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Tim, I have chisels down to about 1/16" and milling bits down to 0.8mm for work like this on the model, I too like the wilkos pick and mix bags, they are usually full to the point I can only just close the zip lock.

if you need to raise those hinges just a tiny amount then just a slip of paper under the hinge may well do the job. small hinges generally have that issue, if you put two screw heads opposite each other, if putting in piano hinges I have been known to alternate the heads and miss each alternate hole for fixing the opposite sides of the hinge, this is if i have the length to be able to still get enough fixings, the alternative is if you can buy some old brass screws, these generally have a better head thats not so deep (offset by the razor sharp edges to the countersink on the screw). I keep my eyes open for brass screws when I go to boot fairs and will buy up the lot if I can find them. usually for a quid a box, which is cheap compared to the horrible thick headed soft brass screws you can get nowadays.

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This is what i mean, on the older brass screw the countersink goes right to the flat of the head, on the more modern brass screw with the posidrive/ phillips head, there is a small almost parallel depth above the countersink with a distinctly rounded form.



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2 hours ago, grendel said:

This is what i mean, on the older brass screw the countersink goes right to the flat of the head, on the more modern brass screw with the posidrive/ phillips head, there is a small almost parallel depth above the countersink with a distinctly rounded form.

Carborundum Illegitemi

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Things round here are getting more than a bit like the seedier corners of Dave's Pin Exchange in Dolly Sisters 'we don't do nails'!

I started work on all of the small parts yesterday until things went a bit Barry Scott! My project has swapped from being somewhere to keep my buffing wheels and compounds to being a present for Granddaughter Gracie. The depredations of little brothers mean that Gracie needs somewhere to keep all those things like jewellery and her diary safe and out of the clutches of an inquisitive but destructive Arlo.

I was instructed that if I put a lock on the box,  in all probability the key will be lost. So I'm putting a simple catch on the top of the box. Inside the box however, I'm fitting a false bottom which will require a bit of knowledge, dexterity and lateral thinking to open, but where Gracie can keep her prized and secret possessions!

The false floor is a snug fit. I crept up on the finished dimensions a sliver at a time on the table saw. Normally this is something that would be fitted before the top and bottom are put on a box but, hey ho! The false bottom will be locked by four steel pins running in a channel below the panel. Tilt the box even slightly and the pins slide across and lock the bottom in place. Spin the box and centrifugal force will shoot the pins to the edge and the panel can be lifted out...if you have the key. I know I said a key would get lost but this key is part of the box. The bottom panel is so tight a fit that it can't be lifted out without the key. The key is one of the feet of the box which will looks exactly like the other feet but this one is removable and contains a magnet inside which will lift the lid up. The trick will be hiding the magnet so it doesn't have an effect on the sliding steel pins.

With the bottom panel cut, I moved onto making the channels for the pins to run in. I bought some four mm thick steel round bar the other day. Out with the table saw and I ripped a thin strip of scrap wood and then lowered the blade and cut a channel in one edge. Cross cutting the strip in half I then glued it end to end so the channel was enclosed. I tested the fit with the steel bar before gluing and clamping it up.

I moved on to cutting the pins. They needed to be just long enough so that they would easily slide across if the box is tilted but short enough to get out of the way when the box is spun. From woodwork to metalwork and I reached for my hacksaw noticing that the blade was all chewed up. Probably some 'engineer' had been at it. With my local Screwfix out of stock of new blades, I reached for a ball-pein hammer and did my best to straighten the blade on my vice. It was good enough to cut four pins. I rounded the ends of the pins with a file and then put each pin in my drill to spin it across the belt sander. Some emery paper and a buff and the pins were ready to go.

The channel was now cured, so I cut this first into halves and then each half into thirds. Two long pieces to fix to the bottom of the box and a short central piece to fix to the false bottom.

So far so good.The magnets I had in stock were too small and not strong enough for the job in hand, so I ordered some larger magnets on the internet along with some new hacksaw blades. Now I had the dimensions of the magnets it was time to work on the box feet. This is where Barry Scott made his appearance. There are eight parts to the feet.A long and a short side make up each foot. These mitred together. I cut the blocks of wood for the feet and then stick them side by side with double sided carpet tape so that I can shape them all together on the bench sander. Things were going well when one of the feet in the centre of the block cracked and split. Up steps Barry Scott and 'Bang and his knuckle is gone!".

