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Timbo last won the day on May 22

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About Timbo

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  • Birthday 01/01/1966

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    History, Archaeology, language, wooden boats, woodwork, fishing, filmmaking. photography in no particular order.

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  1. Rollin' rollin' rollin keep those dawgies rollin'! The boys had a very quick walk this morning. The playing fields and woods had been taken over by travellers for the last four days, but this morning they were gone! What remained was all of the detritus and foetid areas in the woods where they had dumped the contents of their chemical toilets. The 'blue footed beagle' is not something I wanted in the house! So the boys were on their leads and chivvied around the walk until the council have time to conduct one of their napalm operations to clean the disgusting mess! Monday was shopping day, so there was not much of an opportunity for a firkle. To complicate matters further, Lincolnshire County Council had decided to conduct roadworks on every single road in and out of town. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Lincoln. I was not a happy bunny, particularly as every single workman at every single site was sat in the cab of their lorry reading the paper. Sitting in the cab was what I was doing while Ellie was doing the shopping. However, I was not reading the paper. I was redesigning the rolling stock. By the time I had finished with the design process I must have reinvented the wheel several times and thought of every overly complicated solution that there was. Eventually I hit on a simple solution and so I could get on with some firkling today. Ellie wanted to visit Wilko's for yet more gubbins to keep the grandkids occupied over the next few days and I was happy to tag along. I need to stock up on nuts and bolts. Ben Gunn's security and various jigs in the workshop had seriously depleted my stock. So it wasn't until the afternoon that I could get down to a good firkle and make a start on the rolling stock. First things first, I dipped into my cache of 'good wood'. I selected a length of spalted beech and to save as much of the precious timber as I could, I just used a metre of it and the resawed that metre to give me two planks. The figure was quite spectacular. Some might say, too good for a toy train, but if you don't have things made from quality timber how will you grow up to appreciate the wood? I laid out the components so that the figure would wrap around each wagon and carriage I was making. With the walnut I using it gave everything a coffee and cream feel! I then cut everything to size on the table saw and bundled each set of parts together ready to make the joints. I was going to make box joints again. Lots of glueing surface and it's a joint I can make quickly and precisely. I got the joints cut on the two wagons, but time began to run out on me. We have the grandkids for the next two days and on Friday Ellie has organised to cut Ben Gunn's hedges. So I quickly cut and glued up some pine stock to make the chassis for the rolling stock. Good job I have plenty of clamps! I will try and fit in a firkle in the evenings if I can, otherwise I'm going to be doing chores and playing games for the next three days!
  2. From personal experience all boats I've been on, and cars for that matter, no matter where the wheel is located the direction is dictated by my Mrs. I just aim the thing!
  3. Yes, well, indeed, the rolling stock. What happened was...a total redesign after a lot of firkling. I decided that before I started work on the rolling stock I really should fix the the fence on the band saw. My thoughts touched on Ben Elton's concept of the Ministry of Naff Design, responsible for the design of those leaky metal teapots used in motorway services. I think they'd had a hand in the design of this fence! Taking the fence apart I found the possible reason for the wobble and collapse. The nuts and washers used on the machine bolts holding the thing together were so flimsy that one of the nuts had sheared and broken in half. Fortunately one of my impulse buys at Lathems' a couple of years ago was a small box of machine bolts, nuts and washers. I spent the next two hours trying to position the washers and nuts inside the channel used to make the fence and then get the bolts through the other section. A bit like the mechanism on Gracie's lock box, tilt the thing slightly and everything locked up. Eventually, with the aid of a hex key marked 0.07 mm that I thought I'd never use, I managed to get the thing aligned and the bolts tightened. As I'd fixed the fence I decided I might as well go the whole hog and put a fascia on the saw's mitre gauge. So with three hours gone I finally started cutting wood for the rolling stock. With the bits for the chassis cut I went to sand them to final dimensions. The disc on the bench sander needed replacing. Oh why not, I'd already sorted out the band saw. So I dismantled the table I'd spent hours getting straight only to find the sanding discs that I had ordered were self adhesive and not Velcro backed. A root through the case of instruction booklets and I found one last sanding disc that came with the machine. Everything fitted and I had now spent five hours firkling with machinery. I got on with cutting the four pieces that would make up a simple butt jointed box to sit on the chassis. Just a simple box. A simple box. Everything was square. Would it go together? Would it 'ecker's like! Eventually, by using every clamp I could fit on it, I got the box glued together and set it to dry. I toddled off to make dinner and returned two hours later to unclamp the simple box. Which fell apart the minute the clamps were off. I threw it in the bin. Something was not right. The spirits of woodworking were trying to tell me something. I was skimping on the design detail and the whole point of me learning woodwork. I retrieved the parts from the bin and put them together with elastic bands so I could see what the end result would have looked like. Yikes! Too tall and ungainly and would not have matched the loco. The parts went back into the bin. The Spirits of Woodworking had arranged that I fixed the band saw and the bench sander and they had got me to set up my scroll saw days earlier. |I reached for my notebook and pencil and began a redesign. What about box joints? And perhaps if I extend this and maybe slope that? Could I perhaps? Time to walk te dogs and do some thunking!
