21 July 2013

Aaaargh, Jim lad...'ere be treasure!

The heatwave is still upon us, but in a slightly cooler moment, I took the opportunity to fit the UJK router elevator from Axminster.  This comment is not intended as a review as such, suffice to say that it's a very well put together piece of kit.  However, when I fitted it the first time I tried a long bearing cutter and was a bit put out to see that it was running off centre...in other words, there was distinct 'wobble' that could be seen when it slowed down.

Not good.

I initially thought the router cutter was bent (t'were a cheapie in the first place) but it wasn't the case.  As per bloody usual it was my fault!  What I'd done is to assemble the whole thing and somehow trap a bit of detritus which had the effect of throwing the whole shooting match slightly 'off', with the consequent alarming wobble.  Assembly under operating theatre conditions sorted out the problem and it now runs true.

Thoroughly recommended, with the strict caveat that you need to be scrupulously clean in the assembly procedure...which initially I wasn't.

The next blinding bit of 'shop stuff was the repair of the AirPress vacuum bag.  The pump itself is superb but the bags leave a lot to be desired as the welded seams need constant attention.  The open end shown below...

...has actually got a layer of double sided tape on the inside as the seam was constantly developing leaks.  During the course of a little bit of veneering last week there was a leak which I couldn't trace, so I took out the base board, dragged the bag into the garden and filled it up with water...

...to find, as I suspected, that the seam was broken along the bottom.  You can see the water dribbling out if you squint hard enough!  Pegging it out to dry over night on the washing line...

...drained off most of the wet, so that it could be dried off in the 'shop next day.  The seam was easily fixed with a couple of bits of electrical tape.

This is the point in this entry where you need slap on the tricorn hat, find a stuffed parrot to perch on your shoulder, roll the eyes and adopt your very best Robert Newton voice.

We went for a little spin yesterday afternoon down to Yandles to find a small piece of stuff for a special turning project (a gift for one of SWIMBO's colleagues who's just had a serious operation).  Cutting a long story sideways, we did indeed find a suitable lump of English Walnut, but a further delvation into the pile on the shelves revealed this obviously very old and quite dirty lump of stuff, which clearly, to their ultimate cost...

...all the other punters had missed.

As i turned it over to find out what it was, I was gobsmacked to see that it was a big blank of...

...Burr English Walnut!

Here indeed be treasure.......Aaaaaaargh!!

14 July 2013

Sans movement...

For those who may not have realised, after a truly dreadful, cold and bitter Spring, the last couple of weeks have seen resurgence of the traditional English Summer.

We're suffering a heatwave...which means that all sawdusty activities in the 'shop have come to a grinding, suffocating halt, because this Bloke isn't going to do anything remotely creative when the 'shop thermometer reads 90deg F.

That said, when the weather cools down somewhat, there are things to be mentioned such as the UJK router elevator, recently delivered and installed during one of the slightly cooler days. In addition, I'm also trying to find a decent way to repair the AirPress vacuum bag...a long and frustrating process to sort out and one which I haven't fully sorted.

There are also projects large and small in the offing, but at the present time, all I'm trying to do is to keep cool, drink beer...

...and eat ice cream.

02 July 2013


Back in April, I paid my usual visit to Yandles, principally to delve into the woodshed for any assorted goodies.  Lying amongst the oddments on the floor was this pretty forlorn piece of crown cut English Oak, around 35mm or so thick and around 650 long by 300 wide.  The side shown above was pretty mucky and full of worm holes but fortunately they didn't seem to go too deep.

Turning the board over revealed a much better, if striking figure so I decided that this would ideal for the bowed door of a wall hung cabinet...something I've wanted to have a go at making for some time.
This board though, must have been outside for a very long time as it's rock hard...by far the toughest bit of oak that I've ever come across, so I've had to plane it a little at a time to bring it flat and true....


I say 'almost' because as it's crown cut and air dried I've no real way of knowing how dry it is (until my moisture meter arrives) so the upshot is that it's constantly moving.  I've planed it flat again this morning  and will put it back again 'in stick' for a while to see what happens.

What I can't afford is for the door to move once it's been made so I need to get the moisture content down and stable before doing any shaping...