Bits of wood  rain down around the shed and the red stuff flows. No pain, just a lot of red stuff. Enough red stuff that I grab the first aid kit and go to fetch Ellie. I made a discovery. Ellie is rubbish when it comes to blood. First aid consists of a lot of sympathy and her passing me out the contents of the first aid kit for me to do the clean up and administer the dressings.

Sugary sweet tea is administered and I'm told to go and put my feet up while Ellie prepares my medicine...a home made steak with butternut squash, sweet potato mash and green beans, carrots and broccoli.

Later that evening I survey the damage to the project. Three of the eight feet have survived. Ah well, try again tomorrow with a different method!


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the important thing is managing to keep the red stuff off the item you are working on, if you think what you are making is bad, try holding and sanding a part that is 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch when the gap between the sanding disc and the support shelf is 1/8 inch, finger tips tend to disintegrate faster than brass in a sander.

I have a drawer in my workshop literally just above the workbench full of finger sized plasters for such eventualities, and being on thinners myself I appreciate it doesnt help.

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Lots to catch up on during these last two days of firkling at home and abroad!

I was late up Wednesday morning and the sun was already beating down when I surfaced to walk the dogs. Apparently, Ellie's admonition the previous evening to 'get some sleep' was not to be taken literally and pointed comments about it being 'now too hot for dogs' were aimed in my direction. So I gulped down my coffee and took the boys for a quick saunter into the cool, refreshing shade of the woods.

First job of the day was to mill the limber for Ben Gunn's door jamb. A quick phone call to ascertain whether the measurements were correct and whether I needed to spend time planing down the timber and I decided to go with my measurements rather than those previously supplied on the back of an envelope.
Next job was to swap over the trolleys for the thicknesser and the band saw. After the swap and the band saw was now on the base designed for it, and I had better access to the tools on the back wall behind it. Dragging the table saw outside I decided that while I was at it, I might as well fasten all of my machinery down to their respective benches. A good decision! The machines are far easier to move and fit better inside the workshop. I quickly mill the lumber for Ben Gunn and put it off to one side.


My back garden is a sun trap. I was burning to a crisp despite the floppy straw hat better suited to a 'dickey'. The old elbows in particularly were burning, so a change of shirt to something with sleeves was called for...and a coffee.

On 20/05/2020 at 12:41, OldBerkshireBoy said:

I`m thinking the Engineer gods took revenge after the recent slagging off expressed! 

I gave Old Berkshire Boy's theory some thought. I come from a long line of white smiths and tinkers going back to the 1700s on the paternal side. From the wrong side of the Pennines too, but over a few generations they managed to migrate down the M62 by the mid 1800s! Don't tell Griff? Uncle Albert was a marine engineer and later an agricultural engineer. My brother in law Watson is an engineer dealing with production plant. Father in law Ben Gunn is an engineer dealing with mining plant. So, I often get subjected to 'engineering speak'. There's talk of 'tolerances', ratios and the mythical 'thou' and the need for meetings to discuss various design strategies. There's lectures on the correct names of lumps of metal, and on two occasions lectures on how to plan the removal of soil from a hole...archaeologist, remember? All of the babble, to a bystander, seems to result in 'hitting something with a hammer until it fits,breaks or the hammer breaks'.

Old Berkshire Boy might have a point so I decided to commune with the spirits, just in case I had indeed crossed a line somewhere. Sitting crossed legged on my table saw, making sure it was unplugged first, I contacted the spirits of engineering. It took some time but I was eventually met by a Victorian looking chap with some rather impressive side whiskers. After checking his clip board, he claimed my accident was nothing to do with the spirits of Engineering and perhaps I should contact the Spirits of Health and Safety? As his spectral form began to melt away into the ether he promised that he would send me the bill later, triple time for working during lock down. I have a distinct feeling that 'billable hours' has more to do with engineering than the building, making and mending aspects.

The Health and Safety Spirits were unobtainable due to current high demand. They had left a message suggesting that if it was a Covid related problem I should check their website for further information and isolate myself. 

Eventually I reached the woodland halls of the ancient and venerable spirits of woodworking. They readily claimed responsibility for my mishap of the previous day.
“We were on the job long before the tinkers!” said a voice that creaked like tree branches in the wind.
“We are not afraid of technology, we invented it. Just use the correct machinery we have provided for the shaping of the wood. Look not for short cuts, it will take as long as it takes, do the job right, look after your tools and lend them not!”
Well that answered that one! I was feeling a bit sore or perhaps that should be saw? Although I had unplugged it, I hadn't retracted the table saw blade!