  4. I answer to variations on: "Oi you!" "Now then ugly!" "You with the hair on! "Who's the *** in charge?"
  5. In fact I'm sat here wondering if quarter past eight on a Sunday morning is too early to drag the table saw out and get on with some work!
  6. Oh it won't Vaughan, I've got my beady eye on 'em, besides which...I don't have a blazer. I do a good line in tweed though!
  7. Back to walking the dogs on my own-some this morning. Having said that, both Ellie and I were up and chatting over the garden gate at five thirty this morning. Spot had woken up with an urgent need to go outside. Apparently he'd indicated this by nudging Ellie awake and starring at a guitar in a corner. This information caused me a furrowed brow until Ellie explained that as Spot is blind he doesn't know what he's looking at. I was awake because Dylan had another big seizure during the night and he was unsettled and needed to see his Mum to make sure she was OK. He just won't settle until he has done the rounds and seen everyone and made sure they are all where they should be. When he's a bit poorly after a fit, he will be my shadow all day so things may get crowded in the the workshop today. The glue-up of the skirts on the chassis yesterday had turned out quite well. So I got stuck straight in and trimmed and sanded everything. Next I went around all the pieces and made sure everything was sanded ready for glue-up. I shaped two wheel arch bits to go either side of the boiler and then got down to the glue up. To stop things 'floating about' during the glue-up I was using both wood glue and CA glue at the same time. The CA will give me an instant 'grab' and the wood glue will provide lasting strength. While I waited for the glue to cure I got on with making the buffers and the coupling. It was somewhere around this point that the fence on my band saw decided to drop to bits! It had been a bit of junk from the word go. Whenever you locked it into place the far end of the fence would twitch off to one side. I collected up all the bits of the fence and for the life of me could not see how the T-piece of the fence was connected. It was hours later that I spotted a set screw on the floor along with a small nut. I will have to check the thing out properly tomorrow before I start work on the carriages for the train. The next problem I had was blunt drill bits. I need to buy some more bits and send these off to the charity. That or I buy a drill bit sharpener? I finished off the fenders...I mean buffers, I've been calling them fenders all day, as well as the coupling and I drilled sockets for these to be fitted and glued them in place. Off for lunch and a well earned coffee. I spent a bit of time tousling Dylan's earholes and took Ellie to purchase some bedding plants. Back in the workshop and it was final clean-up time! My usual card scraper techniques would be useless unless...yup a Stanley knife blade works just as well if not better on such a small project. A final sand to three twenty grit and I gave the loco it's first coat of mineral oil and left it to soak in. I gave it three coats altogether and in between coats I did a spot of tidying up, emptied the shop vac and put away some of my tools. The final coat of mineral oil had soaked in after tea and I applied a generous layer of Beagle's Ear Wax before buffing everything up using my multi-tool to get into the small hard to reach places. Just as I was putting things away and getting ready to lock up, something hit me on the side of the head. An almighty buzzing sound erupted from the far corner of the shed. I thought I'd left the Multi-tool turned on and it was banging against the side of the shed. Nope! It turned out to be a may bug! I don't like these damned things, so it got evicted and went of to scare the daylights out of the folks having a barbecue two doors down! Tomorrow it's the rolling stock!
