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So, I was on the phone to a professional Yorkshireman I know when I locked my keys inside the shed. I didn't know whether to be annoyed, pleased or ashamed that it only took me seven minutes the follo

Operation Cat Crap will consist of a three pronged response to the current situation. First of all will be the tracking and testing phase. Next will come an attempt to flatten the curve and limit the

I burned the midnight oil last night and strangely enough I was awake bright and early and busy in the workshop before the beagles had woken up. As always I couldn't resist 'finishing' my project.

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here are the bases and castors on two of my machines, the band saw and the thicknesser, my table saw and big drill press have them also.



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16 hours ago, ZimbiIV said:

If you have the prescription for your glasses there are plenty of online suppliers.


I was lucky enough to get seen by the opticians this morning. There's a good reason I don't get my prescriptions on line. My optician looks like a young Honour Blackman with the same dusky voice. For some reason I can't help but think of hay lofts. Where was I? Oh yes there's a good a reason. It was my optician that noticed that my left eye does not work as a result of my strokes until it is forced to do so. The eye itself works but the old brain doesn't process the signal unless I cover my right eye or something moves towards my left eye. Without a regular trip to see Pussy Galore I'm not allowed to drive. When she made the discovery I did tell the optician not to tell Ellie this. When she asked me why I told her that Ellie would poke me in my eye. She laughed and promptly told Ellie all about it when the exam was finished. Ellie then poked me in the eye to see if it was true.

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The thicknesser and mortiser were the only machines not on wheels Peter. I've put it onto a trolley I had spare. Thinking about it, on the last firkle I swapped the band saw onto the trolley I'd made for my old cross cut saw. So the trolley I've put the thicknesser on was specially made for the band saw. I might have a measure up later on today and play swapsies again if one fits better than the other.

The trolleys I made are similar to yours but I put slats across the bottom struts to make shelves and on the table saw trolley I added a drawer underneath to hold the spare blades and various push sticks. For some reason I seem to have a single spare castor still in a packet? I also have my old TV stand which is on castors too. I bolted an old bit of plywood to this and use it as a seat. My work bench is far too low and was ordered, on incorrect advice, to be the right height for when I'm sat down. The thought being that it would be better equipped for when I was ill. Fortunately I'm still standing! Weaving a bit, but still standing.:default_norty:

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The modern world is a strange place. Phone knackered? No problem, just nip down to the store and pick up a new one. Glasses knackered? Just nip down and we'll order you up some new ones. Everything is disposable...and I'm starting to think this is the best thing I can do with my project box. Everything was going so well and then I became unhinged in more ways than one!

Things started well. I took the clamps off the panel I had glued up yesterday and started to clean up the glue squeeze out.

Just as I ran the card scraper down one stubborn piece of glue that section of the surface of the board ripped and a three inch long, half an inch wide stiletto of wood rammed behind my finger nail and down to the bottom of the nail. As I'm on blood thinners the fountain that erupted from the end of my finger sprayed into the air in spectacular fashion, although not nearly as spectacular as the fountain of Arabic that fountained from my cakehole.

When I start cussing in Arabic, the neighbours come running. So I wasn't surprised to hear the sound of doors and windows opening and shouts from over various garden fences asking variations on a theme of 'are you OK?', 'do you need an ambulance' and 'which bit of yourself have you chopped off you maniac?'.


I keep a first aid kit in an easily accessible place. A life spent 'roughing it with trowel and sometimes, but not always, a tent' means I'm quite adept at patching myself up. With half a tree removed from the back of my fingernail, as I type it's gonna' bruise a bit, the wound sterilized and dressed to avoid further 'splatter', I clean up the mess and then get back to work.


I finish cleaning the new panel and whip it through the thicknesser. I have a few problems getting one face flattened. In the end I resort to making a new 'sanding board' and use that to knock the panel into shape before putting it through the thicknesser a final time.


It's almost time to take the lid off the box, but not quite. There's one more thing I have to do to the box while it's still an intact cube. I need to round off the corners. Not only will I be following Ellie's suggestion and making the a box a present for granddaughter Gracie, so I want everything to be smooth with no sharp edges, but I just like rounded corners on box joints!


A really useful bit of kit is the Bench Cookie. These small round platforms with anti slip coating on the two flat surfaces really help when it comes to routing corners or routing a rebate on a box. I use them whenever I need to keep a work object from sliding around the bench or I will stack them up as a bit of support.

My favourite ovolo or roundover cutter is from Axminster Tools. Most of my router cutters are from Axminster or Trend with the odd Chinese import that I bought before I knew any better. I chucked the ovolo into the Makita and soon had the corners eased over. Not too much, just enough. And...it's back to sanding. I start with a P120 grit, working through P180 to a P220. This time I'm hand sanding with a cork block to get rid of any router burn, scratches and small dents on the box.