So onto making replacements for the feet I had broken while removing my knuckles yesterday. This time I did the job properly and brought out my scroll saw. First I milled some of my ever reducing bits of scrap wood to the correct size. Then I traced the pattern of one of the remaining feet, and then I used the scroll saw to cut out five matching feet.

I then used the flexi-drive that comes attached to the saw to sand the curves. I cut the mitres with my Japanese pull saw and used the bench sander that took my knuckles yesterday to refine the mitres. It took a little bit longer, but I thoroughly enjoyed the making and the job was accurate. All parts of the feet now cut, I moved right on to gluing them up using painter's tape for clamping pressure.

I popped in to see Ellie while I took a short break. The larger magnets I'd ordered had been delivered.

I now moved on to the handles. Somewhere in my head was an image of a 17th century tea caddy. The remains of the lumber milled for the feet were first given a twenty five degree chamfer on the table saw. Next I traced the same curve from the feet onto the stock and cut out the shape on the scroll saw. I ran a file over the edges and the job was a good 'um.

Before packing away for the evening I gave everything a preliminary sanding to one twenty grit. That gap in the lid is really annoying me now!


This evening I'm raising a glass of rather fine Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon to the spirits of woodworking and thanking them for a productive and enjoyable day firkling in the shed!



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26 minutes ago, Timbo said:


52 magnets in that little box, you can bet they were stuck and going to be a right bu**er to separate

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The minute I clapped eyes on the door to what Ben Gunn calls the 'Dog House' the former residence of Ellie's childhood pet Afghan Hound cross dog called Gaffa, now used as an apple store, I immediately stated that the best and easiest approach would be to buy timber to make a new door frame and door. After the eight hours it took to turn the door to open outwards instead of inwards, fit three hinges, hang the old door, scarf in a piece into the frame that had been hacked out with an angle grinder to fit the hasp and staple last week and put in new timber to back the door I really think I should have been listened to. As satisfying as it is to hear the phrase 'Timbo said right at the start' being uttered by other people, I wish they didn't need to say it! 

The hinges were the easy bit. While Watson was on the phone I made a template of the door hinges and started routing the mortises and fitted the hinges to the door. Watson arrived back and was fascinated by my Makita router system and the speed and accuracy with which the mortises were cut. He was itching to have a go himself as he'd never used a router before. Next the hinge mortises on the door frame were measured and cut. Time for a cup of tea and to hang the door. So far the job had taken a leisurely hour, tops. It had been odd hearing my own voice teaching Watson how to use the router and then how to use a chisel properly...it being one of my chisels and sharp enough to not require braying with a hammer. The same instructions Doug gave me in wielding a router and a chisel just tumbled out at the appropriate moments.

Now the horror began. There was a reason the door had previously been fitted so that it opened inwards and pushed up to the door frame. The door frame bowed in all directions of the compass. Add to that some severe twist. Just to make everything really interesting, the door itself had originally been hung upside down and was cupped, bowed and twisted too.

The hinges were taken off the door, put back on the door, taken off again, put back on again.
“You did measure the position of the mortises on the door frame?” I asked Watson.
“I sort of guessed.”
I went for a cup of tea and a smoke.

My drill-driver packed in through over use and we were down to Ben Gunn's yankee screwdriver. The job eventually got done to the best of my ability. Everything fits and is as straight as possible allowing for the curvature and twist of the frame and door. The door is secure, the hasp fits over the staple and there is nowhere it can be jimmied.

Thursday night I got home, walked the dogs, drank the last beer in the fridge and made a Timbo special phaal curry and slept through the night and most of Friday morning.

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A late start Friday, I have to admit that after walking the dogs I went back to bed for a couple of hours. I was not feeling great at all. By the time I opened up the shed the wind outside was really picking up and so inside my workshop it was almost, almost, like being afloat.

I pottered around for a while cleaning the tools I had used the previous day. I will have a 'sharpening day' fairly soon I think and touch up all of my chisels, planes and card scrapers. I unpacked the magnets that had arrived on Wednesday, yes Peter, they were indeed stuck! With the magnets here it was time to get on and finish and fit the handles on the box.