  8. The Makita router system is the best on the market I think. After the table saw it has to be one of the tools I use the most, particularly for stringing and inlays. My blue box got wanged and replaced by one made of marine ply with a hinged lid. You must have found them by now Peter, but Axminster router bits are very good quality and cheaper than most. I also like Trend router bits!
  9. I often have a chuckle when councils and developers build on land and then have a go at 'cleaning up' the local name for example... There is a lane in the village of Fishlake that runs between Trundle Lane, Fishlake Nab and Main Street that for hundreds of years was called 'Sh***y Lane'. Of course, now it has a few modern 'dwellings' on it, the street sign reads 'Dirty Lane'.
  10. I have to admit to being the obnoxious customer in my local B&Q yesterday. The queue to get inside was orderly, well managed and swift. Once inside I had a half hour wait to pick up some doweling while some bloke coughed on and groped every length of ramin in the store. Ahead of me was a pregnant lady (I assumed she was pregnant but didn't want to ask...I've been wrong before) who told me she had been waiting for fifteen minutes before I arrived. When his phone rang after my half hour wait and he then proceeded to take the call and chatter inanely to an idiot while blocking access to the products, telling the person on the phone he was not in B&Q to buy anything but 'just having a look', I got a little verbally creative. He finished his phone call and quickly moved away hiding his phone and saving me having to locate and buy some grease and a mallet.
  11. I did give it a try Peter but the jaws were not quite wide enough. I've been thinking of making some home made clamping solutions for some specific clamping problems these last few days. I picked up some eight millimetre threaded rod from Wickes quite a while back. The original intention was to make a couple of clamps for making up quick panels with custom made cauls. I also wanted to make a quick veneer press. Today I've been trying to come up with ideas for an all in one box clamp that will keep the box square and clamp it all in one. To be honest...I need a good firkle in the workshop again! Some of my storage needs sorting out. Since I've been working in there regularly I've noticed that I need to come up with some better solutions for some of the tool storage. Drill bits and router bits are the first on the list. One, possibly two, cabinets mounted on french cleats with shelves at twenty five degree angles should sort out all those cutters and bits that take up almost one whole wall of storage with various boxes and packets.
  12. A day away from the workshop playing taxi driver and granddads. I had company on my morning dog walk through the woods. Arlo kicking every patch of nettles he came across and Gracie walking Toby while I took Dylan and Spot. We stopped off at the big swing at the bottom of Death Hill. I tend to think of the swing as mine, seeing as how it is made from the thick sisal ropes that were stolen from my old offices some twelve or so years ago now. The longevity of the swing testament to Uncle Albert's rope making skills. Gracie is as lithe as a trapeze artist as she swings and climbs and hangs upside down. Arlo wants to have a swing but apparently he fell off last time he tried and now hits the swing with a stick. I can see a pattern emerging with swing and nettles! Today I've managed to get an afternoon in the workshop. I thought Arlo's train set was going to be an exercise in using the hole saw. It turns out that it's an exercise in using the band saw. I started by redesigning the cab and cut some new pieces of maple for the sides front and roof. I drilled out the windows on the front of the cab and glued the whole thing together. When the glue had cured I cleaned up the squeeze out and started on the sanding. First a general sand, then I shaped the roof on the bench sander and finally I sanded down to a three twenty grit. Chimney and what ever the dome thingamabob, whatever it is, were made out of dowels. I had to resort to files for the round overs. I drilled sockets to receive them and as usual B&Q dowels were nothing like the sizes they were supposed to be. I may have to resort to epoxy to fit them in as they are very loose. Back to the band saw to re-saw some mahogany into thin sections around three millimetres thick. These were to make the skirts around the wheels on the chassis. Less opportunity for little fingers to get in and pull the wheels off! That's the theory anyway! Finally it was time for assembly proper, starting with the wheels. I cut new axels and slipped a small washer onto each before glueing the wheels onto the axel. I tapped the wheels down to make sure they sat well withing the trough between the chassis and the skirts. With the wheels on, it was time for the skirting. This was a complete pain to glue up. I may have to resort to a mixture of wood glue and super glue to get the things in place and secure! I will see how they dry before making a decision.
