25 March 2009

Parcels of Loveliness...part trois

What a morning it's been! I got into work and within about 10 mins a very irate SWIMBO was on the 'phone...she was lost in Bath and could I direct her etc etc to her course? "Yes dear" is the only rational reply that any sane husband could utter, so asking for her mobile number, I went away and found out where she was supposed to go, which I did within a few minutes, 'cept that when I attempted to ring her back, she'd given me the wrong number. Eventually though, things got sorted out more by luck than judgement...just need to remember to keep a straight face tonight when she gets in!

Then when I opened my 'puter there was an email from the MD of one of the largest suppliers of tools and machinery in the country asking me for a review of certain items from 'distant lands'...even as I type they're in the post, so that's another parcel to open. I've also got my Chinese furniture book coming this week as well as some off-cuts of bandsaw blades for the frame saw project, so with all these parcels in the post, it's going to be better than Christmas.

I did a little job last night in the 'shop which was to grind and sharpen an old scribing gouge. Now this was something I'd picked up from Penny Farthing Tools a while ago and was high on my 'tuit' list. A couple of weeks ago I knocked up a half-decent octagonal handle in some English Walnut and as the gouge had been glaring at me in the chisel rack for the last month or so, I decided to do something about it.
I don't know if any readers of this sad missive have ever attempted to grind a scribing gouge, but if and when you do...it ain't easy!! Firmer and carving gouges (with the bevel on the outside) are straight forward but an inside bevel is a different kettle of worms altogether as the edge must be kept dead square (or as square as you can make it) to the sides. The way I went about it was to use a Proxxon mini-drill with a conical grinding wheel to very carefully produce the initial bevel and then I had a tiny, very fine, pink wheel to grind the cutting edge which I polished with a conical felt mop and some Jeweller's Rouge. The big problem in doing it this way is that owing to the rotation of the stone, only one half of the bevel can be done...if you catch the other corner of the blade, the bloody thing whips itself over and you start to grind the 'flat' side of the gouge as well as round off that corner, which is really frustrating! The only way round it is to reverse the gouge in the vice and grind from the opposite direction, which again is difficult 'cos you then have to try and pick up the grinding angle again.
Anyway, after about 40mins of concentrated effort, I'd managed to obtain a good enough edge which was capable of fine cuts from an oddment of English Cherry, so I was a reasonably happy bunny.

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