One of the handles would be the 'key' by which Gracie would be able to remove the false bottom of the box once she had unlocked it. So, while one handle would be fixed permanently to the box the other would be removable and be fitted with two of the magnets underneath. I used the pillar drill to drill out holes for the dowels I was going to use to fix both handles and the slots for the magnets in the handle that was the key.
Once the dowels were glued in place I fitted them to the box. I have a set of brass dowel centre points in various sizes which are really useful. I found the centre of the box and marked the centre on the handles. Using the centre points I could now mark the box and drill through to accept the dowels. I had intended to stop the holes before going all the way through the sides of the box but discovered the 'key handle' required more leverage. If I knew the box was going to turn out to be a lock box I would have used thicker stock.
I chose the side of the box to hold the key by dint of a useful knot hole that could be used by Gracie to identify the side that was the key. I didn't want her ripping off the wrong handle. I counter sunk the holes for the key handle and once both handles were installed I used my flush trim saw to cut off the dowels inside the box and sand everything flat.


That gap in the lid was starting to really, really annoy me! The adventures with hinges the previous day still rankled so I decided to do something about it. I used the Maxwellian Method of hinge twiddling. Only I didn't use cardboard from a box of Special K or Marks and Spencer Muesli, I'm not as cosmopolitan as Ian, I used slivers of beechwood veneer cut to size and sanded down on the sanding block. Having the four sheets of different grit sandpapers glued to a board which sits on my bench is proving to be a very useful tool and something that will probably remain permanently on my bench. I can just turn around and either sand or shape a piece by rubbing it on the bench top.

I levelled off the worst offending hinges and things were not looking good. But learning from the screw heads, I went around each of the hinges making sure each and every hinge was totally flush, now knowing that even a fraction of a millimetre deviation could send the lid totally askew. With all of the hinges now precisely and exactly flush the lid fitted perfectly. I was a happy bunny again.


It was time to move onto fitting the feet. I'm still not quite sure about the feet. They give the box a tea caddy almost funerary feel. It might be a better home for Uncle Albert's ashes until we put him in the keel of RT than the top of my microwave? Still, Ellie likes the feet on the box, so I started to make sure that they were fitting flush to the box with no gaps.

I don't know who said it, but someone did. 'Woodwork is about solving problems and correcting mistakes'. One of the feet I had made was not sitting flush. Something was not right with it. I got out my square and started measuring the foot. The mitre joint was flush but one side of the foot was raised. I checked the angle of the joint and although it was forty-five degrees in one direction, it was something weird in another. Now, I could faff about trying to correct it with sanding or I could listen to the spirits of woodworking and do the job properly. I decided to do the job properly, but first discover how the joint had got so out of kilter?

The problem was my bench sander. For small mitre joints I usually have two approaches. If I'm just making a few joints I will cut them by hand using my Japanese pull saw. The cut is much smoother than other means of cutting. I will then touch up the joint on the disc of the bench sander. If I have a lot of mitres to cut I will do them on a mitre sled on the table saw and again touch them up on the bench sander. The problem was that the table on the bench sander was skewed.

I took the dogs for their evening walk while I had a think about things. After feeding the dogs, Dylan is definite about meal times, I was back in the shed 'engineering'! Out with the hex keys and spanners to adjust the fence and table on the bench sander. Oh Lord what had I started? I often forget about my stroke and doing things effectively one-handed. Penetrating oil helped loosen the bolts holding the structure together and to the machine itself. One pin holds the table to the sander. Another pin at right angles adjusts tilt in one direction and a third pin adjusts tilt in another direction and a final pin adjusts pivot so that the table is square to the disc. To say there was a lot of play in the pins is an understatement. Get the position correct according to the square, tighten everything up and the whole assembly moves. Trying to hold a square in place with one hand, reach for a hex key, with the same hand, and hold the table in position, again with the same hand, was nigh on impossible. Consequently no photographs as I didn't have a hand free for the phone!

At nine pm Ellie asked if I was OK and suggested I shut up shop for the night. I was tired and hungry and readily agreed. But, you know you can't resist one last firkle and I think, I hope, I might just possibly have, fingers crossed managed to get things square. Tomorrow I will fit a new wooden backing to the fence and try again to make a new foot for the box!


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Phew, it's been a busy day of firkling! As usual I started of by walking the dogs. The wind overnight had brought down a few branches. It really peeves me to see good timber go to waste. Oak, chestnut and cherry, and some sizeable branches too!

Back in the workshop and I finished sorting out the bench sander. I gave everything a good clean and a spray round with penetrating oil cleaning all of the bolts and fastenings before putting everything back together. I gave it a quick test by sanding the wonky foot from the box that I was going to replace this morning. Hold on a minute! With the random side I chose flushed on the sander the foot was now perfect. Brow furrowed I tried it in position on the box. We were cooking on gas this morning! It fitted. Slight wobble but nothing I couldn't fix on the final grind.

