06 November 2009

Fat ladies

As I mentioned earlier, I spent some time the other night in the 'shop sorting out a Secret Santa gift which turned out quite well, but I'd also had it in the back of my mind to do something else as well, so last night I was out doing a little bit of sneaky experimenting.

The job hinged around being able to screw a thread into wood and although I'd seen it done elsewhere it's something that I 've never attempted...I found it surprisingly easy. I remembered that what's needed is a very hard, dense timber so I retrieved a gash bit of African Blackwood (and they don't come much harder) from under the bench and drilled a 9mm pilot hole in it ready to tap a 10mm thread. As it turns out, 8.5mm was better as the resultant thread seemed to be a bit 'tighter. ' I also tried some rosewood which is slightly less weighty but the thread was a little 'woolly' so it appears the 'harder the better.'

My first foray at this little project seemed to go well to start with but slid downhill rapidly after that as the gluing process went a tiny bit haywire (as it often does) and the timber cracked down the middle...too much crampage. Even with something as straight forward as this it always pays dividends to be completely prepared...

...but I wasn't, so it broke!

Fortunately it was only a very small bit of Blackwood that was rendered unusable so with a little more ferreting around under the bench I dug out a lump of Indian Ebony (which is almost as hard) so I'll have another crack at it over the weekend.

I also need to make a 'Blokebolt' as well but that ought not to cause too much of a problem as I've done a few for various planes that I've made.

Judging for the UKWorkshop Competition is almost complete with three out of the four judges having given me their verdicts, so I'm just waiting for one more. Once that's in I'll should be able to collate everything and sort out the winners and 'runners up.' After that I've just got to sort out my prize for the best WIP thread...

... and then the fat lady really has sung!

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