Houston, be advised the visual is GO today. ... For your information, we expect the manoeuvrer to separation attitude to begin after a coffee and a smoke! For an operation like separating the lid from the box there is no need to drag the table saw outside. It's easier and more comfortable to do inside the micro-workshop. I set the fence and crank up the blade so that it doesn't quite cut all the way through the thickness of a side. It's better to leave a slither of wood still connected to the box on each cut. Just enough to be easily cut with a craft knife but still enough to support the box lid and keep each consecutive cut even as each side goes through the blade. It's a nervous time. Success! The cuts are even and the lid splits gently from the body with hand pressure alone!
A quick clean up on the sanding board I'd made earlier and the lid fits back on the box snug and tight with barely a seam showing. Now onto a step I dread more than cutting the lid. Something I am terrible at doing and approach with total trepidation. Cutting the mortises for the hinges. Every time I wimp out and attach butterfly hinges...because it's easier. Not this time.

I should have gone for the butterfly hinges!


I need the help of the brains trust. I just can't do the hinges and I think I've made a complete mess of the whole project! Can anyone tell me what I've done wrong? I measured and marked the location of the hinges on the box. I used the butt hinges themselves as the template. I used a knife to mark the lines and give the chisel a straight edge to cut to. I measured the depth of the hinge and cut the mortise so that the hinge was flush with the top of the box. Leaving the hinges in place in the mortises, I placed the lid on top, made sure it was square with the edges of the box and marked the location of the hinges on the lid with a pencil. I then cut the mortises for the lid, making them deep enough so that the hinge was flush.


I then used a self-centering drill bit to drill pilot holes for the screws and test fitted the hinges. The lid does not fit. It gapes, its off centre. I slacken off the screws and I can pull the lid into a position where it almost fits. I'm now at my wits end and can't think what I've done wrong. The only thing I can see it that one of the hinges is 'slightly' ever so slightly, out of shape compared to the other.
If it's not something I can correct easily, the only thing I can think of doing is trimming the box and the lid and trying again. Although I left enough 'meat' on the box and lid to do this it will not be an easy thing to accomplish either. Any suggestions from the brains trust very welcome before I become totally unhinged!

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Hinges like that are usually fitted with the whole thing flush with the edge, so you don't get that gap showing when the lid is open. You look as though the wood is thick enough to do this, but the problem will then be the screw holes.

If it were me I would fill in the hinge rebates with a sliver of the same wood glued in, and then do the whole job with a length of piano hinge.

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Tim, if you think those hinges are bad, you ought to try the ones I use on the hinged parts of the model, the hinges are about 5mm long and 3mm wide, the biggest problem is getting the fixing pins flush, generally once fitted the hinge wont fold together due to the heads of the 'screws' (or in my case pins) and I find I need to file the tops of the pins until they are flush, so check its not the screw heads causing the gape (it doesnt take much) piano hinges are a good option, you can get them down to a reasonably small size (I have to trim the width of the smallest commercially available for the model as they are about 1mm too wide)

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I once managed to pick up a 6" long splinter in the palm of my hand, it went in about an inch and a half and firmly resisted all attempts to remove it, a trip to the local doctors ensued, where it was surgically removed (I think the doctor rather enjoyed an excuse to wield a scalpel).

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Love your work so far, I think the problem is the hinges you are using, you can see the gap in them. Have you any of the Flush Hinges ?  ( Pic from Screwfix site).



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LIVE! FROM N ERR LINCOLN...IT'S THE QUIZ OF THE WEEK...HOW DID TIMBO CURE THE HINGE PROBLEM? :default_blush::default_biggrin::default_eusa_dance:

This weeks prizes include...
A piece of wood!
A signed photograph of Dylan the Beagle!
And a bag of the rarest substance on earth!

All you have to do is work out what was the problem with Timbo's hinges before ten pm tonight!

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45 minutes ago, Timbo said:

A signed photograph of Dylan the Beagle!

You’ve changed it to a box with a separate lid with no hinges. Problem solved.  Can I have the signed photo please, thanks! 

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Two alternatives:

  • Leave the screws loose (read into that whatever you like!).
  • Use a 5 ton press to "persuade" it.

I hope the "... bag of the rarest substance on earth!" is not also provided by Dylan.

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Drum roll please...and the answer to the quiz of the week question of how did Timbo cure is hinge problem is...

...he used his new countersink to deepen the recess in the hinges as B&Q had supplied the wrong size screw with the hinges and the screw heads were sitting proud of the hinge plate by 0.2 mm.

Sadly no winners but quite a few came close. Here's a photo of Dylan the Beagle for everyone.


And if you spot me out and about on boat give me a yell and in exchange for a crisp twenty pound note* I will pass you a bag of the rarest of rare commodities.

*Long playing recordings of twenty pound notes will not be accepted, offer subject to conditions and amount of alcohol consumed!

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It had been a late night. I don't think I shut up the micro-workshop until gone ten thirty that night. A hot chilli and a beer was in the offing, perhaps two beers. Three in the morning came around and all things 'hinge' were playing on my mind. I was annoyed. It wasn't as though I hadn't spent hours practising cutting the mortises before I started on the box. So when I finally got off to bed and to sleep, I did not sleep well and Ellie had to come and check that I was okay the following morning.