  13. Once again the NBN Brains Trust comes to the rescue! On occasion I do use a vice like thingamajig that came with my drill press. I just hadn't put two and two together regarding the slots cut into the metal drill press table. My usual method of using the press just involves flinging a piece of scrap wood onto the metal table to act as a backer...but I'm getting in front of myself. I'd forgotten to take my evening medication and although I went to bed early I awoke at midnight with godawful cramps in my arms, legs, neck and back. With some pa-lava I managed to roll off the bed onto my hands and knees, and using the wardrobe door as a support, got to my feet. I staggered into the bathroom, turned on the shower and let the hot water do it's work. Muscles now a little easier, I made a mug of Horlicks and took my meds. The silence and birdsong of the last few weeks has been replaced by the constant drone of car and bike engines. Midnight and the petrol heads are still revving up and down going nowhere in particular and making a lot of noise about it. I'd forgotten how irritating and pervasive the traffic noise is. Off to bed again and this time I slept well into the morning. Ellie was chirpy this morning but I knew why. Weeks of separation from our grand-kids had come to an end. As usual, the cart was before the horse and with no child care in place people are having to return to work. Of course, this leaves grandparents to pick up the slack which we are more than willing to do. Right, so drill press. I retrieved the 'thingamabob' that Nigel mentioned and started hunting out some nuts, bolts and washers to hold it down. I'm going to have to nip to Wilko's and get me another bag of nuts and bolts at some point! I decided to use the other drill press to set up the vice on. This drill press was a present from Maurice Mynah and has a bigger motor and runs at higher speeds than my drill press. It also drills smoother with less wobble on the bit. I just don't have the original chuck key for it. The key for my drill press is too big but the key from my morticer 'sort of' fits. With the thingamabob set up I cut some more stock and had a test. Worked perfectly! All the wheels now sit at the same level! Now for the platform to sit on top of the chassis. For this I cut a scrap piece of mahogany on the table saw, then still on the table saw I cut a rebate along each side to give me a 'T' shaped profile. I glued and clamped this in place using some elastic bands to keep things aligned and then a couple of clamps. When it was dry I cleaned the glue squeeze out with a card scraper and then ran my block plane over both channels. Now for more roundy bits for the boiler. Without a lathe this was going to be a hole saw based project. I cut more rounds of walnut and maple and threaded them onto a roofing bolt with a washer at either end and finally a nut. Chucking the bolt into the corded drill, I gave all the rounds a quick sanding on the belt sander. I then used the bolt at a clamp to glue the assembly together. When everything was dry I gave them another quick sanding and plugged the hole left by the mandrel with a small piece of mahogany dowel. Now on to the driver's cab. I'd over complicated things here. I spent some time cutting out the cabin side on the scroll saw and then realised I would make a better job if I cut two individual pieces. I will change those on Friday when I can get back into the shed after having the kids for two days! That evening I gave Gracie her lock box! I'd filled the bottom section with old half pennies that had been nickel plated so that they were shiny. Of course the ship on the half penny means this was PIRATE TREASURE! Gracie loved her box. I let her try and find the key to open the bottom section and find the treasure. With her declaring that her 'pirate treasure chest was too precious to let Arlo anywhere near it' I think it was worth the hard work.
