhere in that when I get tired I will do another trial clamp up and adjust, then glue and leave for a few days in clamps. If I am not an old man by then I will be almost done. Ohh that reminds me, I must get on and order the locks, the one bit I don't make any effort to manufacture.