You see, that morning we had planned to visit Wilko's to pick up various bits of hardware for Ellie and her Dad and get in the queue good and early. So without even my morning coffee I found myself at the end of a snaking queue to get into a hardware store half an hour before it opened. Once the store opened we advanced towards the door quite rapidly. Inside, Ellie headed towards the decorating, kitchenware and home furnishings. There's only so much 'yeah that's nice' while thinking 'more tat destined for the bin' I can do, so I headed over to tools and hardware and left her to it.


Although I would be doing the work to rectify the apple store door for Ben Gunn, he and Watson had decided I needed to pick up exactly two in number, one hundred and fifty millimetre long, M6 carriage bolts and associated nuts and washers. They don't do M6 carriage bolts of that length. Even Screwfix don't do carriage bolts of that length, in that diameter. Not for a second, when confronted with a 'pick and mix' selection of fastenings charged by the bag, am I going to pick up just two of anything. I take the salad bar approach, only instead of ramparts of celery to support the mounds of salad I am going to fit into the bowl, I make ramparts of carriage bolts and then fill the intervening spaces with tiny screws that Screwfix don't sell!

Ellie joins me and asks if there are any other tools or bits I 'might need'. This is the signal that she's spent a lot of money on paint. So I dash to the hinge department to make hay while the sun shines. But there's nothing in a size I can use. No piano hinges, no flush mount hinges and just one pair of butterfly hinges. I pick up a two-pack of HSS countersink bits when Ellie reminds me I need a sharp bladed knife. I go to pick up a cheap 'snap off' bladed knife.
“Get something better than that!” says Ellie.
Oh Lord, she's spending a fortune on paint!
In the end I plump for the traditional and dependable Stanley Classic 99.


Back at home I take the Beagle Brothers for their morning walk slightly later than usual. A very pleasant surprise when a little moppet of blonde curls comes stomping down the woodland path towards me as fast as his little legs will carry him.
“Dim Dom!” whoops my grandson Arlo.
Behind him, as limb lithe as any woodland nymph Gracie skips and dances along the path equally excited to see me as is her little brother. They'd been painting pebbles and fir cones and hiding them in the woods for other children to find in 'secret' places. It's a bit of a craze among the young kids that started in lock down. Slowly but surely the kids are starting to appreciate the woodlands. Of course, the teenagers are still doing their damnedest to wreck the place daubing graffiti in spray paint over the trees and setting fire to what they can't spray paint, but the younger kids are reclaiming the woodlands as their own and driving their parents and sullen teenagers to make an account of themselves. I like it!

Back home I'm determined to push on and finish the box for Gracie, but first I have the relaxing pleasure of sorting out the contents of my 'goodie bag' from the DIY pick and mix.


First I divide everything into type.


There are always some errant bits and bobs where people have dropped the wrong component into the wrong container, but that's part of the fun! Carriage bolts, nuts and washers go into my 'bolt' box. At the minute I'm using a plastic box for those, but I will get around to making a wooden drawer for them.


Next I have a quick sort out of my screw drawer and put away all of the fastenings in some sort of size order. 'Some sort', I'm not totally OCD yet!

Next I have a quick firkle through the hinge options I have available to me. I have cheap butterfly hinges, butt hinges, stop hinges and quadrant hinges with stays. If I'm having problems with butt hinges then quadrant hinges are a no go. The butterfly hinges really are cheap and don't match the locking catch I have for the front of the box. The narrow stop hinges seem to be the only choice.


Some may find it surprising, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. So I now spend several hours practising cutting the mortises needed for the stop hinges. YouTube tells me that a router is the way to go. I don't have a cutter of the right dimension. I do have plenty of drill bits. So I find the centre of some scrap bits of wood with a marker gauge and use a drill bit to drill the end of the mortise to the right depth and dimension. I then use my new Stanley knife to make a knife wall so that I can chisel out the rest of the slot. We have a problem.


The hinges are narrower than the narrowest chisel. Even by drilling holes all the way down the slot, the mortise is still slightly wider than the hinge. I practise over and over again, but there is still quite a bit of wiggle room in the mortise.


Frustrated I hunt down YouTube videos on the subject. The mortises demonstrated are either just as slap dash as mine or have used many thousands of pounds worth of tools I don't have or hundreds of pounds worth of jigs I don't have. I go back to the micro-workshop and practise some more with the same result.


Even more frustrated I take one last look at the box before I opt for the cheapo butterfly hinges I have. Something must have stuck in my brain from one of the YouTube videos. As the calipers were already out of their box I put them across the hinge beds and discovered that the screw heads were slightly raised. The digital calipers read 0.2 mm. On a whim and not thinking it would not make a blind bit of difference I decided to countersink the hinges a little deeper. I screwed the hinge to one of the many scrap bits I had been practising on and fired up the pillar drill.


Reattached the hinge and to my amazement the lid aligned almost perfectly. I gave the other hinge the same treatment and hey presto the lid fits, well almost. The edge of the lid nearest the hinges is tight to the box base and the opposite end is gaping around two millimetres.


Now, I'm wondering, because Ellie says so, if I have cut the mortises a little too deep?


I will have to do some more firkling to find out. But, I'm much happier and can now move on to the next part of the build!


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