I finished drilling the screw holes and countersinking for the other feet. I was considering using dowels but as Gracie would need to spin the box to open the false floor I thought a mechanical fastening of some description would be better. I also didn't glue the feet, thinking that if Gracie happened to break one it would make it easier to fit a replacement.

With the feet fitted it was time for the 'grind'. I clamped the sanding block to the bench and started to level off the feet using circular motions and turning the box after every ten rotations. It didn't take long before the bottoms of the feet were level.


Next it was time to fit the locking mechanism for the false floor. Normally I would do this before fitting the bottom of the box, but it was quite a simple job. It would be if I didn't keep forgetting to insert the pins into the four corner pieces. Eventually I had them glued in place and used just the weight of four of my big clamps to apply a bit of gluing pressure.

Next was the false floor itself. I measured off the locations of the magnets in the 'key handle' and transferred them across to the centre of the false floor before drilling the recesses. Now to fit the central pieces of the locking mechanism on the floor itself. Just at the last moment I remembered that I needed to fit them the other way up to the ones inside the box. This time I used the metal box my drill bits are kept in as a clamp.

A break for lunch and I took away the clamps and sanded everything flush removing the squeeze out. I've watched videos of Japanese carpenters making drawers and boxes where the the lids and drawers float down on a cushion of air when they are fitted. This is what happened when I accidentally dropped the false floor into the box. It floated down on a cushion of air. I made to grab the box and of course this locked the floor in place. So I had to test the mechanism to retrieve the false floor. I span the box. It didn't work. Nuts! I span the box again and this time the 'schlack' of the pins slipping into place sounded. The problem now was that I had not yet fitted the magnets so that the key would retrieve the floor. I improvised by lightly popping a couple of small screws and lifting the floor out. Well, at least I knew it worked.

A visit from Ellie and of course she made a 'suggested' design change. She wanted me to fit a lid stay so that the lid didn't fold back on itself. A sliding stay wouldn't work due to the false bottom. The phone rang with my usual Saturday afternoon call from Mike checking that I was alright. Now, Mike is a bit of a smartie pants and he made a suggestion for a design of lid stay that would accommodate the false bottom of the box. I think we ought to change his forum name you know? As he usually rings me from the car while waiting for Aunty Pat to finishing the shopping, how about...Professor Pat Pending?

While I was chatting to Mike, I positioned the catch on the front of the box and drilled the pilot holes, hunting around for a small drill bit. Eventually I located a one millimetre bit that would work just fine. I then fitted the catch and moved on to the Pat Pending Box Lid Stay.
I cut a sliver of scrap pine drilled a hole in both ends, but turning one hole into a notch big enough to slip over a dowel. Rounded off the ends on the bench sander and fitted it to the box with a small brass screw countersunk into the stay. I drilled a small home on the inside of the box, glued in a dowel and left it to dry while I put the kettle on. Flush cutting the dowel and everything was assembled with the exception of the magnets. These will be glued in place after the finish has been applied.


So, first assembly is completed and I'm really happy with the results. It's turned out far better than I anticipated! So after a cup of tea it's time to take it all to pieces again to get ready for applying the finish. I need to go round the box and check for pencil marks and remove them with an eraser, then a final sand to two twenty grit and then after I've hoovered the workshop and let the dust settle a good wipe down with a tack cloth.

But...time for tea and a stroll I think!

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I may not be seeing the obvious, but if there  is a pin for the stay, how is that any better than the stay, its still a restriction in the inside, i just hope the lid is tiltable


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40 minutes ago, grendel said:

I may not be seeing the obvious, but if there  is a pin for the stay, how is that any better than the stay, its still a restriction in the inside, i just hope the lid is tiltable


The false floor slips under the pin and buts up to the side, then just lower the other end and then it still rides down to the bottom on it's little column of air. Although, not at the moment as it's a bit sticky with the first coat of finish on the inside! :default_norty:

39 minutes ago, psychicsurveyor said:

You clever old sod :default_biggrin:

When are you taking orders.