  14. Thunking done, and I decided the best thing to do was to firkle my way through and build a prototype with the materials I had to hand. The main problem that I'm having is that I'm now in Grendel territory. All the parts I'm making are so damned small that I keep dropping them, can't get a grip on them or can't see them, I'm still waiting for new glasses! When I first started woodworking, I was making all of the various jigs the YouTube woodworkers produce by the thousand. I slowly stopped doing this and got rid of them all bar two as I was making more jigs than I was projects and quite frankly they were not that useful! Having said all that, I think I'm going to have to make something I kept putting off. I think I need to make a drill press table and fence. Three six and a half millimetre holes in a straight line to fit the axles is defeating me. I've had three goes at it and despite marking everything as exact as I can, punching the positions to give the brad point on the drill bit a start and carefully positioning the workpiece under the drill bit, I still can't get those damned holes in a straight line! I've spent more time today watching videos on how to make a drill press table and fence than I have doing woodwork! BUT...I just don't get it? From what I understand, I make a wooden table that fits around the metal drill press table on the drill, then bolt it to it. Now, by randomly fixing a straight piece of wood as a fence in one corner I'm supposed to be able to position this so that I can slide my workpiece along it and the holes I drill will be the exact same distance from the edge? I suppose I'm just going to have to try it tomorrow. I have made some progress today. Again I think a drill press table will make one particular operation safer for me to do one handed. I've started with the wheels first. Without a lathe I used a hole saw to cut out each wheel. But first I used a forstner bit to make depression in the centre of the wheel. It looked more 'train-like'. Cutting the blanks out with the hole saw was tricky. I don't have the strength in my left hand to hold the workpiece down while I operate the drill press with my right hand. The metal table of the drill press does not offer much in the way of room to use a clamp safely either. So again it's back to the idea of a drill press table. So far all well and good, but I think my choice in material was a mistake. I've got quite a few odds and ends of black walnut loafing around and I thought it would be a suitable material and colour for wheels. What I'd forgotten was, what a pig walnut is to clean up and sand. Hand sanding the outer edges of the wheels was not working too well. So I threaded the wheels onto a six millimetre bolt with a washer either side and then a nut. I then chucked this assembly into my corded electric drill, donned a leather work glove and spun the wheel assembly into some sandpaper. It worked. Sort of. Walnut really is tough stuff and I was going to be at this for hours. So leaving the assembly chucked in the drill I turned on the bench sander and spun everything in the drill while holding the wheels to the sander belt. This really did work. Now for the internal part made with the forstner bit. I tried a small sanding disc on the multi tool on my scroll saw and finally a round, flat grinding stone. Again this kind of worked, but I was not going to get the finish I would want on these components. I'm going to change the material over to maple. This cleaned up much better from the word go, even straight off the drill press a maple wheel I made was much cleaner. After day one, I have six rough wheels and a rough chassis. I need to do better tomorrow!
  15. Arlo's Train I can't make something for one grandchild and not the other. That's not how the game is played. Some of you have met Gracie but not come across her little brother Arlo yet. Blonde curls and blue eyes Arlo is my little shadow. Whatever I'm doing, Arlo is doing. Ellie and her parents are often in hysterics watching Arlo copy my antics. He has the 'Cambridge Walk' off to a tee. As a landscape archaeologist, I spend a lot of time 'observing things'. I have a habit of strolling along with my hands clasped behind my back to stop my stroke arm swinging uselessly. Occasionally I will stop and have a look about and I'm told I stroke my chin if I find something interesting to look at. Arlo trots along beside me and mimics my walk, over exaggerating my limp, and stopping to stare at random objects stroking his chin. Planes and trains are Arlo's 'thing'. Air-planes mostly but he is a 'bit of a lad' and Grandma would not appreciate a chunk of lumber crashing into her walls and windows. I might get away with a train ramming into the skirting. Grandma had suggested a 'pull-along' duck but I think he would appreciate something with a bit more to it. So, I'm making him a train and carriages to run along the floor. Maybe I can join in with the NBN toy train enthusiasts? Normally I design my projects on the fly, or start with a borrowed idea and develop it as I go along. Arlo's train was no exception. I started off by hunting for similar projects I could adapt. I'm not making a scale model here. I'm making something that looks like a steam train that rolls along the floor. There are lots of similar projects out there, but the trains all look too 'American'. The look I'm going for is a bit more British. I'm not a train spotter. I don't know one part of a steam train from another. I already knew the 'experts' would start pointing out details I've got wrong. I already knew this because Ben Gunn started comparing some kind of tank engine to another and something about some other kind of train and how I have to put this or that thing in certain places. I just wanted a British looking train design without the cowcatchers and weird shaped funnels that two year old can roll along the floor. I decided it would be best if I designed my own toy train, particularly as the look I wanted involved the wheels being hidden behind a skirt. I'm still thunking the thing through but I have a rough pencil design. I'm now working my way through how I'm going to design the wheels and attach them behind the skirt. I think a hole saw will feature heavily in this project as I don't have a lathe. Here are my pencil plans so far. The drawing is to scale with two squares to one centimetre. Time for more thunking on the dog walk!
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