I'm always taking orders, she get's a bit batey if I don't! :default_biggrin:

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“Ooh you are bold!” I said to Alan Bennet.
The difference between the various stratifications was quite obvious. A trowel should be no longer than four inches if you are intending to use it for a cricket bat.
“To the Batcopter!”
A pendulum movement is considered the best...Hey I should make a clock! Hickory dickory duck. Fuzzy ducks. I missed the fuzzy ducks. Aye up duck? How about a cup of tea? Can tha ride tandem? Tandem stratigraphy can often indicate interruption in the natural. It ain't natural I tell you. I'm hungry, pear drops. That's three coats. Bring me my coloured coat my amazing coloured coat! Get your coat you've pulled. Alyson Hannigan! You'll have to join the queue. Q? Now get off my ship!

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Coffee break. Phewee! An 8x6 shed is not the best of places to be applying finish, even with the door open!

I've just applied coat number three of Finney's Finpol Special Polish. Normally I wouldn't bother with French Polish on a pine box but as it's for Gracie and Finpol is excellent stuff it might stop the box from too much damage when it get's played with and dropped.

If nobody has tried Finney's finish and varnish products yet, I can highly recommend them. The customer service is excellent. I once asked a question about one of their products and it's suitability for boats and Mark Finney himself rang me to answer. Sadly they don't as yet make a yacht varnish, but they do make a self levelling floor varnish he developed for internal use on canal barges.

Edited to add, they sent me a free two litre tin to try. It's parked behind RT at the moment.

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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.

As I mentioned earlier I was going to give the box a few coats of Finney's Finpol Special Polish. This stuff is amazing! Somewhere I had misplaced the mop brush that I use to apply the finish and instead had to make do with a sash brush. It worked just the same and so much cheaper too!
After sanding the box to two twenty grit, I gave it a wipe down with a tack cloth. I took all components apart, jotted down the locations and size of the shims for those damned hinges and set everything up on the bench cookies. The bench cookies have little adapters that come to a point and that sit on top of the cookies for finishing.

Now to applying the Finpol in pendulum movements making sure to slip the brush 'off' the ends of the box and NOT 'on' to the box. You avoid dribbles and runs by doing this. The Finpol dries extremely quickly on the first two coats. So as soon as I had finished coating all sides of each part of the box it was time to move onto the coat. By the third coat I was enjoying myself so much I'd started singing.
“Are you alright Tim?” Ellie shouted over the hedge.
“He's off his t... is what he is!” my neighbour on the other side said.
“Tim, it's very late and time to pack it in!”
So with the third coat complete I shut up the workshop for the night.

The next morning the fourth coat of Finpol went on and I took the boys out for a mooch while I waited for everything to dry. Poor old Spotty, Ellie's collie, had not had a good day yesterday. He's eighteen years old and had a stroke on New Year. We suspect the old boy has been spitting his tablet out so Ellie gave him another tablet and made sure he swallowed it. This morning he was his usual self and galloping about after the beagles. A good long walk and a chance to blow away the cobwebs and Finpol fumes!

After lunch and the last coat of Finpol was dry and it was time to get onto the polishing. I used to use wax polish such as Briwax, Colron and Rustins. Not any more. Not only is the stuff expensive but after a while it congeals and goes rancid in the tin. I now only use Beagle's Ear Wax TM.
Beagles ar Wax.png

t's the best quality wax on the market, made by my own fair hands. Four sticks of beeswax are melted into a quarter of a pint of food grade mineral oil. The resulting wax is soft with a deep rich colour that polishes up to a tough, deep shine!
I apply the first coat of Beagle's Ear Wax TM with 0000 grade wire wool rubbing it in with the grain. Give it a few minutes to set and then I buff it up with a soft, dry lint free cloth. The second coat of Beagle's Ear Wax TM (available direct from the Beagle Brothers Company) is applied with a lint free cloth this time rubbing the wax into the wood in small circular motions. Again give it a few minutes to set and this time I start buffing using the buffing pads chucked into the drill. I give everything two more coats buffing in between. A final light fifth coat is applied sparingly and this time polished with a clean lint free cloth.

Now it's time to reassemble the box and fit the magnets into the 'handle key' and the false floor. I use a thick superglue in the recess and then spray the magnet with activator. I make sure that I get the magnets the right way round by sliding off two magnets at once and fitting the lower magnet in the floor and the upper magnet in the key.

Next it's the hinges, the lid stay and the latch on the front. Those damned hinges are acting up again and I spend some time firkling with them so that the lid sits square on the box. The fake floor is fitted, the lockbox locked and the mechanism tested by giving everything a spin and trying out the 'handle key'. All I have left to do now is fit the self adhesive black felt when it arrives that Ellie has ordered for me.

So from this...

...to this!






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